Botanical: Polygonatum odoratum (also known as Polygonatum officinale)
Family: Liliaceae (lily)
Other common names: Fragrant Solomon's Seal, Lady's Seals, Saint Mary's Seal, Sealwort,
Sigillum Sanctae Mariae, Yu Zhu, Angular Solomon's Seal, True Solomon's Seal, Dropberry, Sealroot
Solomon's Seal has been used for centuries to heal wounds, repair damaged tissue and knit broken bones; relieve dry coughs and tuberculosis; treat chronic dysentery, diarrhea and hemorrhoids. Italian women of the seventeenth century used Solomon's Seal as a beauty treatment to improve their complexions and remove age spots and freckles. In addition to all that, Solomon's Seal was also included in love potions as an aphrodisiac - no wonder that King Solomon put his "Seal of Approval' on such a wonderful herb!
The information presented herein by Herbal Extracts Plus is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Solomon's Seal is a close relative of the Lily of the Valley and was formerly assigned to the same genus (Convallaria, but now Liliaceae), with several similar species that are native to North America, northern Europe and Siberia, and cultivated as popular garden ornamentals. The hardy perennial has stems of three feet in height that finally curve gracefully and bear pale green, oval leaves and drooping clusters of creamy white flowers, followed by blue-black berries. It thrives in light, well-drained, moist, humus-rich soil in partial shade or in sun (preferring forests) with a cool root run. The creeping rootstock, or underground stem, is thick and white and is lifted in autumn and used in herbal medicine. Because of the creeping rootstock, the plant multiplies very rapidly. The plant's botanical genus, Polygonatum, refers to the "many-angled" knots on the root or the numerous joints on the stems. Its English name is believed to refer to the flat, round scars on the rootstocks, resembling the impressions of a seal; and when the root is cut transversely, it resembles Hebrew characters, giving rise to the legend that the wise King Solomon, who knew of the virtues of the roots, set his seal upon them. In A.D. 130-200, the most famous physician of his day, Galen, recommended the use of Solomon's Seal root to remove freckles, spots and marks for a fresh, fair and lovely skin. In the sixteenth century, the herbalist, John Gerard, claimed that Solomon's Seal was an effective treatment for cuts, wounds and bruises of all kinds, including (stunningly for women) "stumbling on their hasty husbands' fists," which probably accounts for the herb's popular use as a remedy for black eyes (when used in a poultice). The herbalist also said that when taken internally, the roots were excellent for "broken bones to knit." In his publication, Theatrum Botanicum, of 1640, John Parkinson, a renowned British apothecary, noted that Italian women used the root to improve their complexions and retain their beauty and agelessness. In North America, early native tribes made a tea of the rootstock as a cure for women's complaints and general internal pains. In some countries, Solomon's Seal is boiled and eaten as a vegetable similar to asparagus, and it has also been used in snuffs to induce sneezing and relieve head congestion. Solomon's Seal is a bittersweet, astringent, tonic herb that includes convallarin (also one of the active constituents in Lily of the Valley), asparagin, allantoin, gum, sugar, mucilage, starch and pectin.
Solomon's Seal root is an herbal astringent, and it has been used to relieve chronic dysentery, hemorrhoids and diarrhea.
As a rich, mucilaginous herb and demulcent, the allantoin in Solomon's Seal acts as an anti-inflammatory that is good for inflammations of the stomach and bowels, and it said to soothe irritated or damaged tissues and reduce general inflammation. The mucilaginous qualities help to soothe and ease gastric irritation.
Solomon's Seal is considered an herbal expectorant that has been used for centuries to treat pulmonary consumption, tuberculosis, bleeding of the lungs, dry cough (helping to produce and expel phlegm from the lungs) and generally encourage the secretion of body fluids.
As a tonic, Solomon's Seal is said to be healing and restorative. In the Ayurvedic medicine of India, it is considered a fine rejuvenative tonic and aphrodisiac, and it is one of the eight root herbs (mostly belonging to the lily family) used for infertility, chronic wasting diseases and bleeding disorders. Taken internally, the root is used to help broken bones knit more quickly.
Solomon's Seal has been used for "female complaints" and is thought to be helpful in easing menstrual discomforts, as well as leukorrhea (vaginal discharge).
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Solomon's Seal has been used to treat heart disease, and in the West, current research is studying this application with particular interest in the herb as a cardio-tonic and potential for lowering blood pressure.
Used externally, Solomon's Seal is said to be effective in healing bruises, cuts, wounds, sunburn, pimples, skin tumors and inflammations. It is also said to prevent freckles and the mottling of old age and beautify the complexion. In poultices, it is thought to relieve black eyes, prevent excessive bruising and to stimulate tissue repair.
Currently, there are no known warnings or contraindications with the use of Solomon's Seal Herbal Supplement.