Goldenrod, Solidago spp., is a common edible and medicinal wild plant found across the country in habitats with partial shade and direct sunlight. In North America, there are 90 different varieties. The one above is probably Solidago canadensis. Now, late summer and early fall, is a great time to harvest its flowering tops.
Goldenrod leaves are edible. Though its pollen is blamed for allergies, the leaves and flowers are commonly dried and taken as tea as an allergy remedy. It has many other medicinal uses:
- According to ethnobotanist Daniel Moerman, many Native American tribes use the dried flower tea as a remedy for fevers and diarrhea in babies and young children.
- The root can be placed in cavities to treat tooth aches.
- The flowers can be made into a tea and/or herbal bath and/or douche for yeast infections.
- A tea of the leaves and flowers is an anti-inflammatory urinary antiseptic, according to herbalist author David Hoffman, useful for someone suffering from cystitis or urethritis.
- The leaves and flowers can also be gargled to cure laryngitis.
- The tea also is useful as an anti-inflammatory and astringent for mucus-heavy conditions (what herbalists call “catarrh”).
If you’re on your way to the casino, pick some, because the Navajo consider it a good-luck charm for success in gambling. And if you suspect someone might have cast a love spell on you, the Iroquois say goldenrod can break it.
Pass it on.