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 of the family Asteraceae. It is an herbal supplement with a long history in folk medicine.

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

Goldenrod is used around the globe. It has many traditional uses, mainly as a diuretic and for urological issues. This article discusses the uses of Goldenrod and any considerations or side effects.

Dietary supplements are not regulated in the United States, meaning the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not approve them for safety and 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 that they are necessarily safe for all 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: 3-5g given 2-4 times per day, 0.5-2mL 3 times a day, 350-450mg three times a day
  • Safety Considerations: Diuretics, cardiac and kidney disorders, dehydration, pregnant people, children under the age of 12.

Uses of Goldenrod

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

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

In addition to those uses listed above, different species of goldenrod have also been used for:

  • Pain
  • Bacterial infections
  • Fungal infections
  • Diabetes
  • Rheumatism

These traditional uses of goldenrod are not supported by clinical (human) research. Be sure to discuss the use of goldenrod with your healthcare provider.

Diuretic

Goldenrod has been traditionally used as a diuretic. However, research supporting the diuretic effects of goldenrod has mostly been in animal models. 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 evidence, goldenrod continues to be used as a diuretic in traditional practice. Practitioners in the Czech Republic, Germany, and Sweden have used goldenrod as a diuretic.

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 has been limited to cellular studies and mice. However, human studies supporting the use of goldenrod for inflammation are lacking. More research is needed before we can make any recommendations.

Urological Issues

Practitioners in several countries have traditionally used goldenrod to address urinary tract issues, ranging from kidney stones to urinary retention. However, human studies of goldenrod's effects on urinary tract issues 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?

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

Common Side Effects

Goldenrod may have a 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 effects when using goldenrod.

Specific gastrointestinal issues that have been reported are typically minimal. These included cramping, pain, and nausea. No other gastrointestinal issues have been reported.

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

Severe Side Effects

Severe side effects when using goldenrod are lacking. However, the use of any herbal supplement may result in an allergic reaction. A severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis may occur.

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

Precautions

There are instances when using goldenrod may not be recommended. There is little known about the effects of goldenrod. Because of the unknown effects, goldenrod is not recommended for use in such cases. The diuretic effect of goldenrod creates areas of caution as well.

Little information is known about goldenrod's safety during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Because of the lack of information, any effects on the pregnant person or baby are unknown. Using goldenrod is not recommended for people that are pregnant.

Information about the use of goldenrod for children under 12 years of age is also unknown. For the same reason, it is suggested not to use goldenrod for children under 12 years old.

It is generally accepted that goldenrod has diuretic effects. Because of this, it is not recommended to use goldenrod if you have a condition that limits fluid intake, such as renal or cardiac diseases. For this reason, there is a risk of dehydration when using goldenrod. It is 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 3-5g given 2- 4 times daily. It can also be used as a liquid extract. The dose for goldenrod as a liquid extract is 0.5-2mL 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 350-450mg 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 100mL 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 for goldenrod. The effects of taking too much goldenrod remain unknown. However, because of some of the effects of goldenrod, taking too much goldenrod may have negative results.

The diuretic effect of goldenrod increases the risk of dehydration when using goldenrod. The diuretic effect of goldenrod may increase the risk of dehydration when using it alone or with diuretic (ex., 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 furosemide and diuril. 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 health changes when you start taking something new.

It is essential to carefully read a supplement's ingredient 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, follow the instructions on the package. Read and follow the directions for storage and disposal as indicated by the manufacturer on the item's packaging.

Similar Supplements

Goldenrod is known to have diuretic properties. Similar supplements such as those listed below share this same effect.

  • 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 share the similarity of having diuretic effects when taken. 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 other supplements listed above. It is best to take extra consideration 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?

    Goldenrods are erect stalks that grow 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 as a food.

  • Can goldenrod cause hay fever?

    It is often believed that goldenrod causes hay fever. However, goldenrod has sticky pollen that is carried by insects, not in the wind. Therefore, they do not cause hay fever.

Sources of Goldenrod & What To Look For

Supplements are one way of using goldenrod. Taking supplements vetted by third parties is the best way to receive the benefits from any supplement. Fresh goldenrod has also been used.

Goldenrod Supplements

Goldenrod supplements are widely available. They are available in many forms such as tea, tincture, and liquid extracts. These supplements are readily available 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 bacterial 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 at 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.