Your Choice: Herbal Intervention or Prescription Drugs
Herbal medicines have a breadth of value as an alternative to very costly and risky prescription drugs (often synthetically created in a laboratory), or other types of over-the-counter relievers. Almost 5 billion people on this planet use natural plant-based interventions for healing and pain relief, and have done so for thousands of years! Sadly, only 27% of all presently used prescription drugs approved by the FDA (U.S. Food & Drug Administration) have been tested before approval. No wonder there are so many side effects necessary to proclaim!
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One must regularly exercise caution when using prescription drugs, and especially over-the-counter pain relievers (NSAIDS) like aspirin, ibupofren, and the like (all of which can severely affect gastrointestinal systems if taken too regularly). Additionally, the ingredients of common topical salves and liniments must be scrutinized for irritative agents, allergens, or excessive amounts of alcohol used in the base, all of which can cause rashes or adverse skin reactions. Even teas must be scrutinized because most commercial brands use a percentage of unnecessary fillers, such as powdered brown rice, to bulk-up the product.
We're Here to Help You!
Whereas herbal interventions are for the most part harmless, a few plants should be used with caution. The gnarly root of Solomon's Seal, however, (see photo, right) has repeatedly demonstrated significant healing and relief with almost no side effects. It is very benign to the body's systems — somehow having the ability to "read" the body and set to work to make things just right. Perhaps in the future, science will more thoroughly research the components of Solomon's Seal to understand the plant's broad effectiveness. (The U.S. National Institute of Health is presently researching Solomon's Seal's effectivess in regulating blood pressure and increasing cardiovascular fitness).
We have dedicated numerous years to testing Solomon's Seal (and other synergistic herbs) on conditions that historically it has been purported to heal or improve. We also use our own products for health intervention, when needed. Finally, we regularly gather testimonies from the many people who take the time to tell us how our products are working for them, friends, relatives, pets, etc. In short, we want to educate and guide you toward optimal health.
To help you navigate to different sections, click on a quick link below.
Duration of Use
What is a Tincture?
Frequently Asked Questions
The recommended dose when you are first beginning use of Cortesia Solomon's Seal Tincture, as stated on the label, is 5-7 drops, 3 times daily. The dosage can be increased to as much as 30 drops, 3 times daily, but seldom will this be necessary. Our formulated tinctures have different dosage amounts, as stated on the labels and on the Products Description page.
Regular use of this product is important for obtaining timely and optimal results.
A stronger dose will not necessarily produce better or faster results. Sometimes, it just takes time. After achieving good results over a 2-4 week period, you may be able to reduce the dose to a few drops once or twice a day, if not eliminate it altogether.
Those who use this product sporadically may be disappointed when they do not experience noticeable results. We have spoken to a number of users who readily admit that they can't remember to take their tincture. To these folks we suggest that you place your tincture in a location where you will easily see it every day, such as near the bathroom sink, on your desk at work, on the kitchen counter, next to your bed, etc. Once you establish the habit of taking it, it will be easier to remember. If necessary, write a sticky note to yourself and post it on your mirror or refrigerator.
increase Water Intake
Because of Solomon's Seals regulating and lubricating quality in joints and tissues, it is dependent upon the use of water in the body. Adequate daily water intake of 2-4 quarts (more if engaged in heavy exercise and phyisical work) is important. Healing of tissues, bursae, and dispensing of synovial fluids in joints is dependent upon fresh water. Water is a great healer and detoxifier. The body does not treat it as food. Juices, soft drinks, sports drinks, coffee, tea and the like are not substitutes for water!
As a final note, consider keeping a bottle of the tincture in your medicine cabinet, or as part of an "emergency kit". Because the product is created in an alcohol base, it has a useful life of 1-3 years or more.
DURATION OF USE OF TINCTURE
For Best Results: Take Regularly Until the Bottle is Depleted
It is not unusual for certain beneficial and lasting results to occur within days. In most cases, however, it may take about 1-2 weeks to perceive change and/or relief. We recommend that you continue to use your Solomon's Seal tincture until your bottle is gone. By then, you may well see one or more secondary benefits that weren't noticeable initially. Many people report other parts of their body benefiting.
