Hydrastis canadensis. N.O. Ranunculaceae.
Synonym ► Orange Root, Yellow Root.
Habitat ► This valuable plant appears, according to Coffin, to have been first discovered and used by the aborigines of North America. It is indigenous to that part of the world.
Features ► Golden Seal is found growing to a height of one to two feet in rich, moist and shady soils. The leaves are alternate, the lower one stalked, the upper one sessile. Both are unequally toothed, and have from three to seven acute lobes. White and red single terminal flowers bloom in April. The root is short, knotty with the bases of stems, and covered with many rootlets. The taste is very bitter, and the scent strong and unpleasant.
Part used ► Golden Seal was so named by the followers of Thomson, who first used the root about 1845, since when it has figured prominently in herbal practice.
Action ► Tonic, alterative, and laxative.
Golden Seal has proved itself to be a very valuable remedy in digestive disorders and in debilitated conditions of mucous membranes. Its use is indicated in various gastric complaints, and it may be taken with advantage by most dyspeptics in doses of 10 grains of the powdered root.
Hydrastis is also given in conjunction with Lime flowers and Valerian to reduce blood pressure.