GOLDENROD


By Biomedical Engineer Mark Lubin

13 Patents issued or pending with USPTO



The leaves and flowers of Solidago sp. have been used for medicinal purposes for many centuries, finding use for the treatment of the kidneys, for inflammation and for urinary tract disorders.  It was used by early Americans and North American Indians for rheumatism, colds, headaches, sore throats, and neuralgia pain.  American Indians also used a mouthwash of goldenrod for toothaches.  The flowers were chewed for sore throats.  Herbalist David Hoffman documents goldenrod’s anti-inflammatory effects and wound-healing abilities.  It has also been used traditionally for arthritis, gout, prostatitis, rheumatism, flatulence and eczema.  Goldenrod increases kidney function and decreases albumin levels and has been used for issues of nephritis, unuria and oliguria. Goldenrod’s medicinal properties are considered anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, diaphoretic, anti-diarrheic, carminative, stimulant, diuretic, analgesic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antioxidant, antifungal and anti-edematous.  The German Standard License for the herb tea indicates its use to increase urine production during urinary tract inflammation (Braun et al, 1997, Wichtl and Bisset, 1994)


Expanded Commission E Monographs.  Blumenthal M, Goldberg A, Brinckmann J.  Integrative Medicine Communicatons, 2000.


Braun R, et al.  Standardzuglassungen für Fertigarnzneimittel — Text und Kommentar.  Stuttgart: Deutscher Apotheker Verlag, 1997.


Culpeper, N.  The English Physitian. 1653.


Duke, JA.  CRC Handbook of Medicinal Herbs. CRC Press: Boca Raton, FL, 1985


Duke, JA.  CRC Handbook (and database) of Biological Activities of Phytochemicals, CRC Press: Boca Raton, FL, 1992.

 Database http://www.ars-grin.gov/duke   


Ellingwood F.  American Materia Medica, Therapeutics, and Pharmacognosy. Portland: Eclectic Med. Publ., 1983


Foster S, Hobbs C.  Medicinal Plants & Herbs. Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 2002.


Griffith HW. Healing Herbs:  The Essential Guide.  Tuscon: Fisher Books,2000.


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Hoffmann D.  Holistic Herbal. London: Thorsons (1990), 1983-2002.


Mabey R,  Mcintyre, M.  The New Age Herbalist.  Prentice Hall, 1988.


Melzig MF.  Goldenrod—a classical exponent in the urological phytotherapy. Wien Med Wochenschr. 2004 Nov;154(21-22):523-7.


Miceli N, et al.  Comparative Analysis of Flavonoid Profile, Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Activity of the Berries of Juniperus communis L. var. communis and Juniperus communis L. var. saxatilis Pall. J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Jul 6.


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Wichtl M, Bisset NG, eds.  Herbal Drugs and Pharmaceuticals.  1994 Stuttgart: Medpharm Scientific Publishers  


Wood M.  The Book of Herbal Wisdom. Berkely, CA: North Atlantic, 1997.


Goldenrod – Research


A German review of multiple clinical studies indicated that the significant anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects observed for dosages of goldenrod were comparable to NSAID use, with a fraction of the adverse effects of NSAIDs (Klein-Galczinsky 1999), and in randomized, placebo controlled, blind and double-blind clinical studies, goldenrod significantly reduced pain and inflammation in several rheumatic diseases (Gundermann and Müller 2007).


Goldenrod fed to rats that had various degrees of induced rheumatoid arthritis of the paws resulted in significant anti-inflammatory activity, reducing swelling, and pain reduction (el-Ghazaly et al. 1992).  


Goldenrod extracts proved to have significant anti-microbial activity properties against twenty-three different yeast and five fungal species (Webster et al, 2007, Vila et al, 2002).  The essential oil produced antimicrobial activity as well against a number of bacteria and yeasts (Morel et al. 2006).


Goldenrod was found to boost immune response against, and promote cytotoxicity to, tumor cells (Wu et al. 2008, Plohmann et al 1997).  


Goldenrod proved spasmolytic, anti-hypertensive, and diuretic in other investigations (von Kruedener et al. 1995).  


Goldenrod showed itself to be a potent free radical scavenger in McCune and Johns' study (2002) at Canada’s McGill University.  A 60% ethanol extract of goldenrod showed anti-inflammatory activity comparable to that of diclofenac.  Although goldenrod extracts have been used with clinical success in urinary infections and stones, its use is contraindicated for persons with established renal failure (Yarnell 2002).  


Goldenrod stimulated glutathione activity in rats (Apáti et al. 2006).  


Apáti P, et al.  In-vitro effect of flavonoids from Solidago Canadensis extract on glutathione S-transferase.

 J Pharm Pharmacol. 2006 Feb;58(2):251-6.


el-Ghazaly M, et al.  Study of the anti-inflammatory activity of Populus tremula, Solidago virgaurea, and Fraxinus excelsior. Arzneimittelforschung. 1992 Mar;42(3):333-6.


