Goldenrod is a member of the Asteraceae family that grows in Europe, Asia as well as parts of Africa and North America (including Mexico). It is the state flower in several US states.
Goldenrod has long been considered an excellent herb for treating wounds, which is why it is sometimes called woundwort. Another name for goldenrod is Aaron’s rod. The genus part of its botanical name is Solidago, which comes from a Latin word meaning to join or make whole. Solidago is also the herb’s name in Italy and was also a name used for comfrey in the Middle Ages.
Goldenrod was used in ancient Germany, and the Germans gave it the name heathen woundwort. According to Hieronymus Bock, Ancient Germanic tribes considered it most valuable wound herb.
Native American tribes used goldenrod for different applications that varied from tribe to tribe. For example, the Cherokee used a goldenrod infusion for treating bruises and insect stings. The Chippewa people made a syrup with it for treating respiratory infections. The Ojibwe used it to treat chest pains.
Goldenrod was considered an especially valuable herb during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.
Goldenrod tea was one of the so-called Liberty Teas. American colonists used a variety of herbal teas after the dumping British black tea into Boston Harbor. Goldenrod tea was still popular in Pennsylvania in the 1800s and 1900s.
Thomas Edison discovered that the plant was a good rubber source and was able to cultivate a variety that yielded a considerable amount of high-quality rubber.
Goldenrod pollen was once believed to be an allergen, but this has been debunked. The herb’s pollen is actually heavy and does not travel well in the air. The most likely source of allergic reactions is the ragweed plant, which blooms at around the same time and grows in the same areas.
This herb is sometimes grown as an ornamental but grows mostly in the wild. It is considered a ruderal species, which means that it is one of the first to take over disturbed ground. In Europe, the herb has fallen out of favor because of its propensity to exterminate more valuable plants.
Goldenrod flavor profile
Goldenrod has a licorice note similar to that of anise or tarragon.
Goldenrod health benefits
Goldenrod is a well-known medicinal plant. Its benefits come from compounds that include:
- Quercetin: Goldenrod is rich in quercetin, a flavonoid believed to be responsible for many of the plant’s antioxidant properties.
- Rutin: The flavonoid rutin in goldenrod is believed to be the source of the herb’s cardiovascular benefits.
- Borneol: One of the active compounds in goldenrod, borneol provides many of the herb’s circulatory and antimicrobial benefits.
Use goldenrod to solve or forestall health conditions like:
- Open wounds: Powdered goldenrod leaves and roots can stop bleeding by causing tissues to contract and seal off damaged blood vessels.
- Urinary tract inflammation: Goldenrod is considered an excellent remedy for inflammation in the bladder and other parts of the urinary tract.
- Fungal infections: The saponins in goldenrod have been proven effective against Candida and other yeast infections.
The easiest way to use goldenrod and to get its benefits is by making a tea with it though some varieties are better for this purpose than others. You can steep the herb by itself or combine it with mint to enhance the flavor. Other ways to use it include in soups or as one of the greens in a salad. You can also steam or stir-fry it like spinach.