Herbs on the Bike Path: Solomon’s Seal

Latin name
Polygonatum multiflorum

Part used
rhizome

I noticed Solomon’s Seal growing in a healthy little bunch on the bike path near Willow. Solomon’s Seal has an interesting plant signature, where the rhizome grows a new addition each year, giving it the appearance of a spinal column, or series of vertebrae. It’s Latin name, Polygonatum, means “many jointed.”

So, although it is specific to the spine, it is beneficial for any musculoskeletal condition. I like to use this root for any joint issue, making it extremely useful with the frequency of arthritis in today’s dogs. Herbalist Matt Wood writes that Solomon’s Seal is specifically “suited to conditions where the ligaments/tendons are loose or tight; it adjusts the tension on the connective tissue to the right level.” It feeds and lubricates where the tendon meets the bone. Hip dysplasia and torn ACLs (anterior cruciate ligaments) would also benefit greatly by this herb.

It has a gentle, regulating effect on the heart muscle, as well, due to the presence of convallarin, which is closely related to digitalis glycosides (but in smaller amounts, so it can safely be used as a mild cardiac tonic). In fact, I am starting a batch of tincture for a Great Dane with cardiomyopathy.

Solomon’s Seal decalcifies unhealthy deposits, and helps to correct bone spurs (spondylosis is a good fit, here). It helps remove congealed blood, also drawing out infected material.

Not much is written about this plant in herbal texts, but a valuable little plant it is.

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