Solomon’s Seal: Side Effects or Adverse Reactions

Observational and anecdotal information suggests that Solomon’s Seal has minimal to no negative side effects. This may be in part because tinctures are fairly benign. Their intent is to capture the essential qualities of a plant and to dispense those in a few drops into the body, almost like homeopathic remedies, flower essences, and the like. It is exceedingly difficult to overdose. Wellness practitioners have also told us that they have not found any adverse reactions from any of their clients taking our Solomon’s Seal tinctures.

Solomon's Seal root

As benign as Solomon’s Seal has historically been reported to be for over 3,000 years, it is important to state that the present medical system in the United States has strong opposing views about the value and usefulness of “alternative interventions” like herbs and tinctures. In the Far East, Solomon’s Seal is valued as one of the top five healing herbs in the plant world. In the West its medicinal qualities are little known.

Your medical doctor may oppose your using our tincture. S/he may not recommend its use if you are using other prescription medications or the like. They may be concerned about possible drug interactions.

Our intent is always to know and share the best and latest information available about using Solomon’s Seal or other healing herbs. As wellness educators, we are also attempting to work with the medical community, both traditional and alternative, so that practitioners are well-informed. In any case, however, if you are under medical supervision, please get consultation if you believe it is necessary.

High Doses May Cause Aching Finger Joints

Several years ago, during our experimental phases with dosages, we noticed that high doses of regular Solomon’s Seal tincture  (15-25 drops several times daily, rather than the recommended 5-7 drops) sometimes caused a little aching in the finger joints. This only happened to a few people. Administration was immediately stopped for one day or so; the joints limbered up quickly and regular doses were resumed.

Why did this happen? My sense is that it has something to do with the way Solomon’s Seal “reads” the body. It somehow has the ability to determine that, for example, a stretched tendon needs tightening or a taut tendon needs loosening. Similarly, it can read that too little synovial “buffering” fluid is available between the joints and works to regenerate its availability. This “plasticity” response strives to return particular body parts to as near normal functioning as possible.

That being said, my simple theory is that Solomon’s Seal was adjusting tendons from the shoulders through the forearms and down to the fingers, and that the tendons of the fingers simply got “a little too much of a good thing”, i.e. they were pulled a little too taut. Ceasing administration for a day, then resuming normal dosage amounts allowed the finger joints to have increased flexibility.

If you ever experience any side effects when taking Solomon’s Seal, cease administration for a day or so. Then return to small dosages.

For further information about proper amount of dosages of our Solomon’s Seal tincture, and expected duration, please see our articles on this blog.

Powdered or Capsulated Form May Cause Heartburn

Right off, our Solomon’s Seal tincture does not cause heartburn.

Some companies offer Solomon’s Seal in capsulated/powdered form that is swallowed like a pill or mixed with juice. We don’t recommend taking Solomon’s Seal this way because the body treats it as a food and sets up an enzymatic response in the stomach that may feel like heartburn. This is the same gastrointestinal reaction people have experienced when taking certain vitamin supplements on an empty stomach, notably zinc and B-complex. Damaged or ulcerated linings as a result of bad diet, or prolonged use of medications and antibiotics can strip the stomach of essential flora and fauna and enzymes. This is why yogurt or a supplement of acidophilus or bifidus is often suggested to restore balance when taking strong medications and antibiotics.

Why taking Solomon’s Seal in tincture form is better

There are three good reasons to use tinctures rather than capsules or powdered form:

1. Tinctures are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream when the drops are administered beneath the tongue (sublingual). This absorption takes place in the upper end of the digestive tract. Capsules or powdered form diluted in liquid are treated by the stomach as food. This causes an enzymatic reaction that can in fact disturb sensitive or damaged gastrointestinal tracts. Tinctures do not cause such disturbance (many people have reported improved conditions in their stomach, whereas the powdered/capsulated form caused irritation). Tinctures also make the mucous membranes in the mouth more permeable, so that the herbal constituents can pass through and into the bloodstream QUICKLY, thus BYPASSING the digestive system!

2. Alcohol, as a solvent, dissolves different constituents than water. This means both the water and alcohol soluble constituents of the plant are utilized, providing a more potent remedy.

