Solomon’s-seal is a genus of perennial herbaceous plants characterized by a sympodially knotted rhizome with round stamp-like indentations. The plant stem of this family can be of different height, starting from 2.5 cm up to 2 m and more, it is upright, arched at the top. The leaves are arranged alternately, oppositely or alternately, they are whole, linear, oval, elongated or broadly elliptic (4-10 cm long and 2-5 cm wide), pointed, sessile, with arcuate veining, often with "whiskers".
Flowers bisexual, large, usually greenish-white, rarely yellow, pink or purple. Fruit - a ball-shaped berry with 1-2 seeds. It is pollinated, basically, by bumblebees, and it is also able to self-pollinate. Propagated by seeds. Blooms in May and June.
In Latvia, you will most often come across medicinal Solomon’s-seal (Polygonatum odoratum Mill.) and multi-flowered Solomon’s-seal (Polygonatum multiflorum L.)
Medicinal Solomon’s-seal is a perennial, 30-120 cm tall, with a sharp-edged stem, it is horizontal, relatively fine root, hairy along the veins on the underside of the leaf. It produces single (rarely 2) small flowers, white in color (2-2.5 cm long). The leaves, most often, are arranged alternately, facing upwards. The flowers have the smell of bitter almonds and are rich in nectar. Only bumblebees can pollinate them. The fruit is a dark blue, almost black berry. Blooms in May and June.
The multi-flowered Solomon’s-seal is a perennial plant, 15-50 cm tall with a smooth, cylindrical stem. Leaves lightly covered with plaque, placed almost horizontally. The flowers are white (2-2.5 cm long), arranged in 3-5 leaf spikes. This plant is pollinated by bumblebees and bees. The fruit is a green-black berry. Blooms in May and June.
The roots, stems, leaves and flowers of the plant are collected for medicinal purposes. The rhizomes are dug in late autumn or summer, cleaned of soil and small roots, can also be rinsed with cold, running water and dried in warm, well-ventilated rooms.
Shoots and flowers are collected during the flowering period of the plant, when it is dry and not overcast. Dry in the shade on sieves or in warm and well-ventilated rooms or forced drying equipment. Less often, but berries are also collected. This is done when they are fully ripe, used fresh or dried.
The drug is stored in paper bags, wooden boxes - separately from other medicinal plants. The plant can be stored for 2 years.
The alkaloid gluconine (it is especially abundant in the rhizome), cardiac glycosides (convalarin, convalamarin) and steroidal saponins, mucilages and tannins, acids (helidonic and ascorbic acid), asparagine, glucose, mannitol arabinose, carotene, and a rich range of trace elements have been found in the medicinal backbone. .
The underground part of the multi-flowered Solomon’s-seal contains steroids (dioshenin <0.52%); steroidal saponins <2.5%; nitrogen-containing compounds (alpha, gamma diaminobutyric acid and acetidine-2-carboxylic acid). Saponins are found in the surface part, steroids are present in the leaves (dioshenin <0.09%); flavonoids (vitexin xyloside, quercetin, apichenin glycosides and others).
Solomon’s-seal has many medicinal properties, it acts as an anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-bleeding, emetic, temperature-reducing, blood-purifying, emollient, covering, etc. no less valuable properties. However, the plant is used only in folk medicine, even though it contains a high concentration of cardiac glycosides.
In folk medicine, medicinal Solomon’s-seal and multi-flowered Solomon’s-seal are used to treat various ailments. For example, hydrophobia, rheumatism, gout, diarrhea, various skin diseases, acute bronchitis and pneumonia are treated with the rhizomes of the Solomon’s-seal , and they are also used as an astringent, sedative, wound-healing and diuretic agent.
Solomon’s-seal berries are used as an emetic and laxative. In folk medicine, the Solomon’s-seal is used to treat diseases of the lymphatic and immune systems, as well as various processes that take place during the development of tumors.
Extracts of rhizomes or water decoctions promote the absorption of new formations, especially if it is a tumor in the throat or digestive tract. A decoction of the rhizome of the many-flowered Solomon’s-seal is also effective in treating coughs, bronchitis and lung inflammations. It is used not only orally, but also in compresses, as a pain reliever in the case of lumbago, radiculitis, rheumatism, gout, hemorrhoids, and it also promotes faster absorption of bruises.
A decoction of dry and crushed rhizomes is used to treat acute bronchitis, lung inflammation, jaundice, edema, diabetes, gastric and duodenal ulcers, hernias, and to expel worms from the body. Spinal trunks are used in hypertonia. Spinal root is an important tool in the treatment of hormone-dependent tumors.
Back is also used in home dermatology and cosmetology. The juice and decoction of the root of the Solomon’s-seal is used as a cosmetic product - it makes the skin pinker. It is possible to get rid of freckles with fresh Solomon’s-seal juice, as well as with juice and decoctions it accelerates the healing of wounds, preventing them from rotting. This plant can also reduce sun tan, as well as reduce the color intensity of pigmentation spots.
In folk medicine, a decoction or alcohol extract of the medicinal root of the Solomon’s-seal is used to treat male impotence. In mixtures, the root of the plant is used to treat impotence and prostatitis. It should be remembered that the plant is poisonous.