The healing power of real goldenrod

Goldenrod is a beautiful yellow flower that is sometimes available at flower shops. In addition, it has medicinal properties. In the past it was considered an important wound herb. Over the course of modern history, more medicinal properties of goldenrod have been found. In the Middle Ages it was discovered that it works well for the kidneys. NB! This article is written from the personal view of the author and may contain information that is not scientifically substantiated and/or in line with the general view.

Botanical drawing of goldenrod / Source: Johann Georg Sturm (Painter: Jacob Sturm), Wikimedia Commons (Public domain)


  • Naming goldenrod
  • History of goldenrod use
  • Active ingredients goldenrod
  • Goldenrod for the kidneys
  • The cleansing effect of goldenrod
  • Goldenrod, good for the respiratory tract
  • Other medicinal effects
  • External medicinal properties goldenrod
  • Consult a herbal therapist


Naming goldenrod

The botanical name of goldenrod is Solidago Virgaurea . Solidago comes from the Latin word ‘solidare’ which means ‘to heal’. Virgarea is a compound of ‘virga’ which means ‘rod’ and ‘aurea’ which stands for ‘golden’. The Latin name literally means something like healing golden rod. A rod is a broom; a cleaning item. The plant has cleansing properties. It’s as if a broom is being swept through your body and dirt that shouldn’t be there is swept away. In Dutch there are some alternative names for this plant: Goldenrod, Heidens woundwort, Heidens wormwort, Golden broom, Goldenrod and Featherwort.

History of goldenrod use

There are approximately 100 varieties of Solidago, many of which have medicinal properties. The North American Indians used Solidago Canadensis to chew against sore throats, Solidago Odorata to strengthen and expel sweat, and Solidago Rigida against bee stings and snake bites. In Europe, the plant was mainly used to heal wounds and support the functioning of the kidneys. Arnold of Villanova was the first to describe the positive effect on the kidneys in the 13th century. Rembert Dodoens, the pioneering herbalist, wrote that the Sarasin or pagans gave the name to this plant. They used this herb to heal wounds. Goldenrod used to be in almost all woundwort mixtures. Dodoens wrote that the astringent effect of goldenrod can be used against gum problems, sore throats and wounds. In addition to its diuretic effect, he saw that it drives away kidney stones. Other important writers on medicinal plants such as Nicholas Culpeper described similar effects. In folk medicine, this yellow-flowered plant was known, in addition to the aforementioned effects, for its medicinal properties for fluid retention, bed-wetting, rheumatic diseases, gout, skin conditions, colds, sinusitis, whooping cough and purulent wounds.

Active ingredients goldenrod

The young, fresh buds of goldenrod are preferably used. Sometimes the whole plant is used. Besides goldenrod, other plants from the solidago family can be used such as Solidago serotina Aiton and Solidago Canadensis . Solidago mainly contains many active flavonoids: rutin, quercetin, quercitrin, isoquercitrin, kaemferol, astragalin, kaemferol 3-O-rutinoside, isorhamnetin, 3-O-glucorhamnosides, nicotiflorin and afzelin. It also contains catecholols, catechins, anthocyanidins, triterpene saponins, virgaurea saponins I and II, oleanolic acid, polygalic acid, the phenolic acids caffeic acid, isochlorogenic acid and chlorogenic acid, bidesmosidic phenol glycosides such as salicin derivatives, leicarposide and virgaureoside A. To a lesser extent it contains bitter substances, oxalic acid, tartar. acid, citric acid , some essential oils, polyacetylenes and polysaccharides.

Goldenrod for the kidneys

Goldenrod is a tonic for the kidneys. It has a diuretic effect. The saponins and leicarposide ensure that it is a flushing agent for the urinary tract. Urine production can be twice as high after ingestion without irritating the kidneys. It helps prevent kidney stones, is astringent and anti-inflammatory. Furthermore, the saponins, in collaboration with caffeic acid and chlorogenic acid, ensure that it has an antiseptic effect on the urinary tract. In addition, it is a tissue repair agent for the kidneys. In addition, it is antispasmodic and increases the resistance of the blood vessel walls in the sense that less fluid seeps through. This impressive range of medicinal activities ensures that it can be used as a medicinal herb by herbalists for:

Goldenrod / Source: H. Zell, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA-3.0)

  • Edema or fluid retention, chronic kidney inflammation, renal insufficiency,
  • Increased urea level, too low urine production,
  • Adjuvant for bladder infections caused by, among others, E. coli,
  • Kidney inflammation, urethral inflammation,
  • Painful urination,
  • Kidney grit, bladder grit, cleansing the kidneys, prevention of bladder and kidney stones,
  • Albuminuria or protein in the urine,
  • bedwetting,
  • Supportive for benign prostate hypertrophy or benign prostate enlargement,
  • Supportive for high blood pressure,
  • Supportive for excessive menstrual blood loss.


The cleansing effect of goldenrod

Because uric acid is expelled and more urine is produced, all kinds of non-nutrients that are temporarily stored in the body are removed. By ingesting goldenrod, a cleaning takes place inside. All kinds of consequences of an excess of toxins can lead to rheumatic diseases, gout and skin problems. The cleansing effect of goldenrod helps remove the cause of diseases. This works more efficiently than fighting a disease with a symptom-fighting medicine. Due to this powerful purifying effect, goldenrod is used by herbalists for the following indications:

  • Gout, arthritis, osteoarthritis,
  • Acne, eczema,
  • Spring treatments, cleansing treatments, self-detoxification treatments.


Goldenrod, good for the respiratory tract

Goldenrod has an astringent and anti-inflammatory effect on the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract. It reduces excessive secretions from the mucous membranes. The saponins ensure that the mucus loosens. This means that goldenrod can be prescribed for the following respiratory indications:

  • Colds, hay fever, sinusitis,
  • Sore throat, tonsillitis, laryngeal inflammation,
  • Adjuvant for whooping cough, cough and asthma.


Other medicinal effects

  • It is a diuretic, drains the liver and is therefore used for liver disorders and flatulence.
  • It has a gas-exppelling and astringent effect on the intestinal mucosa; that is why it is used for diarrhea and intestinal mucosal inflammation.
  • It is a diaphoretic and can therefore be used for flu, fever and grippal disorders.


External medicinal properties goldenrod

The tannins make goldenrod a plant that has a haemostatic, wound healing and astringent effect. This means it can be used for wounds and throat problems. Here are some medicinal applications including the processing form:

Goldenrod / Source: H. Zell, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA-3.0)

Compresses and freshly crushed leaves:

  • Poorly healing wounds
  • To swear,
  • Insect bites.


  • Gingivitis, loose teeth,
  • Oral mucosal inflammation, Sore throat,
  • Tonsillitis, hoarseness.


Consult a herbal therapist

Anyone who wants to use goldenrod as a medicinal remedy is recommended to consult a herbal therapist. Goldenrod extracts and medicines in the form of mother tinctures, powders, nebulisate, liquid extract, ointment, cream and capsules should only be used as prescribed by authorized persons. A herbal therapist can tell you more about this, as well as about any side effects and interactions with other medicines or herbs. There are also beneficial combinations with herbs. All medicinal effects of this medicinal herb mentioned in this article are based on scientific research and come from Geert Verhelst’s Large Handbook of Medicinal Plants, a standard work in the field of healing plants. The book is used in phytotherapy.