Once the benefits level out (they should be long lasting), stop taking the tincture and monitor how you feel. If you continue to feel that your improved condition is holding, you may be finished with the tincture. If one or more symptoms return, resume taking the tincture but experiment with taking a lower dose, possibly only a few drops once or twice a day. Careful monitoring of your evolving symptoms is important. In the end, you will have to be the judge of how long you should use your tincture.
Take a Short Break from Use
Very often, any medicinal intervention causes the body to adapt to its components. It is important to know when to take a break from medicines, even plant-based ones. An acceptable pattern may be to take Solomon's Seal for 6 days and take a break for a day. You may even experiment with taking it for 10-14 days and take 2-3 days off from use. Experiment. When you return to use, you may experience a sudden improvement in healing.
Generally, long-term use of Solomon's Seal is not necessary for any one condition. But since a variety of acute injuries and health conditions respond to the use of Solomon's Seal, you may want to keep a bottle in your first aid kit or medicine chest in case of personal or family emergencies or to share with a friend in need.
About Using the Salve, Liniment or Tea
The Cortesia salves and liniment can be used regularly without concern.
The Cortesia Solomon's Seal Tea can be ingested regularly. However, don't exceed 3 brewed cups per day. As a mild diuretic, it may cause too much excretion of water. The Cold Infusion method of taking the tea, however, can be sipped in a water bottle throughout the day, if desired. See our directions for use of Cortesia Solomon's Seal Tea, and follow them! Unfortunately, there is misinformation on the Internet about Solomon's Seal's use as a tea, and in what dosages. Our experimentation & feedback from others serves to give more accurate information!
Do Not Create a Dependency
Our objective is to facilitate the most health benefits possible among our users without creating a long-term dependency. Thus we encourage you to take responsibility for your overall health as it relates to wise lifestyle decisions.
Strategies include the fostering of a high quality diet, regular exercise, good stress control, positive thinking, adequate sleep, and gratitude for all that you have. If you consume high moderate amounts of alcohol, cigarettes, red meat, caffeine, refined sugar, or junk food, this will affect your overall health, no matter what Solomon's Seal or any other natural product can do for you. It is in working towards and embracing your personal wellness on every level that you will experience the highest degree of success. Blessings on the journey!
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What is a Tincture?
A tincture is a liquid extract of an herb. It is made by soaking herbs in a alcohol. We use certified organic neutral grain alcohol. This allows our products to be gluten-free.
The alcohol extracts a great deal of the active ingredients, or phytochemicals, of the herb. Tinctures have much longer shelf lives than dried herbs and the potency can remain for up to two or three years or more.
Our tinctures are soaked from 4 to 8 weeks or longer to ensure they are as strong as possible. Many weaker commercial tinctures are only left soaking for a few days. This is definitely not long enough to extract all of the herb's useful properties.
Please do not be put off by the fact that a tincture contains alcohol. Tinctures have been made for hundreds if not thousands of years and in our opinion ensure the highest possible product potency which will assist you in your quest for health and wellness. Additionally, keep in mind that almost all health care products, including perfumes, use alcohol as an ingredient to draw out the essential qualities of plant-based ingredients.
Why Use a Tincture Form
There are three good reasons to use tinctures rather than capsules or powdered form.
- Tinctures are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. This takes place in the upper end of the digestive tract where over 70% of the body's immune system is stored and regulated. Capsules or powdered form diluted in liquid are treated by the stomach as food. This causes an enzymatic reaction that can in fact disturb sensitive or damaged gastrointestinal tracts. Tinctures do not cause such disturbance (many people have reported improved conditions in their stomach, whereas the powdered/capsulated form caused irritation). Tinctures also make the mucous membranes in the mouth more permeable, so that the herbal constituents can pass through and into the bloodstream QUICKLY, thus BYPASSING the digestive system!
- Alcohol, as a solvent, dissolves different constituents than water. This means both the water and alcohol soluble constituents of the plant are utilized, providing a more potent remedy.
- Tinctures are an easy form of herbal remedy for a person to take and the small bottle is easily carried.
