Goldenrod (Solidago) ‘To Make Whole’

Goldenrod, Solidago spp.

In early January I decanted a Goldenrod tincture that I began macerating in late September. A perfect time to get Goldenrod ready for consumption in case of cold symptoms. As an astringent, Goldenrod can help dry up a moistened composition if needed, like a wet cough or runny nose. It can be used to aid digestion and urinary issues, too.

Like many herbs, Goldenrod is multi-purpose.

Folklore

Some say that Goldenrod brings fortune to those who are lucky enough to have it growing nearby. If you are one of these lucky people, embrace it as a sign from the heavens. Bounty and provision are near. The folklore of plants and trees can teach us much about nature and herbalism.

From its Latin root solida or soldare the botanical name Solidago means ‘to strengthen’ or ‘to make whole’.

Later Summertime Bloomer

Incorporating a blooming flower like Goldenrod into the cold days of winter instills a sunny, warm experience into your being, which can brighten your day. This late summertime bloomer can ignite a sunny, happy disposition into the dark winter. Aptly named, this plant’s flowers grow in a rod-like way. The happy yellow flowers are loved by pollinators. The species in my neck of the woods can grow up 6 feet tall. Not all Goldenrod are tall, though. I’ve seen some that are only 12 inches tall, but they still have the vibrant golden flower heads that will catch your eye in any environment.

Psycho-spiritual Nature of Plants

Every plant contains within it a psycho-spiritual connection to human beings, especially when there is a relationship with the plant in the wild or in your garden. The benefits of including an herbal preparation extend beyond simply consuming its biochemical beneficial properties. Some will say the energy of the plant permeates our cells and spirit.

You may have experienced this without realizing it. Are you drawn to a particular plant, flower, or tree? We love to bring flowers into the house and many of us have houseplants. For many, there is a need to be close to plants.

Do you have a favorite herb you love to cook with?

These are how the relationship between plants and humans begins.

Before consuming an herbal preparation, I often envision the living plant in its natural environment and offer a prayer of gratitude for its many benefits to human beings.

Health and Wellness Practice

Adding herbs into your health and wellness practice isn’t only about its beneficial biochemical properties. It also has to do with the relationship we have with the living plant in the wild or garden. When you see a plant growing in its natural habitat, and learn it’s environment, along with the symbiotic relationships, it’s easy to comprehend how these wonderful relationships are formed. These symbiotic relationships are then bottled up in a tincture.

Consuming a Tincture

When I consume a tincture, I take a moment to see the plant in my mind. I think back on the stands of hundreds and hundreds of blooming Goldenrods. How they sway in the wind and on the warmth of the air. Viewing the flowers inside a jar that has been infusing for months warms my heart knowing the plant’s energy is in the liquid almost like magic and can now be infused into my constitution.

The Flower

Goldenrod is plentiful here in East Tennessee which is one reason I’m especially excited about it. At the time of this writing, it is early August. The plant is tall and grand. There are no flower heads yet. But I’m looking forward to seeing the stand that’s growing here in bloom in the next few weeks. The yellow rod-like flowers are adored by pollinators and humans alike.

C.R.Y. Herbals’ Photo (Sweetwater, TN)

Relationship with Plants

Developing a deep relationship with individual plants that grow around me is one of my favorite things to do. It allows me to see them year after year and observe their changes over time.

When do they grow? Who do they grow with? What symbiotic relationships have they formed? Are they growing near water? What kind of critters do they attract?

I sit patiently to watch and listen.

Herbal Treasures

Opening a jar of herbal matter that has been macerating for months or even weeks feels a little bit like opening a gift. Nature’s treasures surround us, and what a joy it is that we can bring them inside when desired to enrich our body and mind.

Skincare

And like many herbs, Goldenrod can be used topically infused in oil and made into salve if you wish. As an oil or salve the benefits from Goldenrod are soothing and relaxing to achy joints and muscles, as well as healing to wounds, burns, big bites, and poison ivy exposure.

Liberty Tea

A little bit of history is connected to Goldenrod, specifically S. adora. After the Boston Tea Party took place in 1773 colonists turned to Goldenrod for their tea needs. It became known as Liberty Tea. Any species of Goldenrod can be used as tea, but not all will taste as delicious S. adora. This species has a hint of anise making it an enjoyable and palatable drink.

More Benefits

Diuretic and tonifying to the kidneys. UTI’s, bladder infections, and kidney function as a strong infusion. Can help clear up congestion that is associated with the common cold. Wonderful as a mouthwash. Known as a carminative, it can help get those digestive juices flowing before or after a meal.

Flower Arrangements

Goldenrod makes a beautiful bouquet of flowers. You can put them in water or hang them in a bundle inside the house. It’s one of the last blooming flowers in autumn, so leave some for the pollinators.

Great for Relieving Seasonal Allergies

Often mistaken for ragweed since they bloom right around the same time of year. Goldenrods are not wind pollinated like ragweed. Pollen on Goldenrod is sticky and requires insects to cross pollinate, thus it is not what’s making you sneeze. Blame ragweed. If you have ragweed growing in your yard, cut it down before it blooms and throw it in your compost pile (if you have one).

Tinctures

References:

  • Goldenrod Glorified - Eat The Weeds and other things, too.
  • Goldenrod – The Herbarium (theherbalacademy.com)

     

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