Goldenseal: Benefits, Side Effects & Dosage


What is Goldenseal?

Goldenseal goes by many names such as eye root, hydraste, eyebalm, Indian turmeric, orange root and yellow root. It is a perennial herb in the buttercup family and is native to both Canada and the United States. It can be used in powder or capsule form and has also historically been used in tinctures and creams. This supplement is chock-full of active, alkaloid constituents like berberine, palmatine, hydrastine, hydrastinine and canadine. Research shows that berberine in particular has strong anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antibacterial and immune strengthening properties.


Goldenseal Benefits

Goldenseal is a triple threat for digestive support, heart healthy lifestyles and immune system support. In addition to helping the body protect itself from some serious diseases and infections, goldenseal also can guard against colds, sinus problems and allergies.

Internal Health

yeast infectionscancers

Some more recent studies even praise goldenseal supplements for helping to balance blood sugar, support urinary tract health, fight yeast infections, improve bladder health and combat antibiotic resistance.

Diabetic Support

The antidiabetic aspect of berberine is not fully understood, though research is ongoing into the role that it plays in insulin resistance and in insulin-response. In an animal study, berberine reduced body weight and caused improvement in glucose tolerance without changing the food intake of the mice involved. In the same study, it was shown that berberine reduced body weight and plasma triglycerides as well as an improved insulin action in rats.

It is also possible that berberine, which is present in goldenseal, can help patients who are suffering from both diabetes and high cholesterol.


urinary tract infections

Antibiotic Resistance


Liver Support

Many research findings also link goldenseal supplements to better liver health and maintenance overall.

Sinus Health

Goldenseal is a natural sinus supporter and immunity saver. It can help to eliminate sinus pain if incorporated into a routine and provide long-term relief. Coupled with the other positive claims about goldenseal for allergies, it also functions as a antibacterial agent.


Goldenseal Side Effects

Ranked presently among the most common herbal supplements on the market, goldenseal is cited as relatively safe for healthy adults in most studies. In addition to the following general side effects, it can cause mild restlessness.




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If your symptoms do not get better on their own after discontinuing a goldenseal supplement, seek medical attention immediately.


If you’re pregnant or nursing, don’t use goldenseal powder. It’s also not intended for usage by or for infants or children.

A report from the International Agency for Research on Cancer presents some skepticism about goldenseal root with some animal findings that it could be “possibly carcinogenic to humans” after conducting a two-year study on rats. Because of some potentially toxic side effects, experts adamantly urge consumers to first discuss goldenseal supplementation with a physician.

Goldenseal Dosage

As a dietary supplement, take 500 mg (less than 1/4 tsp) once or twice daily, or as directed by a physician.

Following the same safety protocol as you should with any supplements, remember that goldenseal is designed to promote a general well-being. Be sure to ask your health providers if it might be a suitable supplement for your unique health status, issues and lifestyle.

The Bottom Line

The wide range of benefits of goldenseal provide plenty of reasons for someone to contemplate regular supplementation. While children and pregnant or breastfeeding woman cannot use it, it can deliver some holistic health and wellness benefits with few documented side effects to healthy adults. Typical side effects encompass minor irritations of the mouth and/or throat, light nausea, indigestion and upset stomach. There are also some reports of mild restlessness. Discuss goldenseal with your healthcare professional to decide if it is a supplement that fits your needs.

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