10 Serious Side Effects Of Goldenseal

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Goldenseal is a perennial herb, which belongs to the Ranunculaceae family. It is also known as yellow puccoon or orangeroot. It is commonly found in South Eastern Canada and North Eastern United States. It offers varied medicinal benefits.

Goldenseal is used to treat cold, upper respiratory tract infections, hay fever and stuffy nose. Some people also use it to treat digestion problems, such as stomach cramps, peptic ulcers, swelling, diarrhea, constipation and hemorrhoids.

10 Serious Side Effects Of Goldenseal:

Though this nutrient-rich herb offers a number of health benefits, it also comes with its own set of side effects.

The following are some of the serious side effects of goldenseal:

1. Interactions With Drugs:

Goldenseal might increase your risk of bleeding when taken with drugs such as warfarin, aspirin, clopidogrel, and ibuprofen. It also interferes in the way the body processes certain specific drugs using cytochrome P450 liver enzyme system. This reaction shoots up the levels of such drugs in the blood, which creates adverse reactions in the body.

2. Lowers Blood Sugar Levels:

Goldenseal contains a chemical called Berberine, which brings down the blood sugar levels in the body. If you are using medications to lower your blood sugar level, be cautious to take Goldenseal. Diabetic patients should specially be monitored by a doctor. Adjustments of medications for such people might be necessary.

3. Harmful For Infants:

Berberine, which is an active compound present in goldenseal, can also disturb heart rhythm. It is also found that this compound might also cause jaundice in new born infants. Jaundice is sometimes closely linked to brain damage or deafness.

4. Not Advisable For BP Patients:

Goldenseal might have an unforeseeable effect on blood pressure. This effect is due to the several compounds present in the herb, which can play havoc with the body’s blood pressure levels. People with heart or blood pressure diseases should be careful while using goldenseal in any of its form.

5. Reproductive Problems:

Studies have shown that berberine present in goldenseal might reduce sperm motility in bulls. But goldenseal’s effect on human fertility is unknown. Men trying to become father may have to skip goldenseal intake until human studies are completed. It is also known that high doses of goldenseal might tighten the womb of the pregnant women, which may also result in early labor or miscarriage.

6. Sensitive Skin:

Goldenseal, when applied to the skin, might make the skin more sensitive to sunlight than usual. So, it is best to avoid sunlight if you are using this herb. If sunlight becomes unavoidable, either cover up your face or use sunscreen.

7. Minor Effects:

Individuals taking goldenseal might experience headache, stomach upset and general malaise. Goldenseal might also cause vomiting and nausea as indicated by National Center for Complementary, Alternative Medicine and NCCAM.

8. Allergic Reaction:

Goldenseal root, like any other herb, can cause allergic reactions in certain individuals. Symptoms of such allergies include breathing problems like wheezing, swelling of face, mouth or throat, rash, itching, and hives.

9. Breast Feeding And Pregnant Women:

Goldenseal consumption during breast feeding and pregnancy is considered as unsafe for the baby. A dangerous chemical present in goldenseal can pass through the placenta and also into breast milk. It is better to be safe and avoid taking goldenseal during pregnancy or if you are lactating. 

10. Other Side Effects:

Goldenseal might cause nervousness, digestive problems, constipation, depression, diarrhea, irregular heartbeat, mouth ulcers, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, and seizures. High dosage of goldenseal can cause difficulty in breathing, paralysis, and sometimes even death.

A Word Of Caution:

If you want to include goldenseal in your diet, be careful about its intake. Just follow the tips mentioned here to get the best of the herb:

  • Discontinue the intake of goldenseal after three weeks of continuous usage without break.
  • Avoid giving goldenseal to children under the age of two. It is best to start with small doses for growing children.

Goldenseal is powerhouse of health. But, if you suffer from any side effects due to goldenseal intake, visit your doctor as soon as possible. Stay safe, stay healthy!

And did you feel any of these side effects of goldenseal? Or did you face any other problem with goldenseal? Share with us in the comments section below.

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