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"Goldenseal is one of our most useful remedies, owing much of its value to the tonic effects it has on the mucous membranes of the body. This is why it is of such help in all digestive problems, from peptic ulcers to colitis. Its bitter stimulation helps in loss of appetite, and the alkaloids it contains stimulate bile production and secretion. All catarrhal conditions improve with goldenseal, especially those involving the sinuses. The antimicrobial properties appear to be due to alkaloids present. As an example of research that has been done on plant constituents, we shall consider berberine. Berberine(a constituent of Goldenseal), found in a number of other herbs as well, has antibiotic, immunostimulatory, antispasmodic, sedative, hypotensive, utero-tonic, cholerectic, and carmninative activity. Traditionally goldenseal has been used during labor to help contractions, but it is for just this reason that it should be avoided during pregnancy. Applied externally it can be helpful in eczema, ringworm, itching, earache, and conjunctivitis."
From "An Elders' Herbal" by David Hoffman, Healing Arts Press, 1993
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