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Goldenrod

Goldenrod
© Sertürner Bildarchiv

Botanical name

Goldenrod, Aaron´s Rod - Solidago virgaurea L.

Family

Composite family (Asteraceae)

Useful information about the plant

The circular shape of the goldenrod is spread over large parts of Europe, Asia (with the exception of the subtropical part), North Africa and North America. In Europe there are two subspecies (Subspecies -. Ssp), Solidago virgaurea ssp. virgaurea and ssp. minuta. The latter is common in the heart of Europe's high mountains, not below 1500m. The ssp. Virgaurea is used medically, it grows in light grassland and deciduous and mixed forests, meadows and rough pastures, it can also reach into the higher mountain areas. The other two goldenrod species native to North America are naturalised in Europe, the Canada goldenrod is now widespread in central Europe in shore thickets, along roadsides and on fallow land. The genus name Solidago, derived from the Latin "solidus" (= firm, hard) with the common suffix "ago" makes it clear that the plant is designed to help treat bone fractures. The epithet virgaurea is made up from the Latin "virga" (= sprig, rod) along with the Latin word "aureaâ" (= golden), referring to the bright yellow colour of the flowers. This characteristic is also expressed in the English name "Golden Rod", which is used for the entire genus, however, here then amplified by the additional designation of "True goldenrod."
The perennial goldenrod (photo) grows up to 1m high. It is characterised by the bright yellow flower heads, which stand together in simple or compound bunches. The 6-12 ray florets are also loosely around the yellow disc florets. Flowering time is July to September. The lower leaves are oval or elliptic, the middle ones are oblong-elliptic, the upper more or less sitting and slightly lanceolate. In relation to the leaf form it is its hairiness and regarding the arrangement of the flowers it is a very polymorphic type. We have refrained from a subdivision into varieties and forms.

Medicinally used plant parts (drug)

The dried above-ground, flowering parts are used - consisting of the stems, leaves and flowers. The goldenrod provides the "True Goldenrod herb," the Giant goldenrod, the "Goldenrod herb", and the commercial drug comes from cultures in Germany, Poland and the Balkan countries.

Ingredients of the drug

-

Descriptions of the quality

The quality of the following drugs or drug preparations is specified in the European Pharmacopoeia (Ph. Eur.):

  • True goldenrod herb (virgaureae solidaginis herba)
  • Goldenrod herb (solidaginis herba)

Medical Application

Recognised medical use

In inflammatory diseases for flushing the urinary tract, bladder stones and renal gravel; preventive treatment for urinary stones and renal gravel (Commission E, ESCOP).
The HMPC has classified the True goldenrod herb as a traditional herbal medicinal product (see "traditional use").

Traditional use

True goldenrod herb was classified by the HMPC as a traditional herbal medicine (§ 39a AMG). Based on many years of experience the true goldenrod herb may be used for increasing urine volume and thus be supportive for mild symptoms in the lower urinary tract. Traditionally used to support the excretory function of the kidneys (according to § 109a).

Medicinal herbal preparations in finished drug products

Dosage

Prepared drugs: see package insert;
Tea infusion: drink a cup of goldenrod herb tea 2 to 4 times daily between meals, average daily dose of 10 to 20 grams of the drug. Good to combine with others drugs like Restharrow, Orthosiphon leaves, Birch leaves and Nettle leaves (Bladder and Kidney, diuretic tea).

Preparation of a tea infusion

Pour around 150ml of boiling water over 3 to 5g (1 to 2 tsp) of finely chopped True goldenrod herb and strain after 10 to 15 minutes.

Advice

A purging therapy with goldenrod herb cannot be performed if there is an oedema due to impaired heart and kidney function. A combination with synthetic diuretics is discouraged. There should be a greater intake of fluids with a flushing therapy. There are still no studies on the harmlessness of goldenrod herb for use during pregnancy and breast-feeding as well as for use in children under 12 years old.

Side effects

When taking the goldenrod herb, there are occasional stomach upsets or skin reactions.

Interactions

None known

References

Drug monographs

HMPC, Commission E, ESCOP

Further reading

Wichtl: Teedrogen und Phytopharmaka, pg. 639
Schilcher: Leitfaden Phytotherapie, pg. 113
Van Wyk: Handbuch der Arzneipflanzen, pg. 305
Kommentar zum Europäischen Arzneibuch (True Goldenrod herb, no. 1893; Goldenrod herb, no. 1892)

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