Chestnut Herbal School

Goldenrod Tea:
An Herbal Blend for Urinary Tract Infections

Written and Photographed by Juliet Blankespoor

Goldenrod Tea An Herbal Blend for Urinary Tract Infections

Need to get your urinary tract back on track? Goldenrod tea is helpful for addressing the symptoms and root cause (primarily bacterial infection) of urinary tract infections (UTIs). The herbs in this formula soothe inflamed urinary mucosal membranes through their demulcent, astringent, and anti-inflammatory actions. They are also antimicrobial as well as diuretic—they help flush out bacteria by promoting urination.

It’s important that the tea be drunk at room temperature, which augments the herbs’ diuretic effect. It is also prudent to take an immune-stimulating tincture—along with the tea—to enhance the body’s innate immune efforts in combating bacterial infection. Good immune-stimulating medicinals for UTIs include echinacea (Echinacea purpurea), spilanthes (Acmella oleracea), and usnea (Usnea spp.) Additionally, you can drink unsweetened cranberry and blueberry juice along with the tea. Avoid sugar and natural sweeteners until the infection clears.

Admiring a golden friend (Goldenrod - Solidago spp.) in the wild

Admiring a golden friend (Solidago spp.) in the wild

If the infection worsens or fails to clear up after three days, consult your healthcare provider—antibiotics may be necessary. If you develop a fever, lower back pain, or feel really sick and achy, you may have a kidney infection; seek immediate medical attention, as kidney infections have the potential to irreparably damage the kidneys and are best resolved by antibiotics, not herbs. 

Most UTIs are caused by bacteria found in the vagina or genitourinary tract (much rarer) but sometimes they are caused by a sexually transmitted infection (STI). If you have had unprotected sex, or your partner has potentially had unprotected sex, you’ll want to rule out an STI as the cause of infection.

Goldenrod Tea Recipe

Goldenrod tea is helpful for addressing the symptoms and root cause (primarily bacterial infection) of urinary tract infections (UTIs). It’s important that the tea be drunk at room temperature, which augments the herbs’ diuretic effect. Adults may drink up to 4 cups (32 ounces or 1 L) a day for up to one week. Avoid sugar and natural sweeteners until the infection clears.
Course Beverage
Yield 32 ounces


  • Mortar and pestle or coffee grinder
  • Small pot with lid
  • Tea strainer


  • 32 ounces water
  • 1 tablespoon goldenrod flower and leaf (Solidago spp.)
  • 1 tablespoon marshmallow root (Althaea officinalis)
  • 2 tablespoons corn silk (Zea mays)
  • tablespoons uva-ursi leaf (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)


  • The measurements in this blend are for dried cut and sifted herbs (store-bought). If you’re using homegrown or wildcrafted herbs—or fresh herbs—use larger quantities.
  • If the uva-ursi leaf is whole, crush it with a mortar and pestle or grind in a coffee grinder.
  • Add the uva-ursi and marshmallow root to water in a small pot. Simmer covered for twenty minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and add the corn silk and goldenrod. Infuse covered until the tea cools to room temperature and strain.


Do not use in pregnancy. If the infection worsens or fails to clear up after three days, consult your healthcare provider. If you are harvesting your own goldenrod, be sure to gather only true Solidago species because there are deadly look-alikes.
Keyword Goldenrod
Tried this recipe or have questions?Leave a comment!

See below for important precautions regarding uva-ursiFor more information on using goldenrod, please see our article on Goldenrod’s Medicinal Benefits.

Safety and Contraindications: Goldenrod tea can be overly drying as a beverage when used topically for people with a dry constitution, as it is diuretic, astringent, and decongestant. Short-term usage shouldn’t be a problem. Do not use in pregnancy. Although rare, goldenrod has caused allergic contact dermatitis after both handling and oral administration.1 Those with Asteraceae allergies should exercise caution with goldenrod. If you are harvesting your own goldenrod, be sure to gather only true Solidago species because there are deadly look-alikes (please see my in-depth article on goldenrod for details).

Herbs for UTIs (Urinary Tract Infections):
Co-Starring Herbal Featurettes

A bee pollinating goldenrod (Solidago spp.)

A bee pollinating goldenrod (Solidago spp.)

Goldenrod (Solidago spp.)

