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The Health Benefits of Goldenseal Root
Goldenseal root has many traditional uses in folk medicine, particularly among some of the Native American tribes of North America where it grows. It was written in the 18th century that the Cherokee used it as a cure for cancer, and it was used by eclectics for the treatment of lumps in the breasts. Eclectic medicine is the use of whatever natural treatment that appears to work, which makes a great deal of sense to many people. Among many other health benefits of goldenseal root are its antibiotic properties, where it is used to fight infections and its effect on the mucous membranes, where inflammation and infections are frequently rapidly controlled. It can also cure infections of the intestinal tract and relieve diarrhea.
Goldenseal boosts the immune system, and helps improve the function of the spleen in supporting the immune system. It possesses anti-inflammatory properties, and can help treat cases of asthma, eczema, acne, hay fever and other allergic and inflammatory conditions. Goldenseal can be used to reduce acidity levels in the stomach, and can treat and prevent acid reflux and heartburn. It also improves the efficiency of organs such as the liver, pancreas colon and circulation system and functions synergistically to improve the effects of many other herbal remedies.
There are many more health benefits claimed for goldenseal root, but those mentioned should be sufficient to underline its general nature and why keeping an extract or supplement in your medicine cabinet may be worthwhile.
The Effect of Goldenseal on Mucus Membranes
Goldenseal is used to treat infections and malfunctions of the mucus membranes that line the nose, respiratory tract, intestinal system, sinuses and elsewhere. It is used, for example, to soothe inflamed mucus membranes in cases of influenza and bronchitis, and since it can do so by taking it as a capsule, direct contact with the membrane is not needed. It is believed by some that goldenseal does this by acting as an antibiotic, and destroying the bacteria causing the problem.
However, science has yet to establish exactly how goldenseal cures mucus membrane infections, although it has been proposed that the mechanism is more connected with an increase in the flow of mucus than in any antibiotic effect. It has also been postulated that goldenseal can reduce the flow of mucus by means of certain astringent properties. What this is saying is that the root normalizes or moderates extremes of mucus secretion, reducing excessive flow and increasing insufficient flow.
Since mucus contains IgA antibodies, the mucus itself is capable of killing off the infection. Whatever the real reason, goldenseal appears to work, and taking it appears to cure infections involving the mucus membranes. How it works is unimportant to you as a patient - just the fact that it does work!
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