Hydrastis canadensis

The homeopathic remedy hydrastis is prepared from the dehydrated underground parts of the herb called goldenseal and is used to treat any array of health conditions, especially those related to the mucus membranes.

Growing perennially, goldenseal belongs to the buttercup family Ranunculaceae and is differentiated owing to its broad, yellowish entangled rootstock or rhizome. The stem of the herb is purple in color and has fine bristles on the part above the ground, while the color of the stem is yellow beneath the ground where it joins with the yellowish rhizome.

The plant produces two leaves that resemble the palm of a hand (palmate), have fine bristles and possess five to seven double jagged lobes. The flowers of the goldenseal plant appear in the late spring as single, tiny and unassuming or ordinary bloom having greenish-white stamens. The fruit of the plant and is a single berry, which resembles a big raspberry enclosing around 10 to 30 seeds. These berries ripen in the summer.

The entire herb goldenseal possesses several therapeutic properties and, hence, offers a number of health benefits. Goldenseal is attributed to being hepatic (a medication for the liver), bitter, alterative (curative), anti-inflammatory, anti-catarrhal, laxative, anti-microbial, oxytocic (a medication that accelerates childbirth) and emmenagogue (a medicine that promotes menstrual flow).

Owing to the various therapeutic properties possessed by the herb goldenseal, it is generally used as a multi-use or versatile medication. Besides being used topically as an anti-microbial, goldenseal is also used internally to facilitate the digestive process and when used as a gargle, it is effective in getting rid of canker sores (ulceration of the mucus membranes in the mouth).

In addition to its individual medicinal properties, goldenseal is frequently used to augment the therapeutic effects of other herbs with which it is blended or formulated to prepare different herbal medications. This herb is available commercially at health food stores and herbal pharmacies in the form of tablets, balms, tinctures or in bulk as powder form.

Individuals who benefit most from the homeopathic remedy hydrastis are those who are inclined to be fatigued, worn out, slender and elderly who usually suffer from some kind of degenerative or wasting ailments.

In homeopathy, hydrastis is an ideal medication for the characteristic symptoms associated with the problems of the mucus membranes. Owing to the numerous therapeutic properties possessed by the herb that is used to prepare this homeopathic remedy, hydrastis is frequently prescribed for people suffering from catarrh, sore throat, sinusitis as well as an unusual taste in the mouth - all symptoms associated with mucus membranes.

People who respond to this homeopathic medication may generally have profuse, dense, yellow-colored, gristly mucus distressing the mucus membranes of the respiratory tract. In addition, hydrastis is also beneficial for people suffering from stomach problems, which may perhaps take place together with the typical problems associated with the mucus membranes.

The typical symptoms endured by people who require hydrastis may comprise pitiable digestion as well as constipation with no impulse whatsoever to pass stools.

It is important to note that homeopathic physicians often prescribe hydrastis for patients prone to developing cancer or those in the pre-cancerous conditions, especially those that may develop into liver, colon or breast cancers. In effect, this homeopathic remedy is particularly associated with liver cancer and it may be taken by individuals who desire to lessen their requirement for analgesics (pain killers) and narcotics.

The indigenous inhabitants of America used the rhizome of the goldenseal herb as a medication to cure fevers, indigestion, cancers, liver problems and heart ailments. In addition, they also used the yellowish rootstock of the herb as a yellow dye. This herb was introduced in Europe sometime in 1760.

Parts used

The homeopathic remedy hydrastis is prepared using the underground parts or the thick yellowish rhizome of the herb goldenseal. The freshly obtained rootstock of the herb is cleaned, chopped finely and soaked in alcohol for a period of time. The resultant solution is strained and diluted to desired levels to obtain the homeopathic medication hydrastis.

As in the instance of any other homeopathic remedy, even hydrastis does not retain even the slightest trace of the original substance, goldenseal herb it is prepared from and is useful in treating numerous health conditions.


Members of an indigenous American tribe, the Cherokees were the first to use the broad yellowish rhizome of the goldenseal herb. While the Cherokees used the rootstock as a stimulant for digestion as well as for treating cancer, other indigenous American tribes used the goldenseal rhizome for curing liver problems, fever as well as heart ailments. In 1875, an American homeopathic practitioner Dr. Hale proved the efficacy of the homeopathic remedy hydrastis.

The homeopathic medication hydrastis is an appropriate remedy for problems related to the mucus membrane, for instance, sinus congestion, phlegm, aching throats as well as taste problems. In addition, homeopathic practitioners prescribe hydrastis for people suffering from stomach disorders wherein there is poor digestion, the stomach typically feels empty, but is not mitigated even after consuming food.