Goldenrod has a wonderful affinity for the urinary tract and is beneficial as a diuretic, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory herb to soothe urinary tract infections. The diuretic property of goldenrod is also helpful in addressing edema, gout, and kidney stones.

You can find information on goldenrod’s Safety and Contraindications above, and please take a peek at my article on goldenrod’s medicinal uses for even more information.

Marshmallow (Althaea officinalis)

Marshmallow (Althaea officinalis)

Marshmallow (Althaea officinalis)

Marshmallow’s demulcent roots and leaves have been used for medicine since ancient times. This perennial wildflower and garden herb is well-loved by herbalists for its soothing, demulcent properties, especially for addressing issues with the urinary, digestive, and respiratory tracts.

Marshmallow can be taken internally as a warm or cold infusion (tea), powder, or food herb (add to salads, smoothies, or just have a nibble).

Safety and Contraindications: Marshmallow has no known adverse side effects but some herbalists still caution about its use during pregnancy, as there are no studies confirming its safety.

Corn Silk (Zea Mays)

Corn Silk (Zea mays)

Corn Silk (Zea mays)

When shucking corn over the summer, save your corn silk, as it’s valuable medicine. Corn silk is one of my most treasured remedies for the urinary tract with its soothing, cooling, diuretic and anti-inflammatory properties. It helps to relieve urinary tract infections and also eases general urethral irritation, as in interstitial cystitis. It is better as a tea than a tincture, as its demulcent properties are not alcohol-soluble; plus, the extra fluid inherent in tea is helpful when working with urinary problems.

Safety and Contraindications: Only use the silk from organically-grown corn. No other known precautions.

Uva-Ursi (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)

Uva-Ursi (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)

Uva-Ursi (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)

Uva-ursi, also known as bearberry or kinnikinnick, is a native North American evergreen herb related to cranberry. In my experience, it’s the most useful antimicrobial and astringent remedy for UTIs. Of any herb, it’s the most likely to effectively throw off the bacteria causing an infection.

Safety and Contraindications: Uva-ursi is contraindicated in pregnancy and breastfeeding.1 Due to its high levels of tannins, uva-ursi should only be used on a short-term basis and is contraindicated in constipation, iron deficiency anemia, and malnutrition. GI irritation is possible due to tannins as well. Use cautiously in the presence of ulcers and inflammatory digestive conditions.1

Want to know even more about goldenrod? We share all about identifying, growing, gathering, and using this native wildflower here.




  1. Mills, S., and Bone, K. The Essential Guide to Herbal Safety (Elsevier Health Sciences, 2005).

Meet the Green Mastermind Behind Blog Castanea:

Juliet Blankespoor

JULIET BLANKESPOOR is the founder, primary instructor, and Creative Director of the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine, an online school serving thousands of students from around the globe. She's a professional plant-human matchmaker and bonafide plant geek, with a degree in botany and over 30 years of experience teaching and writing about herbalism, medicine making, and organic herb cultivation. Juliet’s lifelong captivation with medicinal weeds and herb gardening has birthed many botanical enterprises over the decades, including an herbal nursery and a farm-to-apothecary herbal products business. 

These days, she channels her botanical obsession through her writing and photography in her online programs, on her personal blog Castanea, and in her new book, The Healing Garden: Cultivating and Handcrafting Herbal Remedies. Juliet and her family reside in a home overrun with houseplants and books in Asheville, North Carolina.

Meet the Model:

Indy Srinanth

INDY SRINATH is a Los Angeles based urban gardener, mushroom cultivator, and food justice advocate. She’s committed to increasing organic food access and health literacy in underserved populations. Find her work on Instagram @indyofficinalis.

Interested in becoming a contributor?


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Looking for more blog articles about goldenrod?

Check out our golden guide to gathering, growing, and using fall’s most iconic wildflower.

3 thoughts on “Goldenrod Tea: An Herbal Blend for Urinary Tract Infections

  1. Hi JULIE
    Thank you for an amazing information my Husband is currently drinking Marshmallow roots mixed with warm water twice a week, he says is for boosting his immune system, is it safe to drink it for a long time.
    Hleziphi Chantel Makwela

    • Glad you’re enjoying it! Marshmallow has no known adverse effects. There have been cautions that marshmallow may delay absorption of some drugs when taken simultaneously, although there is no record of this occurring. To be safe, we recommend taking it at least an hour after any medications.

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