Digging Deeper: Goldenrod

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Thanks for joining us! Who’s ready to dig deeper into Goldenrod?

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Y’all. I am so excited to do this write up. One of my favorite things is to enlighten people about the benefits of herbs, and it kills me how often these little powerhouses are vilified as weeds!

Of course Goldenrod is vilified for a much darker reason than just being annoying. It is often blamed for seasonal allergies.

Goldenrod is from the genus Solidago (to make whole) and is approximately a hundred varieties of different flowering perennial herbs. While each variety has its own taste, smell, and medicinal qualities, they are generally used in similar fashion. So whether you have Solidago odora or Solidago canadensis, you can expect similar preparations and outcomes.

When we were travelling across the country in late summer and early fall we saw countless fields of goldenrod. This plant is a stubborn colonizer and spreads rapidly through abandoned fields once getting a foothold. Lucky for us because it made an absolutely beautiful drive.

Unfortunately seeing all those beautiful fields of goldenrod meant it was torture time for our noses. Allergies are the worst! Of course it isn’t really the goldenrod causing the snotty situation.

Goldenrod is an insect pollinated plant and so its pollen is typically too large to cause us humans any harm. The real culprit was probably ragweed which is a wind pollinated plant that blooms at the same time. Interestingly enough, one of the purported health benefits of goldenrod is actually aiding with seasonal allergies!

Information About Goldenrod: Relationship Giddiness

Like many new relationships, I became excited as I first discovered the numerous benefits of growing goldenrod in my herb garden:

  • Bright cheerful flowers that attract a diverse number of native bees, beneficial wasps, butterflies, spiders, praying mantises, ants, and moths.
  • As a late bloomer, goldenrod is one of the last floral sources of nectar and pollen for pollinators (they need all the help we can offer).
  • Allergy relief: Goldenrod has been falsely accused of causing allergic reactions so it is a bit ironic to learn that it actually offers relief from seasonal allergies. I have included my recipe for a tincture blend that I use every spring at the end of this article.
  • Muscle ache relief: I infuse coconut oil with goldenrod flowers and use it on sore muscles.
  • Goldenrod is reported to have a high level of antioxidants, so I harvest and dry barely opened flowers for tea to drink throughout the winter.
  • Traditionally, goldenrod has been used to nourish the urinary system and to address urinary tract infections. Modern research suggests that European goldenrod can significantly reduce chronic irritable bladder conditions.1
  • As a native North American plant, I was curious about how indigenous people use goldenrod. In Moerman’s Native American Ethnobotany, he lists many diverse uses by individual Solidago species and by native people groups.2  Some of the cited uses for S. canadensis include fever, diarrhea, and pain relief. Interestingly, the root is mentioned for several remedies but modern herbalists have not offered similar recognition. Many of the uses are indicated for babies and children, which suggests that it is considered a gentle and effective remedy.
  • As a natural dye, goldenrod produces various hues of yellow and green, depending on mordant and fiber used.3 Goldenrod was my first attempt at dyeing wool yarn, and it was easy to do with a wonderful result.

Goldenrod Recipe: Allergy Relief Tincture Blend

  • 1 part elder flower tincture (Sambucus cerulea. S. nigra)
  • 1 part yarrow tincture (Achillea millefolium)
  • 1 part goldenrod tincture (Solidago spp.)

Blend together and store in a glass bottle. I use drops of this throughout the day so a dropper cap is preferred.

I recommend making a minimum of 4 ounces or more since you will use it many times a day for several weeks. I take a dropperful every hour or two. I also protect myself from pollen exposure: I work outside early in the morning, I rub the inside of my nose with cottonwood salve (because I love the smell) before going outside and, if the pollen is heavy, I take a shower immediately after I am done outside.

In my experience, this works best with mild nasal congestion and is especially effective at eliminating drippy tissues. If your symptoms are more severe you may want to work with a clinical herbalist to see what other strategies you can use.

Read more at https://www.herbalremediesadvice.org/information-about-goldenrod.html.

Of course tinctures are just the beginning. Y’all know I like preparing herbal remedies of all kinds from simple teas to infused oils and honeys. If you’re like me and love these little witchy endeavors, I dug a little deeper and found these great recommendations.

