As of 2015, there is no scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of goldenseal as a diuretic, according to WebMD. Although proponents of natural medicine tout the dried root of the goldenseal herb for treating various conditions, there is little evidence of its efficacy for any of them.
Goldenseal grows along the Ohio River Valley and other locations throughout the northeastern United States, notes Drugs.com. It is a perennial herb with a single green-white flower, a hairy stem and wrinkled leaves. As it grows, it develops a red-seeded berry. Other names for goldenseal include yellowroot, eyebalm, jaundice root, Indian turmeric and ground raspberry.
In Native American medicine, the Cherokee, Iroquois and other tribes used goldenseal root as a diuretic, a stimulant, an insect repellent, and a wash for inflamed or sore eyes, notes Drugs.com. In addition, Native Americans used it to treat ulcers and wounds and to make yellow dye for use in various applications. Early settlers to the New World learned about the use of goldenseal as medicine, and late 19th century practitioners used it for treating urinary tract infections and gonorrhoea.
In the absence of clinical trials, the true effectiveness of goldenseal remains unknown, advises Drugs.com. Some companies incorporate it in various products, including cold and flu medications, where it purportedly suppresses mucus. Manufacturers also make goldenseal eyewash products and products for treating topical infections.