There’s nothing more beautiful than seeing blankets of waving goldenrod in an open field. And if you didn’t know, the medicinal uses of goldenrod are just as far and wide and beautiful. This herb is one of nature’s greatest herbs that grow freely. A wonderful respiratory herb, UTI herb (urinary tract infection), anti-inflammatory herb, wound healer, and more. Goldenrod tincture is one of the easiest ways to preserve this herb, and I’ll give you a recipe for it further down. I can’t wait to share more about goldenrod with you in this article.
Just a quick note: people often think that goldenrod and ragweed are the same thing. They absolutely aren’t. In fact, most people aren’t allergic to goldenrod, period. While almost everyone is allergic to ragweed!
Other Posts You May Enjoy:
- Medicinal Uses for Yarrow—The Homestead Herb
- Medicinal Uses of Mullein — Grow, Harvest, and Use
- Growing and Drying Your Own Herbs (with Video)
- How to Make Herbal Infused Oils for Salves and Herbal Products
- The Best Antiviral Herbs and Support Herbs
- Flu Fighting Elderberry and Astragalus Syrup
- How to Start a Medicinal Herb Garden
Goldenrod: Medicinal Uses and Information
Goldenrod (Solidago spp.) comes in a few different kinds. They are commonly known as European goldenrod (Solidago virgaurea L.), Early goldenrod (S. gigantea Aiton), and Canadian goldenrod (S. canadensis L.). Early goldenrod and Canadian goldenrod are native to North America. Where I am, I can frequently harvest Canadian goldenrod. They all, generally, have the same health benefits.
Parts Used: Leaves and Flowers
The genus name of goldenrod, Solidago, is derived from soldare, meaning ‘to make whole,’ because it was used as an herb that treated wounds (Grieve, 1979).
Goldenrod is well known for its ability to treat urinary tract disorders, and its efficacy as a UTI herb. It’s also used in Germany as an agent to increase urine as a treatment for kidney and bladder inflammation (Wichtl and Bisset, 1994).
Unbelievably, yet not surprising, goldenrod isn’t used much by medical professionals in North America. It is, however, widely used by herbalists and aboriginal peoples. As an example, Iroquois people prepare an infusion of goldenrod flowers (specifically Canadian goldenrod) as a gastrointestinal and liver aid (Moerman, 1998). And it works as a powerful respiratory herb among many cultures.
Some of the medicinal uses of goldenrod are a anticatarrhal (removes excess mucus from the respiratory tract), anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, astringent, carminative (relieves flatulence), diaphoretic (causes prespiration), diuretic, and vulnerary (heals wounds).
Goldenrod is exceptional at alleviating upper respiratory congestion stemming from allergies, sinusitis, flu, or the common cold. What a lovely thing that a respiratory herb can be so readily available to forage!
For an exceptional throat gargle, you can combine goldenrod with sage (Salvia officinalis) in an infusion to soothe sore throats, thrush, and laryngitis.
Some cultures use goldenrod as a digestive herb to help heal the digestive tract from diarrhea and inflammation.
Create a poultice with goldenrod—or simply use the crushed herb—as a wound treatment for sores, burns, skin irritation, and even open wounds. It helps induce healing, and since it is a natural antimicrobial, it may inhibit the growth of bacteria.
I enjoy making a goldenrod tincture since this herb has so many different properties. Having extra goldenrod tincture on hand is great too, because tinctures last practically a lifetime!
How to Harvest Goldenrod
Goldenrod is one of the easiest plants to spot from the road, but it’s best to not harvest from areas that could have road run off. Try to go further into fields, or further off the road, in order to harvest the best wild foraged herbs. If you can go into a field, it’s even better than just the roadside.
You will also find goldenrod growing along trails and hollows that have some sunlight reaching onto them.
The only parts of the plant that are frequently used are the flowering heads and the leaves. The stems don’t have much medicinal value. Though the root may have medicinal value, and is used frequently by Native Americans, it is not frequently used in western herbalism.
Harvest the flower heads and leaves at the same time—when the flowers have opened and are bright yellow. Try to avoid any leaves and flower heads that may have powdery mildew or browning. When harvesting, make sure to leave behind some flowering stems so that the plant will continue to grow for years to come.
You can typically find goldenrod starting in late summer through early fall.
Ways to Make Herbal Preparations with Goldenrod
As with any herb, you can make many different preparations with goldrenrod. Teas work well for any UTI herb, and the same goes for goldenrod. A goldenrod tincture works wonders for all the other ailments. And a poultice is necessary for external use with wounds, burns, and skin irritation.
You can create salves and ointments with goldenrod as well, though it has its highest efficacy when used as a whole herb.
SAFETY & DOSAGE:
INFUSION (TEA): Steep 3 g in 150 ml boiled water for 10 to 15 minutes, two to four times daily between meals. Or, add 1/2 tbsp to a cup of water.
