General History Tips and Ideas

Herbs Used by Native American

Gideon Anderson

Native cultures across the world developed aromatherapy according to their native plants. Even though a lucrative trade for native flowers, herbs and woods existed throughout Europe, African, India and the Far East, there was not as cross-cultural trading in America. The following is a list of 10 native species which were used by tribes for shamanic and healing purposesalong along with different uses.

1. Bloodroot had many applications for native tribes. The juice from the rhizome (root) was used as body paint and dye. A folklore legend claims that a tribal woman was introduced to a colonist in Jamestown as a bedmate and arrived at only a coating of bloodroot and that this practice of coating the entire body with bloodroot was the reason the colonists called the natives Red Skins. This narrative is doubtful as bloodroot is an escharotic and will kill tissue leaving severe disfigurement.

Young men of the Ponca tribe put bloodroot juice on the palm of the hands and tried to touch the hands of the women of the tribe. They thought that it would make the woman ready to marry them within 5-6 days.

While bloodroot was prescribed for many applications, it is more sensible usage was treating conditions of the skin such as ringworm, warts and fungals.

2. Cedar was used primarily by the Western American Tribes. Boughs were put around teepee sticks to ward off lightning. The sacred Thunderbird was thought to nest in the cedars that grew high on the mountain sides. Red cedar representing the Holy Woman was put on the altar during the Sun Dance. Twigs were put on hot stones in Sweat Lodges so the oils and smoke purified epidermis and energy and they have been burnt to smudge around sleeping areas to banish nightmares and nervous ailments.

Medicinally, cedar was used for chronic cough, fever and gout. It can be utilised as a diuretic and uterine stimulant and offers relief to aching muscles.

3. Columbine was used as a perfume and it was thought that girl would succumb to its power when worn by young Braves.

4. Bedstraw was worn by indigenous women as their cologne. It was thought to keep their men by their sides.

5. Fuzzy Weed was the plant of magical and desires. Natives visualized what they desired in their own lives and used the smoke of the Fuzzy Pot to carry them out to the world for reflection. The smoke was also utilised to ensure decent hunting.

6. Prickly Ash was another love cologne preferred by young guys to attract a mate. It is more sensible usage was for toothache.

7. Sage, really a kind of mugwort, is still used today for purifying spaces and vitality. It’s readily found in metaphysical shops and some critical stores. Natives used the smoke to clear any unwanted energies before beginning a ritual or ceremony.

8. Sweetgrass is plaited into a long braid and burnt to invoke deities. With a lovely vanilla odor, sweetgrass was mixed with tobacco to summon excellent powers. It may also be used similar to sage for purifying.

9. Evening Primrose was rubbed on the bottoms of moccasins to attract deer and repel snakes. Medicinally, it may be applied for many applications from asthma to lupus, even losing weight.

10. Morning Glory was burnt to prevent nightmares. Also called snake plant, morning glory seeds generated visions and were used for divinatory purposes.