Goldenthread also known as Coptis is an herb. The underground stem (rhizome) is used to make medicine. The root is harvested in autumn and used in herbal medicine much like its relative goldenseal and is native to both Asia and North America.
Goldenthread can be found in the form of capsules, ointments, powders and also tinctures and can be used to make poultices and compresses a plant from the Berberidaceae family. Coptis is used to treat gastrointestinal disorders due to its abilities to work as anti-diarrheal and stomachic agent.
Moreover, it has analgesic and pain-relieving properties, thus helping sooth abdominal cramps and muscle aches. Some people believe the herb can treat skin conditions, such as acne, burns, abscesses, and boils.
One of the main and the most valuable and beneficial component of Coptis is said to beberberine with its abilities to lower blood sugar levels, stop the replication of cancerous cells, increase the production of saliva, bile, gastric and pancreas juices, as well as kill various parasites.
Compresses and poultices from Coptis are used to fight skin conditions, while mouth washes and gargles may help in the treatment of sore throats, canker sores, swollen gums, and toothache.
When Coptis is added to bath water, it augments the ability of the skin to soak up 5-fluorouracil, a medicine that is employed to treat actinic keratosis which is a precancerous condition of the skin; as well as basal cell carcinoma which is a type of skin cancer.
Coptis is also a useful natural medication for women suffering from pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) and the herb also possesses attributes that alleviate pain, for instance easing stomach cramps that are related with this health condition.
There are no known toxicities related with this herb, even though it is part of a family of toxic herbs. People are advised to use this plant with caution. Women who are pregnant are specifically warned against using it because it has been reported to cause uterine contractions leading to miscarriage of the baby.