What Is Goldenrod?

Goldenrod extract, capsules, tincture, and tea

Verywell / Anastasia Tretiak

Goldenrod (also known as Solidago canadensis or Solidago virgaurea) is a flowering plant in the Asteraceae family. It is an herbal supplement with a long history in folk medicine.

Most species of the genus Solidago originated in North America but are now found and used worldwide.

Goldenrod has many traditional uses. It is used mainly as a diuretic and for urological conditions. This article discusses the uses of goldenrod, along with its side effects.

Dietary supplements are not regulated in the United States, meaning the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not approve them for safety or effectiveness before products are marketed. When possible, choose a supplement that has been tested by a trusted third party, such as USP, ConsumerLabs, or NSF.

However, even if supplements are third-party tested, that doesn't mean they are necessarily safe for all people or effective in general. It is important to talk to your healthcare provider about any supplements you plan to take and to check in about any potential interactions with other supplements or medications.

Supplement Facts

Supplement Facts

  • Active Ingredient(s): Flavonoids, terpenes, saponins
  • Alternate Name(s): Canadian goldenrod, European goldenrod, Chukotka
  • Legal Status: Herbal supplement
  • Suggested Dose: 3–5 grams given two to four times per day; 0.5–2 milliliters three times a day; 350–450 milligrams three times a day
  • Safety Considerations: Diuretics, cardiac and kidney disorders, dehydration, pregnant people, children under the age of 12

Uses of Goldenrod

Supplemental use should be individualized and vetted by a healthcare professional, such as a registered dietitian, pharmacist, or healthcare provider. No supplement is intended to treat, cure, or prevent disease.

Goldenrod has been used as a diuretic (water pill) and an anti-inflammatory, as well as for urinary tract issues. However, there's no solid evidence to support these claims.

In addition, goldenrod is thought to treat:

  • Pain
  • Bacterial infections
  • Fungal infections
  • Diabetes
  • Rheumatism (inflammation and pain in the joints)

However, these traditional uses of goldenrod are not supported by clinical research (tested on humans). Be sure to discuss your use of goldenrod with your healthcare provider.

Diuretic

Goldenrod traditionally has been used as a diuretic. However, research supporting the diuretic effects of goldenrod has mostly been in animal models. As well, the results of some of these studies are conflicting. Further research is needed in order to confirm a diuretic effect in humans.

Though there is a lack of scientific evidence supporting its benefits, goldenrod continues to be used as a diuretic in traditional medicine worldwide, including in the Czech Republic, Germany, and Sweden.

Anti-Inflammatory

The traditional use of goldenrod as an anti-inflammatory has been practiced in Germany, the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, and China. Research on the anti-inflammatory properties of goldenrod is limited to cellular studies and mice. Human studies supporting the use of goldenrod for inflammation are lacking, and more research is needed.

Urological Issues

Goldenrod is also used to treat urinary tract issues ranging from kidney stones to urinary retention. However, human studies of goldenrod's effects on urinary tract conditions are lacking, and the quality of the animal data is not enough to support the use of goldenrod in this manner.

Goldenrod tea
Verywell / Anastasia Tretiak

What Are the Side Effects of Goldenrod?

Potential side effects associated with goldenrod seem to be minimal. The primary known side effect is gastrointestinal issues. However, the lack of reported side effects doesn't necessarily mean this herb is safe for everyone to use.

Common Side Effects

Goldenrod has few side effects. People using goldenrod may experience an allergic reaction or gastrointestinal issues. Though these may be mild, contact your healthcare provider if you experience any of these symptoms when using goldenrod.

Specific gastrointestinal issues that have been reported are typically minimal. They included cramping, pain, and nausea.

Allergic reactions can occur when using goldenrod. These can be minor (itching) to severe.

Severe Side Effects

Evidence of severe side effects from the use of goldenrod are lacking. However, the use of any herbal supplement can result in an allergic reaction.

An allergic response may result in swelling of the tongue and mouth. These are symptoms of a severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis. When these symptoms are present, stop using goldenrod and seek medical assistance immediately.

Precautions

There are instances in which using goldenrod should be avoided. This is because there is little known about the effects of goldenrod. The known diuretic effect of goldenrod creates areas of caution as well.

Little information is known about goldenrod's safety during pregnancy or while breastfeeding for the pregnant person, the fetus, or the infant. Therefore, using goldenrod is not recommended for people who are pregnant or nursing.

Information about the use of goldenrod in children under 12 years of age is also unknown. For the same reason, children under 12 years old should not use goldenrod.

It is generally accepted that goldenrod has diuretic effects. Because dehydration can occur, goldenrod is not recommended if you have a condition that limits fluid intake, such as renal or cardiac diseases. It's recommended to drink a lot of water when using goldenrod.

Dosage

Always speak with a healthcare provider before taking a supplement to ensure that the supplement and dosage is appropriate for your individual needs.