I’m not affiliated with the linked site, but I did find it to be a wealth of information, and encourage you to read the full articles if you get the chance.

Goldenrod Plant Preparations

Goldenrod leaves and flowers are used for herbal medicine. Ideally, harvest the entire stalks (leaving behind some leaves) just before the plant blooms. If you harvest the plant while in full bloom, the yellow flowers will become fluff as they dry. Even if your flowers do turn to fluff on drying, they are still useful for tea or medicine.

Goldenrod tea is a tasty and effective medicine. The longer you brew it and the more material you use, the stronger the medicine will be. For a pleasing beverage, start with 1-2 teaspoons of goldenrod leaves/flowers per 8 ounces of water. Increase the steeping time and dosage as needed.

To feel more of the diuretic properties, drink the tea cold. For more of the diaphoretic properties and to promote digestion, drink the tea warm.

Goldenrod-infused honey can be used for sore throats. Simply place fresh or slightly wilted goldenrod leaves and flowers in a jar and cover with honey for several weeks before straining.

Try using goldenrod-infused oil for achy joints and more acute injuries. This could also be made into a salve or liniment.

I prefer goldenrod tincture for leaky, drippy seasonal allergies and cat danger allergies.

Dosage recommendations

  • Tea: 10-20 grams per day
  • Tincture (fresh): 1:2, 40% alcohol. 3-5ml, 3 times a day. Or smaller doses more frequently for acute situations.

Special Considerations for the Goldenrod Plant

Some people may have an adverse (allergic) reaction to goldenrod. It’s always best to consume small amounts when trying an herb for the first time.

Read the full article at https://www.herbalremediesadvice.org/goldenrod-plant.html.

What really made me giggle with completely uninhibited glee was all of the history and lore that I was able to find. Did you know that after the Boston Tea Party, the colonists drank goldenrod “Liberty Tea” because they didn’t save any of the regular tea before pitching it into the sea?

Goldenrod Wisdom and Folklore

Several traditions indicate that people found goldenrod useful for more than medicine. In Great Britain, for instance, it’s said that goldenrod will point the way towards buried gold and silver. Here are a few more bits of traditional wisdom:

  • People once used goldenrod to find water, believing that wherever it grew, a hidden spring was nearby.
  • In the United States, farmer’s wisdom says that when you see the first goldenrod blooms, you can expect a frost in six weeks.
  • This flower is a symbol of wealth and good fortune. Some say that if goldenrod starts growing near your home, your family will have a run unexpected good luck!

Goldenrod in Myths and Legends

Many flowers have great stories surrounding them, and goldenrod is no exception. In one legend, an elderly woman walking through a forest at night. She was tired and scared, and as she walked, she asked the trees around her for a walking stick. No tree would agree to help, but she finally found a small stick on the forest floor. She asked the stick if it would help, and the stick agreed, so she leaned on it throughout the rest of her journey. When she finally made her way out of the forest, she transformed into a fairy princess. As a reward, she sprinkled gold dust on the stick, transforming it into goldenrod.

Another myth tells of two young girls who visited an old woman that was rumored to have magic powers. One girl had golden hair and the other had dark violet eyes. The golden-haired girl asked the old woman to make her into something that everyone admired, while the girl with the violet eyes wanted to always be the golden-haired girl’s best friend.

According to the legend, the old woman gave each girl a corn cake, and after that day, the girls were never seen again. But wherever the girls had walked, there grew two flowers that no one had ever seen before – the goldenrod and the purple aster. The people who tell this tale say that this legend is the reason why asters and goldenrods pair so well together in fall landscapes and floral arrangements.

Read the full article at https://www.farmersalmanac.com/goldenrod-facts-folklore-22203.

Goldenrod History and Folklore

Solidago comes from the Latin word soldare “to make whole” (like you do with a soldering iron)

The tires on Thomas Edison’s Model T Ford were made of goldenrod. Goldenrod contains about 7% rubber naturally and through experimentation fertilizer and cultivation, Edison produced a six foot tall goldenrod that contained 12% rubber. Henry Ford teamed up with Edison, Harvey Firestone and George Washington Carver to take these experiments further into production and it seemed like it was going to work out, but synthetic rubber appeared on the scene and the goldenrod project was dropped. S. leavenworthii contains the most rubber out of all the goldenrods.

