Goldthread: Medical miracle plant

Pulled into a small gated path on an SGL on the way home yesterday for a break from a long day at Penn Dental yesterdaygold and saw approximatley 4 trillion goldthread plants, a medical miracle. Unfortunately, none were in bloom yet but the photo shows the golden root from where it gets its name.

Traditional Uses for Goldthread

Goldthread is an important herb in both Ayurvedic and Chinese traditional medicine. Starting in the Tang dynasty, goldthread was used to make a medicine called Huang-Lian-Jie-Du Decoction (HLJDD), which is still used today. Herbalist rely on HLJDD to address a variety of ailments, including soothing irritation, promoting normal blood sugar, and supporting gastrointestinal health.[1, 2]

Native Americans used the herb as a digestive aid and to remedy infections and mouth sores.[3] It’s from this that goldthread got the nickname “canker root.” The practical value of goldthread wasn’t limited to therapeutic applications; because of its bright gold color, Indigenous Americans also used goldthread to produce a yellow dye and to flavor beer.

Health Benefits of Goldthread

The healing properties of goldthread aren’t simply folkloric in nature. Modern medicine has started to examine the potential health benefits of this herb. Animal testing confirms that goldthread can soothe redness, swelling, and irritation.[4] Studies have found that goldthread can promote normal blood sugar[5] and even support brain health.[2]

Goldthread owes its healing abilities to high concentrations of several potent alkaloid compounds. Of these, berberine is most commonly associated with goldthread’s benefits. Berberine has dozens of therapeutic applications. It can protect against some types of harmful organisms and soothe irritated tissue. It promotes normal lipid profiles and is even known to boost the immune system.[2] Multiple studies suggest that berberine may be of benefit for those suffering from obesity. Berberine promotes heart health, bone and joint health, brain health, digestive health, liver health, and is beneficial for the respiratory system.[2] Perhaps most intriguing of all, berberine has been evaluated for activity against cancer but further research is necessary to fully understand its potential or draw conclusions.[6]

Berberine isn’t goldthread’s only beneficial compound, though. Other alkaloids present in goldthread include palmatine, epiberberine, jaterorhizine, columbamine, and coptisine. Coptisine, in particular, has received attention from researchers recently. It’s currently being examined for its ability to promote brain health. Among its other positive attributes, coptisine may help a fever, relieve discomfort, support heart health, and it’s a strong antioxidant. Additionally, it encourages normal cellular respiration.[7]

Where to Find Goldthread

Many varieties of goldthread are native to Asia and North America and some are actually critically endangered. There are two reasons for this—one is genetic and one is man-made. The genetic cause is a random mutation that results in low pollen and seed production in certain species of goldthread. This mutation affects up to 80% of Coptis teeta, a type of goldthread from the eastern Himalayas. The second cause is overexploitation by humans. Goldthread is a victim of its own success. Its desirable properties as a therapeutic herb have

Author: luzerne2112

As I get older -- and I'm 70 now -- I seem to find more and more that nature is the true source of peace, inspiration and, most of all, the truth the passeth understanding. Though my knowledge is sketchy and superficial, I wanted to share it while I can.

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