Personal Issues Related to Alcohol
Occasionally someone may have an emotional or spiritual aversion to consuming alcohol. Here are some thoughts about this.
To review for a moment: Alcohol dissolves and extracts certain important phytochemicals, plant chemicals that are necessary for different formulae to be effective. Therefore, it is better than just water alone. The alcohol also helps the herbs to assimilate quickly into your body and preserves the formula, giving it a longer shelf life.
The amount of alcohol per dose is so insignificant; there is more alcohol in some mouthwashes. The amount of alcohol in the average dose of tincture is equal to the amount of alcohol in a ripe banana. This dosage has been tested on people who are alcohol sensitive with no adverse reactions. It is also a safe amount for anyone in a 12- step program or Alcoholics Anonymous, or who is diabetic.
If you are still concerned about consuming alcohol then there is a very simple solution: Simply add the drops of tincture to a little hot water and then leave for a minute or two. This will make the alcohol evaporate off and you will still get the benefits of the herb.
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Health Issues & Injuries
Alcohol Content & FDA Interest
Effectiveness, Side Effects, Use with Animals
How does Solomon's Seal work in treating arthritis and other injuries involving inflammation?
It is speculated that Solomon's Seal stimulates the body to produce cortisone. A similar belief is that it acts on the synovial glands, improving the production of synovial fluid and thus lubrication in the joints. In any case, the plant possesses a mucilagenous quality that coats and lubricates enflamed tissues while reducing friction and irritation.
Interestingly enough, the same mucilage that lubricates joints can loosen mucous in the lungs to treat coughs, as well as intestinal inflammation, and the starchy roots contain sugars that feed healthy bacteria in the intestines.
How does Solomon's Seal work to relieve gastric irritation or stomach inflammation?
The allantoin in Solomon's Seal acts as an anti-inflammatory that is good for inflammations of the stomach and bowels. It soothes irritated or damaged tissues and reduces general inflammation. The mucilaginous qualities help to soothe and ease gastric irritation.
Please discuss Solomon's Seal's "plasticity" effect on tissue injuries.
The body has what is called a plastic regeneration response to injuries, that is, the ability of the body to create a healing response that attempts to repair tissues following injury. This response is best seen in nature when a tree, for example, suffers a wound and forms a burl or scar tissue at that site.
The fascinating observation about Solomon's Seal's effectiveness is that the quality of repair to the injured tissue leaves little or no trace/evidence of scar tissue. Furthermore, it is also useful to fight and correct joint inflammation, tumors, as well as the acute and chronic swelling and edema that occur in the surrounding tissues following injury. In the case of broken bones, for example, soft connective tissues may still be out of balance with the surrounding tissues of joints, even after surgery or restoration. These types of problems are usually the result of excessive out-of-balance tensions on the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. This causes unnatural pressures and therefore bony overgrowth into the joint spaces and surrounding tissues. Solomon's Seal corrects these tension inbalances, thereby allowing the body to re-absorb the bone spurs.
Will Solomon's Seal help my knee problems?
Many people complain of knee issues: swelling, osteoarthritis, cartilage, and even the inability to comfortably stand up from a sitting position. Excessive exercise, aging, prior injuries, and even excess weight and obesity contribute to knee discomfort.
Not only does Solomon's Seal help to calcify and strengthen broken and normal bones, but it also decalcifies unhealthy deposits of Osteoarthritis in the joint spaces. Solomon's Seal also has some effect upon the cartilage. It has been effectively used alone or in combination with tincture made from the plant Horsetail to rebuild cartilage, such as that seen in the knee joints. One possibility is that it helps the cartilage to regenerate through the adjusting of the connective tissue tensions on the joint.
People often report having more spring in the knees, as well as being able to stand up easily. The fact that almost two-thirds of the U.S. population is overweight or obese contributes to knee issues. Solomon's Seal may be helpful to relieve discomfort, but the best advice is to remove excessive weight that severely impacts the knees and ankles.
I have tried Solomon's Seal in capsulated or powdered form (diluted in water or juice) and I get an ill effect in my stomach. Will this happen with a tincture?
