The wildcrafted root of the herb Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum biflorum or multiflorum) is widely known and used in tincture form (internally) or as a salve (externally). However, when prepared as a tea (i.e. herbal infusion) Solomon’s Seal root has unique healing benefits, as compared to tincture or salve.
The information available on the Internet about using Solomon’s Seal as a tea is not entirely accurate, especially suggested dosage amounts. The purpose of this article is to clarify the potential healing benefits of Solomon’s Seal tea for certain health issues, including its proper preparation and dosage.
Tincture or Tea?
First, it is important to clarify when the tea can offer superior healing and when it is more advantageous to use Solomon’s Seal as a tincture or salve. In some cases, the tincture and tea are interchangeable. If for some reason you cannot consume alcohol-based tinctures, than by all means try the tea. It has a mild, slightly sweet, nutty taste and is cooling and moistening to the body.
Solomon’s Seal tea, in particular, makes the best use of the plant’s excellent demulcent qualities (also referred to as mucilaginous or muco-protective). Mucilage is a polysaccharide substance obtained from the roots or seeds of a plant. A mucilaginous or demulcent herb is viscous and gelatinous, and thus protective and soothing to the mucus membranes and other irritated or inflamed internal tissues of the body.
Solomon’s Seal, taken as a tea, soothes irritation in the digestive tract, lungs, throat, vagina, and uterus. On the other hand, the tincture is generally superior to the tea for treating sports and repetitive use injuries, and injuries involving tendons, ligaments, muscles, joints, attachments, cartilage, and bones. In fact, the tincture works to strengthen the entire muscular-skeletal system. However, Solomon’s Seal tincture is generally less effective than the tea in preserving the soothing demulcent quality discussed above. Use either the tea or tincture to speed recovery after surgery or the setting of a bone, to rebuild strength and well-being after a fever or the flu, or to aid in keeping a chiropractic adjustment in place.
General Healing Properties of Solomon’s Seal Root
Sometimes it can be confusing which form of Solomon’s Seal to take: tincture, salve or tea. Below is a list of the many properties of Solomon’s Seal. In parenthesis is listed one or more forms of the herb that best embody these characteristics – tincture, tea, or salve. Later, I will expand on the most important of these properties relating to Solomon’s Seal tea.
- Mild Sedative (tea, tincture) – soothes and reduces nervousness, distress, excitement, or irritation. It can also reduce pain or discomfort (for example, arthritis, menstrual cramps, or hot flashes) and have a strengthening, tonic effect. (See our Cortesia Solomon’s Seal Tincture – Formula #4: Deep Pain & Tension Relief and Cortesia Solomon’s Seal Tincture – Formula #5: Menopause/PMS)
- Vulnerary (salve) – heals open wounds and is useful in external applications, including poultices, salves, etc. (Try our Cortesia Healing Salve with Solomon’s Seal for open wounds, cuts, burns, bruises, etc. and our Cortesia Solomon’s Seal Acute & Chronic Injury Salve for sprains, strains, inflamed tendons, ligaments, muscles, and joints (not for open wounds).
- Demulcent (tea (internal use) or salve (external use) – a bland, mucilaginous herb, which is soothing, cooling, and moistening when applied to irritated, inflamed, or abraded tissue, especially mucus membranes, throat, lungs, and skin .
- Tonic – (tincture and tea) restores normal functions by stimulating, invigorating, strengthening, and toning the kidneys, heart, and sexual organs, and soothing the digestive system. Also very beneficial for the skin.
- Antirheumatic (tincture, tea [to a lesser extent]) – reduces rheumatic pain, arthritic pain, inflammation, and infection in the joints.
- Adaptogenic – (tincture and tea) helps the body to adapt to internal and environmental stresses by strengthening the immune system. Solomon’s Seal works synergistically and is highly effective when combined with other specific herbs such as agrimony, vervain, and many more. See our website at www.solomonsseaal.net for more information on our formulas.
- Diuretic – (tea) increases the secretion, flow, and expulsion of urine.
- Anti-inflammatory – (tincture, tea, and salve) reduces or counteracts feverish inflammations and infections.
- Expectorant – (tea) promotes the discharge of mucus and phlegm from the lungs and throat by means of spitting or coughing. (Sedative expectorants like Solomon’s Seal reduce irritation).
Solomon’s Seal Tea
We see from the list above that one of the important properties of Solomon’s Seal is that of an expectorant. If one has a stubborn dry cough with sticky mucus that is difficult to expel, for example, Solomon’s Seal may help to loosen that mucus in the lungs, lessening congestion. While it is particularly effective for a dry cough, Solomon’s Seal tea can be used to treat any type of cough, respiratory infection, or lung congestion. And remember, because it is also a demulcent, it coats the throat and helps relieve the irritation causing a cough. Historically, the tea has even been used to treat such conditions as tuberculosis, pulmonary consumption, and bleeding of the lungs, but these types of uses must necessarily be discussed with your doctor or health practitioner.
Solomon’s Seal is an excellent anti-inflammatory. It contains allantoin, which is important in the reduction of inflammation, such as that caused by arthritis. The tea can be useful in lessening the severity of gastrointestinal conditions, including ulceration, indigestion, heartburn, irritated or inflamed digestive tract, and diarrhea, all of which can be caused in part by inflammation.
