Discovering Herbs: Solidago (Golden Rod)
Solidago is the Latin name for the beautiful Golden Rod that graces many gardens with its fine summer display of golden-yellow flowers. It has been used medicinally for many years, often to heal wounds; indeed, its name comes from the Latin ‘solidus’, meaning ‘whole’ or ‘solid’, referring to the plant’s supposed ability to heal.
Solidago is a perennial plant, common in upland areas, especially rocky grassland. One of its folk names was Blue Mountain Tea. Its ability to survive in less than perfect situations means that it can rapidly become a weed (i.e. taking up more of the garden than the gardener had planned!) when given good conditions.
In folk medicine, Solidago was thought to bring good luck when grown beside the house, and could be worn to help you meet your future love or carried to help you find lost objects! Useful as these properties may be, they are difficult to prove scientifically, whereas the physical properties of Solidago are more tangible. It has been approved by the German Commission E for the treatment of bladder and urinary system inflammations.
Its beneficial actions include increasing blood flow to the kidneys and promoting urination, without ridding the body of valuable minerals as allopathic diuretics do. It is anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic and therefore calms and strengthens inflamed, painful kidneys. It will be especially appropriate where there has been a history of mild kidney infections and kidney stones or gravel. It is thought to help flush out small stones and gravel by reducing the amount of calcium that builds up in the kidneys.
Do remember that herbs such as Solidago should not be used in an unsupervised manner if you have a serious kidney condition. A medical herbalist will advise you on suitable treatment. However, this herb may help to strengthen kidneys and prevent further problems where there is a tendency to repeated mild infections.