Shining True with Goldenrod

Research shows that the color yellow is the happiest color, and I completely agree! The warm, stimulating effect of golden sunflowers, autumn leaves, and pale yellow houses certainly leads me to think positive thoughts. I’d not want to live in a world that lacks such a glorious hue.

Nor would I want to live in a world without the healing provisions plants can provide. The snappy yellow color often draws me in when I come across a patch of wildflowers. Which leads me to the delightfully cheery Goldenrod. You’re likely to find it in a natural area nearby right now. With over 130 various species, Goldenrod grows in some form in every state and readily around the world. A blazing summer beauty, Goldenrod has something for everyone in its repertoire of medicinal gifts.

For the Wildflower Gardener…

Goldenrod makes a lovely flowering perennial to add to any natural wildflower area. Whether you are looking for a bright plant to hover only a foot off the ground or tower seven feet above it, Goldenrod (in one of its various forms) will fit the bill.

The tiny, blooms atop the stem form a cluster of yellow-which attracts beneficial pollinators. Goldenrod leaves differ from species to species creating a great deal of diversity there, as well. It will happily take root along roadsides, in ditches and fields, and moist areas.

Although, it makes a lovely garden addition it can also spread like wildfire. Some even consider it an invasive weed. Whether it is cultivated by seed or rhizome, be sure to maintain its growth to prevent it from taking over.

For the Cook…

All parts of Goldenrod can be eaten, although it is advised that the top parts (flowers and upper leaves) are where the best flavors reside. Goldenrod produces a variety of different flavors, and much of that depends on what species it is you have available. Some are sweeter while others tend to be more bitter.

Eating seasonally is something that I strive to do. Having various additions to main courses throughout the year keeps my palate fresh and my creative juices flowing. Adding Goldenrod blossoms and leaves to a salad or cooked greens is a great way to include Goldenrod into your diet. You could also infuse the plant in some vinegar or honey to soak up and preserve the many medicinal benefits.

For the Home Medicine Maker…

Like other common medicinal plants, Goldenrod has many properties helpful in healing and restoring distressed and irritated systems of the body. Here are some examples:

Sneezing, Sniffling, and Allergies

Although unjustly blamed at times for causing allergies, Goldenrod is actually an impressive remedy for the classic symptoms associated with allergies, colds, and flu. As an astringent, Goldenrod can dry runny noses and watery eyes with ease. As an expectorant, it can unblock air passages by ridding the sinuses of mucus. And as a diaphoretic, Goldenrod will encourage the body to sweat and reduce fevers. Goldenrod can even provide relief for sore throats due to it antiseptic properties.

The best way to enjoy these benefits is to drink an infusion of Goldenrod tea.

UTI and Yeast Infections

Two very unpleasant things most women will deal with at some point in their lives. If you’ve ever dealt with a UTI or Yeast infection before, you know how painful and uncomfortable they are.

Goldenrod is an aquaretic. It will help to rid the body of water, but you won’t experience the loss of electrolytes. With a UTI it is important to continually flush the bladder as often as possible. Goldenrod is also anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic. It will reduce irritation and relax tightened muscles that naturally occur when the bladder and urethra become infected.

Drinking Goldenrod infusions often throughout the day is an effective healing practice for UTIs.

Antifungal compounds allow Goldenrod to be an effective remedy for yeast infections. Using Goldenrod tops to make a strong infusion and used in a sitz bath will encourage the fungal infection to subside. Plus, you will be picking up the added benefits of Goldenrod being anti-inflammatory and calming to irritated tissues, as well.

Digestion

Goldenrod falls in the carminative category. This simply means it makes a great digestive remedy. Carminatives stimulate the digestive system-kicking it into high gear to work effectively at breaking down and ridding the body of waste. Therefore, Goldenrod comes to the aid of those experiencing discomfort from gas and bloating. It can help with stomach tension due to its antispasmodic properties, as well.

Drinking Goldenrod tea following a heavy meal would be wise for those prone to digestive upset.

For the Natural Body Care Crafter…

I woke up recently with one of the worst neck aches I’ve ever experienced. I wish I had a muscle rub salve ready to ease the pain. Then, I read that Goldenrod was especially helpful for this very purpose, and I knew what I would be doing later that day…making a Goldenrod infused oil to be turned into a salve later.

Goldenrod as a salve or poultice to be used externally can calm minor burns, skin irritations, and bruising. It even has reported benefits helping with eczema. And, a Goldenrod tincture is nice to have on hand for wounds. It can halt bleeding and promote healthy healing in minor wounds.

For Teens or those with Social Anxiety…

Do you or someone you know struggle with social anxiety? Often when I’m in a social situation or large groups, I find it difficult to let my true self shine through. I look at everyone else and imagine what they would think of how I live, the things I like, and how I prefer to spend my time. I feel so different.

This is precisely the reason to call upon a Goldenrod flower essence for help. A flower essence made with Goldenrod is suggested for those of us that tend to become a wallflower rather than show our inner selves to the world. That is why it is suggested for teens. During the teen years it is easy to follow along with everyone else while you try to figure out who you want to be. Adolescents may find that a Goldenrod flower essence will help them express themselves while staying true to themselves.

Flower essences are simple to make, and I love how they make me feel closer to nature in a spiritual way. You can easily find them for sale online, too. Either way, give it a try.  Over time it will make an impact on your ability to shine true, too.

For Knitters…

Another use for Goldenrod’s delightful yellow color is to go beyond the medicinal purpose, and bring it into your home for crafting. A lovely homesteading idea would be to make a natural dye from Goldenrod blossoms for wool fibers. I love this DIY (Goldenrod for Dying Yarn) on just how to go about this. I think it’s one of my goals to do this some day. Ultimate sustainability!

Plans for Goldenrod

It is easy to see there are many benefits to this blazing display of golden flowers. Unexpectedly stumbling across this beauty has my mind reeling with ideas for Goldenrod. I’d like to plant more of it throughout my yard. I’d like to make some homemade remedies and include it in some tea blends. And I (someday) would like to use it for dying yarns made from the fiber animals I hope to have.

All of these things are wonderful, but the most wonderful of all is that Goldenrod shows us how to show up as ourselves. Freely giving our all without holding back who we really are. So keep foraging. Keep crafting. And keep doing the things that make you, you. Don’t forget to show the world, too!