Plant Profile: Solomon's Seal


Solomon Seal
(European: Polygonatum biflorum; American: Polygonatum biflorum)



Family: LILIACEAE 
Energetics: Cooling. Moistening 
Taste: Sweet 
Tissue States: Atrophy 
Parts Used: Root 
Systems affected:  Lungs, Musculoskeletal, Reproductive
Key Components: Convallarin. Asparagin. Gum. Sugar. Starch. Pectin. 
Preparations & dosage: Decoction. Tincture: 5-15 drops or as many as 30 drops 2-5 times per day. Liniment. Herbal oil. 
Properties: Astringent. Demulcent. Tonic.  
Uses: Strengthening bones, marrow & tendons. Lubricates tendons, ligaments, muscle & joints. Removing bone spurs. Specific for supporting joints, not in joint capsule, but in ligaments (ball & socket joints such as shoulders and hips) where there’s too much tension or laxity. Normalized the tension of ligaments by supporting blood profusion to the ligaments. Invaluable connective tissue anti-inflammatory. It also seems specific when there is inadequate lubrication in the joint (which can be felt and sometimes even heard). Good for older dogs with arthritis (powdered in food). Postpartum can be used as oil or internally tincture 3 drops 3x per day to support ligaments returning to themselves. Supports ligaments at the zone out of their attachment point of the spine. People typically notice a change in a few days with 3 drops of tincture 3x per day. Useful for repetitive use injuries such as carpal tunnel, tendonitis, arthritis associated with old injuries, calcifications. Can also apply topically. Kids with whooping cough to bring blood flow where there is stagnation in the lungs. Intestinal inflammation. Builds up the colon flora. Said to have townifying effect on both male and female sexual/reproductive systems. Tightens tendons that hold up  the uterus and in this way can be a remedy in some cases of uterine prolapse. Increases semen. Helpful for premature ejaculation. for erysipelas, give a strong decoction every 2-3 hours while also applying topically. 
Solomon's Seal is the most useful remedy for treating injuries to the musculoskeletal system such as: broken bones, sprains, injured tendons and ligaments, tendonitis, arthritis, dryness in joints and "slipped"/herniated discs. Solomon's Seal can restore the correct tension to ligaments whether they need to be tightened or loosened. Valuable remedy for sports & activity related injuries, used either before resorting to or along with conventional surgical procedures. Can possibly help prevent the need for surgery or speed healing post surgery. 

Combinations: Wonderful as a base to build formulas upon. Combine with St. John’s Wort when nerves are involved. Combine with Mullein Root when there is a misalignment. Combine with Horsetail for healing bones & cartilage. Black Cohosh for dull, achy, inflammatory pain or whiplash. Goldenseal for disc injuries, Arnica (topically) for pain from injuries. Teasel for muscle injuries & tears. Blue Vervain if there's a lot of tension in the nape of the neck & upper shoulders (especially if it results from rigid, self imposed idealism). Yarrow if there is bruising, blood stagnation or, conversely, bleeding. Lobelia if there are severe muscle spasms. Combine with milky oat, fenugreek & burdock for Male infertility.  
Indications: Inflammation associated with heat and dryness. 
Essential Oil: N/A
Growing: A very hardy plant. Prefers light soil and a shady spot as it is a native of woodsy areas. In these conditions it will spread happily. You can collect the seeds in Fall and sow them immediately. They should happily germinate in the Spring. You can transplant or divide the roots. This can safely be done at any time but is a task best undertaken in the fall after the stalks have died back. 








Collection: Collect rhizomes (looks like a bone or knuckle) in fall. Tincture fresh in High proof alcohol such as ever clear or in rubbing alcohol (for external use). 
Here is a great video of Herbalist Jim McDonald demonstrating how to sustainably harvest Solomon Seal Root so that it keeps the plant in tact and has potential to actually help the plant spread. After, he also shows how you can tell the difference between True and False Solomon Seal:


Contraindications/Warnings: Seeds are toxic. Berries and leaves are knwon to cause nausea & vomiting. Be aware that Some say that False Solomon’s Seal and Bellflower can often be mistaken for True Solomon’s Seal. However when in flower it is clearly obvious the difference... 

                           True Solomon's Seal                                     False Solomon's Seal
                          (Polygonatum biflorum)                                 (Smilacina Racemosa) 

Bellflower
(Campanula rapunculoides)
I'll be honest with you here, I really don't see how this can be confused with either of the above, but some say otherwise so just in case ,here it is...)

Sources: 

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