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Goldenrod Extract


 If you have a medical condition, the first call you make is to your doctor, but it hasn't always been that way. Goldenrod is an herbal remedy that has been used to treat people with medical conditions such as inflammation, urinary problems, kidney problems and other ailments for centuries. It may not have the official seal of approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, yet alternative medicine practitioners, chemists, medical herbalists and well-respected university medical centers consider this herb for its healing properties.

Goldenrod -- or solidago, its historical name -- hails from Europe. Several centuries ago, goldenrod was only used as decoration. This herb grows in more than 140 different varieties all over the world; it is usually available in August and September. Goldenrod has taken heat for aggravating allergy sufferers over the years, but the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center at Penn State suggests goldenrod isn't the culprit. Goldenrod has been described in a study published in the U.S. National Library as a "perennial weed from which no allergens have been identified."

A study published in the "BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine" supports the efficacy of goldenrod. In the study, the herb was used to treat bacterial infections, and goldenrod did reduce the infection as the scientists hypothesized it would. Another study published in the "Journal of Ethnopharmacology" focused on the extract or essential oil of goldenrod. Results of the study suggest goldenrod was used in successfully treating acute inflammation.

Goldenrod contains chemicals that increase urine output, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, which is the reason it is used as a diuretic, to treat kidney stones and as an anti-inflammatory for the urinary tract when infection is present. Additionally, goldenrod has been used to help heal wounds and treat muscle spasms, joint pain and even high blood pressure. It is traditionally prepared in tea, using the golden leaves fresh or dried. Only very recently has goldenrod begun to appear in recipes for salads, salad dressings, soups and stews.

Always check with your health professional before self-medicating -- even with herbal remedies. If you take medications, some supplements, herbs and over-the-counter medications may interact with your prescription and cause a bad reaction. Goldenrod is helpful for easing gastrointestinal ailments and bacterial infection, but just like anything else, this doesn't mean it will work for you.