Gundermann KJ, Müller J. Phytodolor—effects and efficacy of a herbal medicine. Wien Med Wochenschr. 2007;157(13-14):343-7.


Klein-Galczinsky C. Pharmacological and clinical effectiveness of a fixed phytogenic combination trembling poplar (Populus tremula), true goldenrod (Solidago virgaurea) and ash (Fraxinus excelsior) in mild to moderate rheumatic complaints.

 Wien Med Wochenschr. 1999;149(8-10):248-53.


McCune LM, Johns T. Antioxidant activity in medicinal plants associated with the symptoms of diabetes mellitus used by the indigenous peoples of the North American boreal forest. J Ethnopharmacol. 2002 Oct;82(2-3):197-205.


Morel AF, et al.  Antimicrobial activity of extractives of Solidago microglossa.  Fitoterapia. 2006 Sep;77(6):453-5.


Plohmann B, Bader G, Hiller K, Franz G. Immunomodulatory and antitumoral effects of triterpenoid saponins.

 Pharmazie. 1997 Dec;52(12):953-7.


Vila R, et al.  Composition and antifungal activity of the essential oil of Solidago chilensis. Planta Med. 2002 Feb;68(2):164-7.


von Kruedener S, et al. A combination of Populus tremula, Solidago virgaurea and Fraxinus excelsior as an anti-inflammatory and antirheumatic drug.  A short review. Arzneimittelforschung. 1995 Feb;45(2):169-71.


Webster D, et al. Antifungal activity of medicinal plant extracts; preliminary screening studies.  

 J Ethnopharmacol. 2008 Jan 4;115(1):140-6.


Wu S, et al.  Multi-channel counter-current chromatography for high-throughput fractionation of natural products for drug discovery.

 J Chromatogr A. 2008 Feb 8;1180(1-2):99-107.


Yarnell E. Botanical medicines for the urinary tract. World J Urol. 2002 Nov;20(5):285-93.




Goldenrod - Safety & Toxicity


The approved modern therapeutic applications for goldenrod herb are based on its long history of use in well-established systems of traditional medicine, numerous in vitro and in vivo pharmacological studies, and on its well documented chemical composition.  The herb is official in the German Pharmacopoeia, listed in the German Drug Codex, approved in the German Commission E monographs, and the tea form is official in the German Standard License monographs (BAnz, 1998; Braun et al, 1997; DAB, 1997; DAC, 1986; Wichtl and Bisset, 1994)


Goldenrod is generally accepted to be safe at or below recommended dosages.  The herb is classed as an aquaretic, increasing renal blood flow and increasing the glomerular filtration rate without stimulating the loss of sodium and chloride.  Aquaretics are considered safer than many synthetic diuretics that promote the loss of electrolytes (Tyler, 1994).  


Goldenrod should be used carefully in patients with edema due to impaired cardiac or renal function.  Although goldenrod extracts have been used with clinical success in urinary infections and stones, its use is contraindicated for persons with established renal failure (Yarnell 2002).


There are no reports of acute or chronic toxicity, carcinogenicity, or teratologic implications.  Its use is not restricted during pregnancy or nursing (Barnes et al, 2002; Blumenthal et al, 2000).


Herbal liquid extracts are expressed as [1:1 (g/ml)], meaning that each ml is 50% pure extract, or 500mg.  Typical recommended therapeutic dosage of goldenrod liquid extract is 3ml (Blumenthal et al, 2000, Barnes et al, 2002), 2-4 t.i.d. or 6,000-12,000mg, equivalent to 3,000-6,000mg pure extract.  For the purpose of this discussion assume the recommended dose is the mean value of 4,500mg pure goldenrod extract.   


Each 2-capsule dose of Arthri Comfort contains less than 0.7mg pure goldenrod extract, approximately 0.016% of the standard dose.



Barnes J, et al.  Herbal Medicines, 2nd ed.  Pharmaceutical Press: London, 2002


Blumenthal M, et al.  Expanded Commission E Monographs.  Integrative Medicine Communicatons, 2000.


Braun R, et al.  Standardzuglassungen für Fertigarnzneimittel — Text und Kommentar.  Stuttgart: Deutscher Apotheker Verlag, 1997


Bundesanzeiger (BAnz).  Monographien der Kommission E.  Kln: Bundesgesundheitsamt (BGA), 1998.


Deutsches Arzneibuch (DAB 1997).  Stuttgart: Deutscher Apotheker Verlag, 1997.


Deutscher Arzneimittel-Codex (DAC).  Stuttgart: Deutscher Apotheker Verlag, 1986.


ESCOP (European Scientific Cooperative On Phytotherapy), 1997.


Tyler, V.E.  Herbs of Choice: The Therapeutic Use of Phytomedicinals. New York: Pharmaceutical Products Press, 1994.


Wichtl M, Bisset NG, eds.  Herbal Drugs and Pharmaceuticals.  Stuttgart: Medpharm Scientific Publishers 1994.


Yarnell E. Botanical medicines for the urinary tract. World J Urol. 2002 Nov;20(5):285-93.