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Let’s Talk About: Goldenrod Recipes and Remedies

Amber Shehan October 6, 2013

Goldenrod is everywhere - waving at me from above the blue and purple chicory, teasing me, dancing behind the brown grasses drying in the autumn sun.

goldenrod skyscraper

Goldenrod, Solidago, Golden Dagger!

Many people take one look at goldenrod and run in the other direction, sneezing and coughing, but goldenrod is NOT the source of your autumnal allergies.  Poor, showy goldenrod has bright and obvious flowers, so it gets blamed. The big, yellow flowers do not have airborne pollen, so you’d have to put the flowers IN your nose to cause a reaction (watch out for hornets).

The plant to blame for sniffles and sneezes is ragweed – this sneaky plant is small, green, and unassuming, but the pollen blown on the breeze irritates many, many people.  Ragweed and goldenrod do tend to grow near each other in ditches and fields, hence the confusion. Here’s more about Ragweed vs. Goldenrod from the Herbal Academy.

The worst part of this confusion is that goldenrod is a cure that grows alongside the ailment. It actually offers great relief for sinus allergy sufferers.

Besides allergy relief, goldenrod is also a gentle nervine and helps with midwinter blues.  As a tincture, honey, or tea, goldenrod is like a burst of sunshine in the cold grey seasons!

Goldenrod – friend and not foe to seasonal allergy sufferers

The bushy yellow flowers are broom-like, so it is no surprise that goldenrod is a great sweeper, a cleanser for the kidneys, liver, and urinary tract.  I use it as a complementary herb for mild urinary tract infections and kidney stones, as well as to flush the urinary organs after an illness.

Goldenrod is a tasty medicine if you ask me.  It is a bitter aromatic and has a citrus quality to its scent and flavor.  This especially comes out in the goldenrod infused honey (recipe below).

Harvest fresh goldenrod flowers, stems, and leaves by snipping them off in full bloom.  The roots are also beneficial, but best harvested after the first frost.  Before using fresh goldenrod in any of these preparations, I suggest that you check them well – like Queen Anne’s Lace, the flowers are happy little bug condominiums.  Goldenrod spiders, flies, bees, and wasps all enjoy spending time among the fluffy blooms.

Goldenrod Recipes and Remedies

Goldenrod honey and Goldenrod Tincture: make some for yourself!

Goldenrod Flower Infused Honey

This is particularly good by the spoonful or added to tea to help ease allergies or to soothe a sore throat from sinus drainage.

Take fresh goldenrod cuttings and pull the flowers off of the stems.  Fill your desired jar with the fluffy, yellow flowers.  Pour honey into the jar, using a chopstick to gently stir the flowers – your aim is to get as many air bubbles out as you can.

Seal the jar up and put it in a sunny window for a week. Don’t open it, but give it a shake or turn it upside down once a day to make sure the flowers are under the honey.  The honey will become runny as it absorbs the moisture from the flowers.  Finally, strain it, label it, and store it in the fridge so it doesn’t ferment or mold. (More infused honey here!)

You can toss the strained, honey-soaked flowers or pour boiling water over them to make a very sweet tea. If you pour vodka over them and let them sit for a week or two in a jar, you’ll have goldenrod cordial! No waste here! (Learn more about cordials and liqueurs!)

Goldenrod Tincture

This is my go-to for sinus allergy treatment year-round.  I’ve done a whole dropperful twice daily for intense sinus issues, and I have heard of others who add it to their water for drinking all day.

Chop fresh goldenrod flowers, roots, leaves, and stems and put them into a jar.  Cover with booze of choice (I use vodka) and cap the jar.

Label the jar with the date and contents – trust me, you just might forget if you don’t.  Put the jar in a cabinet somewhere out of the light, and shake it every now and again.  I tend to let mine sit for about 6 weeks, and then I strain and bottle.

Goldenrod begins to bloom around early August at Lughnasadh, and I use the blooms in vases on altar tops and tables in honor of Lugh and the golden light of autumn as the first harvest is celebrated.

Fresh goldenrod flowers turn to fluffy seeds once dried. Don’t bother trying to dehydrate it, just use goldenrod fresh when at all possible.

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Amber Shehan

Hi! I'm Amber Pixie, and this is my site. Enjoy the recipes, information, posts, and please feel free to message me if you have questions!