TINCTURE: In a 1:5 ratio (dried herb) or 1:2 ratio (fresh herb)—take 3 ml, two to four times daily between meals.
You should not do irrigation therapy while taking goldenrod in case of edema due to impaired heart and kidney function.
Though rare, goldenrod has caused allergic contact dermatitis after both handling and oral administration.Those with Asteraceae allergies should exercise caution with goldenrod as they could be reactive.
Use goldenrod tincture for UTIs, respiratory health, kidney and liver cleansing, and more!
- 1 oz goldenrod (dried)
- 5 fl oz vodka (80 proof or higher)
- 1 glass jar (like a mason jar) with lid
- Weigh out 1 ounce of dried goldenrod and 5 fl oz vodka.
- In a clean glass mason jar, add measured dried herb. Pour over the vodka, being sure that all of the dried herb is covered with vodka. If you need to, you can crush the herb up to make it fit under the liquid.
- Cap the jar tightly, label, and place in a dark cabinet or pantry for 4 to 6 weeks.
- Once the tincture is ready, pour out the vodka through a muslin cloth and strainer. Pour the tincture into an amber or dark glass bottle with an eye dropper top. Cap tightly, label, and store in a pantry or cabinet away from direct sunlight. Use as needed.
See dosage and precautions in the corresponding blog post.
Lisa Bailey says
I love your books and learn so much from you. Thank you for all you do and teach. You are a wealth of knowledge and are so kind to share it all. Thank you so much. Look forward to more. Can’t wait to make my Goldenrod tincture . 🙂
I’ve read that Goldenrod contains latex in the leaves. I haven’t seen if it is also in the flowers. Do you happen to know? I have an abundance on my land that I’d love to utilize, but I’m allergic to latex! ???♀️ I also don’t know what happens to the latex content when the plant is dried… Perhaps I’ll have to pass on this plant…??♀️ *sigh* Thanks for the great post, though!!
I regularly use tinctures and promote them. But I haven’t used goldenrod tincture yet. However, what I tell a friends of mine when they are trying anything new in the natural world, I tell them of the one drop increasing dosage. You put one drop on your arm to see if you have any reactions. That way if there is a reaction, you can wash it off as soon as possible. Of course if there are any reactions at any time is when to stop taking whatever you are trying. The next step if there are no reaction, is to put one drop under your tongue, then keep adding drops until the right dosage is achieved.
According to PubMed.gov, Hope this will help.
There are no known allergies to the flowers. That the leaves hold the latex that you’re allergic to.
Use some type of non-latex when you harvest the upper portion of the plant.
Wear LONG sleeves when harvesting.
So you should be able to snip off the dried flowers.
Linda Arencibia says
Thanks for the information. Where is the corresponding blog tgst you mentioned for dosage of goldenrod tincture?
Tincture dosages are normally 30 drops per day. You can take those all at once, or split it into twice a day.
Amy Schaffer says
Where is the corresponding blog about the dosage and precautions of golden rod tincture? I recently recieved a tincture for my kidney stones and was wondering what precautions there were with it.
Thank you for the wonderful information you share. I just really started learning about the herbs and wild flowers we could use. I appreciate your time and efforts to help those of us learning.
Hi I made some tincture a few moths ago but hadn’t come across your page. I was told very vague instructions and I put the flowers in the vodka before it was dried will that affect my tincture? It sat in there for 3 months before I strained it out.
Kylea Lewis says
How long can goldenrod tincture be kept, once it’s made?
HELP! Desperately trying to make this to combat my husband’s chronic UTIs. But when I measure, the plant material isn’t fully submerged, even if I squish it as much as possible. What am I doing wrong?
Adria Roach says
I’m going to forage goldenrod today, I hope. How do o clean the bugs off of it before making anything? Thanks for the info
Hi Amy, my name is Robbie and yep, I am a woman 🙂 I just recently watched one of your videos and golden rod on YouTube today (11.6.22) and it is very interested in learning so much more about herbs, foraging, making tinctures, etc. I noticed that you were using alcohol, is it possible to help me understand the differences, when, and or why this gets used over vegetable glycerin? It’s not that I have a problem with the alcohol. I just wanted to make sure being a newbie at all this; so there are some of the things that I need to understand a little bit better. I literally could not believe the location where I live and what is in my own front yard and behind my house. Stinging Nettle, Beggars Tick, Oriental Chive, Milk Weed, Rose of Sharon, Hibiscus, some of this I knew but definitely not the first ones mentions. Thinking they were just weeds I was ready to whack them down and come to find out I have things that are edible and medicinal in both locations. I’ve been here for nearly 7 years and never knew it. Thanks so much! And thank you for what you share. So looking forward to doing more, I’ve started collecting things and moving forward.