Learn: Foraging for Goldenrod

It’s amazing what you can find in the wilderness when you just open your eyes. Before this foraging-filled summer, I had never even noticed goldenrod (which I can’t begin to understand now). A friend of mine posted about it on Facebook, and after that, I realized it was EVERYWHERE.

Seriously, this plant comes up in some of the strangest places in Iowa. I collected bags and bags of it late this summer to make tinctures, salves and tea. I even gave a bunch to a crafty friend of mine to brew some beer with. (Crafty, beer, craft beer – get it?) (I have no sense of humor.)

Anyway, goldenrod has several healing properties:
-Healthy doses of the tincture or tea daily can help keep your bladder and urinary system toned. Because of this, it can be helpful for women with urinary tract infections.
-Goldenrod oil or salve can be used to treat wounds and burns.
-Making some goldenrod tea can help with a sore throat, runny nose, or seasonal allergies.

The easiest thing to do with goldenrod is make a tea because all it involves is drying and storing.

Here’s my process:

1. When I gather goldenrod in the wild outdoors, I make a cut that will allow regrowth for the plant (even though it grows like a weed). Just leave some stem and the root. You can use the leaves and flowers of this plant.

2. To dry, I hang them in small bunches upside-down in a well-ventilated area where there isn’t a lot of direct sunlight. The picture below shows a lot of direct sunlight for photo purposes, but I had a tapestry to cover the windows and limit the amount of sunlight.goldenrod3. Every herb is different, but I left the goldenrod up to dry for almost a week. When the plant is dry to the touch and crumbles between your fingers, you can be pretty certain it’s good to go.

4. After that, detach the parts of the plant you want to keep and store in airtight containers in a cool, dark place. I generally use mason jars and keep the herbs in the cupboard, but you can go as far as using dark brown glass jars as well.

5. Label your jar with the date. From what I’ve read, these herbs last for up to a year. Possibly longer, but if they lose their color and aroma, there’s a good chance you don’t have much use for them anymore.golden1


Here are some more detailed links that helped me with my goldenrod creations:

For identifying, benefits, and creations-
For identifying-
For salve and oil making-

Happy foraging!


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