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1. What is it and where does it come from?

Goldenseal, an herb native to North America, has a wide variety of uses. The root and rhizome are what is used as a supplement. Goldenseal's active ingredients are the alkalines berberine and hydrastine.

2. What does it do and what scientific studies give evidence to support this?
This herb has been used primarily for its infection-fighting ability. It works by keeping bacteria from adhering to cells. Goldenseal is particularly useful in treating infections, parasites, the common cold/cold sores, and Crohn's diseases. It has also been shown effective in treating ear infections, conjunctivitis, vaginitis, and urinary tract infections. Widely heralded for its pathogen-destroying ability, goldenseal has underwent extensive research that show it plays an important role in killing yeast, worms, and other germs. Goldenseal has a long history of helping with digestive tract problems, diarrhea and constipation, and upper respiratory tract infections. Not to mention, it has also been shown to help with skin problems such as acne and eczema.

3. Who needs it and what are some symptoms of deficiency?
Goldenseal is such a great healing supplement! Anyone who likes to stay healthy by avoiding the onset of colds, infections, and digestive problems could benefit from goldenseal supplementation. It can help maintain a high level of immunity in the body and help a person get over sickness faster. Echinacea/Goldenseal can help bodybuilders and athletes because people who are working their bodies hard can be more susceptible to illness. Deficiency is not associated with goldenseal, as it is a non-essential nutrient.

4. How much should be taken? Are there any side effects?
Goldenseal is very safe when taken for about a three-week period at a time. Most people take between four and six grams of powdered extract three times per day. Continuous intake is not recommended because it can kill the "good" bacteria in the colon and possibly irritate the liver. Nevertheless, for a good infection and bacterial fighter, goldenseal is highly recommended.