Next week is the Boston Marathon, and we’re prepping for a class on runner’s health at a local sports club – and that means, Solomon’s Seal is our herb of the week this time! Why? Because Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum biflorum, P. multiflorum) is one of the best plants I know for joint health.
Joint Healing & Injury Prevention
Any time you’ve got a busted knee, achilles strain, ACL sprain, whatever – Solomon’s Seal can help. It’s one of the most important herbs for athletes and enthusiastic movers. It improves the movement of fluids into the connective tissues, which increases their rate of healing and recovery. (You’ve got to move your fluids if you want to heal!)
Not only can Solomon’s Seal help you recover more quickly from injury, but it can help prevent injury in the first place! The key is that well-lubricated joints are much more resilient if the joint rolls the wrong way, whereas dryness in the joints increases your risk of injury.
Think about it like your skin: if your skin is very dry, it cracks easily, and if you get a scratch, it’s more likely to cut through. When your skin is well hydrated, it’s got more elasticity. It can withstand pokes and scratches with less damage. Your joints are the same way – when they’re hydrated and well-nourished, they’re much more resilient!
If you know that you’re prone to injury, or if you have dryness in the joints (they crack and pop easily, or feel irritated, or inflammed), Solomon’s Seal – straight tincture, or as an ingredient in an herbal liniment – can be part of your daily self-care routine.
As you can see, Solomon’s Seal is an indispensable friend if you’ve sprained an ankle. Ryn discovered this first hand some years ago, with a very serious sprain in a martial arts event. But that was when we discovered another amazing talent Solomon’s Seal has: its talent for relaxing states of mind and emotion that have become rigid or inflexible.
Similar to the way the herb can help restore and build flexibility in joints, it can also create emotional flexibility as well. If you’re feeling stubborn or emotionally constrained, or like it’s difficult to adapt gracefully to changing situations – two common emotional responses in stressful times – try Solomon’s Seal. For this kind of work, you don’t need a lot – just a dropperful of tincture internally several times a day is sufficient.
There are so many reasons we can get stuck in an emotionally rigid place – it’s not even a bad thing. Sometimes a little bit of rigidity helps us to hold our healthy boundaries when the world wants to push on them. But when we’re done standing strong and holding our space, we also need to be able to soften again: Solomon’s Seal to the rescue.
Easy To Cultivate
Solomon’s Seal grows easily here in New England – and you can still find it growing wild in the woodsy places. But you’ll find even more of it all over Boston – it’s very popular for landscaping, because it grows happily under trees, and it practically doubles every year.
But it grows in lots of climates – we even found a bunch while we were hiking in the Gila Desert!
All you need is a shady spot in your yard, and Solomon’s Seal will be plenty happy. It likes to be under cover of tall trees, so that it gets only dappled sunlight. It also likes moist soils – in the wild it usually grows near rivers or bodies of water.
It’s not very abundant in the wild, though, so make sure if you buy it that you get organically cultivated.
Solomon’s seal is one of our favorite herbs for supporting muscles, joints, and connective tissues – but it’s not the only one! Learn about all our best herbs to relieve joint pain, improve workout recovery times, align the spine, and much more in our Musculoskeletal Health course. As with all our online video courses, you get lifetime access to the material – plus any future updates we add later! And you also get invited to our live, twice-weekly Q&A sessions with Katja & Ryn. Check it out and start building healthier bones & stronger muscles today!
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