3. Tinctures are an easy form of herbal remedy for a person to take and the small bottle is easily carried.

You May Not Like the Alcohol Taste of a Tincture 

True Solomon's Seal (leaves & berries are poisonous!)

Occasionally someone may have an emotional or spiritual aversion to consuming alcohol. Here are some thoughts about this.

To review for a moment, alcohol has been the preferred extractor of plant chemicals for thousands of years. Alcohol dissolves and extracts certain important phytochemicals — plant chemicals that are necessary for different formulae to be effective. Therefore, it is better than just water alone. The alcohol also helps the herbs to assimilate quickly into your body and preserves the formula, giving it a longer shelf life.

The amount of alcohol per dose is so insignificant; there is more alcohol in some mouthwashes. The amount of alcohol in the average dose of tincture is equal to the amount of alcohol in a ripe banana. This dosage has been tested on people who are alcohol sensitive with no adverse reactions. It is also a safe amount for anyone in a 12- step program or Alcoholics Anonymous.

Some people have asked us if we can create our tinctures using glycerin instead of alcohol. The problem is that glycerin has a very short shelf life and tastes decidedly stale as a result. The glycerin-based tincture is also especially vulnerable to heat and light; therefore, it is less adaptable for travel.

What to do about the strong alcohol taste

Solomon’s Seal root actually is somewhat sweet and starchy. The preserving alcohol, however, overpowers the sweetness. Thus you may taste the alcohol, or feel it burn a little when placing the drops beneath the tongue.

If you are still concerned about the alcohol, for any reason, then here are two very simple solutions:
• Add the drops of tincture to a little hot tap water and then leave for a minute or two. This will make the alcohol evaporate off and you will still get the benefits of the herb.
• Place the drops in a small glass of juice.


Our objective is to facilitate the most healthful benefits possible among our users without creating a long-term dependency. Thus we encourage you to take responsibility for your overall health as it relates to wise lifestyle decisions.

This includes the fostering of a high quality diet, regular exercise, good stress control, positive thinking, adequate sleep, and gratitude for all that you have. If you consume high amounts of alcohol, cigarettes, red meat, caffeine, refined sugar, or junk food, this will affect your overall health, no matter what Solomon’s Seal or any other natural product can do for you.

Many people tell us that they have definitely benefited in other ways, often unexpected, by taking our Solomon’s Seal tinctures, both straight and formulas. People report better sleep, lowered blood pressure, increased flexibility in joints, ceasing of headaches, return to sexual functioning, faster repairing of injuries (bones, tissues, ligaments, tendons, joints, etc), reduction of feminine issues related to PMS, excessive menstruation, among numerous other effects.

REMEMBER: Be Observant!

If you use Solomon’s Seal (and any of our special formulas integrating it with other known healing herbs) for a particular condition or two, you may witness its beneficial effects in other ways on your body that you weren’t expecting. So, strive to be especially attentive to your body’s signals during the time you are taking it.

It is in working towards and embracing your personal wellness on every level that you will experience the highest degree of success. Solomon’s Seal is not a miracle cure or magic bullet. It may or may not work for you, or at least in the ways you thought it might. However, you can always enhance personal healing by engaging a healthy lifestyle. Blessings on the journey!

For more information about our Solomon’s Seal tincture and special formulas and salves, please visit our website:


8 thoughts on “Solomon’s Seal: Side Effects or Adverse Reactions

  1. Dear Dr. McDowell
    Searhing the net for Solomon’s Seal drops I ,was fortunet to fine you. I am
    82. This past year from cutting and,spltting ,stacking fire wood I developed some back pain.Searhing the web I discoved, That Solomon’s Seal drops would cure the lower back pain. Do you sell these wonderful healing drops or other natural cures? George M. Bachand 1-860-535-2469 North Stonington CT>


    • In your instance, with lower back pain, I would recommend using straight Solomon’s Seal tincture and the Acute & Chronic Injury Salve. An excellent alternative tincture would be our Formula #3 for Cartilage & Tissue repair, because of the synergistic healing effects of combining Solomon’s Seal with Horsetail. An additional item would be our liniment; however, it won’t be available until the end of March, hopefully sooner.