Culinary uses for Goldenrod

Goldenrod leaves and flowers make a pleasant tea. Sweet goldenrod has a nice anise-like flavor.

The entire plant is edible and can be cooked as a vegetable, but there are similar plants that are toxic, so be very careful with your identification.

Healing Uses for Goldenrod

Solidago virgaurea or European goldenrod flowers may be gathered, dried and used in a tisane alone or in combination with bedstraw and dead nettle to flush out the kidneys and bladder and to help pass stones. The tea can also be taken as a general anti-inflammatory and to relieve congestion. A tincture or decoction of the leaves and flowers can also be used to wash wounds to prevent infection and speed healing. It can also be used to fight fungal and yeast infections. It can be used as a mouthwash or douche if needed.

Solidago altissima or Tall goldenrod and Solidago canadensis Candada goldenrod flowers were used as a tea by Native Americans to relieve cramps and for general anti-inflammatory purposes. The leaves may be chewed to relieve sore throat and other mouth sores and the root to relieve a toothache.

Magickal Uses for Goldenrod

The sudden appearance of goldenrod near your front door indicates that a stroke of good fortune is on its way. Goldenrod flowers can be used in wealth spells and money drawing sachets and planted on your property or placed in a vase inside your home to attract wealth and good fortune.

Goldenrod can be used for dowsing. Simply concentrate on what you’re looking for while holding a goldenrod in your hand. It will nod in the direction of the hidden object, or treasure! It will also point you in the direction of your true love.

If you wear or carry goldenrod for a day, the next day you will cross paths with your true love. Give him or her some goldenrod tea to seal the deal. But not just before you hop into bed, because goldenrod is a diuretic.

Dried leaves and flowers can be burned to enhance spells for drawing love and to enhance your intuition when performing any sort of divination.

Goldenrod can be used to aid in the grieving process.

Goldenrod Magickal Correspondences

Planet: Venus
Element: Air
Gender: Feminine
Keywords: lucky, money, prosperity

Read the full article at https://witchipedia.com/book-of-shadows/herblore/goldenrod/

Along with the preparations that you can make at home, I’m also a fan of essential oils. Essential oils are super concentrated powerhouses of botanical might.

(Solidago canadensis)

Goldenrod essential oil is steam distilled from the flowers, leaves, and stems of the plant.

With the key constituent alpha-pinene, this essential oil has an array of benefits. Use it to support the appearance of healthy-looking skin and to create a calming and relaxing environment when diffused or inhaled.

Goldenrod essential oil uses

  • Diffuse it in the evening to help create a relaxing environment.
  • Add it to V-6™ Vegetable Oil Complex and use it for a massage with a pleasant, calming aroma.
  • Use it with your daily face wash or apply it to your skin directly after washing to help enhance the appearance of healthy-looking skin.
  • Rub it into the bottoms of your feet or the back of your neck as part of your bedtime routine.

Medical Properties: Diuretic, anti-inflammatory, antihypertensive, liver stimulant

Uses: Hypertension, liver congestion, hepatitis/fatty liver, circulatory conditions, urinary tract/bladder conditions

Excerpted from The Essential Oils Desk Reference, 7th Edition, page 95

This oil is also a favorite from our Oils and Romance class. While this class is only available for enrolled members of Witchy Gypsy Oils, I will share this one little tidbit.

It’s called Goldenrod. That can’t be a coincidence.

Thank you for digging deeper into Goldenrod with me. I am very passionate about herbs, oils, and the education of their uses.

Please remember that essential oils are very concentrated products and should never be ingested unless specifically labeled for such use.

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Finally, the obligatory disclaimer.

I am not a doctor. None of the statements included in this post have been approved by the FDA or any other cool acronym known agency. It is Young Living’s official stance that they and these products are not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any specific disease or illness. Young Living Independent Distributor #14632733

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