  1. Christeen Grave on February 27, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    I am looking to see if the is something that can be put together to help out BIPOLAR DISORDER???

    • amberpixi on February 27, 2014 at 2:47 pm

      Christeen: While I know that ALL health, mental and physical, can be improved by a good, natural diet with low sugar and herbs to support, I am not familiar with any herbal assistance for Bipolar disorder. As much as I tend not to be fond of pharmaceuticals, I have a few good friends whose lives have been improved by them for similar issues.

      While there are a lot of website out there that claim they can answer your question, I would avoid that and recommend that you try to find a holistic doctor, a licensed herbalist, or other professional that you can work with on a regular basis to assist! Many blessings to you, and I hope you find your answers!

  2. […] Firstly, I go outside, with a field guide in hand to learn how to identify plants.  I don’t spray my yard, because I eat my weeds!  Dandelion is a blood cleanser, high in iron, and bitter but tasty from root to flower.  Chickweed is a great spring green to eat, and it helps heal cysts and skin issues. Violet leaves, those pretty heart shaped green leaves, are great in a salad, and the little flowers are edible and high in Vitamin A!  Ginger is tasty, but also has medicinal benefits, so does Catnip, Peppermint, and Goldenrod. […]

  3. […] allergies kick up in the fall around the time Ragweed is blooming, the answer might be goldenrod!  I’ve written about goldenrod before, and how it is often mistaken for the cause of allergies, when it is actually a cure!  Like […]

  4. Christina on September 30, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    Thank you so much for this! It grows all around me and I had no idea it was benificial!! I ran across another page that suggests soaking it ACV to make a winter tonic for sickness, what are your thoughts on making both and then combining them?

    • Amber Shehan on October 1, 2014 at 1:26 pm

      Hi, Christina, thanks for your question. Ooh, a double goldenrod oxymel! Sure! Have you ever combined the two before, honey and vinegar? They make a great combination, for sure. It is nearly a salad dressing on its own! I bet that ends up to be wonderful.

  5. Cindy Green on January 10, 2015 at 2:38 am

    Did you ever make goldenrod wine? Would love a recipe!!!

    • Amber Shehan on January 10, 2015 at 9:29 am

      Hmm…I do have that recipe written up, but not polished. I best get to it! 🙂 Thanks for the reminder, Cindy!

    • Ashley on September 21, 2020 at 1:14 pm

      I just loved this article I’ve been trying to figure out what those beautiful yellow flowers were and if they had medicinal purposes. I’ve been thinking about making my own herbal medicine thank you this article was very informative.

  6. […] Goldenrod […]

  7. Cindy Green on August 13, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    I would love to have your recipe for goldenrod wine…I have tons growing here and have made tinctures with it in the past and dried it to add to teas and such…love the stuff!!!

    • Amber Shehan on August 13, 2015 at 4:44 pm

      Cindy – It’ll be a few months before I can share the recipe – I have to make it, try it, and know that it is any good first! 🙂 I’ve done similar herb wines though, maybe some of the recipes or techniques on my one gallon mead and wine page might help? http://www.pixiespocket.com/one-gallon-mead-recipes

      If you get to trying it before I do, you let me know how it works, deal? 🙂

  8. jane on August 16, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    Do you have a recipe using goldenrod for dying fabric or yarn. Love your site, so much great information.


  9. Lisa M on September 24, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    Great information! my sinuses are killing me right now……do you know if it would help if I made a tea from the flowers?

    Thanks for linking up with Green Thumb Thursday. I hope to see you back this week.


    • Amber Shehan on September 24, 2015 at 1:17 pm

      It might help ease your symptoms, especially if you pair it with dried (or fresh) nettles in the tea! I hope you feel better, I know a lot of ragweed allergy sufferers are unhappy right now. <3

  10. Charlotte on December 12, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    Im eager to know where to get Goldenrod, as well as all these other medicinal herbs. Does anyone know where to buy live plants, instead of dried?…in/near Houston, TX

    • Amber Shehan on December 14, 2015 at 11:05 am

      Hello Charlotte! I am lucky enough to have Goldenrod all over my yard, roadsides, and meadows from late July to early October! If there isn’t a place in your area that has goldenrod, you might try Richter’s Herbs or a plant/seed swap site like Earthineer!