Goldenrod can be taken in any of several preparations. When goldenrod is given as an infusion the dose is 3–5 grams given two to four times daily. As a liquid extract, the dose is 0.5–2 milliliters three times a day. This is the same dose as when taking goldenrod as a tincture. As a dry extract, the dose for goldenrod is 350–450 milligrams three times a day.

Goldenrod can also be prepared as tea. To make an herbal tea with goldenrod measure 3–4 grams of the dried herb. Steep this in 100 milliliters (about 3.5 ounces) of boiling water. Drink this tea three times a day.

What Happens If I Take Too Much Goldenrod?

There are no reported cases of overdose of goldenrod. The effects of taking too much goldenrod remain unknown. However, because of some of goldenrod's effects, taking too much goldenrod may have negative results.

The diuretic effect of goldenrod increases the risk of dehydration. The diuretic effect of goldenrod may increase the risk of dehydration when using it alone or with diuretic (e.g., plant-based or pharmaceutical diuretics). To avoid such effects when using goldenrod, drink a lot of water.

Interactions

Goldenrod can interact with medications. Your healthcare provider can help you identify any potential interactions.

It's not recommended to take goldenrod with diuretic drugs. Diuretic drugs may include but are not limited to Lasix (furosemide) and Diuril (chlorothiazide). Taking goldenrod with diuretic medications may lead to dehydration.

Other drugs may interact negatively with goldenrod as well. Be sure to communicate with your healthcare provider about everything you're taking, including natural products. Stay aware of any changes to your health when you start taking something new.

It is essential to carefully read a supplement's ingredients list and nutrition facts panel to know how much of each ingredient is in it. Please review labels and information with your healthcare provider to discuss potential interactions with foods, other supplements, and medications.

How to Store Goldenrod

When considering how to store any herb or supplement, including goldenrod, read and follow the instructions for storage and disposal found on the package or label.

Similar Supplements

Goldenrod is known to have diuretic properties, as do the following:

  • Lovage (Levisticum officinale)
  • Birch (Betula spp)
  • Parsley (Petroselinum crispum)
  • Celery (Apium graveolens L)
  • Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
  • Restharrow (Ononis campestris)
  • Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica L)

Goldenrod and the above supplements have similar diuretic effects. Taking these supplements with goldenrod may result in excessive fluid elimination from the body. This may result in dehydration.

Lovage, birch, and parsley are considered to have a more potent diuretic effect than the other supplements listed above. Take precautions when using them along with goldenrod. To minimize risks, speak with your healthcare provider before using similar supplements with goldenrod.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What does goldenrod look like?

    Goldenrod is an erect stalk that grows as one or many. The blooms are golden clusters that spiral or alternate at the top of the stem. The leaves grow alternately down the stem. The leaves are narrow, with a pointed tip.

  • Can you eat goldenrod?

    Goldenrod is found in tea form. It is not used as a food.

  • Can goldenrod cause hay fever?

    Some people may believe goldenrod causes hay fever. However, goldenrod has sticky pollen that is carried by insects, not in the wind. Therefore, it does not cause hay fever.

Sources of Goldenrod & What to Look For

Taking a supplement is one way to consume goldenrod. Look for supplements that are vetted by respected third parties, such as USP, NSF, or ConsumerLabs. Fresh goldenrod can also be consumed as a tea.

Goldenrod Supplements

Goldenrod supplements are widely available and come in many forms such as tea, a tincture, and liquid extracts. You can find these supplements at stores and online.

Summary

Herbal supplements have a long history of traditional use. Goldenrod is no different. It is popular for its traditional effects on the lower urinary tract, inflammation, and bacteria and fungi. It is most commonly used as a diuretic.

Though these effects are accepted traditionally, research is only in the early stages of understanding these effects. Because there is no reliable data to support these claims, using goldenrod under the direction of your healthcare provider is recommended.

6 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Fursenco C, Calalb T, Uncu L, Dinu M, Ancuceanu R. Solidago virgaurea L.: A Review of Its Ethnomedicinal Uses,Phytochemistry, and Pharmacological ActivitiesBiomolecules. 2020;10(12):1619. Published 2020 Nov 30.doi:10.3390/biom10121619

  2. European Medicines Agency. Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products: Community Herbal Monograph On Solidago virgaureaL., Herba. Evaluation of Medicines for Human Use. 2008;2-5.

  3. European Medicines Agency. Assessment Report On Solidago virgaurea L., Herba. Evaluation of Medicines for Human Use. 2008;2-31

  4. European Medicines Agency. Overview of Comments Received on  ‘Community HerbalMonograph on Solidagor virgaurae L., Herba’ Evaluation of Medicines for Human Use. 2008;2-17.

  5. Yarnell E. Botanical medicines for the urinary tractWorld J Urol. 2002;20(5):285-293. doi:10.1007/s00345-002-0293-0

  6. Missouri Department of Conservation. Goldenrods. Accessed August 11, 2022. https://mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/goldenrods.

Additional Reading

By Dawn Sheldon, RN
Dawn Sheldon, RN, is a registered nurse and health writer. She is passionate about sharing her knowledge and empowering others.