Golden seal toxicity

Hydrastis canadensis


Is golden seal a toxic plant?

– No, golden seal (Hydrastis canadensis) is not a poisonous plant.

– However, high doses or long treatments with the plant may present toxicity.

– If you have questions about its use, consult your doctor.

What toxic components has golden seal?


Golden seal illustration

  • The plant contains isoquinoline alkaloids, mainly berberine, hydrastine and, to a lesser extent, Canadine. These components are cholagogue, astringent, strong antiseptic and anti-inflammatory.

  • Hydrastine is an ingredient in some eye drops.

Effects of golden seal

  • The plant causes the constriction of the capillaries, which gives virtues to curb the hemorrhages. However, overdosage can cause hypertension as a side effect.

  • In therapeutic doses, golden seal can lower blood pressure or alter heart rate, so it should not be taken by people with heart disease.

  • Continued use depletes the intestinal flora, as it is a strong antiseptic and destroys healthy intestinal bacteria. This can lead to digestive problems such as vomiting, belly swelling and malabsorption of nutrients.

* More information about the side effects of golden seal.

Dose of golden seal

Longer treatments are contraindicated. Some authors advise not to exceed a week treatment, while others advise not to exceed 3 weeks of treatment, and rest for at least 2 weeks.

  • Capsules: 500mg. Up to 3 times a day.

  • Extract: from 4 to 6ml.

Precautions with golden seal

  • Do not take if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. It can cause miscarriage or harm the baby.

  • Do not use in children under 15 years of age.

  • Check with your doctor if you have questions about the safety of the treatment.

  • Respect the prescribed doses.

  • Do not ingest the fresh plant as food. It is not an edible plant.

  • It is not recommended to use as eye drops, as it can irritate the mucous membranes of the eyes.

  • Do not apply to open wounds or sensitive skin.

punto rojoMore information on golden seal properties, contraindications and side effects.

This article was endorsed by Montserrat Enrich - Journalist specializing in edible wild plants and plant uses.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

19 March, 2019

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This material is for informational purposes only. In case of doubt, consult the doctor.
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