By Darby Gates
All along your roadways, especially out in the quiet, slow countryside, you will see these bursts of yellow sprays that, unless you know what you're looking for, just look like another overgrown, wild weed. Oh, my nature loving friends, she is so much more.
Goldenrod, or the genus Solidago (meaning to "make whole again") is known to contain between 60 and 130 species. Nearly all are known by the name goldenrod, though some may also be referred to as woundwort, Aaron’s rod, heathen wound herb, and blue mountain tea. It is a member (first cousin-ish) to the Daisy (Compositae).
Goldenrod is almost ALWAYS handed the blame for seasonal allergies in the autumn, though they are NOT the culprit (That would be ragweed).
This is one of the rare herbs that have most of their medicinal properties in the aerial plumage of the plant (leaves & flowers), NOT in its roots.
Like many of the medicinal herbs in the world of botany, it carries the inspiration for legends and superstition. The myth and lore of the Goldenrod is said to reveal hidden treasures in the hands that hold it, or that it would lead you to secret treasures in the springs nearby. One could only make the correlation that its name doesn't ONLY come from its obvious coloring.
Goldenrod has a rich history--that involves a little-known incident at the Boston Harbor in 1773. After the Boston Tea Party, colonists began using a decoction of goldenrod, red clover and other local herbs and florals as a substitute for the China tea they no longer had access to. And long before the arrival of the European colonists, the Natives used goldenrod as a sweetener or flavor for their medicines, which in turn led some to believe and find that the flavors carried the most medicinal benefits of all.
Goldenrod is well known for its ability to support urinary tract disorders. In Germany, they use their native goldenrod to increase urine output for kidney and bladder issues. In many cultures it's used as a support for respiratory problems. Goldenrod has properties that are anticatarrhal
(Mucus removal), anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, astringent, carminative (think natural Bean-o!!), diaphoretic (causes perspiration), diuretic, and vulnerary (heals wounds). A tea decocted with sage soothes sore and irritated throats and relieves laryngitis. Crush the leaves with a carrier oil, making a poultice, and use it as wound care. Mainly, it is used as a tea, or it is tictured.
You can even dye natural fabrics with its colorant. What a gorgeous yellow it would produce.
So, the next time you are out and about, take a look around, and see if you can spot the long fingers of this lovely lady. Take note where she grows (the appearance of goldenrod plants is often one of the first signs that the woods are coming back to life after a fire) and appreciate her value.
**As always, I am NOT a doctor, and I am NOT doling out medical advice. I am just in tune with my body, my surroundings, and have learned to adapt to using what God has given us naturally to heal from within. I am led to share and help others on their own journey. Please, if needed, consult your trusted physician with any concerns. And ALWAYS DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH.
Be safe, stay well, and forage your backyard.