Echinacea and goldenseal are well known medicinal herbs used for the treatment of many ailments. These herbs have many health benefits, especially when used in combination, but they also have several side effects that will be discussed in this article.
Echinacea, also known as American Cone Flower, has a wide variety of usage in herbal medicine. Leaves, flower, stem or root of the herb can be used as herbal remedies for different diseases such as common cold or flu, vaginal yeast infection, urinary tract infections, allergies, migraines and even cancer. Echinacea has immune stimulating, antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal qualities that help to reduce severity and duration of infections. Echinacea is also a source of vitamins such as A, E and C, minerals like copper, potassium, iodine and iron as well as flavanoids, polysaccharides, phenols and alkylamides.
Goldenseal (Hydrastis Canadensis), also known as orange-root has a long history of use in North America. The herb has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anticararrhal, laxative and emmenagogue properties. Goldenseal stimulates body’s immune system and enhances the potency of other herbs. It is used for treatment of menstrual disorders, gastritis, constipation, cirrhosis, indigestion and cancer.
Benefits of Echinacea and Goldenseal
Echinacea and goldenseal used in combination make an excellent remedy for different infections by boosting white blood cells and enhancing the immune system. These herbs can be used for treatment of nasal congestion, sinusitis and bronchitis. Because of their anti inflammtory properties, Echinacea and goldenseal can reduce inflammation or swelling thus relieve the pain. They can be used for treatment of peptic ulcer disease, gastritis, flatulence, diarrhea, dyspepsia, vaginitis, urethritis, rectal inflammation and liver, gallbladder and endocrine system problems. Echinacea can help in the treatment of swollen lymph glands and sore throat, while tea prepared from the herb successfully treats urinary tract infections. Candidiasis and genital herpes can be relieved with Echinacea extract applied topically. Production of bile necessary for breakdown of fats can be promoted with the help of goldenseal. Goldenseal can be used to prevent yeast infections since it contains alkaloids with antimicrobial, anti parasitic and anti viral properties. This herb can also help to reduce high blood sugar levels. Furthermore, goldenseal can relieve sore throat, canker sores, gingivitis, diarrhea, indigestion, constipation, stomachache, earache, ulcers and eye irritations.
Side Effects of Echinacea and GoldensealEchinacea and goldenseal should be only used short-term and exactly as prescribed since prolonged usage can cause side effects such as digestive disorders and irritations of the mucous membranes. There is also a possibility of allergic reaction caused by these herbs. If used for prolonged period of time, goldenseal can prevent absorption of B vitamins. Effectiveness of some medications can be hindered due to interaction with goldenseal while their side effects may be enhanced. Echinacea is associated with following side effects: dry mouth, sore throat, mouth ulcers, fever, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, heartburn, headache and muscle aches.