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Health Benefits of Echinacea and Goldenseal

Leena Palande

Echinacea and goldenseal are the two magic herbs which offer innumerable health benefits. The following story provides information on the side effects and health benefits of these herbs. Read on...
Nowadays, health conscious people prefer herbal medicines as they come with minimum side effects. Echinacea and Goldenseal have emerged as two of the most influential herbs in the plant kingdom whose roots, flowers and stems are used in herbal medicines. Echinacea is also known as 'coneflower'. It can be used to treat any disease, from common cold to cancer.
The antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties of echinacea plant are helpful for fighting against infections. It is rich in flavonoids, polysaccharides, phenols, alkylamides and some minerals like copper, potassium, iodine and iron, along with vitamins A, E and C.

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Goldenseal or 'orange-root' is native to southeastern Canada and the northeastern United States. It has characteristic thick and yellow colored knotted rootstock. It exhibits anticatarrhal, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, laxative, emmenagogue and oxytocic properties. It helps boost the medicinal effects of other herbs when blended with other herbs.

Echinacea and Goldenseal


  • Coneflower and orange-root is a popular combination for enhancing the function of immune system cells.
  • Goldenseal stimulates the production of bile to help digest fats.
  • These herbs make white blood cells more strong and effective at fighting infections.
  • They help reduce the time for a cold or flu to run its course.
  • Both are used to treat bad nasal, sinus and bronchial conditions.
  • Both of them help reduce inflammation. They help move bacteria out of the system.
  • Echinacea provides relief from enlarged lymph glands and sore throat. The extract made from this herb is applied locally for curing genital herpes and candidiasis. You may use this herb to prepare tea, it works great for urinary tract infection.
  • Goldenseal contains alkaloids which are very powerful antimicrobial, anti-parasitic and anti-viral agents. It helps kill various parasites and germs that cause yeast infections.
  • Goldenseal is used to treat sore mouth and throat, canker sores, gingivitis, stomach ache, diarrhea, indigestion, constipation, ulcers, vaginal irritation, earache, mild conjunctivitis and eye irritations, and lowering high blood sugar levels.
  • Both these herbs are used to treat inflammatory conditions of digestive system and of joints, peptic ulcer disease, gastritis, flatulence, diarrhea, dyspepsia, liver and gallbladder problems, vaginitis, urethritis and rectal inflammation, disturbances of endocrine functions.
Remember, these herbs are not tonic herbs and should not be taken long-term. Always buy a product that has been naturally extracted and grown without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides or preservatives. It is better to buy vegetarian capsules. The herbal supplement should not contain any fillers, binders or common allergens.
Be sure it is a standardized true herbal supplement. Goldenseal should not be used by pregnant or nursing women, as it stimulates the uterus. Studies show, that when used over a long period, coneflower and orange-root might cause digestive disorders or irritation to the mucous membranes. Here is a list of side effects of these herbs.

Side Effects

  • Echinacea or goldenseal can induce allergic responses, which can take severe forms at times.
  • B vitamins will not be absorbed by your body completely if you continue taking goldenseal over a long period.
  • Presence of goldenseal in the body can affect the usefulness of many other drugs and the risk for their side effects are thus increased.
  • Excessive consumption of echinacea can cause side effects like abdominal pain, dry mouth, heartburn, joint or muscle pain, sore throat and mouth ulcers, fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, stinging or burning of the tongue, dizziness and insomnia.
If you think that goldenseal can hide the use of narcotics, then you are wrong. In the early 20th century, race horses were fed goldenseal to mask the use of morphine and pain killers, but the narcotics were always detected in urine tests. Echinacea goldenseal drug test may actually give a false-positive result in humans. If you know you'll need to take a drug test, you should avoid echinacea-goldenseal for several days or weeks prior to the test.
Goldenseal helps echinacea to prevent infections and to boost the immune system. Therefore, echinacea and goldenseal make an ideal pair when combined to produce a herbal supplement. The only important thing to remember is that both these herbs should be consumed strictly according to the prescribed dose.