Goldenseal is an herb that is often used as a supplement to treat infections, allergies, and various other conditions. It is also believed to be helpful for masking illicit substances on a urine drug test. Although the supplement is claimed to be beneficial for so many different uses, much more research is needed to confirm these findings. Potential side effects include nausea and vomiting.
What Is Goldenseal?
Goldenseal is a perennial herb often claimed to have beneficial medicinal properties. It is used for various conditions, such as infections or allergies. It is also commonly claimed to help mask illicit substances during urine drug testing.
Goldenseal contains a variety of different active compounds, such as berberine, canadaline, canadine, and hydrastine. It is thought that these compounds are probably responsible for most of the medicinal properties of the plant. There is some concern that the active compounds are too poorly absorbed to have significant medicinal effects when the herb is taken by mouth.
Is Goldenseal Effective?
There is very little evidence to suggest that this herb really works for any use (see Does Goldenseal Work? for more information).
As with most dietary supplements, there is no well-established standard dosage for this product, although general guidelines may be obtained from practical experience with the herb.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Jellin JM, editor. Pharmacist's Letter/Prescriber's Letter Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Web site. Available at: http://naturaldatabase.com/. Accessed February 5, 2009.
National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine. National Institutes of Health. Herbs at a glance: goldenseal (May 2008). NCCAM Web site. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/goldenseal/. Accessed February 5, 2009.
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