Updated: Apr 9, 2021
Goldenrod (Solidago canadenis, S. odora, S. vigaurea, and many others) is part of the Asteraceae (Daisy) family.
Part used: aerial parts; flower and leaf
Energetics: warm, dry, aromatic
Taste: bitter, pungent, astringent
Actions: anticatarrhal, anti-inflammatory, astringent, carminative, diuretic, antiseptic, diaphoretic, vulnerary
Preparation: Harvest the tops (leaves and flowers) just before the flowers open. Can be used in a tincture or dried for tea.
The scientific name for Goldenrod is Solidago from the Latin word solidare, meaning “to join,” or “bring together” as the lips of a wound “to make whole.” This speaks to Goldenrod’s long history of healing wounds. The ancient Germans considered Goldenrod to be the best wound herb and, before engaging in battle, they gathered it as a precaution. In Germany today it is commonly called “fastening herb” because it fastens wounds together or “golden woundwort.” During the reign of Queen Elizabeth, Goldenrod’s healing abilities were very popular and it was extremely valuable. The powder was exported to London for its healing properties and was sold for as much as a half a crown per pound. The colonists called goldenrod tea “Liberty Tea,” since they drank it instead of black tea after the Boston Tea Party. Liberty Tea became very popular and was actually exported to China.
Goldenrod contains anti-inflammatory, antihistamine properties that help thin mucus while toning the mucosal lining. It's fabulous for seasonal allergies, sinus congestion, and other scenarios involving thick, cold mucus buildup, often working quickly. It can also be taken as a tonic for the respiratory and kidney systems; in both paces, thanks to its astringent-aromatic actions, it helps tonify the structure while improving the quality and production of secretions. Goldenrod helps the kidney from getting bogged down with bacterial and immune by-products that build up after an infection. It can also help during the early stages of bladder or urinary tract infections by helping the kidneys stay flushed of bacteria and tone the mucous membranes to prevent infection from getting deeper in the tissue.
The flowers and the leaves can be infused with oil or used as a poultice for wounds and burns. The infused oil combines well with plantain, yarrow, and St. John’s wort for a nice wound healing skin salve. It also makes a nice rub for tired achey muscles and arthritis pain.
Do not use in cases of kidney diseases without supervision of a practitioner. The diuretic effects can be a nuisance -- it's probably best not to take goldenrod before bedtime.
Goldenrod Tea for Seasonal Allergies
2 cups boiling water 1 Tablespoon of fresh goldenrod or 2-3 teaspoons of dried 1 Tablespoon of mint or 2-3 teaspoons of dried
Bring water to a boil and combine with herbs.
Infuse for 15 minutes then strain and serve.
Sources: Groves, Maria Noel. (2016).