Manataka American Indian Council

 

 

Proudly Presents

 

PLANT MEDICINE...

 

 

 

Medicine for the People

By Walks With Hawks Harvey

 

 

Gifts from Mother

 

Ever since I became active in our Tribe I have strived to make homemade presents and items of interest to the Native American way of life.  Since my karma is to use what Mother Earth gives us as plants, herbs, and other items that we can use. I have always enjoyed accepting these gifts from Mother Earth and trying to use them to help others and especially my friends in life; even the animals I enjoy watching and visiting with. To others these were called homemade presents or gifts from nature.

 

At first they were little simple crafts considered cute or brought a lot of laughter when opened. I especially loved the economical practicality of making my own presents. I always thought that it would be helping the world to grow more “green”. Especially thinking of the atmosphere, smog and other chemicals the large factories were emitting into the air for us to breathe trying to make all our wishes for us commercializing Christmas.

 

I thought by giving my own presents from herbs which is grown locally by Mother Earth would be a great way of thanking her by using them to help others. This could impact Mother in a positive way and not contaminating her by using the items produced through mass production and the mess that would be left in the air. Does that make any sense to you? I liked the idea and hope you can follow some of them as I continue to write for the Smoke Signal News.

 

Here are some tips and advice that might help you to go “green” also.   Although I don’t think much of commercial holidays but some do so I try to help you along the way with giving which is the Native way called “The Great Give Away”.  This was practiced in most of the tribes many years ago. Some humans gave away everything they had and depended on others to help them.

 

Here are some things that you can do to participate in the great  “Give Away”. this season.

 

Flavored Honey

Honey is the nectar of the flowers of plants, gathered by the bee and transported in the stomach to the hive. Ancient honeys were produced from a wild variety of plants.  I think bees are strongly attracted to medicinal plants and honey produced from medicinal plants continue to have those same qualities present in the flowers. This is Mother Nature’s ways of helping to heal us. The Creator has it all planned if we just study and follow his wise ways for health.

 

Some examples are; elder, balsam root, chokecherry, valerian, Echinacea, wild geranium, dandelion clover and alfalfa where most of our honey comes from today. On the other side of this, honey made from poisonous plants, will poison the consumer.

 

To receive the many nutritious qualities of honey you should always choose raw, unprocessed honey. Flavored honeys can be made with a variety of different fragrant herbs. They can be used alone or in a mixture. To make this simple treat fill a glass jar with desired herbs, cover with honey, turn upside down every few days. You will want to refrigerate the honey after about three days. It’s ready at this point, but of course, will get better with time. The amount of herbs you use will be dependent on the potency of the fragrance. You will be happy filling an entire jar with rose petals; however, lavender only requires a couple tablespoons of fresh flowers. Some honeys you may want to strain before eating, while others are wonderful as is.

 

Rose Hip Honey

Gather rose hips after they have developed and turned red. Make sure you know what Rose Hips are and select them wisely. Some herbalists recommend waiting until after the first frost for improved flavor. (These fruits are commonly found on bushes well into winter.) Rinse rose hips well, and deseed the hips using a knife or spoon. (I find them easier to de-seed when frozen.) Fill a jar half to completely full with the hips. Fill the remainder of the way with honey and mix well either by stirring or by turning the jar upside down. Let sit for three days and then place in fridge.

 

Other Herbal Syrup Ideas

Comfrey leaves (Symphytum uplandica), Chicory roots (Cichorium intybus), Dandelion flowers or roots (Taraxacum off.), Elder berries (Sambucus canadensis), Lavender Plantain leaves or roots (Plantago majus), Osha root (Ligusticum porterii), Pine needles or inner bark (Pinus), Sage (Salvia off.) Wild cherry bark (Prunus serotina)

 

Rose Hip Syrup Recipe

This syrup keeps well in the fridge. It is especially good on pancakes or to sweeten teas.

1. Gather rose hips after they have developed and turned red. (These fruits are commonly found on bushes well into winter.)

2. Rinse rose hips well. Remove any stems or flower remnants.

3. Boil two cups of water to a boil, add four cups of rose hips. Simmer 20 minutes Or until the water has been reduced by half.

4. Allow to cool slightly and then strain through a jelly bag.

5. Stir in one cup of honey, or to taste.

 

Rose Hip Cordial

Follow the Rose Hip Syrup Recipe through step three, and add whole cloves and a cinnamon stick to the boiling mixture. Strain after twenty minutes. Allow to cool slightly and then add half part brandy and honey to taste. Bottle and cork. It keeps well in the fridge and improves with time.

 

Good Receipe

2 Cups Water

1 Cup to 2/3 Cup Honey

Herbal mixture of choice

 

To make heat water and honey over medium heat until honey dissolves. Bring it to a slight boil, remove from heat and add fresh or dried herbs. Steep from 20 minutes to 12 hours depending on herb and desired taste. Strain and store in the freezer. You can also add 2 Tablespoons vodka to the mixture to prevent it from freezing too hard (this won’t affect taste). Suggested Herbs:Lavender,Mint,Ginger,Rose petals,Orange Zest.

 

Roasted Dandelion Chai Tea

2 parts dried roasted dandelion root,2 parts dried burdock root; 2 parts cinnamon chips; 1 part cardamon pods,1 part ginger root,˝ part whole cloves.  Blend together and store in a tightly sealed container. Including brewing suggestions on the label: 1 cup of chair blend per quart of water simmered gently for twenty minutes. Strained with milk and or honey added to taste. (2 Tablespoons chai mixture per 8 oz of water)

 

Daily Blend:

1 part burdock root,1 part chamomile,1 part nettle leaves,1 part oatstraw,1 part red clover blossoms1/10 part cinnamon chips (optional),

 

Evening Brew

1 part lavender,1 part catnip,1 part red clover,1 part dried rose hips.1 part hibiscus

 

Winter Tea

˝ Cup dried hibiscus flowers,˝ Cup dried rose hips,˝ Cup dried lemon verbena leaves

˝ Cup dried peppermint leaves,˝ Cup dried orange peel

Mix and store in airtight container. To brew, mix one tablespoon with each 8 oz of water.

Makes 48 servings.

 

I hope you will enjoy these recipes. They will help you to honor the medicine and help you retain your position in the Hoop of Life. Try to continue on the good path and you will be rewarded with a long life and good health. Do na da go hvi (Until We Meet Again)  ~Harvey Walks With Hawks Doyle

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

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