Thursday, May 25, 2006

Solomon's Seal (Polygonatum biflorum)

Other Names: American Solomon's Seal, King Solomon's Seal, King Solomon's-seal, Small Solomon's Seal, Lady's Seals. St. Mary's Seal.

Habitat:Perennial native herb found growing in moist sandy, loamy or rocky woods and thickets, N. America from New Brunswick to Michigan, south to Tennessee and Florida. Cultivation: a very hardy plant, it prefers a light soil and a shady situation. Seeds, or transplants, if taken up with plenty of soil. The creeping root, rhizome, or underground stem, is thick and white, twisted and full of knots, with large circular scars at intervals, these scars give Solomon's Seal it's name. Stems grow to a height of from 18 inches to 2 feet, or even more and bend over gracefully. Large, light green, and broad ovate leaves grow alternately on the stem, clasping it at the bases. The flowers are tubular, succulent and thick, light yellow- green, and hang in little drooping clusters of two to five, growing from the leaf axils. Flowers bloom April to June. The fruit is a small berry about the size of a pea, blackish-blue, fruit is not edible, said to be poisonous. Gather roots in fall as flows fade, dry for later herb use.

Properties: Solomon's Seal is edible and medicinal, the young edible shoots are an excellent vegetable when boiled and eaten like Asparagus. The root is edible after boiling in three changes of water or sun baked, and is a good source of starch. This herb has a long history of use in alternative medicine dating back to the time of Dioscorides and Pliny. The main constituents are saponins (similar to diosgenin), flavonoids, and vitamins. A medicinal infusion of root or rhizome, is used in alternative medicine as an astringent, demulcent, and tonic. The dried herb is taken as a laxative and restorative, and is good in inflammations of the stomach, indigestion, profuse menstruation, lung ailments, general debility, bowels, piles, and chronic dysentery. A medicinal poultice of the fresh roots is said to fade bruises, also applied to cuts and sores.

Folklore: Once believed to have aphrodisiac properties, and used in love potions. More than likely due to its ability to stop profuse menstruation. Gerard says: 'The roots of Solomon's Seal, stamped while it is fresh and greene and applied, taketh away in one night or two at the most, any bruise, blacke or blew spots gotten by falls or women's wilfulness in stumbling upin their hastie husband's fists, or such like.'

Recipe: "Medicinal" tea: To 1 tsp. dried herb add 1 cup boiling water, steep for 10 min. sweeten to taste, take in the morning as laxative.

The above infomation was found at the following URL

The article was written by Deb Jackson & Karen Bergeron

Monday, May 22, 2006

Me and My Shadow

What do you suppose this pig is thinking about?

update Jun 2006: Little Piggy went to market...

Sunday, May 21, 2006

American Robin (Turdus migratorius)

We were lucky enough to have an American Robin buid a nest in a shrub just outside our family room window. We watched the process of her incubating her clutch of 4 blue eggs, as well as feeding and raising the chicks. Sadly, we also saw how Mother Nature ensures the survival of the fittest.

Here is a picture of the chicks snuggly tucked into their nest awaiting the arrival of Mom with a plump, tasty worm...

Friday, May 19, 2006

Welcome to SFrye732_Blog!

Greetings All,

Welcome to SFrye732_Blog!

This is my first attempt at Blogging, so please bear with me as I get my bearing.