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Goldenseal for Vaginal Itching

Hydrastis canadensis

Goldenseal is a member of the buttercup family; it grows wild in many parts of North America, especially in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Goldenseal is endangered, however, because of overharvesting. For this reason, it should not be used unless absolutely necessary. Goldenseal is a very strong herb with a solid reputation among healers. It can be used topically, as an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory, or it can be taken orally for its benefits to the immune system.

Goldenseal remedy for vaginal itching


  • To make an infusion of goldenseal, pour one cup of boiling water over ½ to 1 teaspoon of dried goldenseal root. Let the mixture steep for 10-15 minutes.
  • To take goldenseal topically, use it as a douche or as a wash for the vaginal area.
  • To take goldenseal orally, use it as a tea and drink three times per day.
  • Alternatively, you can buy goldenseal in capsule form, and take as directed.

Why It Works

Goldenseal contains a compound called berberine, which is antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal. There are no studies showing that berberine is helpful for vaginitis, but it is known to be helpful in treating other kinds of infections, such as diarrhea and eye infections. Berberine is used in traditional Chinese medicine as a natural antibiotic. Goldenseal is also a powerful stimulant for the immune system; it has been shown to increase the white blood cell count.


Do not use goldenseal internally, on a daily basis, for more than a week at a time. If symptoms continue longer than that, consult a doctor. Side effects from taking goldenseal are rare, but may include nausea or vomiting. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should not take goldenseal. Goldenseal can cause uterine contractions, and can also pass into breastmilk, causing liver problems in babies. Babies and young children should not take goldenseal. Also, be cautious about using goldenseal if you are allergic to ragweed. Do not use goldenseal if you are taking antibiotics or medication for a liver disorder.

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This information is solely for informational and educational purposes only. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of or the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Be aware that many of the techniques and remedies published on this site have not been evaluated in scientific studies. Often, only limited information is available about their safety and effectiveness. Use of these remedies in connection with other medications can cause severe adverse reactions. It is always best to speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Additional information contained in our Legal Statement

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