Goldenrod - A Natural Healing Herb
Goldenrod or solidago virgaurea is one of the most important plants I collect from the forest. It has a powerful diuretic action which cleanses the kidneys and bladder keeping them free from infections and stones. Rather than just keeping a store cupboard of herbs for potential future problems I believe prevention to be better than cure therefore I use some dried Goldenrod in my morning pot of tea, usually accompanied by rooibos and lemon balm.
I find Goldenrod works in a similar way to how the sauna strengthens the efficacy of the elimination system by enhancing the flow. The sauna promotes sweating and increases blood flow thereby creating a push (blood pumping) and pull (sweating) force kick-starting the elimination system or ramping it up a gear!
When I drink my tea every morning the diuretic action of the goldenrod pushes out water and I complete the cycle by drinking lots of fresh spring water from my well. The water system through my kidneys is enhanced and stimulated by the astringent action of the goldenrod, my kidneys are cleansed and because of their cleansed state they can do their job more efficiently and therefore my whole body can eliminate more. In this way I’m not walking around with toxins inside my body and consequently all my energy can be channeled towards life creation and passion rather than constantly firefighting health problems. The name solidago means to make whole or strengthen.
It is equally important to maintain a good input of fresh water otherwise the flow would only be outwards and would soon lead to dire health via dehydration. It is also wise to eat a good natural diet rich in alkaline vegetables to replace lost ions. If you have already succumbed to ill health such as flu then goldenrod is invaluable in restoring efficient kidney function and aiding recovery. Efficient kidney function is vital to full health.
Dr Vogel, the Nature Doctor considers Goldenrod to be the best kidney stimulator and essential for a healthy elimination system during illness.
Goldenrod is carminative meaning it induces expulsion of gas from the stomach and intestines, so don't worry if it makes you fart because it is merely removing wind that was already there!
Goldenrod is also known as Wound Wort being especially useful for treating ulcers. In Finland it is used to treat wounds, kidney and intestinal infections, diarrhea and rheumatism. If you drink hot goldenrod tea you will sweat, which also benefits the body’s internal water cycle and gives a greater capacity for the elimination of toxins. For wounds the Goldenrod is applied as a compress.
I collect the whole plant when it is in bloom as the flowers are most potent. The plants are tied together in bundles and hung up to dry. When the plants have dried I put the leaves and flowers into glass jars for storage and use the dried stalks to make skin washes in the sauna as the astringent action gives an overall toning to my skin.
Tea or infusions are made by seeping the dried flowers or leaves in hot water for 5-10 minutes. Goldenrod makes a wonderfully aromatic tea with a pleasant taste. If the tea doesn't suit your particular palate simply don't use so much or just add it to your own favourite brew.
It is easy to grow Goldenrod in your own garden but as with most wild plants you have to be careful that it doesn’t just take over. It was one of the very first wild plants which got me interested in herbal medicines as the diuretic effect is undeniable! Half an hour after drinking it I’m running off to the toilet.
I heartily recommend it as it useful for so many different purposes, it’s easy to identify, to find, to pick, to dry and to store.