Goldenrod: Adverse Reactions. Pregnancy Use. Practice Points

Adverse Reactions

Handling the plant has been associated with allergic reactions ranging from allergic rhinoconjunctivitis and asthma to urticaria. There is one study of a cohort predominantly comprising florists who had presented with complaints relating to the handling of plants found that extensive cross-sensitisation to pollen of several members of the Compositae family (e.g. Matricaria, Chrysanthemum and Solidago) and to pollen of the Amaryllidaceae family (Alstroemena and Narcissus).

Significant Interactions

None known

Contraindications and Precautions

Commission E cautions against use as irrigation therapy when heart or kidney disease is also present.

People with known allergy to goldenrod or who are allergic to the Compositae (Asteraceae) family of plants should avoid this herb.

Pregnancy Use

From limited use in pregnant women, it appears that no increase in frequency of malformation or other harmful effects have been reported although animal studies are lacking.

Practice Points / Patient Counselling

• Goldenrod has a long history of use but has not been tested in humans to any significant extent.

• Traditionally it has been used internally to reduce upper respiratory catarrh, arthritis, menorrhagia, urological complaints and dyspepsia, and externally to promote wound healing and as a mouth rinse for inflammatory conditions of the mouth and gums.

• In Europe, goldenrod is a popular herb for treating lower UTIs and preventing kidney stones.

• When used as part of the commercial preparation, Phytodolor, it provides effective symptom relief in RA and osteoarthritis according to several clinical studies.

• It is considered an aquaretic herb, which induce diuresis but not potassium and sodium loss.

• Preliminary studies in animal models suggest anti-inflammatory activity comparable to that of NSAIDs, but human studies are not available to confirm the clinical significance of these findings.

Answers to Patients’ Frequently Asked Questions

What will this herb do for me?

Goldenrod has diuretic and anti-inflammatory activity, which may be useful in cases of bladder inflammation, although clinical testing has not yet been conducted to confirm this.

When will it start to work?

This is unknown.

Are there any safety issues?

People who are allergic to goldenrod or the Compositae or Asteraceae families of plants should avoid taking this herb.