Golden Ragwort Identification:
Golden Ragwort is a perennial herb indigenous to North America. The stems are erect and smooth, solitary or tufted, 1/2 to 2-1/2 feet high. The basal leaves, which are 1 to 6 inches long, are heart-shaped or kidney- Golden Ragwort Flower
shaped with long stems and often purplish underneath. The lower stem leaves are lance-shaped and deeply cut and the upper most leaves are small and clasping. The flower heads, from two-thirds of an inch to about one inch broad, with yellow rays and brownish disks grow in terminal corymbs.
Family: Compositae (Sunflower family)
Flowers: March – July
Parts Used: Leaves & roots.
Habitat: In marshes, along streams and in other moist areas. Newfoundland to Florida and west to Wisconsin and Texas.
Other Names: Cocosh weed, coughweed, golden groundsel,
grundy swallow, golden senecio, ragwort, squaw weed.
Constituents: Pyrrolizidine alkaloids (senecifoline, senecine, florosenine, otosenine, floridanine), eremophilane sesquiterpenes, resins.
Properties: Anti-inflammatory, Astringent, diaphoretic, Diuretic, Emmenagogue, Expectorant, Febrifuge, Pectoral, Uterine Tonic.
Main Uses: Golden Ragwort is used as a uterine tonic, for delayed or absent menstruation. It is also used to ease menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and nervous and emotional upset. Topically, it may by used as a douche in the treatment of leucorrhoea.
It has a reputation as a general tonic for debilitated states and conditions such as tuberculosis.
Preparation and Dosages:
Infusion: Pour a cup of boiling water onto 1 to 3 teaspoonfuls of the dried herb and leave to infuse for 10 to 15 minutes. This should be taken three times a day.
Tincture: [1:5, 50% alcohol] 30 to 90 drops.
Caution CAUTION! Many ragworts (Senecio species) contain highly toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids. Large doses may harm the liver, and this herb should only be used under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. It should be avoided during pregnancy. It contains alkaloids which are known to be poisonous to livestock.