Goldenrod Benefits, Nutrition, And Side-Effects

Goldenrod Benefits, Nutrition, And Side-Effects

Goldenrod has been commonly used in medicine due to its various medicinal properties, such as its anti-inflammatory, diuretic, and vulnerary effects. This marvellous plant also exhibits medicinal activities such as digestive protection and antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant effects. Due to the many health benefits of Goldenrod, this article will delve into nutrition, benefits, and side effects of the Goldenrod plant [1].

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    About Goldenrod

    Goldenrods are a group of plants belonging to the Solidago family. They are perennial plants native to various regions, including Argentina and North America. Goldenrods are known for their yellow flowers that bloom in late summer and early fall. They play a crucial role in ecosystems by supporting a variety of insect fauna, including those that form galls on their leaves and stems.

    Goldenrods can have ecological impacts by being invasive and posing a threat to the biodiversity of specific ecosystems, such as wetlands. Their invasion can negatively impact ants, which are crucial organisms for ecosystem functioning and the survival of certain butterfly species. Goldenrods support a diverse community of gall-inducing insects, especially gall-dwellers, which have specific associations with different goldenrod species [2, 3].

    goldenrod flowers in nature

    Goldenrod Nutrition

    A research study found that these plants gather potassium, nitrogen, and calcium as their primary macronutrients over their lifespan. It was also noted that cultivating goldenrods with three stems can lead to more stems per plant without affecting the concentration and accumulation of these essential nutrients [4].

    Another investigation into the Phytochemical composition of Solidago virgaurea has uncovered a wide range of bioactive substances. This plant is abundant in flavonoids, with quercetin and kaempferol derivatives being the primary flavonoids found. These substances play a role in the plant’s antioxidant characteristics and have been linked to various health advantages, such as anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Alongside flavonoids, Solidago virgaurea also contains phenolic acids like chlorogenic acid and caffeic acid, which further enhance its antioxidant capabilities.

    The plant’s phytochemical makeup also encompasses terpenes in its essential oil, which not only contribute to its unique scent but may also have therapeutic benefits. Additionally, Solidago virgaurea is recognized for its saponin content, including virgaureasaponins and solidagosaponins. Saponins are active compounds that have been researched for their potential medicinal uses, such as antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory effects [5].

    Solidago plant and bee

    Goldenrod Benefits

    Goldenrod plants have numerous health benefits, which are listed below:

    Anti-Oxidant Properties

    Studies have demonstrated that goldenrods are valuable sources of antioxidants due to their rich content of polyphenolic compounds. Solidago species like Solidago graminifolia and Solidago virgaurea contain bioactive polyphenols, such as phenolic compounds and flavonoids, that enhance their antioxidant properties [5, 6].

    The key components responsible for the antioxidant properties of Solidago virgaurea are 3,5-caffeoylquinic acid and the flavonoids derived from quercetin and kaempferol. It has been noted that the flower cluster of Solidago chilensis contains flavonoids that have antioxidant qualities [7].

    Anti-Inflammatory Properties

    Solidago is commonly utilized in medicine for its anti-inflammatory effects. It contains beneficial compounds like saponins and flavonoids, such as quercetin and kaempferol, which possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties [8].

    Solidago virgaurea, commonly referred to as European goldenrod, is extensively studied within its genus and is utilized as an anti-inflammatory remedy in traditional medicine. Moreover, studies have shown that Solidago microglossa, another species of goldenrod, also exhibits anti-inflammatory properties [9].

    Furthermore, the concentrated form of Solidago virgaurea has properties that can help reduce uric acid levels, inflammation, and blood pressure. Nevertheless, further research is required to validate the efficacy of goldenrod in alleviating inflammation and pain in humans [9, 10, 11].

    goldenrod benefits

    Analgesic Activity

    Several research studies indicate that Solidago might possess pain-relieving properties, but further investigation is required to validate this potential effect. Solidago contains a range of bioactive substances like flavonoids, caffeoylquinic acid derivatives, salicylic acid derivatives, terpenes, and saponins, which could play a role in its therapeutic benefits [5].

