Goldenseal (Hydrastis Canadensis ) is certainly not the newest plant on the block but it could be the most popular! This plant has been used for hundreds of years by the Cherokees for its ability to fight infections and stimulate the immune system. By the 1700's this plant was commonly used in both England and America for everything from digestive upsets to respiratory infections.
This plant is considered anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and an astringent. It is used to treat colds because of its ability to soothe irritated mucous membranes while reliving congestion and preventing further symptoms. Goldenseal is often used for detoxification also because it supports glandular functions by increasing bile flow and digestive enzymes.
When most people think about goldenseal they usually think of its high content of berberine which is a constituent that can fight bacteria, fungi, and help to regulate gut bacteria.
Whenever I travel to third-world countries I pack a bottle of goldenseal tincture because it has been proven to be effective against common traveler's ailments like E. coli (traveller's diarrhea), Shigella dysenteriae (shigellosis), salmonella paratyphi (food poisoning), and giardia lamblia (giardiasis).
Always be prepared like a girl scout!