Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis), also called orangeroot or yellow puccoon, is a perennial herb in the buttercup family Ranunculaceae, native to southeastern Canada and the eastern United States. It may be distinguished by its thick, yellow knotted rootstock. The stem is purplish and hairy above ground and yellow below ground where it connects to the yellow rhizome. The plant bears two palmate, hairy leaves with 5–7 double-toothed lobes and single, small, inconspicuous flowers with greenish white stamens in the late spring. It bears a single berry like a large raspberry with 10–30 seeds in the summer.
In herbal medicine, goldenseal is used as a multi-purpose remedy; however, there is little scientific evidence it works. Goldenseal has the following purported uses: control muscle spasms, treat cancer, stimulate the heart and increase blood pressure, treat gastrointestinal disorders, treat conjunctivitis, manage painful and heavy menstruation, treat infections topically, reduce swelling and edema. Goldenseal may be purchased in salve, tablet, tincture form, or as a bulk powder. Goldenseal is often used to boost the medicinal effects of other herbs with which it is blended or formulated.
A second species from Japan, previously listed as Hydrastis palmatum, is sufficiently distinct that it is now usually treated in a separate genus, as Glaucidium palmatum.