Goldenrod Toxic?

bcabrobin Posts: 251 ✭✭✭
edited October 2020 in Wild Edibles & Medicinals

Has anyone read anything about goldenrod being toxic? If so can you show me proof. Everything I'm reading is all the good stuff, there are side effects as with everything. On another site people are talking about their phone app say how bad it is for you.


  • frogvalley
    frogvalley Posts: 675 ✭✭✭✭

    Haplopappus heterophyllus is the Rayless Goldenrod that is toxic to people and animals. Here is a link:

    Regular Goldenrod, Solidago, is not toxic in general, but in spite of what you read on the web these days about "your allergy symptoms are not Golden Rod", they can create allergic reactions - it is a member of the asteraceae family. Asteraceae-related allergy symptoms involve eczema, hay fever, asthma, or even anaphylaxis. The pollen may be sticky and heavier than Ragweed so that it doesn't travel far, but one can certainly have an allergic reaction to it. People die all the time because well meaning individuals don't understand the severity of a reaction that they may never experience. Wouldn't it be great if instead of someone saying "Opps, I'm sorry, I didn't think that would happen", allergies were taken seriously and respected. Why do some people feel as if it's okay to use others as lab rats?

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,407 admin

    Do you know the species of goldenrod they are talking about?

    Solidago species can cause ragweed allergies in those that are sensitive to the pollen. There are some contraindications with golden rod, such as: not for use in young children, not for use during pregnancy, not for use in case of chronic kidney disease, not for use concomitantly with lithium. But other than that it is generally considered safe.

    Rayless Goldenrod is a different genus, Isocoma pluriflora, and is toxic to livestock. Not sure about humans as I am not familiar with this plant. It grows in the southern US and Mexico, I believe, so well out of my range. But it is one that I would leave alone if it is toxic to animals.

    Always be sure of your identification and use Latin names whenever possible. So many plants have the same of similar names and may be totally unrelated with different, possibly toxic properties.

  • bcabrobin
    bcabrobin Posts: 251 ✭✭✭
    edited August 2020

    Here is the comment that was posted:

    Goldenrod question. Yesterday I posted that I have several kinds of goldenrod. The app I use to help identify plants say he Canada goldenrod is moderately toxic many have been using it in teas and such. Now the giant goldenrod didn’t say that yet they are both in daisy family

    I have had a LOT of trouble with most of the ID apps giving wrong ids. Has anyone else?

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,407 admin

    So another Latin name for rayless goldenrod. I see the Isocoma species is also called goldenbush. Very confusing.

    My information mentions nothing about toxicity with Solidago species. I have many sources for my information including well known herbal texts and manuals from herbal colleges.

    It is listed as a food plant. The leaves can be eaten raw or cooked. Flowers can be added to baked goods. Dried leaves are used as a tea or in blends. Flowers and seeds can be used as a soup thickener.

    It is highly medicinal, used for a long time and is now being studied for its tumour-inhibiting properties. It's properties include: Astringent, Diuretic. Vulnerary, Analgesic. Antispasmodic. Antibacterial. Antifungal. Diaphoretic. Anti-inflammatory. Used to treat urinary infections, diarrhea, flu symptoms, colds and sore throats, kidney stones and helps to remove hardened phlegm. Many uses.

    In my opinion Solidago canadensis is a safe herb to use with the exception of the conditions I listed in the previous post. Drug contraindications in addition to lithium could include but are not limited to: chlorothiazide (Diuril), chlorthalidone (Thalitone), furosemide (Lasix), hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ, Hydrodiuril, Microzide), and others. There may be other less well known contraindications but a bit of research into your specific health concerns could uncover that.

    It is always good to question information and it is up to all of us to judge the source of our information. I would question almost anything in an app.

  • bcabrobin
    bcabrobin Posts: 251 ✭✭✭

    Thank you everyone for the info. I wanted to make sure what I had found out was what others know about it. I will pass the info on.

    I started last year to try to learn about a new "weed" a week. I drive rural roads a lot, as I'm driving watching for critters that want to run into my van, I'm watching for flowering plants I don't know. I will stop take pics, most spots the apps will not work no cell single, but if it does I ALWAYS get the ID it gives and check my books & online to make sure of the ID I never just go with one ID. If my ID is wrong......... I don't even want to think about that!

  • Desiree
    Desiree Posts: 255 ✭✭✭

    @bcabrobin I have been doing something similar, but mostly on my own property. I wanted to know that nothing had been treated and that's a bit more challenging when you are out and about. I also was amazed at the diversity of what is growing right here! I also learned the importance of the learning the Latin names and species whenever possible.

    When I was reading the above comments regarding goldenrod and toxicity one of the things that popped into mind was a comment that herbalist jim mcdonald made on one of his plant walks I was watching. I can't remember the specific plant (but that's not important) but he was talking about all the things that it "could" do as long as one was careful. His final words though are what stuck...just because a plant "could" do the things you are looking for (despite it's potential toxicity or allergenic reactions,) there are probably other plants/herbs that can do the exact same thing but safer.

    As I build my journal of plants on my property I have identified those that will just remain as something to look at. I have removed the weeds that are poisonous and will continue to monitor in the future. Unfortunately I have a neighbor who thought they were planting and tending milkweed but instead it was dogbane. It unfortunately spread onto my property and now we are both trying to eradicate it. Identification is key to all things.