Hydrastis rhizome – ESCOP Herbal Monograph 2013

Goldenseal rhizome
Published 2013
Price:   €20
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The herbal monograph selects and summarises scientific studies and textbooks regarding efficacy, dosage and safety to support the therapeutic uses of goldenseal rhizome. This herbal drug by definition consists of goldenseal rhizome, the whole or cut, dried rhizome and root of Hydrastis canadensis  L. Studies with its main characteristic constituents hydrastine and berberin are included. The therapeutic indications of goldenseal rhizome are digestive disorders, dyspeptic complaints and gastritis. Administration of goldenseal rhizome addresses dosage, duration of use; contra-indications; special warnings; special precautions for use; interactions with other medicinal products; other forms of interaction; use during pregnancy and lactation; its effects on ability to drive; undesirable effects; overdose. In vitro experiments showed antibacterial and smooth muscle relaxant activities. In vivo experiments in animals demonstrated anti-diabetic, immunomodulatory, and lipid-lowering activities. Pharmacological studies in humans concern the interaction of goldenseal rhizome with drugs that are metabolized by cytochrome P450. Pharmacokinetics of berberin in animals and humans gives information on absorption, metabolism and elimination. Preclinical safety data for goldenseal rhizome and berberin were assessed in toxicity studies. The selection of literature cited in the monograph is aimed at bringing together relevant information about the possible physiological roles of goldenseal rhizome and its major constituents. Examples are given below.


  • Hydrastis  canadensis L.
  • Hydrastis rhizoma
  • Goldenseal rhizome
  • Digestive disorders; Dyspeptic complaints; Gastritis


– Abdel-Haq H, Cometa MF, Palmery M, Leone MG, Silvestrini B and Saso L. Relaxant effects of Hydrastis canadensis L. and its major alkaloids on guinea-pig isolated  trachea. Pharmacol Toxicol 2000;87:218-22. http://dx.doi.org/10.1034/j.1600-0773.2000.d01-77.x
– Abidi P, Chen W, Kraemer FB, Li H, Liu J. The medicinal plant goldenseal is a natural LDL-lowering agent with multiple bioactive compounds and new action mechanisms. J Lipid Res 2006;47:2134-47. http://dx.doi.org/10.1194/jlr.M600195-JLR200
– Bradley P. Golden seal root. In: British Herbal Compendium – A handbook of scientific information on widely used plant drugs, Volume 1. Bournemouth: British Herbal Medicine Association, 1992:119-20.
– Cwikla C, Schmidt K, mattias A, Bone KM, Lehman R, Tiralongo E. Investigations into the antibacterial activities of phytotherapeutics against Helicobacter pylori and Campylobacter jejuni. Phytother Res 2010;24:649-56. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ptr.2933
– Mahady GB, Pendland SL, Stoia A and Chadwick LR. In vitro susceptibility of Helicobacter pylori to isoquinoline alkaloids from Sanguinaria canadensis and Hydrastis canadensis. Phytother Res 2003;17:217-21. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ptr.1108
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