Goldenrod has many medicinal uses. It is an antiseptic, astringent, it is anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, a carmative, ( reduces gastro-intestinal gas), and promotes sweating and urination for detoxification. It it reduces excess mucous and irritation caused by allergies, is helpful in treating urinary tract issues, can be used as a gargle for congestion in the larynx, and can be applied topically to wounds to promote healing.
It is easy to identify Goldenrod when in bloom, due to it's crown of golden flowers. The fields and hedgerows are thick with them from mid September through October. They can range in height from knee high to head high, depending on the age and location of the plant. Goldenrod has a woody stem and thin, ovate leaves that are in opposing pairs along the stem.
|A head of goldenrod flowers.|
|The stem is woody and the leaves are long, oval and arranged in |
opposing pairs along them stem.
|Deeply cut ferny leaves of Ragweed|
|A closeup of the Goldenrod flowers|
will help make sure identification is easy.
|This is what Goldenrod looks like in situation.|
There are many ways to preserve Goldenrod. It can be made into a tincture or it may be infused in a crockpot with honey, strained and bottled for use with those who can't tolerate alcohol or for children. It can be made into lozenges by infusing in honey or heavy sugar syrup and boiling to"hard crack" on a candy thermometer and then pouring into molds. It can be dried and used as an infusion for tea or ground and made into capsules or used as an ingredient in a poultice. With all the different ways it can be used, it is good to preserve some as tincture and some in dried form to allow for flexibility in use as needs arise.
To prepare the Goldenrod for tincture, pick through and remove anything that was cut in the field that was not Goldenrod, grass, other plants, dead pieces of flotsome. Today Skittles decided to "help" with this part of the process...
Cut the Goldenrod into small pieces, removing the thick woody pieces, but leaving the soft stem and leaves.
I tincture my medicinal herbs in 190 proof grain alcohol that I have previously tinctured with organic lemon peel. Lemon peel is full of essential oils that are anti-septic, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and anti-viral... with that many "anti" properties lemon essential oil will boost the healing properties of the any herbs being tinctured.
Fill the container tightly, half way with plant matter and then fill to where the neck of the jar narrows with your alcohol of choice. I use 190 proof grain alcohol, but I live close to South Carolina where it is legal to sell 190 proof. Here in North Carolina the strongest you can get is 100 proof. You can use either grain alcohol or vodka of the highest proof you can purchase.
I then put a Ziploc type sandwich bag in the mouth of the jar and lightly press into the surface of the liquid. Once I am sure the plastic covers the surface of the liquid I slowly fill the bag with water to 3/4 from the top of the jar. Then I push out the remaining air and zip the bag closed, fold the top of the bag into the 3/4 in head space and cover tightly with a lid. I do this step to make sure that all the plant mater is well below the alcohol, to prevent molding. Invert the bottle of tincture every day for the first week and then once or twice a week for another 5 weeks. After the six weeks has passed, strain the tincture through cheesecloth, squeeze out all the liquid, bottle and tightly cap then label with the date it was poured off and store.
The herb can be dried for use later or for making teas and poultices by tying 2 or 3 stems together and hanging in an area with good air circulation that is protected from the weather. I hang mine from the rafters of the vaulted ceiling in my sitting room, but I also have a Stack!t air drying gadget that works for small quantities. It hangs outside under the cover of our veranda to catch the breeze.
|I have lots of room in the rafters of our sitting room to hang herbs to dry.|
|The stack!t works great indoors or outside,|
but I prefer to hang it in the breeze if it is nice outside.
|The Stack!t is great for drying small quantities of herbs and |
since it has sections, it is easy to dry more
than one kind of herb at a time.
For use as a tincture or honey infusion, dilute 1:5 with water and take 1/2 -1 tsp. 3 times a day, (it will go down better with a little honey). If making a tea, infuse 3 tsp. in an 8 oz. cup of hot water and allow to steep 15-20 minutes, then strain and drink with a little honey. This also should be consumed 3 times daily.
So now is the time to go out and harvest some goldenrod while it is in full bloom and get some tincture and dried herb ready at hand. It is best to harvest Goldenrod deep in a field or along a woods edge away from traffic exhaust fumes and road run off. If you have a park nearby that is a good place to harvest away from traffic and spraying. If you can't get it anywhere else look for low traffic country roads and get back at least 50 feet off the road to harvest. Be sure to wear long pants and boots and watch for snakes and fire ant hills. Of course, you should never go on fenced private land without asking permission, so if you find a prime crop of Goldenrod behind a fence, tempting as it may be, leave it if you can't find the owner to ask permission.
I have posted a step by step tutorial on how to make a tincture on another blog post. Here is the link: https://aprepperspantryjournal.blogspot.com/2016/11/its-tincture-time-again.html
As always the disclaimer that I hate but must attach to protect myself from the Pharma Police... The above information is for educational purposes and is not intended to treat or diagnose illness. It is the responsibility of the individual to research and educate themselves before making health choices for themselves and their families.