Native American medicine
is something that many people hold in high regard. Their traditional
techniques and natural remedies are truly something to marvel at.
Every Native American tribe has its own unique approach. The
Cherokee, a tribe indigenous to the Southeastern United States,
believed that the “Creator” gave them the gift of being able to
understand and preserve
medicinal herbs. A number of different herbs and plants can be
used as medicine, as they once were.
Here are nine plants that
the Cherokee tribe used to cure a variety of different symptoms:
1. Big Stretch (Wild Ginger)
Mild tea made from the
wild ginger plant was believed to help stimulate the digestion
process. The Cherokee believed it could also treat stomach problems,
colic and even intestinal gas. Another Native American tribe, known
as The Meskwaki, used pulverized wild ginger stems to treat ear
2. Hummingbird Blossom (Buck Brush)
Hummingbird blossom was
used to treat a wide variety of conditions. Traditionally, it was
used as a diuretic to stimulate kidney function, but it was also
used to treat inflamed tonsils or lymph nodes and other oral issues,
as well as menstrual bleeding. Modern day laboratory research
has indicated that hummingbird blossom is great for treating
lymphatic blockages and hypertension.
Mint remains popular today
as a tasty herbal tea that’s also packed with antioxidants. The
Cherokee used mint to assist with digestion, and also ground the
leaves up to create ointments or for use in cold compresses. Mint
was also added to baths to help relieve itchy skin.
These berries are loaded
with antioxidants and nutrients that help to support good health. In
addition to the delicious berries, a tea can also be made from the
root of the plant, which is said to help decrease swelling in the
joints and bodily tissues. Chewing on the leaves of the blackberry
plant is also said to help relieve bleeding gums.
Cattails have been
regarded as a great
preventive medicine and, barring the seed heads and mature
leaves, is digested fairly easily. Boiled and mashed cattails were
often used to create a paste to treat burns and other sores. Seed
down, or the fluff from the seed blooms, was also used to help
prevent skin irritations for infants.
Sumac is touted as having
many different uses. The bark, for example, can be made into a mild
decoction to help soothe diarrhea. Tea made from sumac leaves is
also said to help reduce fevers. There are
many types of sumac,
so one must be careful not to choose poison sumac.
7. Wild Rose
Tea made from wild rose
hips was traditionally used to stimulate kidney function and bladder
function. A rose petal infusion can also be used to help relieve
sore throats; the petals can also be used to make a tasty jam. The
roots of the wild rose plant can also be made into a mild decoction
According to The Cherokee,
this herb can be used to help treat asthma and clear away chest
congestion. Inhaling smoke from the burning leaves and roots is said
to actually help open your airways and calm your lungs. Decoctions
made from mullein can be used for foot soaks to relieve pain and
inflammation. Flowers from the mullein plant were also used to make
a tea with a mild sedative effect.
The crushed-up leaves of
this well-known plant were traditionally used to encourage blood
clotting. The crushed leaves were applied topically to wounds to
help stop the bleeding. Yarrow juice, mixed with fresh water, was
also said to help stop intestinal bleeding.
Tea made from yarrow
leaves is said to boost digestion and assist with kidney and
medicine is truly nature’s medicine, and
there is so much more we have to learn about it, especially from
other cultures. Stay informed about more
preventing disease at Prevention.news.