Goldenrod

I shall start with a story, for this beautiful plant is worth every minute you spend with it….

MYTHOLOGY

Two warring tribes were fighting over hunting grounds. In the ensuing battle across the land, all the villagers were killed except for two sisters who hid in the woods. Both wore doeskin dresses, one dyed lavender-blue with fringe, the other one bright yellow.

The sisters sought out the Herb Woman who lived over the mountain in another valley. This woman gathered herbs by day and brewed magic potions by night, a gift given to her by the gods.

As the sisters slept that night under the stars, the Herb Woman looked into the future and saw that these little girls would be hunted down by the enemy. So she sprinkled them with a magic brew and covered them with leaves.

In the morning there were two flowers where the sisters had been. One was the lavender-blue aster, the fringe from the dress having been turned into the outer flower petals (ray flowers) of the aster. The other flower was the yellow goldenrod.

You will find stories with Greek’s and the Romans – all of ancient history has a story about goldenrod somewhere to be found.

 

Botanical Name

Solidago virgaurea

Goldenrod is a hearty wildflower found in many parts of the world. The Latin name “solidago” means to make whole you know its late summer when you see the beautiful and stately goldenrod plant gracing the meadows. It mixes in so beautifully with Joe-Pye weed and Queen Anne’s lace. By spreading rapidly and attracting birds, bees, and butterflies aplenty lending to its association with prosperity and money. Folklore suggests that if goldenrod suddenly springs up in your yard that prosperity and money will soon follow. 

There’s so much to say about goldenrod that it’s hard to know where to begin. I am a true believer that Mother Nature gives us what we need. Native Americans used goldenrod for multiple ailments. The leaves commonly were crushed in a mortar and pestle and applied to burns, boils or skin ulcers. After the flowers dried, the seeds were collected for food.

History

 After the Boston Tea Party, English tea was boycotted, and goldenrod was one of the American plants substituted. A common name for goldenrod is Liberty Tea or Liber-Tea. The anise-scented goldenrod had a run in popularity in the Eastern U.S. during the 19th century. At the time it was called Blue Mountain Tea and was even exported to China.

At other times, goldenrod was substituted when English teas were difficult to obtain, such as during the Civil War.

Medicinal Uses

 Despite its association with allergies, goldenrod pollen is not carried by wind and therefore not often the cause of allergies. It is part of the Daisy (Asteraceae­) family and even though most asters are not wind-pollinated, many people with allergies are sensitive to the pollen. Goldenrod is actually an antidote for seasonal ragweed allergies. The astringent property calms runny eyes, nose and sneezing that comes with late summer and early fall allergies.

The properties of goldenrod are similar to many other herbs, antifungal, diuretic, diaphoretic, anti-inflammatory, expectorant, astringent, antiseptic, and carminative. However, the actions of goldenrod to the kidneys, urinary track, skin, allergies, and cardiovascular system are where it shines.

Antioxidant

It is a good source of the constituent rutin, a powerful flavonoid that benefits the cardiovascular system. Rutin has the ability to support circulation for the cardiovascular system as well as to increase capillary strength. It is mentioned Goldenrod is packed with antioxidants – well known herbalist and researcher Robert Dale Rogers states that it has 7 x the antioxidant levels of green tea.

Goldenrod tea directions:

Harvest the goldenrod stems just above any browning leaves. For fresh leaf tea, remove leaves and flowers from the stem (you can compost the stems) and chop the herb into smaller pieces.

Use two tablespoons of fresh goldenrod in a cup of boiling water steeping it for 20-30 minutes. You will be delightfully surprised to find goldenrod makes a pleasant-tasting tea with mild sedative properties, and serves as a tonic for the respiratory system and urinary tract. Sweeten with wild honey & Lemon. You can also steep dried goldenrod the same way but only use 1 tablespoon. It is always good to harvest extra when Mother Nature presents us with her gifts.

Salve

The flowers and the leaves can be infused with oil or used as a poultice for wounds and burns. Infuse virgin olive oil (I prefer apricot kernel oil) with dried goldenrod, plantain and yarrow to make an excellent wound healing and healing skin salve. It also makes a nice rub for tired aching muscles and arthritis pain. For the latter add a small amount of cayenne pepper to the oil infusion.

 

Tincture

You can easily make tinctures by infusing the fresh herb with 80-100 proof alcohol (vodka) and letting it sit for several weeks in a dark place. I prefer the more mathematical approach of percolation tinctures as it is a bit more an exact science and more easily repeatable for the same results.

Interesting Fact...Fishing Bait

As the cooler fall weather moves in and goldenrod finishes flowering some swellings appear on some of the stems. These are from the goldenrod gall fly that lays its eggs onto the stem earlier in the year. Many fishers use the “fresh” bait for ice fishing, along with a whole host of other critters looking for a quick grab meal like woodpeckers .

 

Almost Extinct

Solidago shortii is Short’s goldenrod, a federally endangered plant and one of the rarest species around.

 

Magical Properties

  • Gender Female
  • Planet: Venus
  • Element: Water
  • Also known as Goldrute, Verg D’Or, Woundwort or Aaron’s rod.

Venus claims the herb and therefore one can be sure it respects beauty lost. Any herb related to Venus is a good herb for love rituals. Make your lover some Goldenrod tea to seal their love for you, or carry the flowers for a day and your future love will appear the next day.

Burn or crush in rituals concerning the future or carry daily in a sachet. 

Goldenrod is also a prophecy and divination herb. 

Find a patch of goldenrod and you will discover a hidden spring of water below.

In divination the flower when held in hand nods in the direction of lost or hidden objects. Cut a stalk of Goldenrod and use as a dowsing rod to search for treasure or lost objects.

Goldenrod planted by the front door brings prosperity, peace and love to your home.

Drink a cup of goldenrod tea to become more attuned and gain clarity with your inner self so that you can foretell your own future.  The tea is also a cure for melodrama and unbelief grief and stress.

 

Shamanic & Spiritual

This tall golden plant is much liked by Sif, Thor’s golden-haired wife. In Norse mythology, Sif is a goddess associated with Earth. When carried, it brings her blessing to those going into battle, that they may prevail with skill and clear head.

Goldenrod is excellent for smudging and infusing your space with a prosperous vibration. The herb has often been used as a tool to step into abundance mindset.

On a spiritual level Goldenrod cleanses the energy centers along the spine.

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