Amber Brisson, Certified Clinical Herbalist
Ruscaceae or Liliaceae
True Solomon's Seal is used in herbal medicine throughout Asia, Europe and North America. It is often classified as a sweet, neutral yin tonic and a moistening, and nourishing general tonic. It's lubricating and tonifying effects are beneficial for inflammation associated with dryness in the tendons, joints and ligaments. It has also traditionally been used as a demulcent nutritive that may soothe irritation of the mucosa lining in the lungs, gastrointestinal tract and both female and male reproductive systems.
Herbalist Jim McDonald has used Solomon's Seal as an herbal remedy for connective tissue inflammation, specifically to address arthritis, tendonitis, and repetitive stress injuries. Historically, Solomon's Seal has also been employed both internally and externally to aid in the knitting of bones and joints in both humans and animals. An external poultice of the root was traditionally used to temper severe bruising.
There is a long history dating back to the Native Americans of utilizing a decoction of Solomon's Seal to moderate inflammation of the intestines. Its tonifying actions in the gastrointestinal system have also customarily been used in cases of diarrhea where the nutritive effect of Solomon's Seal may also help a person to recover from a virus, bacterial or parasitic infection.
Because of Solomon's Seals historical use as a lubricating tonic for both male and female sexual systems, the internal use of this herb may benefit vaginal dryness, premature ejaculation and infertility. Herbalist Mathew Wood has also had great success with Solomon's Seal for uterine prolapse where it helped to tighten the tendons and hold up the uterus after an elder mother had given birth to her first child. He also says the following of this panacea herb, "It lubricates the heart and lungs, tones the abdomen, builds the marrow, and increases semen. As a yin deficiency tonic it is used for dry throat and thirst and cough due to dry lungs. Modern research shows that it can be used to bring down high blood pressure, protect the liver, treat fatty liver, and reduce blood sugar levels" (The Earthwise Herbal).
Preparations & Applications
Solomon's seal is traditionally prepared as both a tincture and tea; both hot and cold infusion may be indicated. A long cold infusion is commonly prepared to experience the full benefit of its demulcent properties. For external applications, one can make either a compress or a poultice. My favorite easy poultice is made by pouring hot water over chopped herbs in a reusable muslin bag and applying to the affected part.
Bone, Tendon, & Cartilage Repair Tea
2 part Solomon's Seal
1 part Horsetail
1 part Boneset
1 part Nettle leaf
The Earthwise Herbal: A Complete Guide to New World Medicinal Plants by Mathew Wood 2009 North Atlantic Books