      I hope that helps!

  11. Meg on December 14, 2015 at 10:23 am

    I have goldenrod vinegar that has been macerating for over a year now. It is delicious on salads! And the yellow pollen floating around makes it look like a autumnal snowglobe 🙂

    • Amber Shehan on December 14, 2015 at 11:35 am

      That sounds delicious, Meg! 😀

  12. […] also love the looks of this goldenrod honey recipe from Pixie’s Pocket and how Plain & Joyful Living used goldenrod to dye […]

  13. f. humphreys on July 11, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    love reading about all your brews and other concoctions. wonder if you can help with this: my mom made ” wines ” from blackberries and also from red currents. all I remember she’d carry the bottles from the front windows with morning sun, to the back window sills, with afternoon sun. this was in the Netherlands 50-60 years ago, not known for being sunny and warm all summer. so it was important for the bottles to be in the sunniest spots. I imagine she used yeast, sugar etc, too late to ask questions…. you have any idea how I can try to repeat this? thank you!

    • Amber Shehan on July 11, 2016 at 7:01 pm

      Oh, a mystery! I wonder if she was doing wild yeasts or if she kept a culture going? Do you remember what sort of bottle she used? Did they have a lid on them, or cloth?

      With what I’ve learned of brewing, you’re supposed to keep the fermenting bottles out of the sunlight, but perhaps that was an easy way to keep the brew warm enough to ferment! Let me see what else I can find out! 😀

  14. Anonymous on September 19, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    She probably didn t use any yeast just let the heat ferment for her

  15. Pamela F on September 29, 2017 at 1:05 am

    I am currently adding Goldenrod to my herbal apothecary and was wondering where you found the information on goldenrod being a gentle nervine. I’m interested in using it this way but can’t seem to find any sources that have this herbal action listed (I know that many sites/sources often only list the primary actions or the actions things are best known for). Thanks!

    • Amber Shehan on September 29, 2017 at 10:05 am

      Thank you for checking in! I need to get better about putting references and bibliographies at the end of my posts.

      The calming response is one that I have noticed myself, in application. The bright, yellow flowers are cheering when consumed as an infusion with honey, especially!
      Some other sources where I learned it to be a gentle nervine:


      I hope that helps! 🙂

      • Patti O’Neill on September 21, 2020 at 5:44 am

        I have recently introduced goldenrod to help with allergic like responses. I have an auto immune disease and medication sensitive. I am doing herbals at home with some success. I have found if I sip tea throughout the day up to 2 cup dose per day it does have a calming feel that comes along with it. I didn’t find taking one dose in the morning to do me all day Brought on the same. Going to try infused honey x 3tsp throughout day. Thanks for the recipe.

  16. Foraging & Using Goldenrod on May 24, 2019 at 11:46 am

    […] also love the looks of this goldenrod honey recipe from Pixie’s Pocket and how Plain & Joyful Living used goldenrod to dye […]

  17. Jeannie on August 4, 2019 at 8:55 pm

    Can I use dried herbs for the tincture? TIA!

    • Amber Pixie on August 12, 2019 at 10:41 pm

      In my experience, goldenrod is far more powerful fresh. When it is dried, it goes to fluffy seed heads and that doesn’t work near as well.

  18. Nancy Hess on October 10, 2020 at 11:05 am

    Help! For the first time I harvested golden rod and thought I needed to add a little more vodka. It barely reached the top. I was going to go this morning to get some more. When I looked at the jar this morning the top of the golden rod is black. Is that normaL/ Do I need to refrigerate it? If I skim off the black stuff at the top, is it still ok?

  19. Stephanie on August 3, 2021 at 8:44 am

    Can I use just the leaves? I harvested some from a friends filed before they flowered but I knew I wouldn’t be back to get them when they bloomed.

    • Amber Pixie on August 8, 2021 at 3:07 pm

      I have used the leaves in tandem with the flowers. It’s the above-ground parts of the plant that are medicinal. I hope that helps! 🙂

  20. Holly Lewis on August 28, 2022 at 2:15 pm

    Can you make jelly from goldenrod? I’ve made both red and white clover jelly rose petal honeysuckle and dandelion so I am curious how goldenrod would do

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