Solomon’s Seal: Herb of the Week

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. If you know that you’re prone to injury, or if you have dryness in the joints (they crack easily or feel irritated, or if you have osteoarthritis), solomon’s seal – straight tincture, or as an ingredient in an herbal liniment – can be part of your daily self-care routine.

Emotional Flexibility

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.

Easy To Cultivate

We’re fortunate to live here in Boston – and to have a bit of yard we can garden in – because in this part of the country, solomon’s seal is easy to cultivate.

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, and if you live in a cooler climate, definitely consider planting some: it’s beautiful and such amazing medicine!

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PS: We have a full video + text herbal monograph on solomon’s seal (and 86 other herbs) in our Materia Medica course, which you can take stand-alone or as a component of our Herbalism 101 program.

Herbalism 101 Online Video Program

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