Hydrastis canadensis (Goldenseal)
This rare herb native to Appalachia has a distinctive yellow root that can be prepared as a tincture to treat a number of ailments, though it should be used with caution.
Common Name: Goldenseal
Scientific Name: Hydrastis canadensis
Plant Family: Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)
Edible Parts: None known; *Caution* all parts of the plant are poisonous in large doses
Medicinal Uses: Used by Native Americans as a traditional medicine; Harvested root can function as an antiperiodic, antiseptic, astringent, cholagogue, diuretic, laxative, stomachic, and tonic; Used primarily to treat ailments affecting ears, eyes, throat, nose, stomach, and intestines; Mild sedative; Lowers blood pressure
Other Uses: Yellow dye can be made from the root; Crushed root can also be applied to the skin as an insect repellent
Meaning of Scientific Name: ’Hydrastis’ derived from Greek word, “hydros,” meaning water; the plant does prefer moist conditions; ‘canadensis’ means “of Canada,” as it is native to North America; Common name, “Goldenseal,” refers to its bright yellow rhizome.
Designing with this Plant
USDA Hardiness Zones: 3-7
Forest garden layer: Herbaceous perennial