Solomon's Seal: Sweet Medicine for Hot, Dry Lungs
When I was acutely ill with COVID-19, one of the strangest and most troubling symptoms I experienced was the feeling that my lungs were made of hot, dried-out leather that was stretched too tightly. What I was most likely experiencing was the inflammation of the pleura -- the fascial tissue associated with the lungs. (The pleura are also closely associated with the pericardium, the fascia that surrounds the heart.)
One of the herbs that was most helpful to me at the time was Solomon's Seal. Appropriately enough, I had learned years ago from jim mcdonald that Solomon's Seal is the herb to use to restore pliability to the fascia when they become like dried out leather.
Solomon's Seal's sweet, moistening roots spread through the forest soil, propagating by runner -- and the soil is the fascia of the Earth. Native populations of the plant are threatened by over harvesting and habitat destruction in many areas, so I recommend that people either by from organic farmers who cultivate the root or harvesters with long established relationships with the stands they work with. The plant contains tiny amounts of cardiac glycosides, small enough to be safe and even salutary for most people, but I recommend caution for those taking digoxin and other similar medications. For those who cannot access good Solomon's Seal, the plant's cousin, Shatavari is an excellent substitute. (As are the roots of garden Asparagus.)
Matthew Wood taught me about combining Hawthorn and Solomon's Seal in a cardiac tonic formula, and Kiva Rose has spoken of Hawthorn as a remedy for connective tissue inflammation. That combination makes a lot of sense in COVID-19 because Hawthorn also helps reduce blood pressure and vascular constriction. Some polyphenols from Hawthorn also appear to inhibit ACE -- Angiotensin Converting Enzyme, thereby weakening the action of angiotensin, a hormone that signals the body to constrict the blood vessels. Constricting blood vessels raises blood pressure an also can increase local inflammation by impeding healthy circulation. ACE converts raw angiotensin 1 into the active form of angiotensin, angiotensin 2.
ACE has a counterpart, ACE2 which deactivates angiotensin 2, relaxing and opening the blood vessels.
COVID-19 attaches itself to ACE2 receptors, initially in the lung, which interferes with the action of ACE2, thus increasing the action of angiotensin 2, causing blood vessels to constrict, spiking blood pressure, and causing tissue damage up to and including respiratory failure, scarring of the lung tissue, myocarditis, and kidney failure.
Black Cohosh, which dilates blood vessels and reduces inflammation in fascia, also combines very well with Solomon's Seal. I will also often add a touch of Lobelia to the mix, which normalizes the heart rate, calms the nervous system, releases muscular tension, and dilates both the airways and the blood vessels. Black Cohosh is another plant over harvested in the wild, so please buy from someone who grows it, or a harvester with a deep relationship with the plant.
Solomon’s Seal helps create room for the breath to expand, connecting us again with the ocean of air that surrounds us.