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Goldenseal Benefits, Side Effects, Interactions Hydrastis Canadensis, Berberine

Goldenseal Benefits, Side Effects, Interactions Hydrastis Canadensis, Berberine

Goldenseal Herb

What is Goldenseal : Hydrastis Canadensis

Goldenseal which is also referred to as "Hydrastis canadensis" is assumed to be a perennial herb that is native to eastern North America.  Goldenseal is found to be used to treat some health conditions as a supplement for seasonal allergies, common colds, canker sores, and even diabetes. However scientific evidence about how effective is Goldenseal to treat the said conditions is not yet sufficient.

Besides having other ingredients, Goldenseal also contains a complex compound of different substances as well as chemicals, for example, berberine.

Due to possessing berberine, Goldenseal specifically might be more effective for numerous medicinal uses such as curing canker sore symptoms.

This health info article will describe what people should know about Goldenseal, Goldenseal potential uses, its side effects, and its interactions.

In the United States, Dietary supplements are not regulated like the drugs are regulated which means the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not authorize such items for public health safety and its effectiveness prior to such items being marketed.

Therefore in this scenario always try to pick those supplements that are properly examined by a trusted third party for example these should be tested by NSF or USP (ConsumerLabs) whenever possible.

However, it will not make a clear understanding of trust that such supplements are adequately safe for use for all or are effective in general even if such supplements claim they are third-party tested.

However, even if supplements are third-party tested, that doesn't mean they are necessarily safe in all aspects or effective in general. Therefore, it is advised to talk to your healthcare consultant about any supplements you wish to use and watch for potential interactions with other different supplements or medications.

The suggested dosage varies based on medical condition and on the form of dosage. Use of Goldenseal might be unsafe during breastfeeding, pregnancy, and in children.

Goldenseal Uses

Uses of Goldenseal

Supplementation use should be diagnosed by a qualified pharmacist, dietitian, or healthcare consultant. Be reminded that no supplement is intended to cure, treat, or prevent diseases.

As earlier it has been discussed that currently there is too little research available to support Goldenseal benefits.  But for the following few reasons people like to use Goldenseal.

To Treat The Common Cold

A few studies have discovered that berberine in Goldenseal may have much activity against the harmful viruses and bacteria that usually cause the common cold, Anyway extra research on it is needed. 

A virus called Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) that causes upper respiratory infections as well as can also cause critical lower respiratory tract infections, particularly in high-risk groups for example in immunocompromised people and in infants.

Urinary Tract Infections

Some studies also have revealed that Goldenseal can be an effective means to treat urinary tract infections (UTIs).  Berberine, along with alkaloids resides in the roots and rhizome of the plant and may prevent harmful bacteria from adhering to the bladder walls of humans.

Canker Sores

There are some people around the world who take Goldenseal for canker sores treatment (mouth ulcers).  As per the National Library of Medicine (NLM), the berberine element in Goldenseal might relieve canker sore signs.

A tiny quantity of berberine is absorbed into the human bloodstream when someone takes Goldenseal by mouth, which means you perhaps do not get adequate berberine from Goldenseal for the plant to be effective.


Goldenseal is found to be consumed sometimes for treating diabetes. This is on account of the berberine element in Goldenseal that may relatively lower blood glucose (sugar) in some diabetic people.

In fact, a review and randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have suggested that berberine has the ability that it may decrease blood sugar levels in numerous ways, for example blocking glucose absorption from the intestines. Berberine can encourage the human pancreas to secrete extra of an organically-occurring hormone named insulin. And berberine may also develop your muscle and fat cells extra sensitive to insulin's effects, and downgrade sugar levels.

Immune System Support

Consuming Goldenseal in supplement form it is sometimes observed to be an effective thing to boost immunity. Goldenseal is normally allied with echinacea for protection from the common cold and other bacterial illnesses. But, be reminded there has not been any trusted scientific evidence to justify this purpose of use.


A 2019 study explored the uses of Goldenseal powder especially in women having elevated uric acid levels (hyperuricemia).  Higher uric acid hights are linked with a kind of arthritis famous as gout, In Gout the uric acid crystals accumulate in the human joints.

One research study team took five milligrams of Goldenseal powder per kg of body weight every day for exactly eight weeks. Another team took ten milligrams of Goldenseal powder per kg of body weight every day for exactly eight weeks.  And another team is a control team that took no Goldenseal powder at all.

At the end of the eight-week treatment period, both teams taking the Goldenseal had decreased serum uric acid heights, but the team taking ten milligrams showed a better reduction in the uric acid levels. The control team had slightly raised uric acid levels.

Goldenseal Side Effects

The Common Side Effects of Goldenseal

Inadequate information is publically known about Goldenseal's safety.  Short-term oral Goldenseal usage is likely to be safe for a large number of adults, but since Goldenseal comprises berberine, so, its much common side effects perhaps be similar to the chemicals typically associated with the digestive system. For example, people may experience:

  • Upset stomach
  • Gas
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea

Goldenseal Severe Side Effects

Severe or Critical Side Effects

Serious Critical side effects include some of the following:

Severe Or Critical Allergic Reaction

Severe critical allergic reaction is a serious side effect of almost any supplement or medication. Signs may include itchiness, rash, and breathing difficulties.

