Manataka® American Indian Council









Medicine for the People

By Harvey Walks With Hawks Doyle

Healing Our Inner-self


This informative medicine has been gathered in my travels also information that I have read and received from other Natives, Elders, Medicine Men-Women, Seers and Indigenous Roots.


Native American and Indigenous people have known about emotional balances, mind, and health many years ago before modern medicine. Native Americans placed great values on emotions and maturing or evolving into manhood or womanhood. They used Mother Earth‘s seasons, their surroundings, animals and their everyday life.


An Elder or mature person does not allow emotions to become loud or extreme. If I get mad and start screaming then everyone knows that I have lost my emotions and let them run astray. This affects everyone and also adds fuel to the fire of the argument or disagreement and lets everyone know I am a fool. We should be careful how we discuss misinformed information (gossip) or anger so not to effect feelings of others or the tribe. Gossip is one of the things that can destroy people or the tribe. Even if they are true they should be held at bay and let them be carried away with the wind where they belong. This interrupts the balance, serenity, and harmony of the tribe, community or what ever organization you are associated with. 


Words have power and negative words can produce negative consequences. To tell a child or even an adult that he is bad or stupid all his life then he may become bad or stupid. It is better to focus on a person’s positive side, remember the old saying if you cant say anything good about a person then don’t say anything at all. This principle should be usually emphasized among all Native American Tribes or indigenous people. 


To speak positive words is to reinforce our way of life, our actions, our tribe, our friends and all people or even our brother and sister animals and plants.  We all understand good comments.  We are all connected and if this is a positive connection then it works well. Everything on Mother Earth is connected in some way or another.  This connectivity is one of our spiritual aspects of being an inhabitant of Mother Earth.  If you have others who are speaking words that are not positive then this is hurting all of us. This is not maintaining emotional balance. Something is wrong and needs to be corrected. It will not go away it will just change form and sometimes it changes to the worst.  I am sure we all are guilty of this at one time or another in our lives. I know that I am but we need to ask forgiveness and try to get on with our lives and try to correct the situation. We only bring hate, depression, and bigotry with these types of feelings.


We need to look at a persons characteristics and try to build on the positive and work with them to let the negative pass on into the wind and oblivion.  I personally feel that one of the greatest talents that we can give each other is encouragement and praise.  For those who are helping the tribe and assisting others, I would like to take this chance to say to all. Mother Earth, the trees, animals, the two legged, four legged, and even the ones that crawl; Thank You, Thank You, Thank You for helping me to understand and overcome my depressed thoughts. 


We need to be especially careful when we interact with young people or children. We need to be firm and encourage their dreams. Dreams become realities. Dreams and visions are real medicine. Your body can be healed by dreams and visions. There is a chemical and spiritual action when you dream or have a vision. It is positive and can help your body rid itself of diseases and depression. This type of therapy has survived for thousand of years.  We need to build on these positive dreams and help them separate the positive from the negative.  All emotions are important to us and we need to help others with their emotional problems if we can. Emotions are cleansed by tears, joy, laughter and sorrow. It a healing process brought forth by functions of our bodies.


We need to keep our emotions balanced by staying focused on the present. Psychological problems that have arisen from the past creates phobia and also can affect others that seem to listen to the person who screams the loudest.  Have you ever heard the saying “The wheel that squeaks the loudest gets the most grease” That can be applied to persons also. 


A Cherokee Elder once told me that if you constantly dwell on your past then you are like a squirrel with a long tail that gets his tail stuck in the bushes. An elder of the Northwest once said that if you always project your mind in the future then negative spirits will await you there and foul up your projections or thoughts of the future. According to Elders of the Native Nations emotions that have the most bearing on humans are respect,  compassion, love, generosity, courage, modesty, and humor.  I am sure some of you wonder why humor is so important to us and is common among us. 


It is a traditional teaching in many speeches.  Humor comes from having a flexible mind. Your mind should be able to sway back and forth from anger toward humor. When we find humor in our life it is full of surprises. Usually a surprise that has humor in it will make you laugh and feel better.  Laughter takes us away from bad events or bad areas in life. Sometimes we can look back on bad events in our life and get a laugh from it. Humor  is healing; also reminds us that all people are similar and imperfect and also equally capable of making mistakes and tripping on our own shoe laces. It seems that everyone else knows of the shoe strings or rumors before the one that is involved.  It should be left alone and usually if the person is wrong it will trip him up and he will realize his mistakes.  This is the way the Creator wants us to act. It is written.


Another thing about humor is that it helps people soften the impact and soften pain.  It also makes the person relax and find comfortable solutions to the problem.  Humor is a matter or was a survival for Native Americans.  It has helped our Brothers and Sisters survive the horror of colonialism, sometimes the wrong religions, percussion, military, and political abuse. Humor is also a powerful teaching tool when used the proper way.  Teachers can tell their history and stories in a humorous way that is not easy to offend others.  After all you can’t truly laugh and be angry at the same time. 


Australian natives say that compassion is of the first importance.  It should extend to all of life even to our brother and sister animals and everything on Mother Earth.  We all are connected and should show due respect and compassion to all even the rocks. If a tree is hurt then we are hurt. Hurt breeds depression. When waters are polluted so is our blood. Water is the blood of Mother Earth the same and water is our life line and we are also 80% water. Less water, less the feeling of being fulfilled more depression.  When the air is polluted so is our breath. Our breath is polluting when we raise our haa or chi breath to others in a bad, then we are polluting their mind in anger. When a child is abused, when ethnic or religious groups are abused, then we have denied or injured a part of our soul. Then we have a mountain of depression.  A compassionate person is compassionate about preserving life because he/she are one with life as we are all connected in the web of life.


All of these areas that I have touched upon can lead to depression or disorders of the body. If you are depressed, just can’t get going, or get off the couch; then here are some herbs that might help you along your way. It is said that they might help but always check with your health care provider or physician before taking herbs for depression, anxiety, insomnia etc.


Herbs: It is said that these herbs might be helpful.


Lemon Balm


Ginkgo Biloba

Oat Straw


Licorice Root - Do not use if you have high blood pressure if you use do not use for more than 7 days consecutively.

Siberian Ginseng - Do not use if you have hypoglycemia, high blood pressure or a heart disorder.

Kava Kava -  This herb may cause drowsiness, do not use if pregnant or nursing or if taking anti-depressants.

St John’s Wort - Do not use this herb if you take prescription anti-depressants or any medications that interacts with MAO’s inhibitor drugs. Use with caution during pregnancy.


This information is not to be construed as medical advice. Always consult your health care provider or physician before taking herbs or alternative medicines.


Walks With Hawks/BSNH, Harvey