    Spasmolytic And Anti-hypertensive Activity

    Scientific research supports the anti-spasmodic and anti-hypertensive properties of Solidago virgaurea. Various studies have demonstrated that Solidago species, such as S. virgaurea, have medicinal benefits, such as reducing spasms, promoting diuresis, reducing inflammation, and lowering blood pressure.

    The presence of flavonoids in Solidago extract is linked to these positive effects. For instance, a concentrated extract of S. virgaurea has shown significant anti-hypertensive effects in animal studies, indicating its potential for hypertension treatment. However, it is important to note that most of the available data is based on non-clinical trials, and further controlled human studies are needed to confirm the effectiveness and safety of Solidago for these purposes [5].

    Solidago plants

    Diuretic Effects

    Solidago species, including Solidago virgorea and Solidago canadensis, have diuretic effects.  Throughout various regions, these plants have historically been utilized for their diuretic qualities. Research has demonstrated that extracts from Solidago species, like the dry extract of S. virgaurea, exhibit notable diuretic effects in animal studies [5, 9, 12, 13].

    Studies have also looked into the diuretic properties of Solidago canadensis, finding that the ethyl acetate fraction of its ethanolic extract has the most significant water-eliminating effect. The diuretic impact of Solidago species is believed to be due to the flavonoids, phenolic acids, and other substances present in their extracts. These results indicate that Solidago species could serve as a natural option for diuretic purposes [14].

    Anti-Bacterial Activity

    Various studies have demonstrated the anti-bacterial properties of Solidago species, such as Solidago rugosa and Solidago virgaurea. The ethanolic extract of S. rugosa root and leaf exhibited antimicrobial effects against various plant pathogenic bacterial strains, particularly Gram-positive bacteria, with a minimal bactericidal concentration observed against Bacillus spizizenii [15].

    The 70% ethanol extract of S. virgaurea demonstrated notable antibacterial effects on Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    The antibacterial properties of Solidago spp. are due to the existence of bioactive substances like flavonoids, terpenes, and saponins. These results indicate that Solidago species could serve as effective natural antibacterial agents [6].

    goldenrod side effects

    Anti-Fungal Activity

    Various species of Solidago, such as Solidago rugosa, Solidago virgorea, and Solidago graminifolia, have demonstrated effectiveness against fungi. Ethanol extracts of Solidago rugosa root and leaf exhibited antimicrobial effects against various plant pathogenic fungi such as Fusarium avenaceum and Bipolaris sorokiniana [5, 15, 16].

    Solidago virgaurea, a widely used medicinal plant, has anti-fungal effects against Candida albicans and C. parapsilosis. In addition, extracts of Solidago species, including S. canadensis, S. gigantea, and S. virgaurea, have shown antifungal activity against grain-associated fungi of wheat grain, such as Alternaria alternata, Alternaria infectoria, and Fusarium poae. These findings indicate that Solidago species have potential as natural antifungal agents [6].

    Anti-Parasite Activity

    In a research experiment with mice, a substance derived from the upper parts of S. virgaurea demonstrated notable effectiveness against Acanthamoeba. This extract notably prolonged the survival duration of the mice to an average of 12 days, compared to the control group where the average survival time was merely 4 days[6]. However, the study revealed that the plant stem extracts did not have a notable impact on the parasitic nematode Haemonchus contortus [17].

    Cytotoxic And Anti-Tumor Activity

    Various species of Solidago, such as Solidago canadensis, Solidago gigantean, and  Solidago virgaurea, exhibit cytotoxic and anti-tumor properties. Essential oils extracted from their leaves and flowers have demonstrated inhibitory effects on the growth of human cancer cells [7]. The essential oils contain a variety of compounds, including germacrene D, α-pinene, bornyl acetate, and caryophyllene oxide [5].

