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Goldenrod flowers makes a super bright and deep yellow, almost ochre.
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Another not-to-miss road-side weed. Tall, shiny, abundant and wavy, goldenrod can not go unnoticed, that is, in Hungary. A beginner at all herbal and natural, I try to unlock some of the benefits and nourishment of nature.
Goldenrod plants provide nectar for migrating butterflies and bees, encouraging them to remain in the area and pollinate your crops. Goldenrod is among the most important late-season pollinator plants. Honey bees frequently collect large amounts of goldenrod nectar prior to winter; other bees use the pollen to provision late-season nests.
I experimented with goldenrod infused honey, goldenrod infused oil, goldenrod syrup, goldenrod tincture (vodka), goldenrod dye, and fresh goldenrod for recipes, such as cornbread. I collected the flowers in August and September (location: Hungary).
How to dry flowers
Harvesting any herb requires attention to the stages it goes through in order to harvest the plant for optimal benefits, with goldenrod it is just the same.
Be aware that drying goldenrod flowers (when in full bloom) often leads to the flowers turning to fluff so I like to use the flowers fresh. You need flowers which are bright yellow, not the ones which start to become brown (as is visible on the photo below).
Which time in the day to pluck goldenrod
I get out of bed, be energized and forage right away if the plants are nearby. If not, its best to go soon in the day, after the dew has dried and before the sun is at its hottest.
I try to get my harvest processed immediately. If drying, spread the flower heads out on a dry rack or hang the goldenrod clusters to dry in a shady place where is an air current. Depending on the humidity in your area, this may take a few days or a week or more. Some people put them in the food dehydrator. Air drying in the fall can be tricky due to dampness and lack of warm temperatures.
Once fully dried, store in a glass jar. Label the jar and add the date. Dried herbs generally stay fresh 9 months to a year, but if the color fades considerably, then it’s probably past its prime.
Harvest the roots in the fall after the first heavy frost. Wash them well, cut them up into small, thin pieces, and dehydrate them thoroughly.
When foraging goldenrod, it’s best to harvest the leaves just before the flowers open or when some are open and others are just opening. Goldenrod is prone to powdery mildew and rust, so choose your leaves with care to avoid infected leaves. In fact, it is best to keep an eye on the overall condition of the plant when foraging goldenrod, harvesting from healthy, robust plants.
Some people will wait until the goldenrod goes to seed before foraging and drying the seeds.
How to make a tea
Use around 2 tablespoons of fresh flowers per 1 cup of water. If using dried flowers, use half as much (1 tablespoon per 1 cup of water). Cover and steep for 15 to 20 minutes before straining. Sweeten with (goldenrod infused) honey, if desired.
Good for: a warm tea will act as a diuretic, which promotes the production of urine, and antiseptic for treating mild bladder infections.
Now, what is goldenrod good for? Why did I start to invest time to prepare all these mixtures? Fair question.
I made infused honey and syrup more for experiencing a remarkable taste of nature than to heal myself. Yet, I believe properties of nature are better than nothing. Even though quantities might need to be more to be it effective, the taste is important.
Among its many uses, goldenrod is a prime medicine, effectively relieving upper respiratory congestion coming from allergies, flu, the common cold and sinusitis (the sinuses are small, empty spaces behind your cheekbones and forehead that connect to the inside of the nose. Sinusitis causes the lining of the sinuses to swell up. This stops mucus draining into your nose and throat properly, making you feel blocked up). It can be taken as a tea, syrup, or tincture for this purpose.
It is very drying and a decongestant, and therefore isn’t the best remedy for the beginning stages of a cold when runny mucus can actually help expel pesky viruses. Instead, use during the latter stages of an infection when the mucus is thick and yellow-green in color.
The herbs can be taken in tea form, instead of tincture, but the tea will be unsavoury to some because of its astringency and bitter flavor.
- Goldenrod contains chemicals that increase urine flow and have anti-swelling (the flavonoid antioxidants and other plant compounds in goldenrod have anti-inflammatory benefits) effects.
- Goldenrod is used to reduce pain and swelling (inflammation), as a diuretic to increase urine flow, and to stop muscle spasms. It is also used for gout, joint pain (rheumatism), arthritis, as well as eczema and other skin conditions.
- Goldenrod is also used to treat tuberculosis infections that have become active again after a period of inactivity, diabetes, enlargement of the liver, hemorrhoids, internal bleeding, hay fever, asthma, and an enlarged prostate. Goldenrod is used as a mouth rinse for inflammation of the mouth and throat, and it is also applied directly to the skin to improve wound healing.
- Goldenrod is safe to use as a diuretic and for kidney treatments. It can be used for inflammatory diseases of the lower urinary tract. It is used to prevent and break down kidney gravel.
- Goldenrod settles the digestion.
- For anyone interested, in need and very much off the beaten track, it helps with bruises and bleeding (powdered root or flowers as a medicinal tea for treating haemorrhagic conditions), loose teeth and gum diseases, sores and ulcers, ruptures and wounds.
Rich source of plant compounds
Goldenrod supplies many beneficial plant compounds, including saponins and flavonoid antioxidants like quercetin and kaempferol.
Saponins are plant compounds linked to many health benefits. They may particularly be effective in inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria and yeast like Candida albicans.
Candida albicans is a fungus that can cause vaginal yeast infections, as well as infections in other parts of the body.
Saponins have also been shown to possess anticancer and anti-inflammatory effects in test-tube and animal studies.
The flavonoid antioxidants quercetin and kaempferol in goldenrod help protect your cells from damage caused by unstable molecules called free radicals.
Free radical damage is a factor in many chronic conditions, including heart disease and cancer.
Notably, the antioxidant activity of goldenrod is more than that of green tea and vitamin C.
The flavonoid antioxidants and other plant compounds in goldenrod also have anti-inflammatory benefits.
Sources: book ‘The herbalist’s bible’, online research at http://www.chestnutherbs.com, http://www.theherbalacademy.com, http://www.healthline.com, http://www.thewondersmith.com My natural dyed and hand embroidered pouches are to see in my online shop.
This piece of fabric did it’s own way, hard headed like myself, it became quite something else than originally intended.
The teabags I carry hold sayings: ‘When was the last time you were proud of yourself?’, ‘When was the last time you challenged yourself?’, ‘What gives you energy?’, ‘What is a good characteristic of yours?’ and ‘Are you a dreamer, thinker or doer?’ To each saying I give clear answers. I learn a short trip…
Incorporating the gifts of nature, for food, teas and coloring. Some are really money savers: who does not like that?
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Posts about natural dyeing, my outdoor activities, searching and multiple usage of plants and roots.