Sunday, December 4, 2011

Foraged: Goldthread

My co-caretaker harvested some Coptis groenlandica from our backyard to make a tincture (I made the bottle's label). Goldthread is also known as Canker root. These golden roots belong to an evergreen plant in the buttercup family, and can be harvested even in the winter under a blanket of snow. Native Americans chewed this root for medicinal purposes and also made tea. An effective treatment, it became a popular indigenous drug with the colonists as well. Goldthread traditionally is used to treat mouth sores and thrush but is also used with digestive problems. It is sometimes used in combination with or substituted for goldenseal. Both have berberine, a bitter alkaloid with strong antibacterial qualities. The easiest way to make a tincture is to use 100 proof vodka, cover the roots completely, seal for 6 weeks and then strain.

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