Such conditions may be accompanied by constipation without the urge to pass stools for long hours. In effect, hydrastis is an ideal remedy for people who have experienced abrupt weight loss owing to persistent degenerative or wasting ailments.

Hydrastis is especially effective in curing catarrh (inflammation of the mucus membrane, particularly of the respiratory tract) when the condition is accompanied by dense, yellowish and gristly mucus discharge from the nasal passage.

In addition, people suffering from this problem discharge thick, yellowish mucus from the nasal airways as well as the fauces (the passage between the posterior of the mouth and the pharynx) accompanied by ulceration. The symptoms deteriorate when the patient is lying down on his/ her left side.

In actual fact, the homeopathic remedy hydrastis is effective in treating catarrh present in any part of the body - the throat, stomach, uterus and others. In such cases, the catarrh is marked by a strange mucoid discharge.

In addition hydrastis is also effective in treating chronic or persistent bronchial catarrh, especially when old and weary people suffer from bronchitis. Such people discharge a dense, yellowish and stubborn expectoration and have a stifling sensation when they are lying on their left side.

Often homeopathic practitioners prescribe hydrastis for patients who have been suffering from stomach aches related to alcoholism. In such cases, the patients experience a scorching pain in the stomach accompanied by lack of appetite and poor digestion. The digestive system of such people becomes so weak that almost all types of food ingested results in stomach upsets, especially bread and vegetables.

Such patients have a sensation as if their stomach is always empty, but they do not have the craving for food. In effect, they actually cannot bear food. In addition, the homeopathic medication hydrastis is also effective in treating chronic or persistent gastric ulcer or cancer accompanied by a burning pain in the stomach.

As aforementioned, the homeopathic remedy hydrastis has multi-purpose uses and, hence, it is prescribed for people suffering from various and dissimilar ailments. It is an useful remedy for unremitting liver inflammation, gallstone, colic accompanied by jaundice, and jaundice. In such conditions, the liver usually becomes distended, hard and sluggish as well as lump-like. The patients endure skin jaundice accompanied by pale or even whitish stools - an indication that there is an absence of bile.

This homeopathic medication is also used to treat stubborn hemorrhoids accompanied by rectum prolapse or the organ slipping out of place. In such conditions, the anus becomes tender and swollen with fissures. The patients also suffer from constipation with a sinking sensation in the stomach.

The stool also becomes hard and knotty, while the patient experiences a burning pain in the anus while as well as after passing stool. They also take an exceptionally long time to pass stool.

Hydrastis is also a very beneficial medication for women, especially those suffering from leucorrhoea (a white or yellowish discharge from the vagina indicating that there is some infection) that is dense, yellow-colored, gristly and sticky. Usually, the symptoms deteriorate following the menstruation periods.

Women enduring this condition usually have a swollen vagina accompanied by a smarting pain. Turning to hydrastis helps to cure the painful condition as well as the bothersome symptoms associated with it.

As discussed earlier, this homeopathic remedy particularly works on the mucus membranes and helps to unwind them. It is especially effective for treating catarrh, which may occur anywhere in the body - stomach, throat, urethra, uterus and others, and is usually marked by a strange discharge of mucus.

Hydrastis is particularly beneficial for the aged people, individuals who wear out easily, people who suffer loss of weight owing to any ailment, especially degenerative in nature, and people who suffer from extreme weakness. The homeopathic medication hydrastis is known to have a prominent impact on the mind and people using it have a feeling as if their intelligence has been sharpened, have clarity of thoughts.

People who require the homeopathic remedy hydrastis are those who suffer from pathetic muscle power, weak digestion, stubborn constipation, recurring pain in the lumber region (lumbago), abnormal weight loss or thinness owing to malnutrition or any ailment as well as extreme mental and emotional depression (prostration).

The action of this medication on the liver is also notable. Hydrastis is also useful remedy for cancer, cancerous conditions, before the formation of ulcers wherein pain is said to be the major symptom. In addition, this homeopathic remedy is useful for treating enlargement of the thyroid gland (goiter) during puberty as well as pregnancy.

Last, but not the least, hydrastis is an excellent medication for curing small pox - both internally and topically. The usefulness and potency of this homeopathic remedy in healing small pox is witnessed in altering the infectious ailment, eliminating the depressing symptoms of the disease, speeding up the healing process, diminishing the harms caused by the infection as well as alleviating the consequences of the ailment.


The goldenseal herb, whose thick, yellowish rhizome forms the basis of the homeopathic remedy hydrastis, is indigenous to the north-eastern regions of the United States as well as the south-eastern parts of Canada. The herb was introduced in Europe in 1760 and is now found growing naturally there too.


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