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 Herbal Materia Medica: Golden Rod  
Solidago virgaurea


Habitat: A common garden and wild plant in Britain and Europe.

Collection: Gather stalks at the time of flowering, which is between July and October, preferably from plants not yet blooming. Dry in the shade or not above a temperature of 40 degrees C.

Part Used: Dried aerial parts.


  • Saponins based on polygalic acid
  • Clerodane diterpenes, including solid agolactones I-VII and elongatolides C& E
  • Phenolic glucosides, including leicarposide
  • Flavonoids such as rutin and quercitin
  • Miscellaneous; acetylenes, cinnamates, hydroxy benzoates, polysaccharides, phenolic acids and tannins.
Actions: Anti-catarrhal, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, astringent, diaphoretic, carminative, diuretic.

Indications: Golden Rod is perhaps the first plant to think of for upper respiratory catarrh, whether acute or chronic, It may be used in combination with other herbs in the treatment of influenza. The carminative properties reveal a role in the treatment of flatulent dyspepsia. As an anti-inflammatory urinary antiseptic, Golden Rod may be used in cystitis, urethritis and the like. It can be used to promote the healing of wounds. As a gargle it can be used in laryngitis and pharyngitis.

Priest & Priest tell us that it is a "stimulating and slightly astringent tonic antiseptic to the mucous membranes. Specific for putrescent conditions. Suitable for bronchial disease in the elderly. Promotes renal excretion of fluid where micturation is scanty." They give the following specific indications: influenza, repeated colds, catarrhal bronchitis with purulent expectoration, putrescent tonsillitis, naso-pharyngeal catarrh with sneezing and excessive mucus. Acute orchronic nephritis with albuminuria/haematuria.

Combinations: For upper respiratory catarrh it may be used with Eyebright, Elder, Echinacea, Poke Root and Wild Indigo.

Preparations & Dosage: Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water onto 2-3 teaspoonfuls of the dried herb and leave to infuse for l0-l5 minutes. This should be drunk 3 times a day. Tincture: take 2-4 ml three times a day.

Citations from the Medline database for the genus Solidago

Golden RodBader G Binder K Hiller K Ziegler-Bohme H [The antifungal action of triterpene saponins of Solidago virgaureaL.]

Pharmazie 1987 Feb;42(2):140 (Published in German)Chodera et al [Diuretic effect of the glycoside from a plant of the Solidago L.genus]

Acta Pol Pharm 1985;42(2):199-204 (Published in Polish)Dittmann J [Effect of extracts from Solidago virgaurea on the metabolism of rabbit brain slices (author's transl)]

Planta Med 1973 Dec;24(4):329-36 (Published in German)el-Ghazaly M Khayyal MT Okpanyi SN Arens-Corell M Study of the anti-inflammatory activity of Populus tremula, Solidagovirgaurea and Fraxinus excelsior.

Arzneimittelforschung 1992 Mar;42(3):333-6Matsunaga H Katano M Tasaki M Yamamoto H Mori M Takata K Inhibitory effect of cis-dehydromatricaria ester isolated from Solidagoaltissima on the growth of mammalian cells.

Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo) 1990 Dec;38(12):3483-4Wagener HH [On the pharmacology of a Solidago extract-containing venous drug]

Arzneimittelforschung 1966 Jul;16(7):859-66 (Published in German)

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 About The Author
David Hoffmann BSc (Hons), MNIMHWhilst working in conservation and lecturing in ecology and the eco-crisis for the University of Wales, David Hoffman became convinced that to heal the world, to embrace planetary wholeness and responsibility for it......more
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