Blood Sugar Effects

Due to Berberine element in Goldenseal may relatively lower human blood sugar levels in case you have extraordinarily low blood sugar, and signs and symptoms could be a fast heartbeat, sweating, and tremors.

In Babies High Bilirubin

The time when old red blood cells (RBCs) in human blood weaken and break down, they also form a substance named bilirubin, which is usually cleared from the human body by the liver.  But Goldenseal could block the human liver and save the removal of bilirubin. Also, high levels of bilirubin could result in severe jaundice, leading to a human life-threatening health condition called kernicterus.

Goldenseal Precautions


Goldenseal usage may bring risks in the below-mentioned situations:

Severe Allergic Reaction

The people with severe allergic reaction conditions are advised to avoid Goldenseal or its components supplements etc.


The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) prohibits pregnant ladies from using Goldenseal for some reasons as berberine or its ingredients which reside in Goldenseal may interact with the unborn fetus and have some adverse effects.  There are results and reports of newborn infants having kernicterus on account of berberine exposure.

So it is recommended to always talk about the benefits and risk factors of consuming Goldenseal during pregnancy tenure with your healthcare consultant.


While breastfeeding the NCCIH is against Goldenseal usage. Because, at the time of breastfeeding, some parents tend to use Goldenseal for the treatment of sore nipples, and the National Library of Medicine (NLM) claims that berberine elements in Goldenseal might be available in breastmilk and damage the nursing infant.

So always visit your healthcare consultant to discuss the health advantages and hazards of consuming Goldenseal while breastfeeding.


Consuming Goldenseal in infants is not recommended by The NCCIH. Infants—specifically newborns—most likely get kernicterus from the intake of Goldenseal, however, as for relatively older children, safety and effectiveness record is limited.

Older Adults With Age Over 65 Years

Some older adults if they are using multiple medications may be extra sensitive to the adverse effects of medications. For this very reason, consume Goldenseal with health cautions.


Berberine an active element found in Goldenseal may affect human blood sugar levels therefore If someone has diabetes, he may need to monitor his blood sugar positions more frequently.  And based on his blood sugar height and signs, his healthcare consultant may need to readjust his medications.

Goldenseal Dosage

Dosage: Goldenseal How Much Quantity Should I Take?

What are the consequences of Taking Too Much Goldenseal?

As there are very few available research studies, that's why there is too little information regarding Goldenseal toxicity and its overdoses in humans, It is being advised that Goldenseal should not be consumed every day for longer periods of time. Instead, if interested one should consume it for relatively short periods of time and use only the recommended dose by a healthcare consultant.

Overdoses of using Goldenseal might generate similar signs and symptoms as its normal or hazardous side effects but at an average level. If in case you doubt you are observing some life-threatening side effects, reach out for instant medical attention.

Goldenseal Interactions


Prior to taking any supplement, ask your healthcare consultant and pharmacist regarding any change in medication. These supplements may include herbal, over-the-counter (OTC), natural medications, and supplements.  It is better to use health caution when using Goldenseal with the following:

Medications for Blood Sugar

Due to berberine availability in Goldenseal, it might lower human blood sugar levels. Thus, consuming Goldenseal with medications for blood sugar such as insulin—may further lower your blood sugar levels. Extraordinary low blood sugar signs and symptoms may include sweating, tremors, and a fast heartbeat.

  • Bystolic (nebivolol), and Cozaar (losartan), medications that generally being consumed for the treatment of high blood pressure.
  • Coumadin (warfarin), a medication as a blood thinner
  • Dilantin (phenytoin), a medication for anti-seizure
  • Delsym (dextromethorphan), a medication for cough
  • Zocor (simvastatin), a medicine generally used for the treatment of high cholesterol
  • Cyclosporine or Prograf (tacrolimus), medications to prevent organ transplant rejection

If you would like to take any of these above-mentioned medicines, ask your healthcare consultant. Because your healthcare consultant will examine them for side effects as well as effectiveness or issues and might change your medications.

It is always necessary to carefully read every supplement's ingredient list and its nutrition facts to get an understanding of which ingredients with how much proportion of each ingredient is included in it. Kindly review the label of the supplement with your healthcare consultant to discuss the potential interactions with medications, other supplements, and foods. 

How to Store Goldenseal

How to Store Goldenseal

Since storage of Goldenseal instructions may vary for some natural products, so, carefully check the instructions and label on the packaging container. But generally keep all of your medications tightly closed and keep them out of the reach of children or pets, much better to lock and in a relatively cool and dry place such as a closed or cabinet.

Discard these medication stuff after a year or as directed on the packaging label. Avoid putting expired and unused medicines in the toilet or down the drain. Much better to visit the FDA's website to learn how to discard any expired and unused medicines. By the way disposal boxes in your area can also be found.

Furthermore, discuss with your healthcare consultant or pharmacist about how to dispose of such unused or expired stuff.

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