This is a very important question. Please go to our discussion above about using a tincture and how it works in being absorbed quickly with no ill effects. In a nutshell, the capsulated/powdered form is actually treated as a food and sets up an enzymatic response in the stomach that may feel like heartburn. Some people who have tried this form of intervention have even complained of nausea. Or, they have experienced these same effects when taking certain vitamin supplements on an empty stomach, notably zinc and B-complex. Others may also have damaged or ulcerated linings as a result of bad diet prolonged use of medications and antibiotics. Continued use of medications/antibiotics strip the stomach of essential flora and fauna and enzymes. This is why yogurt or a suplement of acidophilus or bifidus is often suggested to restore balance.
Why does Cortesia Solomon's Seal Tincture have to be made with alcohol?
For some people alcohol may be an issue of concern. Just remember that most body or health care products use alcohol to draw out the essential qualities of the raw ingredients, if they are plant-based. Even perfumes, lotions, shampoos, deodorants, mouthwashes and the like have alcohol that is "ingested" into the body's tissues and/or bloodstream. Alcohol has been used for thousands of years and is simply the best. Water cannot draw out essential qualities. A common substitute is glycerin, but the shelf life of any subsequent product is very short because of its volitility to heat or sunlight. The taste of outdated glycerin-based products is decidedly stale.
For a more thorough discussion, quick link to the discussion about What is a Tincture? above.
What does the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) have to say about your product?
Your question is valid for anyone perhaps most familiar with the allopathic approach to health care (which includes, among other things, the use of surgery, synthesized pharmaceuticals, etc.) as compared to natural approaches such as homeopathy, naturopathy, and herbal (plant-based) medicine.
Ironically, many allopathic medications are initially derived from plants (most famous is aspirin) but are often synthentically manipulated. Western medicine is frequently contrasted to Eastern medicine, which is thousands of years older, and in which detailed and documented strategies have been created using plants, exercise, diet, and meditation, etc. Ayurvedic, yoga, food combining, homeopathy, naturopathy, flower essences, tinctures, salves - these have been most associated with Eastern medicine. In truth, however, the best approach is a complement of Western and Eastern modalities.
All "natural" interventions - herbal supplements, tonics, tinctures, salves, homeopathic medicines, etc. - do not require FDA approval. Of course, this has been a huge issue in our government. Why? Millions of people find relief daily using natural interventions over traditional medications. Naturally, there have been cases where certain herbs/plants are unhealthy to take in large quantities. The pharmaceutical giants consider natural interventions to be a cut in their profits, so they have lobbied very very hard with the FDA to ban them. This fight has intensified in the past few years, with the FDA unable to draw a firm line. In part, regulations would significantly affect the economy because thousands of businesses and stores would no longer be able to offer alternative medicines, thereby shutting down. But the larger part is this: a host of committed researchers and medical practitioners (both medical and naturopathic) have determined for many years now that naturopathic interventions in fact work to relieve conditions, are used in pharmaceutical formulations and research, and would in a sense be like throwing the baby out with the wash. Nonetheless, there will always be a battle on the political and corporate level.
The FDA encourages some statement on a container, leaflet, or other informational media (such as a website) that can be as simple as these: no medicinal claims; keep away from children, consult a physician first . . ., etc. They will, and have, most assuredly gone after those companies who have created "miracle" formulas that have ripped people off through clever multilevel marketing, infomercials, and generally "ecstatic claims."
The American Herbal Product Association (the industry-wide voice for quality and ethics in alternative medicines) has even stricter suggestions that we follow. We cannot put the statement on our bottle but state it on our website on every page.
I've read about the diverse benefits claimed by using Solomon's Seal. It really does seem like a "miracle cure" that you are promoting. Please respond.
We initiated this website for educational purposes, not to make any claims at all that are not supported by historical information, reports from medical professionals and ancillary disciplines, and anecdotal accounts by people who have used the plant.
Yes, the plant seems to have a rich history of use, and people have reported significant benefits. But we believe that one intervention alone should never account for palliation or cure of symptoms. This is why we promote overall wellness approaches, especially reassessing one's lifestyle choices around diet, types of exercise, stress control, spiritual focus, rest and relaxation, and the like. Furthermore, we believe in the power of positive thinking and affirmation. Similarly, a person's level of faith in something, whether it is religiously generated or not, may also be a key element.
