Sunday, May 17, 2009

falling for smooth solomans seal

Earlier this week, when I was out walking, I fell.

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I was walking along the river near the old canal wall...in a mossy area. I was admiring the blue violets, and looking for certain insects that should be hatching out about this time of year.

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My footing was secure, but the riverrim was not. I was walking on the bank, when suddenly, the mossy earth beneath my foot gave way, and my leg went down into a hole up to my shin. It seemed to happen in slow motion, and I rolled onto my hip and then my shoulder. I was holding my camera up, so that it wouldn't hit any rocks and get damaged, and in doing so, slammed it into my neck...

I was not hurt..just bruised and a little startled, but nothing broken or sprained. The moss cushioned my impact.

When I opened my eyes, because I always shut my eyes when I fall..I saw this...

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Smooth Solomans Seal. How ironic! If I had not fallen, I would not have seen the plant...I wanted to laugh out loud that I had stumbled and fallen into a patch of Smooth Solomans Seal.

In case you do not know Smooth Solomans Seal, (not to be confused with False Solomans Seal)...I will tell you that the plant has a long medicinal history of being used for various muscular traumas or weaknesses. Bumps, bruises, torn ligaments, joint problems, inflammations? Smooth Solomans Seal is your friend. The rhizome is the important part, but I was not about to dig these plants, they were growing on top of bones, and I don't disturb bones.

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In "The Book of Herbal Wisdom" by Matthew Wood, there is a interesting paragraph about the roots of Smooth Solomans Seal:

"They usually have a ninety-degree angle in their construction, indicating an affinity to making profound changes or turns in life. They help bring a person to a transformative place or help them go through the change, or help them adapt to a change that has already occurred. The ninety-degree angle represents joints in the organism, and key-joints in the path of life.

I found another reference in an article by Deb Soule here:

"In the winter when the leaf stalk dies back and becomes completely removed from the rhizome, a scar remains which is said to resemble the Seal of King Solomon, who reined as King of Israel from 961 - 931 BC. The seal is a hexagram composed of two overlapping triangles to create a six pointed star, commonly called the Star of David after King David, father of Solomon. The seal became synonymous with Solomon who apparently used the symbol to cast away demons and summon angels."

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For such an unassuming little plant, it sure has a lot of lore associated with it. I am happy to have fallen where it is growing. And I will come back in the fall and collect some seed to start a patch in my garden.

14 comments:

The Gingerbread House said...

What an interesting post..I had some "Solomon's Seal" (as it was called in NJ) and it grew abundantly.
I loved the lore you told about it.
Glad your weren't seriously hurt.
Ginny

DebbieB said...

Thank you for all the information - I've never heard of Smooth Solomoon's Seal, and am glad to know something about it. I'm also glad you weren't injured!

vanessa said...

i'm so glad you weren't hurt badly!

Donna B said...

Fascinating. I love studying medicinal herbs, but this is a new one for me! I hope you that they end up flourishing in your garden someday~

Anne said...

I'm reading a British murder mystery right now, where the main suspect is an herbalist. She keeps telling the detectives that the sign of a really good herbalist is knowing where to find things when there is nothing left above ground to signify where they were in the growing season. I guess you qualify in that category!

Tam said...

Glad you weren't seriously hurt Cyndy...Very interesting info on the Solomon's Seal, thanks for sharing.

elizabeth said...

Scary! Do you hold your breath when you fall, too? I've had my Lekis go down those deep holes so I know what you mean, I'm glad you're okay!

cyndy said...

No, I don't think I hold my breath when I fall...but I ALWAYS close my eyes (like that is really going to help matters?!)

I'm just glad I didn't fall into the river...burrrrrr!

Kate/Massachusetts said...

That is so interesting about the Smooth Solomon's Seal. My neighbor gave me several plants last year and they have come back this Spring. They are very happy where I planted them and seem to have multiplied. I don't think they are the same as your's though - they are easily 3 feet tall and came from one of her client's gardens.

cyndy said...

These were not that big, and were very close to the ground. It is the first time I've seen them in this area, so maybe they are young and not very established. There are several different varieties...maybe there is one that is cultivated, and this one that I saw is the wild variety?

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I am so glad you weren't injured when you fell. It is such a jolting experience for an adult to fall. We have so much further to fall. Ha... Very good that you found the Solomans Seal. I had often wondered how it got its name. Now I know. Your are just a wealth of information. I am so glad that you are inquisitive enough to find and share this information. Many thanks for your efforts.

Leslie Shelor said...

Wonderful photos and information. And I'm glad you fall well! Sounds scary, though. Love the skull in the background!

thecrazysheeplady said...

Great story - the magic life! Good information too...as always.

fiberjoy said...

Oh! It's a miracle you weren't hurt!

My eyes were immediately drawn to the skull, and I wondered why a horse skull would end up there. But the full picture of it shows that it was a deer - though I've never seen a deer skull.

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