Goldenseal has been used to treat digestive problems as well as the common cold and respiratory tract infections, and many other ailments. The chemical berberine found in goldenseal may be responsible for it’s effects against bacteria.
The bulk of my experience with goldenseal is it’s use topically for skin conditions and wounds. Goldenseal can be used on the skin to treat ulcers, infections, cold sores, eczema, acne, and itching. It makes a good antiseptic skin cleanser.
Combine goldenseal root powder with a pinch of cayenne pepper to make an excellent first aid for wounds called “witch’s stitches”. What cayenne adds to the equasion is a fair bit of pain relief and it helps stop bleeding.
I keep witch’s stitches in a bottle close to my first aid supplies. A small sprinkle on a cut before adding a bandaid can prevent an infection. Once I used it to treat a wound that may have otherwise needed a couple of stiches… my daughter had been jumping on the bed and fell and busted open a little gash on her chin. A sprinkle of witch’s stitches and a butterfly closure bandage, and she was good as new. Her older sister had gotten a gash in the exact same spot a few years earlier while running in the halls at school and was sent to the hospital for stitches. Her gash may have been a little wider, so actual stitches may have been warented, but I feel good knowing I could possibly have treated it myself if we had been in a zombie apocolypse situation and hospitals were not available.
As always, do not take this as medical advice. Check with your health care practitioner for answers to questions about your health and the use of herbs. Seek emergency medical help for serious injuries.