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Goldenseal

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GOLDEANSEAL, THE "NATURAL ANTIBIOTIC" WITH AN ANCIENT HISTORY

Goldenseal (Hydrastis Canadensis) is also known as Orange Root or Yellow Puccoon. It is a plant found in Canada and the eastern United States of America and prefers shady, wooded areas. It is easy to recognize, being a perennial plant, with a purple stem, covered with fluff above the ground, and the underground part, in the area where it connects with the rhizome (underground stem) is yellow. The Goldenseal stem is gnarled and has the role of storing nutrients, being often confused with the root. It blooms in the spring, with small, white flowers, and in the summer it produces a single fruit, similar to that of a raspberry, on which 10-30 seeds are found1.
The name is due to the intense yellow or brown color of the rhizome, from which the active principles are extracted.

Goldenseal has a long history as a medicinal plant, used by the Cherokee Indians for colds, digestive ailments, genital diseases. In 1798, it began to attract attention, being intensively marketed as a remedy for a wide spectrum of ailments. Towards the end of the 19th century, it was on the verge of extinction due to aggressive use. Nowadays, the Goldenseal used in pharmaceutical formulas is harvested on plantations specialized in the cultivation and growth of this plant2.

In the current food supplement market, Goldenseal is called a "natural antibiotic". This titration is due to the content of berberine, an active substance with an anti-infective, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, anti-parasitic role3.

Both extracts based on Goldenseal, but also berberine extracted as a single substance from the rhizome of Goldenseal are used as adjuvants in diseases caused by various pathogens and affecting the digestive tract (diarrhea, H. pylori infections), the skin (dandruff, ringworm) , oral cavity (oral thrush, inflammation of the gums), eyes (blepharitis, conjunctivitis)4.

It is considered that the Goldenseal extract has the ability to restore the mucous membranes of the entire body, including the respiratory, digestive, oral.

Beyond its natural antibiotic properties, berberine has given very good results as an adjuvant in diabetes, being an excellent regulator of the amount of sugar in the blood. This has the role of reducing the body's resistance to insulin and reducing the production of glucose in the liver5.

Current research shows promising directions in the use of Goldenseal extract and berberine in reducing cholesterol levels, taking into account the possibility that they can be administered to patients with X-metabolic syndrome (hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, excess weight, increased triglycerides).
Nowadays, extracts with beneficial Goldenseal properties are found in the form of capsules and tablets, tea being an outdated form of use.
Modern forms with beneficial extracts ensure a dose of active substance, being preferable in integrative therapy.

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