Golden ragwortor

Golden ragwortor

Golden ragwort

Golden ragwort is a broadleaf, perennial which grows on mountainous fields, and along mountainsides, where it has been considered by some as a pest. Yet, if these same meadows are being used as fuel sources, they are a valuable resource to agriculture. For centuries, the root systems of golden ragwort were the main source of heating in some locations.There’s a lot of concern about using golden ragwort as medicine, because it contains chemicals called hepatotoxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs), which may block blood flow in the veins and cause liver damage. Hepatotoxic PAs might also cause cancer and birth defects. Golden ragwort preparations that are not certified and labeled “hepatotoxic PA-free” are considered UNSAFE.It’s also UNSAFE to apply golden ragwort to broken skin. The dangerous chemicals in golden ragwort can be absorbed quickly through broken skin and can lead to dangerous body-wide toxicity. Steer clear of skin products that aren’t certified and labeled “hepatotoxic PA-free.” There isn’t enough information to know if it’s safe to apply golden ragwort to unbroken skin.


The appropriate dose of golden ragwort depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for golden ragwort. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.Flowers form in a cluster, often flat across the top in profile, on slender stalks, most of which are attached at the tip of the stem though several stalks may form along upper stem and a few stalks may be branched. Small sharp scale-like bracts attend the base of each stalk as well as on the stalk itself. Flowers are about ¾ inch across, daisy like with golden yellow centers and 8 to 13 yellow rays (petals). The narrow floral bracts are often tinged with purple at the tips.

The most distinguishing characteristics are with the basal leaves: the leaf blades of P. pseudaurea are smaller, rarely over 1½ inches long, they are typically held erect, not angled or horizontal, and the base of the leaf is flat or weakly heart-shaped rather than strongly heart-shaped. Some references note the floral bracts of P. pseudaurea are green, not purple tinged, but we found they can be purple tinged as well.Golden ragwort is a native perennial in the Asteraceae (daisy) family. It is found growing in forests, swamps, ravines, or riparian areas in eastern North America to Texas as an herbaceous flowering plant. Plant it in full sun to partial shade in average medium to wet soils. It forms thick spreading mats and in the spring it sends up stalks of bright yellow flowers that attract many pollinators. The blooms will even appear in the shade adding some much needed brightness to darker spots in the landscape. The flowers can look unkempt after they die so cut them down to the leafy base of the plant or leave the seeds for birds. Allow it to naturalize in the landscape, use as a ground cover in shady wet areas, or along a border, in a bog, butterfly, or rain garden. (Source: plants.ces.ncsu.edu)




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