Possible Goldenseal Side Effects, Precautions and Contraindications

This article outlines some possible goldenseal side effects, precautions, contraindications and drug indications which one should take note of before starting to use the herb.

If in doubt, one may want to consult a qualified health professional, i.e. one who is trained in herbs and herbal remedies.

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A note about Possible Goldenseal Side Effects, Precautions and Contraindications

Herbs are God and nature's gifts to us. While the use of herbs and herb remedies has brought excellent results for many people, do note that their health benefits may be limited when they are used in isolation. However, when combined with some basic dietary and lifestyle good health habits, such as a full body detox and a proper understanding and application of nutrition, the impact on one's health will be greatly magnified.

In natural health and healing, we believe that the body has the ability to heal itself of any disease, even supposedly incurable diseases. We also believe in holistic health and healing, as we realize that different parts of the human body are highly interlinked, often beyond Man’s understanding. It is thus a good idea to apply these fundamental health steps no matter how remote or unrelated a health condition may seem.

  • The entire goldenseal plant is considered hazardous.

  • People who are prone to allergies towards goldenseal and its chemical substances like hyrastine and berberine should not attempt taking goldenseal in any form.

  • Pregnant women and nursing mothers are advised against the use of goldenseal due its possible side effects. It has been noted that one of the chemical components of goldenseal called hydrastine has the ability to induce labor in pregnant women. This is exactly why goldenseal is not recommended for pregnant women.

  • People who are on drugs like Warfarin and cardiac glycosides should not take goldenseal for potential concerns of contraindications and reactions.

  • There are few instances where goldenseal side effects such as nausea, vomiting, breathing discomfort and loss of sensation in the upper and lower extremities have been reported. If used in large quantities, goldenseal might result in irritability of the mucus membranes and worsening of ulcers in the stomach.

  • Intravenous use of berberine might result in abnormal heart rhythms.

  • Clinical studies have indicated that berberine has the ability to decrease blood sugar levels. Caution thus needs to be exercised in diabetic patients while taking goldenseal pills, capsules, goldenseal root powder / goldenseal powder or goldenseal herb tea / goldenseal tea, in particular if these persons are also taking blood sugar-lowering drugs. In such cases, it is best if prior consent and advice is taken from the primary care physician before starting on goldenseal remedies.

  • Prolonged use of goldenseal has shown to decrease the absorption of B vitamins. Hence, because of this potential goldenseal side effect, usage of goldenseal in the long-term should be under the strict supervision of an expert natural health and remedy practitioner.

  • People with conditions like anxiety and depression are advised to consult their primary care physician or practitioner before starting on any kind of goldenseal regimen.

  • Reports also indicate that goldenseal consumption can increase photosensitivity in some people.

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