In a nutshell, it would be foolhardy and haughty to make any miracle claims, so we don't. The concept of a miracle is personal and relative, not a blanket claim that can be bestowed upon anything!
I can't believe that there are no side effects to using Solomon's Seal. Explain.
Historical information as to its use does not indicate any side effects. From the dozens of people we have interviewed, none have reported any negative effects. Tinctures are pretty benign. Their intent is to capture the essential qualities of a plant and to dispense those in a few drops into the body, almost like homeopathic remedies, flower essences, aromatherpy and the like. Professionals have reported no effects from "overdosing."
In using Solomon's Seal, I haven't noticed any improvement for those symptoms/conditions I got it for. Why?
It is important to initially take the tincture regularly, as we suggest: several times daily, 5-10 drops. Some people report effects overnight or in one day; others after a few days or a week; still others may need several weeks or more. No hard research exists to explain the varying degrees of success reported, or why little effect is noticed.
We believe that regular use is critical, but there are other factors to consider. One is that, whereas your focus or desire was to feel an effect for a certain condition, the truth is that you may feel beneficial effects in other areas totally unexpected. In these instances it is as if Solomon's Seal acts as a "tune-up" mechanism for various areas of the body. With regular use (for a month or so), you may eventually experience a desired effect. We know of one man who experienced beneficial effects for his knees and intestines, but also reported lowered blood pressure and a more sound night's sleep without any other interventions.
Another factor in experiencing improvements (or not) may be lifestyle choice issues. It is possible that diets heavy in fats, sugars, proteins and carbohydrates may be masking benefits. We can't be certain without clinical research. Another delimiting effect might be this: sustaining an elevated level of activity that does not allow the body to relax or "come down" to a state of healing. For injuries it is absolutely necessary to rest and convalesce, or at least to pull back from one's regular level of exercise for a while.
Finally, we believe that one's attitude is important. If you are skeptical or cynical, this may affect your ability to sense change. If you are inclined to expect miracles, you are setting yourself up for dejection if something does not meet your expectations. If you have little "connection" to the signals your body gives you, or at least only when it sends signals of pain or discomfort, you may not be able to adequately read your body's suggestions. Lastly, if you are inclined to engage in "surplus imagination", you may be contributing more or less to the herb's effects than what is true.
How do you determine the cost of your Solomon's Seal products?
We believe our products are a fair price for our efforts, but there is more worth explaining. First, Solomon's Seal root, from which the tincture is made, is actually in very short supply. This is surprising given that the plant is native in the United States from the east coast to the midwest and grows abundantly in woodland areas. Clearly, the plant is not harvested in rich supply because the demand is not there. Therefore, the root we obtain is quite expensive compared to other readily available and in-demand plants. Secondly, the process to make our tincture is time-consuming and exacting. Our tinctures are "steeped" (non-heat) in their alcohol solution from 4-8 weeks; so, we must plan well ahead to ensure adequate supply for our customers. Thirdly, we make our tinctures, salves and flower essences in small batches weekly. This assures the highest degree of freshness and potency.
Is Cortesia Sanctuary available for public visits?
You can read much about our work and abode by visiting our main website, One Sanctuary. Our 22-acre sanctuary is private but visitations can be made by appointment. Here you will find 2-acres of beautiful gardens and many acres of deep woods and meadows interlaced with trails. We sit atop an isolated ridge just outside Eugene, Oregon, with a northwest view of over 100 miles.
Can I give Cortesia Solomon's Seal Tincture to my pet dog or cat?
Believe it or not, animals are perhaps more receptive to plant-based interventions than humans. They respond well to flower essences, salves and tinctures. We may not know exactly what they feel (before or after use), but their behaviors often give indications of effect. In fact, some people are more likely to be "attuned" to their pet's energies than to their own or others!
How can I contact you, in case I want a private consultation?
Please use the Contact Us link for email. Otherwise, visit the About Us page on this website. If it is a phone or in-person consultation, let's discuss a fair fee appropriate to your budget.
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