Supplement Forms/Alternate Names:

Yellow root; Hydrastis canadensis


Goldenseal is a plant that grows in North America. It has been used to help with digestion and treat colds. The root is dried and can be made into a tea. It can also be taken as a pill, powder, or extract.


There are no advised doses for goldenseal.

What Research Shows

There is not enough data to support that goldenseal is helpful in treating health problems. We will review future studies as they are published .

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Safety Notes

It may be safe for adults who are not taking prescription or over the counter medicine to take goldenseal for a short time. Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to take for a long period. Goldenseal should not be taken by children or during pregnancy or breastfeeding.1-8


Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse, such as:

  • People taking any prescription or over the counter medicine should talk to their doctors before taking goldenseal. It may interact with their medicine.


1. Izzo AA. Interactions between herbs and conventional drugs: overview of the clinical data. Med Princ Pract. 2012;21(5):404-428.

2. Shi S, Klotz U. Drug interactions with herbal medicines. Clin Pharmacokinet. 2012 Feb 1;51(2):77-104.

3. Gurley BJ, Fifer EK, et al. Pharmacokinetic herb-drug interactions (part 2): drug interactions involving popular botanical dietary supplements and their clinical relevance. Planta Med. 2012 Sep;78(13):1490-1514.

4. Hermann R, von Richter O. Clinical evidence of herbal drugs as perpetrators of pharmacokinetic drug interactions. Planta Med. 2012 Sep;78(13):1458-1477.

5. Dunnick JK, Nyska A. The toxicity and pathology of selected dietary herbal medicines. Toxicol Pathol. 2013 Feb;41(2):374-386.

6. Chen S, Wan L, et al. Mechanism study of goldenseal-associated DNA damage. Toxicol Lett. 2013 Jul 31;221(1):64-72.

7. Asher GN, Corbett AH, et al. Common herbal dietary supplement-drug interactions. Am Fam Physician. 2017 Jul 15;96(2):101-107.

8. Upper respiratory infection in adults and adolescents. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Updated November 29, 2017. Accessed April 18, 2019.

Last reviewed February 2020 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC
Last Updated: 5/27/2020

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