Solomon’s Seal is also an excellent remedy for women’s issues. Regular use of the tea (or tincture) can help to ensure abundant reproductive secretions, heal inflamed vaginal tissue, and ease vaginal dryness (especially common for post-menopausal women). Solomon’s Seal is also “nourishing and building for women who wish to conceive, for new mothers, for women who feel overworked and stressed, and for women experiencing menstrual cramps or going through menopause or post-menopause. That list includes just about every woman I know! Check our website (www.solomonsseal.net) for information on our Cortesia Solomon’s Seal Tincture – Formula #4: Deep Pain & Tension Relief and Cortesia Solomon’s Seal Tincture – Formula #5: Menopause/PMS for women.
Solomon’s Seal is known to have a mild regulating effect on the heart muscle because it contains small, safe amounts of the substance convallarin, a cardio glycoside. The National Institute of Health is currently researching Solomon’s Seal’s effectiveness in lowering high blood pressure. Herbalist Matthew Wood says it can be safely used as a mild heart tonic (p. 404, Book of Herbal Wisdom). If you are pregnant, have low blood pressure, or are on heart medication, it is not recommended that you use Solomon’s Seal without consulting your doctor.
Mild Diuretic & Detoxifier
There is no question that Solomon’s Seal Tea makes you pee more, though not excessively so. It promotes the formation of urine by the kidney and may aid in flushing the body of toxins and excess water, and breaking down fat. If you drink the tea in the evening, you may wish to drink it early enough that you’re not waking up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom.
The proper amount of loose Solomon’s Seal tea to use per 6-10 oz of water is 1/2 tsp.
CAUTION: Most Internet websites suggest 1 tsp per cup. THIS IS NOT CORRECT — it may give you a headache or slight upset stomach. Trust us, we have thoroughly tested various dosage amounts and our suggestion is the safest and most accurate.
*NOTE: If you are also using one of our Solomon’s Seal Tinctures, it’s best not to exceed three total doses of the tea and tincture per day (Example: 2 doses of tincture, 1 cup of tea. OR, 1 dose of tincture, 2 cups of tea).
This dosage is safe to take for 2 to 6 months or longer, as needed.
In the event that you find, as others have, that you are too busy to drink more than one cup a day but would like to increase your tea intake, here is a suggestion. When you are experiencing a serious condition, for example deep chest congestion or a chronic cough, taking the tea two or even three times a day would definitely be indicated. You can brew three or four cups at a time, put it in bottle and sip it throughout the day. That way you may make faster improvement. It’s no harder to brew three cups than to brew one cup. Re-warm as needed, but do not bring to a boil.
Solomon’s Seal has a mild, slightly sweet, nutty taste, so you will probably find it quite easy to drink. To make what is called a hot infusion, place 1/2 teaspoon of chopped root in an empty cup. After you boil your tea water, wait a minute before pouring it into your cup. Cover and steep for 7-10 minutes or longer. You don’t need a tea ball or strainer because the root simply sinks to the bottom and swells up. You can drink two or three cups a day, as needed, but you may find that one cup per day is enough. Never drink more than three cups in a day.
You will get even more benefit from the tea if you make a cold infusion. More of the soothing, demulcent (mucilaginous) qualities are drawn out of the herb when it soaks overnight. You can make a quart at a time, if you like. To make one quart, place 2 tsp of Solomon’s Seal Root in a clean quart jar (1/2 tsp per cup). Fill with water and allow to sit overnight at room temperature. It will be ready to drink the next morning. Re-warm as needed, but do not bring to a boil. Store in the refrigerator to keep fresh. Don’t make more tea than you can drink in a day or two.
Bill was a moderate smoker for many years, and as a result he had a chronic hacking cough. When he finally quit smoking, he began drinking Solomon’s Seal Tea to soothe his throat and lungs. He started coughing up green and then black mucus. This worried him, but at the same time, his cough was more “productive”, and he wanted to expel as much of the toxins as possible from his lungs. There was a significant decrease in coughing in the first week, then the cough continued to subside over the next few weeks. He continues drinking the tea once a day (and lots of water) in an effort to undo some of the long-term damage.
Although Solomon’s Seal Tea has many excellent healing properties, we are not trying to offer you a magic bullet. It works perfectly for some and less well or not at all for others. Time and possibly multiple approaches may be required to heal chronic conditions that have been developing over a number of years. Acute conditions, on the other hand, (such as pneumonia, broken bones, or any serious injury) often require immediate medical intervention. After the initial intervention, however, Solomon’s Seal can be a support in the healing process, such as recovering from surgery or maintaining a chiropractic adjustment.
Each person is different and will have their own unique response to Solomon’s Seal. You may experience some level of immediate relief or it may take time to notice any beneficial effects. Please be patient and keep track of your daily dosage, changing symptoms, and any improvements, even if gradual. When unpleasant symptoms subside, it’s easy to forget that we ever had them. Writing things down can make the healing process a good learning experience.
Solomon’s Seal tea has been almost unavailable on the commercial market until now. With our newly released Cortesia Solomon’s Seal Herbal Tea, we hope to remedy this situation. Our tea is only made from organic and/or wildcrafted North American Solomon’s Seal root. We use no fillers to bulk-up the tea. Up to this time, the primary supplier of Solomon’s Seal tea has been from South Korea, whose tea is only 82% Solomon’s Seal and 18% brown rice filler.
Visit our website at www.solomonsseal.net for more detailed information about the healing benefits of Solomon’s Seal Tea and its enhanced effectiveness when combined with one of our Solomon’s Seal tinctures. You may also purchase our tea on our website. As always, we welcome your questions and feedback.