False Solomon's Seal & Solomon's Seal
Maianthemum racemosum vs Polygonatum species
False Solomon’s Seal was brought up in another discussion so I thought I’d start a new one here for the medicinal benefits of both plants.
Solomon’s Seal - Polygonatum biflorum is the North American species and Polygonatum multiflorum is the European species. Currently listed in the Asparagaceae family but has been part of the Convallariaceae and Lilliaceae families.
Above pic from Better Homes & Gardens
This species is less familiar to me as it doesn’t grow in my area. P. multiflorum and P. biflorum are used for similar purposes.
Properties: Astringent. Demulcent. Tonic/Cardiotonic. Anti-ecchymotic. Anti-inflammatory. Anti-bacterial. Used for respiratory issues including sore throats & dry coughs, bronchitis, pneumonia, TB. Helpful with digestive inflammation and chronic or bloody dysentery. Improves joint conditions by improving the production of synovial fluid and restoring muscular tissue’s elasticity. Good for repetitive stress issues. Eases swelling. In TCM it is known as a Yin tonic.
False Solomon’s Seal - Maianthemum racemosum. The previous Latin name was Smilacina racemosa. This genus is in the Asparagaceae family although it may be listed as a Ruscaceae and like Polygonatum species, was also a part of the Convallariaceae and Lilliaceae families.
These pics are local to me. First is an early spring shoot.
Properties: Expectorant. Demulcent. Antibacterial. Analgesic. Antifungal. Styptic. Tonic/Nervine Tonic, False Solomon’s Seal can be used similarly to Solomon’s Seal for respiratory issues. It is also used for pain and inflammation related to spinal issues, rheumatism & arthritis, strains & sprains, torn ligaments, broken bones, etc. Powdered root can be applied to cuts and wounds to stop bleeding.
Star Flowered False Solomon’s Seal, Maianthemum stellata, is another species found in my area. It has fewer flowers, narrower leaves and is a shorter plant. It can be substituted for M. racemosum.
Both Polygonatum species and Maianthemum racemosum can be used for food uses. Young shoots are used in the spring like asparagus. The roots produced a starch when soaked in water which can be dried and used for flour.
Berries of False Solomon’s Seal can be eaten. Depending on the habitat, they can be insipid to sweet. Berries of Solomon’s Seal are emetic.
As Polygonatum is not native to my area, I hope someone else from its habitat will jump in with any other uses that they know of.
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