Goldenseal is an herb indigenous to North America. According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, goldenseal plants are endangered in the wild, but are grown commercially in farms. The extracts of the roots are used for a variety of health conditions, but insufficient evidence about goldenseal prevents it from being a widely used herb in the medical community.
Americans Indians used goldenseal root for external ulcers, gonorrhea and skin conditions, according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Since then, goldenseal root extract has been used as an alternative form of treatment for such external diseases. The center explains that other external uses include canker sores, eye infections and wound treatment.
Goldenseal root is an alternative form of respiratory infection treatment. According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the herb is also used to treat colds. Natural practitioners use goldenseal root extract for a variety of other internal diseases. The American Cancer Society states that such uses include urinary tract infection, tuberculosis, menstrual pains, colitis and ringing in the ears.