Survival Foraging: Goldenrod


Solidago species

Other Names: Woundwort, Blue mountain tea, Aaron’s rod


Habitat: Species of this plant can be found from Alaska to Canada to California.  They can be found in various areas from meadows to open woods to rocky soils.


Description:The Canadensis variety (Canadian Goldenrod) can reach heights from 1-5 feet with yellow flower clusters 3-5 inches across.


Edible Uses:  Leaves, Flowers and Seeds can be eaten


Summer:Leaves and Flowers

Late Summer: Seeds

Golden rod is a potherb, and can be added to soups and stews, to thicken soups, seeds can be added. Without adding in the medicinal effects a pleasant tea can be made from steeping the flowers and/or leaves and sweeten it with a bit of honey.  Blossoms can be added to pancakes and fritter as well as bread and biscuit doughs.


Other Uses: Powdered leaves can be sprinkled on shaving cuts as a styptic agent.  For insect bites and scrapes, apply fresh (crushed or chewed) leaves to relieve the pain or bothersome itch.  To make an antiseptic wound wash, strain goldenrod tea and splash the area with it.  You can add leaves to Herbal Salves for saddle sores or slight abrasions.  Goldenrod is also known for its use for kidneys and is safe for young children, and you can make herbal tinctures from the fresh blossoms to preserve these qualities for later use.

It has been said to use 1 teaspoon of dry leaves with one tablespoon of honey 3 times a day for ulcers and Herbal tea made from Goldenrod has a balanced content of minerals and is used for tuberculosis patients.  Facial steams and herbal baths can be made from the blossoms.

During the Crusades, Goldenrod was carried into battles as a wound dressing, and the name ‘woundwort’ stuck!

Europeans have long used the goldenrod as a border plant for their gardens and fields.


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