Folk Medicine

Latin name: Polygonati rhizoma3

Usable parts: Root3

Harvest period: Autumn or early spring3

Constituents: Saponins, glycosides, tannins, plant mucilage3

Action: Anti-inflammatory, analgesic, astringent3

Application: Solomon's seal is an excellent medicinal plant, and its root is mainly used to cure tendon disorders. When correctly processed, it is said to help heal irritated tendons, restoring their suppleness. The part of the plant above the ground is poisonous, but the root is not.6

Risk of misidentification: Polygonatum odoratum, which is used in a similar manner.

Tips for Domestic Cultivation

This separates true gardeners from the others. Although Solomon's seal is fickle about its habitat, it can be grown just using parts of a root. All that is needed is a little shade and (with some luck) it’ll take root and multiply on its own.

Home Use / Recipe Idea

Solomon's seal ointment.6

First clean and chop part of the root into small pieces before stuffing it into a screw-top glass jar not more than a third full. Pour in some quality sunflower or other vegetable oil, until the jar is filled. Let it stand for around one moon cycle. Then filter out the solids and transfer the flavoured oil into a pot, which is heated up to 45°C. In another pot, mix some beeswax with cocoa butter and heat up to 45°C. Then combine the contents of both pots (at the same temperature) to the ratio of 1:2 (one part oil to two parts wax) and leave to slowly cool. The resulting ointment is used to treat strained muscles and bruises. 

3 “Die Kräuter in meinem Garten” by Siegrid Hirsch & Felix Grünberger; 22nd Edition; Freya Verlag Gmbh
6 “Heilkräuter die Apotheke der Natur“ by Gottfried Hochgruber; 2nd Edition, 2018; Longo Editor AG