The Cherokee, the Native American tribe – indigenous to the South-Eastern United States – believed that the ‘Creator’ gave them a gift of understanding and preserving medicinal herbs. The Cherokee trust the healing and preventative properties of nature’s pharmacy.
The Cherokee promote proper gathering techniques of medicinal plants. The elders have taught them that if you are gathering, you should only pick every third plant you find. This ensures that enough still remain and will continue to propagate.
We have compiled a list of the medicinal plants that were commonly used and foraged for by the Cherokee tribe. Before we explain their properties however, we must warn you that they can be quite strong and dangerous if not used properly. Keep in mind that the Cherokee healers were experienced as they had centuries of practice. Furthermore, it is of high importance to understand their value as powerful natural medications, so you should be gentle when scavenging them.
These are the plants used by the natives that provide astonishing medical benefits:
1. Big Stretch (Wild Ginger)
The Cherokee tribe believed that the mild tea from the foundation of wild ginger animates digestion of food, and treats stomach problems, colic, and intestinal gas. Likewise, the solid tea from the foundation of wild ginger can wipe out emission from the lungs.
Another Native American tribe, The Meskwaki, cured ear infections by utilizing pulverized, soaks stems of wild ginger. The rootstocks can supplant standard ginger and blossoms as enhancing for various formulas you prepare.
2. Hummingbird Blossom (Buck Brush)
Hummingbird blossom has been used by the Cherokee for treatment of cysts, fibroid tumors, inflammation, 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
- Enlarged Lymph Nodes
- Enlarged Spleens
- Menstrual Bleeding.
To get all of the benefits from hummingbird blossom, the Cherokee would steep the leave and flowers in a boiling water for about five minutes then drink the tea while it is still warm.
3. Pull Out a Sticker (Greenbriar)
This plant’s roots are rich in starch, which is full of calories, but has a strange flavor. The stems and leaves are high in numerous minerals and vitamins. As it has a rubbery texture, you can use its roots like potatoes. This plant has been used as a mild diuretic in the case of urinary infections and to purify the blood. Its bark and leaves have also been used for the preparation of an ointment which heals burns and minor sores. Its leaves can be added to tea in order to treat arthritis, and the berries can be either consumed raw, or made into jam.
4. Wild Mint
Mint is a very popular herb in present day culture and is commonly used in tea. However, many people don’t know that mint contains a variety of antioxidant properties. It also contains magnesium, phosphorus potassium, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin A, and fiber! The Cherokee use this herb to aid with digestion. The leaves can be crushed and used as cold compresses, made into ointments, 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. If you are breast feeding and find your nipples cracking, try applying some mint water.
This has been the most well known prescription on account of an agitated stomach, yet it additionally has various different healthy purposes. It can be utilized to soothe bleeding gums on the off chance that you chew the leaves. You can make hack syrup by setting up a decoction from the roots, sweetened with maple syrup or honey. The solid tea from its root decreases the swelling of the joints and tissues. These delightful berries are rich in vital supplements, for example, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin E, vitamin K, riboflavin, thiamine, folate, and niacin, and potassium, zinc, calcium, magnesium, iron, and phosphorous. Moreover, they are plenteous in vital amino acids and dietary fiber.
More advantages of blackberry include:
- Reinforces the immune system
- Alleviation from endothelial brokenness
- Malignancy anticipation
- Healthy functioning of the heart
- Enhanced digestion
This plant has been regarded as a potent preventative medicine, which is easily digested and promotes recovery from various health conditions. Despite the seed heads and the mature leaves, all other parts of this herb have medicinal properties. Its root is rich in starch and the male plants are rich in pollen.
It can be prepared similarly to potatoes, mashed and boiled. The resulting paste treats sores and burns. Also, its pollen is rich in protein and can be used as a supplement in baking. Its blooms can help on account of diarrhea. You can likewise utilize the fluff from blooms, known as the seed down, with a specific end goal to avert skin irritation in infants, similar to diaper rash.
7. Qua lo ga (Sumac)
Every single part of this herb can be used for medicinal purposes! Sumac bark can be made into a mild decoction that can be taken to soothe diarrhea. The decoction from the bark can also be gargled to help with a sore throat. Ripe berries can make a pleasant beverage that is rich in vitamin C. 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. A study published in Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research reported that sumac, if added to daily diet, can help lower cholesterol levels.
8. Jisdu Unigisdi (Wild Rose)
This plant’s fruit is high in vitamin C and effectively treats the flu and common cold. The Cherokee prepared a mild tea out of wild rose hips to stimulate the function of the kidneys and the bladder. The wild rose petal infusion can be used to soothe your sore throat, and a decoction of the root will treat diarrhea. Its petals can also be used in the preparation of a tasty jam.
This herb has the power to soothe asthma and chest congestion. According to the Cherokee, inhaling the smoke from burning mullein roots and leaves works miracles to calm your lungs and open up pathways. Mullein is exceptionally helpful to soothe the mucous membranes. You can make a warm decoction and soak your feet in it 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.
10. Kawi Iyusdi (Yellow Dock)
This herb has been a typical ingredient in the kitchen, as it is like spinach, yet incorporates a great deal of minerals and vitamins. Its roots accumulate supplements from deep underground. Its leaves are high in iron and go about as a purgative. Set up a juice decoction out of the stems to alleviate the tingling, minor bruises, or diaper rash. Also, the decoction from its smashed roots has effective cleaning properties and can be utilized as a warm wash.
11. Squirrel Tail (Yarrow)
This herb is known best for its blood clotting properties. Fresh, crushed leaves can be applied to open wounds to stop excess bleeding.
Yarrow’s juice, mixed with spring water, can stop internal bleeding from stomach and intestinal illnesses. You can also use the leaves to make tea which will stimulate abdominal functions and assist in proper digestion. It can also help with kidney and gallbladder related issues. It also works wonders for chapped hands and other skin irritations.