    Solidago chilensis has been discovered to possess anti-proliferative properties, particularly targeting glioma, breast, kidney, and prostate cancer cells. This suggests that Solidago species could be valuable sources of cytotoxic and anti-tumor substances [18, 19].

    goldenrod flowers in garden

    Anti-Adipogenic And Antidiabetic Activities

    Solidago virgaurea has been extensively researched for its potential as an anti-lipid and anti-diabetic agent. This plant contains a variety of bioactive compounds like flavonoids, terpenes, and saponins that contribute to its therapeutic properties.

    Studies have shown that Solidago virgaurea extract effectively inhibits digestive enzymes, such as carbohydrate and protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B). Furthermore, extracts enhance glucose absorption. Animal studies have shown that Solidago virgaurea extract exhibits significant anti-glycemic effects similar to the standard drug glibenclamide.  The extracts also show promise in improving the lipid profile and reducing inflammation. These results demonstrate that Solidago virgaurea can be highly beneficial in preventing and treating diabetes, as well as managing blood lipids [5, 20].

    Cardioprotective Effects

     Solidago virgaurea has been found to reduce malondialdehyde levels and increase antioxidant status in rats with isoproterenol-induced cardiotoxicity. The rhizome extract of Solidago chilensis Meyen has demonstrated notable abilities to inhibit platelet aggregation, potentially leading to positive impacts on atherothrombotic conditions. These findings suggest that Solidago species, including Solidago virgaurea and Solidago chilensis Meyen, have potential cardioprotective properties [21]. 

    Anti-Senescence Effects

    Research has indicated that Solidago virgaurea L. has demonstrated anti-aging properties. More specifically, the alcoholic extract of Solidago virgaurea subsp. alpestris exhibited antiaging effects in laboratory studies [5]. This finding is an example of the numerous medicinal activities attributed to different Solidago species, many of which are based on non-clinical studies. However, these findings require further confirmation through non-clinical model tests and clinical trials before definitively confirming their efficacy and safety in humans.

    a woman holding goldenrods in basket

    Goldenrod Benefits For Dogs

    Goldenrod offers various advantages for dogs, such as reducing inflammation in the digestive and urinary systems, aiding in breaking up kidney stones, and functioning as a diuretic. It also possesses antiseptic and antimicrobial properties that can safeguard the body against infections and inflammation.

    Additionally, goldenrod serves as an effective anti-catarrhal by decreasing inflammation in mucous membranes, thereby reducing mucus production in the bronchi. However, individuals with allergies to Asteraceae should be careful when using goldenrod and are recommended to seek advice from a holistic veterinarian before incorporating any supplements [22].

    Goldenrod Side-Effects

    Goldenrod can lead to various side effects, such as allergic reactions in individuals sensitive to plants like ragweed and chrysanthemums, potentially worsening high blood pressure by increasing sodium levels, causing skin reactions when applied topically, triggering allergies in those allergic to latex due to its latex content, and lacking sufficient safety information for use during pregnancy and breastfeeding [23, 24, 25].

    Research has shown that goldenrods can accumulate small amounts of heavy metals such as cadmium and lead. However, these elements are not typically detected in significant concentrations in honey obtained from these plants [7].

    It is advisable to seek advice from a healthcare provider before using Goldenrod, particularly if you have allergies or certain medical conditions like high blood pressure or kidney disease.

    how to make goldenrod tea

    How To Prepare Goldenrod Tea

    To prepare goldenrod tea, you will need 2-3 tablespoons of fresh goldenrod flowers and leaves (chopped) or 2-3 teaspoons of dried goldenrod, along with 2 cups of boiled, filtered water.

    First, gather the goldenrod from plants you have identified as goldenrod or use dried goldenrod. Clean the fresh leaves to remove any dirt or insects, then chop or cut them into small pieces.

    Place the prepared goldenrod in a teapot or cup and cover it with freshly boiled water. Let it steep for 10-15 minutes, then strain and enjoy.

    It is advised to strain the tea after about 10 minutes to prevent it from becoming bitter. Make sure the goldenrod you use is free from chemical pesticides. You can enjoy this herbal tea, either hot or cold, depending on your preference [26, 27].

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