Polygonatum biflorum, multiflorum or odoratum
King Solomon’s Seal, American Solomon’s Seal, Great Solomons Seal, Sealwort, Small Solomon’s Seal, and He shou wu, Mahmeda, Yu-zhu. Polygonatum means “many jointed” referring to the rhizomes which are twisted and full of knots. The Cherokee ate the roots and used the ground roots to make bread.
Habitat and Growing Conditions:
Solomon’s Seal is closely related to Lilly-of-the-Valley and is Native to North America, found along roadsides, in rich, moist woodland soil and thickets. Solomon’s seal has been introduced widely around the world as mainly ornamental. Solomon’s Seal is a perennial plant with thick, fleshy roots with an erect, curved, angular stem with alternate, longitudinally ribbed, outward-pointing leaves along its stem. Also along its stem are white to greenish, tubular, bell-shaped flowers that hang in clusters from the bottom of the stem. Although the plant is quite hardy, it has not been widely cultivated, so wildcrafting and small growers supply most of the herb for commercial use.
Root and rhizome.
Cool and moist.
Demulcent, anti-inflammatory, astringent, mild laxative, mild diuretic, and cardiovascular tonic.
Used for tendonitis, rheumatism, arthritis, and other muscular-skeletal injuries such as torn ligaments, injured tendons, and supporting the repair of broken bones. This herb is nutritive to the muscular system including the heart muscle where it acts as a gentle tonic. Due to Solomon’s Seal demulcent properties, it is also useful in dry inflamed conditions of the lungs and the digestive system. Polygonatum odoratum is mainly used for lung, sinus, and throat conditions.
Convallamarin, convallarin, quercitol, gum, sugar, starch, pectin, and vitamin A.
All aerial parts of Solomon’s Seal are poisonous. No other contraindications are known.
2-4 grams of dried herb per day. If taking it twice a day put 2g of dried herb in 1 cup boiling water, cover and steep for 15 minutes and then drink. You can take Solomon’s Seal in the morning as a laxative.
1:3 herbal tincture: 10 drops to 1 dropper-full, when needed but no more than 3 x day.
I had a client who had fallen and torn the muscles in their lower back, it was very painful for her. I advised her to rub in Solomon’s Seal Cream when needed but to also take 10 drops of Solomon’s Seal tincture 3 x day. Due to the nature of the fall and the extreme pain she was experiencing we ended up using 1 dropper-full 3 x day and it worked well. She was back to work a lot quicker than her physiotherapist expected. I do let my clients know that the dried Solomon’s Seal root that I purchase is organically grown in the USA on a small permaculture farm. Treat it like gold and only use it when needed so we allow the plant to replenish naturally.
A Modern Herbal by Mrs. M. Grieve p: 749
The Earthwise Herbal by Matthew Wood p: 397.
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