Native American tribe that is indigenous to the Southeastern United States is Cherokee. They believe that the Creator has given them a gift of preserving and understanding medicinal herbs. The Cherokee trust the preventative and healing properties of nature’s pharmacy. Because many plants become scarce throughout history, the Cherokee promote proper gathering techniques. You should only pick every third plant you find if you are gathering, . This ensures that enough specimens still remain and will continue to propagate. Here are some of the medicinal plants that were commonly used and foraged for by the Cherokee tribe.
Plants For Healing
To the Cherokee, the blackberry is used for just about anything and is the longest known remedy to an upset stomach . Using a strong tea from the root of blackberry helps to reduce swelling of joints and tissue. A decoction from the roots, sweetened with honey or maple syrup, makes a great cough syrup. Even chewing on the leaves of blackberry can sooth bleeding gums.
Some other health benefits of blackberry fruit include:
- better digestion
- relief from endothelial dysfunction
- strengthened immune system
- healthy functioning of the heart
- prevention of cancer
These tasty berries are also incredibly nutritious. Vitamins provided by blackberries include vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamine, vitamin A, riboflavin, niacin, and folate. Blackberries also have an incredible mineral wealth of magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, calcium, iron, and zinc. They are also a good source of dietary fiber and essential amino acids.
Hummingbird Blossom (Buck Brush)
Hummingbird blossom has been used by the Cherokee for treatment of inflammation, cysts, fibroid tumors, and mouth/throat problems. Present day research has concluded that this herb is also great for treating high blood pressure and lymphatic blockages.
The Cherokee mainly use hummingbird blossom as a diuretic to stimulate kidney function, however it was was also used to treat conditions such as:
- inflamed tonsils
- menstrual bleeding
- enlarged lymph nodes
- enlarged spleens
To get all of the benefits from hummingbird blossom, in a boiling water the Cherokee would steep the leave and flowers for about five minutes then drink the tea while it is still warm.
The Cherokee consider this herb as preventative medicine. It is an easily digestible food that can help with recovery from illnesses. Except for the mature leaves and seed heads, almost every part of this herb can be used for medicinal purposes. The root of cattail is high in starch and the male plants are high in pollen content.
Cattail root can be prepared like potatoes, boiled and mashed. The resulting paste is a great remedy for sores and burns . The pollen from cattail can be used as a supplement in baking. The fuzz from flowers, the seed down, can be used to prevent skin irritation in babies, such as diaper rash. The flowers of cattail can help with diarrhea.
Pull Out a Sticker (Greenbriar)
While the leaves and stems are rich in various vitamins and minerals the roots of this herb are high in starch . Its roots can be used like potatoes. The starch in the root of greenbriar has a strange , harsh taste but is rich in calories.
The Cherokee use greenbriar as a blood purifier and mild diuretic that treats urinary infections. Many Cherokee healers make an ointment from the leaves and bark and apply it to minor sores and burns. The leaves from this herb can even be used in your tea to treat arthritis! The berries of greenbrier can be eaten made into jams or raw . They make great vegan jello shots too.
Mint is a very popular herb in present day culture and is commonly used in tea. Mint contains a variety of antioxidant properties. It also contains phosphorus potassium, calcium, vitamin C, magnesium, vitamin A, and fiber!
The Cherokee use this herb to aid with digestion. The leaves can be crushed made into ointments and used as cold compresses, and even added to your bath to sooth itchy skin. The Cherokee healers use a blend of stems and leaves to lower high blood pressure.Try applying some mint water if you are breast feeding and find your nipples cracking, . It worked miracles for me!
This herb has the power to chest congestion and soothe asthma . Inhaling the smoke from burning mullein roots and leaves works miracles to calm your lungs and open up pathways , according to the Cherokee. Mullein is exceptionally helpful to soothe the mucous membranes. You can soak your feet in it and make a warm decoction to reduce swelling and joint pain. Due to mullein’s anti-inflammatory properties, it soothes painful and irritated tissue. Mullein flowers can be used to make tea which has mild sedative effects.
Qua lo ga (Sumac)
For medicinal purposes every single part of this herb can be used ! Sumac bark can be made into a mild decoction that can be taken to soothe diarrhea. The decoction from the bark can help with a sore throat. Ripe berries that is rich in vitamin C can make a pleasant beverage . The tea from the leaves of sumac can reduce fevers. You can even crush the leaves into an ointment to help relieve a poison ivy rash. If added to daily diet, can help lower cholesterollevels , study published in Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research reported that sumac.
Big Stretch (Wild Ginger)
The Cherokee recommend a mild tea, to stimulate better digestion made from the root of wild ginger. This herb can also help with upset stomach , intestinal gas, and colic. A strong tea from the root of wild ginger can be used to remove secretion from the lungs. As a relief from earaches , the Meskwaki, another Native American tribe, use crushed, steeped stems of wild ginger . You can use rootstocks from this herb as a substitute for regular ginger and flowers as flavoring for your favorite recipe!
Jisdu Unigisdi (Wild Rose)
The fruit of a wild rose is a rich source of vitamin C and is a great remedy for the flu and the common cold . The Cherokee would make a mild tea out of wild rose hips to stimulate kidney function and bladder . You can even make your own petal infusion to soothe sore throat! Or try making a decoction from the root to help with diarrhea. My grand-mother use to make jam out of the petals and it was delicious.
Squirrel Tail (Yarrow)
For its blood clotting properties this herb is known best. Crushed fresh leaves can be applied to open wounds to stop excess bleeding. Mixed with spring water, yarrow’s juice can stop internal bleeding from stomach and intestinal illnesses. You can also use the leaves to make tea which will assist in proper digestion and stimulate abdominal functions . It can also help with kidney and gallbladder related issues. Oh, and did I mention that you can use a decoction made from leaves and stems to help clear up your acne? It works wonders for chapped hands and other skin irritations.
Kawi Iyusdi (Yellow Dock)
The Cherokee often use this herb in their kitchen. It is similar to spinach but contains a lot more minerals and vitamins due to its long roots that gathers nutrients from deep underground. The leaves of yellow dock can be used as a laxative and are a great source of iron. You can even prepare a juice decoction out of yellow dock stems to treat diaper rash, minor sores, and itching. The Cherokee healers use a decoction, made from the crushed roots of yellow dock, as warm wash for its antiseptic properties.
You should always remember that all of the above mentioned herbs are very potent and might be dangerous if used in the wrong way. The Cherokee healers have many centuries of practice and experience. Another thing to keep in mind is the fact that these herbs are all very valuable! They are the nature’s pharmacy, so please be kind and caring when scavenging any of these.
source : www.healthy-holistic-living.com