Antimicrobial for the GI Tract

GoldensealGoldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) root has potent antimicrobial properties. Because the active ingredient appears to be an alkaloid, most of these anti-microbial properties remain confined to the GI tract.

Goldenseal has been found to be an effective antimicrobial against:

  • Chlamydia
  • E. coli
  • Salmonella typhi
  • Entamoeba histolytica
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Streptococcus sanguis
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Helicobacter pylori
  • other Gram-positive bacteria and fungi

Some studies suggest that goldenseal may also be effective against viruses, fungi, protozoans and helminths (worms).

Look for goldenseal products with standardized berberine/hydrastine (alkaloid) content as these will have the highest potency.

Because goldenseal is becoming a threatened species, some conscientious formulas contain Goldthread (coptis chinensis) in addition to goldenseal to supplement the berberine content of the formula.

Goldenseal is a special order product – please call.

Please read more about the benefits of Berberine here.


1.) Hahn FE, Ciak J. Berberine. Antibiotics 1976;3:577–88.
2.) Kim SH, Lee SJ, Lee JH, Sun WS, Kim JH. Antimicrobial activity of 9-O-acyl- and 9-O-alkylberberrubine derivatives. Planta Med. 2002 Mar;68(3):277-81.
3.) Scazzocchio F, Cometa MF, Tomassini L, Palmery M. Antibacterial activity of Hydrastis canadensis extract and its major isolated alkaloids. Planta Med. 2001 Aug;67(6):561-4.
4.) Mahady GB, Pendland SL, Stoia A, Chadwick LR. In vitro susceptibility of Helicobacter pylori to isoquinoline alkaloids from Sanguinaria canadensis and Hydrastis canadensis.Phytother Res. 2003 Mar;17(3):217-21.
5.) [no authors listed]. Berberine. Altern Med Rev. 2000 Apr;5(2):175-7.