The Goldenseal of Approval


“Feets good!” Richard Beck called out to Vi as our two teams passed her stationary beside the snowmobile along the 50 mile trail of the Yellowknife Canadian Championship Dog Derby.

Bronson Beck

Richard Beck used glycerin to protect his dogs’ feet.

At the time of the ’74 Iditarod Preparation H and a copper solution Kopertox were among the treatments to protect and heal sled dog foot problems.

Chilean veterinarian Marcelo Riquelme recommended a commercial product Plastibase derived from a medicinal herb, gotu kola, Centella Asiatica, for skin repair, healing cuts and wounds.

I covered most of the “prior art” here:

Since that article I found two other herbal remedies to recommend, Aloe vera (or other aloes such as more cold-hardy and possibly more potent Aloe arborescens which can be grown as easily as Aloe vera), and Goldenseal, Hydrastis Canadensis. Both can be used as powder or in water.

One of my dogs had an ulcer on the top of the wrist that would not respond to any of the medications I tried over many months. Licking the sore probably contributed to the problem. Finally a Goldenseal root water extract that I made had immediate results. It promotes healing and deters licking because Goldenseal is extremely bitter.

I have used Goldenseal on many other cuts and sores since then. This is the most extreme example:


The photo shows the ulcer already much improved! Because when I first noticed, it looked so bad I was sickened myself to look at it. I thought the bare hip bone was exposed in the area that shows as a deeper and darker scab. So I began to spray the Goldenseal on twice a day.



The sequence covers about one month.


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