Chestnut Herbal School

Goldenrod Uses:
A Round-Up of Herbal Recipes + Resources

Written by Meghan Gemma
Photographed by Juliet Blankespoor
(except where credited)

Goldenrod Uses: A Round-Up of Herbal Recipes + Resources.

Among herbal wildflowers, goldenrod (Solidago spp.) has grown itself a special place in our hearts. Lighting up the late summer landscape with a warm glow, this native North American herb has an endearing repertoire of gifts: it’s a natural dye plant, an edible and medicinal herb, and a nectary flower for pollinators. Goldenrod’s uses are myriad and remarkable.

In homage, we’re placing inspirational information about this golden bloom directly in your hands! We’ve rounded up our favorite articles on using, preparing, and getting to know goldenrod. 

Before browsing, I highly recommend listening to this song about Solidago by Josh Fox!

Handmade botanically dyed quilt using goldenrod, turmeric, onion, and sumac. Quilt, dyes, and photo by Kiva Motnyk of Thompson Street Studio.

Handmade botanically dyed quilt using goldenrod, turmeric, onion, and sumac. Quilt, dyes, and photo by Kiva Motnyk of Thompson Street Studio.

Dyeing with Goldenrod

Goldenrod’s flowers yield a warm yellow dye that brings the color of soft autumn sunshine to cotton, wool, and silk fabrics. I recommend this tutorial on dyeing with goldenrod by Salt in My Coffee. You can also pick up wonderful information on making successful plant dyes with master dyer Rebecca Desnos.

Goldenrod Cornbread to Hail Harvest Season by Miss Wondersmith.

Goldenrod Cornbread to Hail Harvest Season. Photo by Miss Wondersmith.

Goldenrod Recipes

Goldenrod has a wonderful resiny flavor that infuses beautifully into tea, honey, and baked goods. It can be imbibed or eaten for both medicine and pleasure. The blooms and leaves can also be used to craft medicinal oils and salves for topical use on the skin (see our article on making calendula oils and salves and swap in goldenrod flowers and leaves). These are a few of the most enticing goldenrod recipes I’ve encountered:

Holding Onto Gold: A Tea for Darker Days by Miss Wondersmith.

Holding Onto Gold: A Tea for Darker Days. Miss Wondersmith.

Goldenrod Ecology and Ethnobotany

Goldenrod Benefits: The Bee’s Knees for Allergies, Sinus Infections, and Urinary Tract Infections. Check it out! This is a special sneak peek from our Online Herbal Immersion, and it includes detailed information on identifying, gathering, preparing, and using goldenrod. 


Goldenrod and Asters: My Life With Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer. This is an excerpt from Kimmerer’s heart-stirring book, Braiding Sweetgrass. I recommend her book and writing to just about everyone! She is a plant ecologist, writer, professor, and citizen of the Potawatomi Nation.

Goldenrod (Solidago spp.).

Goldenrod (Solidago spp.).

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.

Meghan Gemma of Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine.

MEGHAN GEMMA is one of  Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine's primary instructors through her written lessons, sharing herbal and wild foods wisdom from the flowery heart of the school to an ever-wider field of herbalists, gardeners, healers, and plant lovers.

She began her journey with the Chestnut School in 2010—as an intern and manager at the Chestnut Herb Nursery and then as a plant-smitten student “back in the day” when the school’s programs were taught in the field, and later she became part of the school’s writing team. Meghan lives in the Ivy Creek watershed, just north of Asheville, North Carolina.

Interested in becoming a contributor?


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Are you intrigued with the idea of foraging but intimidated by where to start?

Gain confidence with our Online Foraging Course!

The course begins with the basic ground rules of foraging safety and ethics, and then moves on to botany and plant identification. Before you know it, you’ll have the skills and confidence to safely identify and harvest wild plants.

You’ll befriend THE most common edible and medicinal wayside plants, including dandelion, stinging nettles, violet, yarrow, burdock, rose, goldenrod, and many others. The printable manual is hundreds of pages long and filled with close-up photos for identification, medicinal uses, and loads of easy-to-follow recipes. In fact, most of our plant profiles contain more detail than you’ll find in any book on wild foods and herbs.

Registration for the Foraging Course is currently closed,
but all of the content from this course is also included in our 1000 hour Herbal Immersion Program.

Sign up for free tutorials (videos + articles) on Foraging and herbal medicine, and to be notified when enrollment reopens.


Looking for more blog articles about goldenrod?

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

8 thoughts on “Goldenrod Uses: A Round-Up of Herbal Recipes + Resources

  1. I’ve always wanted to go to school to learn about herbs and possibly find a mentor. Unfortunately I’ve not got the money to pay for classes.

    • We hope you will be able to pursue your herb school dream, Lisa! If you receive our email newsletters, keep your eyes peeled for information about Chestnut School scholarships. The application period will open up again this fall.

    • Lindsay James says:

      Buy every plant identification and herb book you see in the thrift stores or yard sales; teach yourself the flowers and the rest TRULY is very easy. Skip the schooling and the $$$, teach yourself, it’s fun and very rewarding.

  2. I’m just getting into herbs to increase my immune system and relieve pain in my thumb joint from playing my guitar. I’m interested in the book you mentioned.

    • I hope you enjoy learning more about healing plants, Dave! I believe you were referring to Braiding Sweetgrass, and it really is a beautiful book. I hope you enjoy it!

    • Lindsay James says:

      Hey Dave,
      Sorry to hear about your thumb; I make a very strong Arnica Ointment that has had great feedback for healing. Email me if you’re interested; and bless your playing.

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