      The salve will work from the dermal level to the deeper tissues. The tincture, obviously will move the SS to the tissue and cellular levels.

      Lower back injuries/discomforts can take time to heal, especially as we age. You should wear a back support when doing assertive exercise. Also, make sure you sit properly, with good alignment, and with lower lumbar support. Walking is excellent for gently stretching and keeping the back muscles limber and toned (wear your support, adjusted to light firmness, if desired).

      Increase your WATER intake, especially when taking the SS tincture.

      Lastly, I will not claim that SS can cure anything! If I did, the FDA would be knocking at my door! Not all people may respond to it. There are many factors involved in any healing and the body’s ability to heal. Numerous people have had very positive results with SS, and we hope to keep a chronicle of their experiences using it.

      Health blessings always,


  2. Forrest,
    I must say that I am so blessed to have used the Tincture and Acute & Chronic Injury Salve for three weeks now and my thumb is so much better. I am the lady from Wisconsin who had the “Trigger Thumb” problem and the joints in the thumb were slipping and very painful. That slipping has stopped, Praise God, still some soreness but I am so much better.
    I stopped drinking coffee during those three weeks of using the product, would it be a problem to drink coffee while taking these products? I drink maybe two cups a day. I also stopped with the blood pressure medicine for three weeks, but headaches ensued so I stopped your product and went back to the blood pressure medication, until I can get to my doctor for approval of taking your products again; because I really like the way I feel in my body and the clarity of my thoughts. I must say, that in three weeks, lots have changed. Thank you! Mary in Wisconsin


    • I am glad to know that your thumb and joint issues have gotten much better. Caffeine has been indicated to have some effect on joints. However, two cups per day seems okay (is it de-caffeinated?). Perhaps you might try one cup and a nice flavorful herbal tea as the other cup. Research is being conducted on the effects of Solomon’s Seal on heart health. SS does mildly affect blood pressure, by lowering it to optimal levels. Perhaps you can request your doctor to visit our website and blog for detailed information, especially our article “How Solomon’s Seal Works to Heal You.”

      In any case, I suggest that you commit to increasing plain water intake. Try to ingest at least two or more quarts per day while taking any prescription and/or Solomon’s Seal. You may find your headache greatly diminished. With higher water intake, you might find that SS works well, without heart medication, as others have found. In any instance, it is good to have an open relationship/dialogue with your doctor. Any prescription medication does affect the body on many levels with unfortunate side affects. Such medications often “fight” with natural herbal-based ones. Of most herbs used, Solomon’s Seal is very benign and will not give up on helping your body out! Like you, numerous people have also reported clarity of thinking. So, make some little adjustments, as necessary. I wish you the very best of health and healing.


  3. Hello Forrest,
    I would love to take the tincture ( I bought #6) for scar tissue in my hip and backside from a huge surgery on my nerves there. I have let the drops sit in water for hours before taking it, and I take it with food but I still get a very nasty bout of upset stomach. Then i read that an ingredient in the #6 tincture can cause tummy trouble.

    Is there a tincture that is pure Solomon Seal ?
    Thank you,
    Kat B.


    • Our herbs are carefully balanced in our Formula #6, and should not cause any upset stomach. Cautions for an herb are most often referring to its exclusive use. However, when integrated with other herbs, a better synergy occurs. Formula #6 is potent and high dose — this can cause some initial short-term discomfort but is reduced by using only 1/3 to 1/2 dose for a week or so.
      We do have regular Solomon’s Seal that is only SS.


  4. Dr McDowell
    I was recently given a bottle of Solomon’s Seal Tincture for my dog who suffers from a knee and hip issue. My only concern about giving it to him is that he also has kidney stones. Please let me know if this is something that will cause an issue for him.
    Thank you so much


    • Dogs respond well to plant-based medicines. When using the tincture with your dog, use 1/2 suggested use on bottle for first 5 days or so, then increase. Place drops in mouth, water bowl, or dribble on food. None of this should cause any harm. Give a warm pet and hug for me!


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