Golden Rod

Goldenrod is a perennial herb that grows wild around the valley in meadows, forest borders and river banks and is commonly called Woundwort for its ability to heal flesh wounds.  Goldenrod has a tall, thin stalk bursting with bright, little yellow flowers in midsummer and the leaves are long and tapered with fine toothy edges.  Goldenrod is part of the Asteraceae family, the same as asters, daisies and sunflowers.

Goldenrod has just made itself known to me;  plants have a way of creeping up on me,  jumping out of pathways in places I have overlooked, suddenly demanding attention that sends me on a quest to learn more, to slow down and watch.  Over the years I have heard so much information regarding her bright yellow flowers and her many medicinal uses but I had failed to notice she grew all around me.

Goldenrod’s flowers, leaves and roots all have medicinal qualities, her sunny clusters of flowers attract bees and butterflies and her lengthy stem allows for a waving, hypnotic dance with the wind.  The flowers can be used in soaps, oils, salves and ointments or as an edible flower tossed in a salad or as a bright addition to any plate or baked goods.   Add the new leaves to soups, and stews, her flowers to batter mixes, scones, teas or muddled with gin or vodka.

Goldenrod is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, as an antifungal and most importantly, as a natural antihistamine, helping to calm mucous producing membranes.  Quercetin, a chemical component of Goldenrod, is how this plant produces many of its powerful healing properties, acting as a anti-inflammatory, reducing allergy symptom and swelling of painful joints and muscles, easing spasms and sprain injuries.  A tea from her flowers can relieve fatigue and depression, acts as a kidney tonic, can be gargled for sore throats and tooth aches and used as a wash to clean cuts, wounds or calm insect bites.  Crush Goldenrod’s leaves or chew them up for a spit poultice to calm a burn, relieve an insect bite or to cover a wound as the leaves have strong antifungal and antiseptic qualities.

Try making your own medicinal massage oil using ½ cup of Goldenrod flowers and leaves mixed with  1 cup of oil ( I prefer a mix of avocado and olive oil)

Pick flowers and leaves after the morning dew has dried, use sustainable harvesting practices by  only picking a few flowers and leaves from each plant, allow to wilt for a few hours before packing them into a canning jar and topping with oil.  Cover with a paper towel and secure with an elastic band and put in a sunny window for 2-4 weeks, stirring a few times a week.  Stain the mix, bottle and label and you have a beautiful healing oil!

I planted Goldenrod in my garden last year and I am inspired to create new products and experimenting with many of her amazing healing qualities this summer.

Happy harvesting!