By Tammy Sons
False Solomon Seal
The scientific name for the False Solomon seal is maianthemum racemosum. It is also known by such names as false spikenard, treacle berry and Solomon’s plume. It produces a white flower and also produces round fruits which turn red in summer. It can mainly be found in semi coastal areas of North America and grows well in shade to partial shade. In its early stages, portions of this plant can be eaten and has been described as tasting a bit like asparagus. However, after it has flowered it develops a bitterly taste. Several Native American tribes have been known to have used this plant for this method. It would be suggested that this be eaten in the strictest terms of moderation since it does have a laxative effective. Eastern Native Americans used it for this medicinal quality as well as others. The false Solomon seal has several different medicinal qualities that many Native Americans made use of. They used in many times to treat minor skin irritation, such as a sunburn. They would use the roots of this plant to make a paste or poultice to place on the burn to help with the healing process. Other times, they would dry the plant and smoke it as a help with emotional problems such as depression or with children who were hyperactive. They have even been known to use this plant as a way of suppressing a cough. These methods are still in practice today by persons who practice herbal medicine and are very effective and natural. They do seem to produce positive results. However, it must be mentioned that it is not wise to use this plant as an amateur. There is another plant that resembles it greatly with one deadly difference. It does have a potent toxic effect on humans. It is important that this plant is only used when it can absolutely be identified so as not to produce negative results.