Like anything I harvest, I gather Goldenrod by the double handfuls of stems, while it’s newly opened flowers are bright yellow. There are so many things I use this common herb for;
I make a vinegar for enjoying all winter long over our greens. Fill a jar with flowers and leaves(stems are just fine, too) and then cover with apple cider vinegar. It’s ready in two weeks, but I just leave the plant material in all winter and strain into a more useable container for cooking. Not only is it tasty to add to your dishes, if taken as a remedy, Goldenrod helps relieve cold symptoms and boost your immune system. To offer this as a tasty tea for anyone who can use honey, Combine 1 Tablespoon of Goldenrod vinegar and 1 Tablespoon honey in a mug. Add hot water and stir. It’s soothing and relieves cold symptoms beautifully.
Another important use is as an herbal soak for warding off infection and helping with healing of wounds. I LOVE this use as it soothes and works very well. To make it, simmer 1/2 cup dried blooms and leaves in a cup of water for 10 min. Full disclosure: I grab a handful out of my gallon size glass jar and eyeball the water. It’s not a precise process. You are essentially making a strong tea. Cool it enough to not burn, but still be warm. Pour it into a coffee mug or tall glass to soak a finger, place it in a shallow dish to use with a piece of flannel for a compress, add it to a spray bottle to clean a wound. It’s a first line of defense for those ouchies and scrapes we all seem to get on the farm.
You can make an infused oil and use it as is, or add a little beeswax and make a salve. Great for achy muscles, Goldenrod works as alone or with other gentle muscle-soothing herbs like St. John’s Wort and Dandelion.
Goldenrod is one of those herbs that you see so often, you almost don’t notice it. That is so unfortunate because it has so many uses. I hope this inspires you to pick some and give it a chance!