Sunday, January 22, 2012

Trying New Things - Solomon's Seal Tea

This weekend I had the pleasure of dining at Arirang, a Korean restaurant in Ann Arbor, MI.  In addition to my tasty meal and the receipt of attentive friendly service from the staff, they served a house tea that had a gentle roasted green tea flavor and was very soothing to drink.  In fact, I loved this tea and could not get enough of it.  Our waiter shared that the tea is called "Solomon's Seal" tea, contains no caffeine (despite its roasted green-tea-like flavor) and is made from the root of a plant.  Happily, they sell little containers of the bulk root at the restaurant, so I bought some to try at home.  

Solomon's Seal root

There happens to be a tremendous amount of information on the internet about this plant.  It is purported to have dozens of medicinal properties.  I like this simple summary of it, written by acupuncturist and herbalist Letha Hadady: "Solomon's seal is a blood-building and moistening herb described as being capable of enriching nutrition, enforcing the spirit, generating bodily power, and preventing illness and aging.  It reverses the damage that accumulates over time from stress and modern life."


The genus name for the plant is "Polygonatum", and there are many different species that each carry the common name of "Solomon's Seal".  The various species are native to North America, Asia, and Europe.  I don't know which species I have from the restaurant, but several species have been studied for their healing properties.  It is being researched as an anti-tumor agent, as a support to reverse bone loss, as an aide to prevent and treat diabetes, and as an analgesic.  Other traditional uses for this remarkable plant are for anti-inflammation; to soothe digestion; to reduce nervousness; to treat menstrual cramps; to relieve coughs; and it is used topically for acne, cuts, and bruises.  A real plant all-star!  It is important to gain knowledge of safe use of this plant if you wish to harvest it yourself, as the berries, leaves and stems are poisonous; only the young shoots and roots are edible.


This morning, I brewed a steaming mug of the tea from the roots.  I followed the instructions of my waiter from Arirang, as follows:


Take 6 or 7 pieces of the root...

And add to 1 liter (4 cups) of water...


Boil for at least 10 minutes...


Then strain and enjoy your tea!

This tea has a nutty, earthy, satisfying aroma, and feels very soothing to drink.  Another lovely gem that the earth has provided that may support health.  Thank you Earth!

(all photos by Marnie Burkman)
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6 comments:

  1. I want to try the tea and the restaurant. Thanks for the great post!

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  2. Will the restaurant sell the roots and mail them? Or do you have another source for the roots? I've been looking for the roots and haven't found any in Vegas (we had the same experience at a restaurant here - love the tea!).
    Thanks for sharing!

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  3. Hi Linda, the restaurant I went to no longer sells the Solomon's Seal root, but another mail-order source that is very good is Mountain Rose Herbs at www.mountainroseherbs.com. :+)

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  4. I just stopped by Arirang this morning to get some Solomon's Seal. I love the stuff. And as far as I know, nobody else in the area carries it--not even the food co-ops. You would think that as good as this stuff tastes, and with all of the good things it can do for you, that it would be more popular and more available. Thanks for posting the mountain rose herbs url.

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  5. Hi James, Yes! I'm surprised too that's it's not more widely known and sold all over. It is such a nice, earthy, grounding tea. Thanks for your comment.

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