Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum biflorum)
Hanging from the leaf axils on an arching stem are a few (often 2) greenish-white bell-like flowers. The flowers are 1/2 to 2/3 inch long; 6 lobed; stamens 6. The leaves are 2 to 6 inches long; stalkless, lanceolate to ovate, untoothed, light green, smooth on both
sides, conspicuously parallel-veined. The fruit is a blue-black berry. The height of the plant is 8 to 36 inches, arising in the spring from a thick, fleshy, many-jointed white rhizome, on which, when the stem dies away in the winter, a round scar is left, the “seal”.
Family: Labiatae (Mint family)
Other Names: Drop berry, Sealwort, Seal root
Flowers: May – June
Parts Used: Rhizome
Habitat: Rich woods. Connecticut to Florida; Texas, Nebraska to Michigan.
Properties: Astringent, Emetic, Tonic.
Main Uses: American Indians used root tea for indigestion, profuse menstruation, lung ailments, “general debility”; Also to promote sound sleep, treat coughs; laxative; fresh root poulticed (or root tea used externally as a wash) for sharp pains, cuts, bruises, sores, and carbuncles. Root tea was a folk remedy for piles, rheumatism, arthritis, and skin irritations.
Preparation And Dosages:
Infusion: 1 oz of the root to 1 pint of boiling water, taken in wineglassful amounts.
The extract from the root is used to diminish freckles and discoloration of the skin. If the fresh root is used, proceed with caution and dilute with water until you find individual acceptance. Used for congested blood caused from bruises, and will close fresh and bleeding wounds.