Solomon’s Seal





And how to use; excerpts from the article below:

>Today, however, few practitioners know how to use Solomon’s Seal anymore. In China, Huangjing never was a component of the classical materia medica (it is not mentioned in either the Shen Nong bencao jing nor the Shanghan lun), but featured prominently in Daoist alchemical texts such as the writings of Ge Hong, Tao Hongjing, and Sun Simiao. Tao Hongjing’s initial introduction of Huangjing in his 6th century Mingyi bielu (An Extraneous Record of Famous Physicians) conveys the typical Daoist flavor that has become associated with the herb since then:

When consumed for long periods of time, Huangjing will cause the body to become weightless, prolong its life span, and alleviate the need to eat food.

Modern biochemical research shows that Huangjing contains a complex array of sugars, starches, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. At the same time, it has been identified as one of the most effective antifungal agents within the Chinese materia medica. It therefore is not surprising that the ritual imbibing of Huangjing during prolonged periods of fasting and cleansing was once a key component of Daoist hermit practice in China. Over time, many stories developed that enshrouded the medicinal properties of Huangjing in the terms of mythological lore, often associating the herb with the Queen Mother of the West (Xiwangmu), legendary ancestor of Daoist longevity knowledge, or the clairvoyant healer Hua Tuo.

One reason why Huangjing features so prominently in the esoteric arts of nourishing life in China is the pungent flavor* of the unprocessed root, linking it to the concept of yang qi and solar forces. Taiyangcao (Sun Herb) is a common nickname for Huangjing in Daoist folklore, and even its proper name Huangjing can potentially be rendered as “essence of the sun.” The Song dynasty literatus Zhu Qi once exclaimed in a poem composed after being presented with a bottle of Huangjing Wine: “The Sun Herb: nothing more potent in the scrolls of the Immortals for keeping old age at bay!”

A decoction made from processed Huangjing is sweet and nourishing, yet not as rich and sticky as a soup made from Dihuang. It stabilizes blood sugar while exhibiting anti-parasitic qualities, a rare and highly desirable feature among tonic herbs. Ginseng, in contrast, has a tendency to stimulate parasitic activity in people with latent viruses and other chronic pathogens. This particular feature makes Huangjing an excellent candidate for replacing Renshen in ginseng containing prescriptions for people who suffer from chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and other chronic inflammatory conditions.

Touted as an adaptogenic energy tonic that helps skinny people to gain weight and a blood sugar stabilizer for obese patients who wish to eat less, it is generally stewed with chicken or pork, or immersed in alcohol with other herbs to produce Longevity Wine.

In sum, the recent flurry of Huangjing research attributes the following actions to this ancient Daoist herb:

  • Strengthen physical weakness
  • Stimulate weak digestive function
  • Increase oxygen absorption
  • Increase memory and study focus; reverse developmental issues in children
  • Regulate heart rhythm
  • Decrease elevated cholesterol levels
  • Regulate immune function (increase low WBC count)
  • Regulate blood sugar
  • Counteract fungal infections
  • Benefit the eyes and correct near sightedness

*The Solomon Seal species that grow in North America are not at all pungent.

Another herb related to rat root/calamus/acorus


Tuxedo and Trenchcoat

Hunter T

Recently ran across several studies and analyses about fiber and lung function. Confirms what I first learned feeding flax and psyllium to a dog Trenchcoat (or was it her mother Tuxedo?) who had polyps obstructing in the gut, then seeing the beneficial effects to all the dogs. No more respiratory infections, no kennel cough, no need for the rotten bordetella vaccine. At the time more than 25 years ago people said, how can feeding fiber change the dog’s resistance to infection and congestion in the lungs?

I told Dominique Grandjean, the Alpirod chief vet, about the psyllium husk and it was added to the Royal Canin “sausage” provided to their sponsored teams. There are many proxies, and proxies for proxies, related to prebiotics and health. Butyrate and propionate are sometimes used. A problem that makes many such studies no better than anecdotes for relevance to other situations is that the prebiotics interact with the other foods eaten at the same time and with the specific host individual’s microbiome immediately, initially, and then over a period of many meals. But, to say, the husk of the plantago seed aka psyllium is extremely hydrophilic and forms a viscous mass that probably during passage through the GI tract entrains other food that is not otherwise dietary fiber but reaches the large intestine where effectively it is.

A small amount of certain fiber/prebiotic can have major effects. I was reminded also of  konjac fiber in addition to psyllium/plantain, oats, Aloe vera gel, marshmallow roots and leaves…
>This study provides the first evidence that dietary fiber is independently associated with better lung function and reduced prevalence of COPD.
More on the general subject prebiotics and health:

The general benefit to health of dietary fiber is demonstrated in the results of a longevity study conducted in China, see in an earlier post: