What is Goldenrod Tea?

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Want to expand your drink options? Most people stick with coffee, soda, and maybe green tea for a healthy option. For those wanting some more options, there’s a whole world of herbal teas for you to try.

Herbal teas are delicious, have zero calories, and have no caffeine. Most herbal teas also come with added health benefits and have a long history of medicinal use. Though herbal teas cannot and should not replace medicine, they can add a nice boost to your health goals in a single delicious cup.

Goldenrod is a beautiful plant with gorgeous yellow flowers. It’s an effective pollinator, but the beauty and benefits of goldenrod go beyond the outdoors. It is also a delicious and nutritious herb that makes an excellent tea.

What is Goldenrod?

Goldenrod tea is also known as Solidago and is part of the plant family, Asteraceae. This is also known as the sunflower family. Many confuse the goldenrod plant with ragweed, but the two are different plants.

The two most common varieties of goldenrod are Solidago canadensis and Solidago virgaurea. 

Goldenrod is a perennial plant found in the wild in open spaces such as meadows, prairies, and savannas. It blooms most often in late Summer-early Fall. Some warmer areas may get access to the plant year-round.

Goldenrod grows to an average of 1 meter in height. All aerial parts, such as the flowers and leaves, are edible. You can plant goldenrod in your yard or find places to ethically forage it from in your area.

The History of Goldenrod

Goldenrod is a native plant of North America but has since settled in every continent except Antarctica. It has a long history of medicinal use, specifically in North America.

It was a staple in Native American medicine, where tribes used the whole plant. Roots treated burns and healed wounds, while the flowers made tea for sore throats and fevers. It was also a known diuretic.

While herbal medicine began to go out of style during the Enlightenment, goldenrod has held onto popularity for its medicinal benefits and great taste.

Where can I Find Goldenrod?

Sourcing goldenrod for your tea is entirely dependent on your goals. If you are just looking for a tasty herbal alternative to coffee, amazon is fine. You can find all sorts of herbal teas from popular brands. This isn’t the best option for those seeking health benefits, though. The products are often too old to still hold much medicinal value.

If your goal is to get the most out of the health benefits, you’ve got a couple of options. You can source it through herbalists who sell often sell dried herbs. Just be sure the website is a popular and reputable place to get freshly dried herbs. Some people will grow goldenrod and any other herbs they use regularly in their garden or on a kitchen windowsill. If you don’t have the space, or have no desire to start a garden, but still want fresh goldenrod, look into ethical foraging in your area.

Making a Cup of Goldenrod Tea

Most herbal teas require a more extensive brew to get the full effects. 

  • Fill a teapot to the brim with fresh or dried goldenrod leaves and flowers 
  • Pour boiling water into the pot, enough to cover the goldenrod
  • Brew for 10-15 minutes 
  • Strain and enjoy.

If you’re only really interested in the taste, then a normal-size tea bag for the standard 3-5 minutes will get the job done. The leaves and flowers have a slightly sweet licorice taste. While delicious alone for its mildly earthy flavor, it pairs well with sweeteners like sugar, maple syrup, or honey.                                                       

Goldenrod tea tastes best as a freshly brewed drink but will store in a pitcher or airtight container in the fridge for a few days.

Nutritional Information

In terms of calories and macros, a cup of herbal tea with no added sweetener has so few calories as to render it inconsequential. Most calorie trackers will register it as zero calories, but some may show up as two calories with less than a gram of carbohydrates in a standard 8oz cup.

Like most herbal teas, goldenrod contains no caffeine. Feel free to drink it throughout the day without fear of jitters or unintended late nights. Add it to your routine as a moment of mindfulness. Take a break to enjoy a warm, delicious cup of goldenrod tea in the late afternoon or right before bed.

Health Benefits

The main draw of goldenrod tea is the reported health benefits. Goldenrod is an anti-inflammatory and a diuretic. It is a common remedy for inflammatory-based conditions such as eczema or joint pain.

Goldenrod contains saponins and flavonoid antioxidants which can be beneficial to our health. Saponins can inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria and possess anticancer and anti-inflammatory effects.

Flavonoid antioxidants help protect from free radical damage. Free radical damage contributes to many chronic conditions such as heart disease and cancer. Goldenrod has a higher antioxidant activity level than green tea or vitamin C, making it an incredibly effective anti-inflammatory.

Goldenrod’s most established benefit is its diuretic effects. Many brands include goldenrod in their detox teas for “flushing out” the kidneys and liver. It’s also used in Europe to treat urinary tract infections and prevent kidney stones.

While there are test-tube and animal studies to back up its benefits, human studies are still few and far between. Always consult your doctor when adding a new supplement to your routine. Goldenrod can cause allergic reactions. In too high doses or too frequent use, it can cause gastrointestinal issues. Goldenrod may interact with certain medications due to its diuretic element.

Conclusion

Goldenrod tea can be a delicious and healthy addition to your drink rotation. Its earthy and mildly sweet licorice flavor is the perfect late summer drink to take a break in the afternoon. Drink it just for the taste, or take the extra steps to treat it like a supplement in your routine. Be sure to always discuss with your doctor before adding new supplements.