Goldenrod: Friend or Foe?

Many have contributed their Fall sniffles to Goldenrod. However, it may actually be Ragweed that is causing the itchy, watery eyes and runny noses. Goldenrod may be the treatment you need. As nature includes poisonous, irritating plants, she also provides the remedy and it’s usually nearby.


Also called Blue Mountain Tea

Scientific name: Solidago canadensis, S. odora, S. virgaurea (and most likely many other Solidago species; do your own research before trying an unknown variety)
Family: Asteraceae (daisy family)
Parts used: aerial portions
Plant Properties: warm or cool depending on species, drying, aromatic, carminative, diuretic, diaphoretic, astringent, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, antiseptic, expectorant, anti-fungal
Plant Uses: bladder infections, kidney stones, seasonal allergies (allergic rhinitis), arthritis, tasty tea high in antioxidants, bleeding disorders, fevers, bleeding, diarrhea, fungal infections, venous insufficiency, edema
Plant Preparations: Tea, tincture, fresh juice, poultice, powder, infused into oil, poultice

Goldenrod’s pollen is too heavy to be airborne and is pollinated by insects. Usually the culprit of allergy response is the less showy Ragweed with inconspicuous flowers in contrast to Goldenrod’s bright, yellow plumes, as if to say, “Here I am! This is what you need!”


In addition to treating symptoms of seasonal allergies, Goldenrod is indicated for: treating urinary tract infections, high oxidant tea, muscle pain and arthritis, wounds, colds and flu, fungal infections, insulin resistance, and as a delicious edible.

Special consideration should be given to the variability of the flavors and scents within the great many spp. of Solidago. If you have multiple species near you (and you probably do) take the time to taste the leaf and flower of each kind, and get to know the subtle differences. The most aromatic tend to be more helpful for mood elevation, kidney problems and external use, while the more bitter or bitter/aromatic spp. are especially nice for digestive issues and the astringent/aromatic types are great for upper respiratory issues and general mucus membrane over-secretion. These type of subtleties apply to all herbs, but Goldenrod tends to be a great example of it because of the many spp. and sensory variances even within a single species or subspecies.

Kiva Rose, herbalist

To learn more about Goldenrod, visit HerbalPedia

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