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Jul 13, 2008

Wild Plants used for Medicine By Native Americans
by Native Americans
As with most aboriginal peoples of the world, Native  Americans were aware of the many indigenous plants  in their environment. Many hundreds of years ago the  medicine man would not share this knowledge for fear  the   information would be used without affording the  proper respect. Keeping the remedies a secret was of  such concern that even the medicine man's own family  knew not of the facts surrounding the application and  selection of plants. Names were seldom even given to  the plants that their dreams directed them to.
Further secrecy was imparted to disguise plant roots  even after it had been rubbed to shreds and dried.  Aromatic herbs were combined with the medicines  as an additional precaution  against identification.
*There are many more facts than those which I discuss  here. I have attempted to impart a small selection of  plants which the Medicine Man, Shaman or Medicine  Woman used in their practice, every day. Names for  the plants varied among the different tribes; yet, the  uses remarkably remained similar.

How about a little sip?
Cota:A Herb served as a beverage commonly knownas Navajo Tea and used to treat high blood pressure.   Also known as thela sperma gricilis, hohoysi, and chiliweh.
Ephedra:Used as a Coffee substitute and also known  as Ma huang, Mormon Tea or Indian Tea. It is used to  treat bronchial conditions, and as a remedy for sinus  congestion. Also, as a blood purifier and a stimulant  for the central nervous system.
Yerba de buena:Herb used as a soothing, calming  tea, and for use in making ear cones.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Ear coning:to relieve earache, to fight infection,  and remove toxins and wax from inside the ear.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
I have only listed what I found to be some  of the more interesting traditional  uses of the wild plants.
Comfrey Plant: Edible and used to treat ulcers.   Also good for cuts, insect bites,  bruises, and burns.
Digitalis foxglove:The plant is used for the production of  Digitalis, a drug used in the   treatment of heart disease.
Echinacea:This Herb from the cone flower is used  to limit the intensity and duration of cold and flu  symptoms, and for the discomfort of menstrual cramps.   It can speed the healing of wounds when applied topically.
Garlic:Herb that is active against viruses, fungi and  parasites. It is used to inhibit the formation of blood  clots, and is also used to treat high blood pressure.
Ligusticumlant with analgesic and anti-viral properties.   Ceremonial, symbolic and ritual uses.
Sage: More than one variety of this Herb is used in  cooking. I have Blue Sage growing all over the chaparral  and available just outside my doorstep for use in cooking.   I also burn it for its meditative qualities. I never take  without giving thanks to Mother Earth for the gift.   Also, has ceremonial, symbolic and ritual uses.
St. John's Wort:A common plant used as an  antidepressant substitute for Prozac. Also known as  hypericum perforatum. St. John's Wort has long been  used for premenstrual syndrome.
Thistlelant used to protect the liver against toxins,  and can actually encourage the regeneration of new liver  cells. Also known as the milk thistle or yerba de burro
Willowlant boiled and used to treat the common cold.
Yerba del manzo:This plants root is used as both a  topical and internal antiseptic. Also known as swamp  root and anemopsis Californica.

Some varieties of the Pine tree produce large, edible  seeds and are known as the Nut Pine or Pinon Pine  (pinyon), stone pine, and the digger pine.

Pinon, a natural Band-Aid, is a Native American  remedy.
The sap of the pinon pine is called the Pitch of the pine  and is a natural antiseptic that quickly dries and can  seal an open wound. You can remove the seed off the  tree or just pick it up off the ground and warm it up  to soften and release the oils. It may be applied topically  onto a cut, an open wound or a sore and it is very  soothing and healing.
A cream is made from the sap that is effective  with people that have circulatory problems.

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Posted: Sunday July 13, 2008, 10:54 pm
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