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Old 06-14-2014, 08:38 AM   #1
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Default 5 Native American Survival Medicines

5 Native American Survival Medicines
Susan Patterson - Natural Health
June 9, 2014
http://www.offthegridnews.com/2014/0...-made-at-home/


If someone told you that your backyard may contain plants that could boost your immune system, improve your eyesight, relieve your upset stomach and help you fall asleep, would you believe them? Most people take for granted the fact that their yard, neighborhood or favorite spot in the woods are full of vegetation with therapeutic value.

However, Native Americans were quick to realize the value in plants. They have been practicing herbal therapy for thousands of years. Some believe that native medicine may be as old as 40,000 years old, although there was no early written language and nothing was documented until the Europeans arrived at the end of the 15th century.

According to oral traditions, Native Americans watched sick animals and learned how to apply various herbs for certain conditions. It was they who shared their knowledge of medicinal herbs with new settlers. We should be grateful for the information and knowledge which they imparted.

Hundreds of herbs and plants were used in Native American remedies — many of which we value today for their potent healing properties. Below are just 5 such plants that deserve recognition for not only their beauty but also their functionality.

Sage (Salvia officinalis)

Native to countries around the Mediterranean Sea, sage is held sacred by a number of Native-American Indians mostly due to its purifying capabilities. It is thought to cleanse the body and mind of negative energy and improve function of the stomach, liver, colon, lungs and skin. From the Latin word “salvere,” Salvia officinalis means “to be saved.”

Sage is a member of the mint family, was recognized as Herb of the Year in 2011 by the International Herb Association, is an excellent source of vitamin K, contains volatile oils, flavonoids and rosmarinic acid, and is loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.

Although well-known for its culinary strengths, modern research indicates that sage has a very broad range of medicinal applications including regulating blood sugar and reducing blood pressure. This gray herb is about 2.5 inches long and produces flowers that are purple, white, blue or pint. It has a wonderfully fresh fragrance and is often used as an ingredient in personal care products. Sage is loaded with antioxidants and also contains anti-inflammatory properties.

Wild cherry bark (Prunus serotina)

Also known as Virginia prune bark, wild cherry bark was greatly used by the Flambeau Ojibwe tribe who prepared a tea for coughs and colds. The bark is gathered from young plants in early fall when it is active. The outer bark is stripped from the inner bark and placed in the shade to dry. After it is dry, the bark must be stored in an airtight container out of direct sunlight.
wild cherry bark

Active ingredients in the bark include tannins, scopoletin, and cyanogenic glycosides which help to reduce inflammation and ease spasms. In addition to being an effective cough suppressant, wild cherry bark is also used in modern-day herbal therapy to treat bronchitis, fever, gout, sore throat, whopping cough and diarrhea.

Recent research indicates that wild cherry bark is useful also in the reduction of pain and to ease an upset digestive system. In addition, a 2006 study published in the journal Oncology demonstrated that wild cherry bark shows promise for protection from colorectal cancer.

Dandelion (araxacum officinale)

Although many think of dandelion as a pesky weed, the Pillager Ojibwas and Mohegans thought differently. These wise Indian tribes knew that a tea made from dandelion leaves was a potent medicinal all-over wellness tonic. They would boil dandelions in water to treat kidney, skin and stomach problems as well as heartburn and swelling.

Native Americans were not the only ones to respect dandelions for their therapeutic value. Traditional Chinese medicine used dandelion for inflammation, appendicitis, stomach problems and breast problems. Early Europeans used it for fever, eye problems, boils, diarrhea and diabetes.

Modern herbalists use dandelion leaves as a diuretic and to stimulate appetite and ease digestion. The pretty dandelion flower has antioxidant powers and can also help improve immune system functioning. The root is useful for detoxifying the liver and gallbladder.

If you plan on collecting your own dandelion, be careful of areas where pesticides have been used..........................................................continued
http://www.offthegridnews.com/2014/0...-made-at-home/



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Old 06-14-2014, 10:38 AM   #2
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Not mentioned in the article is pine needle tea. Vitamin C and coughs/colds. I grew up chewing on them for fun.
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Old 06-14-2014, 11:36 AM   #3
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There was a Canadian Indian at one of the sites I started frequenting. He said the Pine tree, its bark, needles, sap cured just about everything.
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Old 06-14-2014, 04:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
Native to countries around the Mediterranean Sea, sage is held sacred by a number of Native-American Indians
These two facts do not jibe.
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Old 06-14-2014, 06:19 PM   #5
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Salvia is the largest genus of plants in the mint family, Lamiaceae, with nearly 1000 species of shrubs, herbaceous perennials, and annuals.[2][3][4] Within the Lamiaceae, Salvia is member of the tribe Mentheae within the subfamily Nepetoideae.[2] It is one of several genera commonly referred to as sage.

The genus is distributed throughout the Old World and the Americas, with three distinct regions of diversity: Central and South America (approx. 500 species); Central Asia and Mediterranean (250 species); Eastern Asia (90 species).[2]

The name Salvia "salviya" derives from the Latin salvere ("to feel well and healthy, health, heal"), the verb related to salus (health, well-being, prosperity or salvation); referring to the herb's healing properties.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvia

Many sages native to North America.
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Old 06-14-2014, 10:06 PM   #6
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But sages native to North America are not Salvia officinalis, and can have VERY different active effects. Look up "Salvia divinorum" for one.
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Old 06-14-2014, 11:17 PM   #7
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Common sage (Salvia officinalis) has been in North America since the 17 century. Appears someone now considers it to be native or do they need to wait for the 500 year mark.


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Old 02-07-2015, 05:44 PM   #8
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Sage is a name covering both the common garden herb and other plants of diverse families, somewhat resembling it in color and odor. Over 500 species of "sage" grow wild. Some are cultivated in south Russia and west Siberia as food and medicine.

I can assure you the "sage" brush some western Native Americans use in medicine and religion are not the culinary sages from your kitchen herb gardens. Some smell like creosote, not camphor.
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Old 02-12-2015, 11:30 AM   #9
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I believe that a lot of the "sage brush" in the west was an introduced species to help with soil retention, which has now gotten off the leash.
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Old 02-17-2015, 05:28 PM   #10
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No, the high desert sage brush species are native. No need for erosion control where there's no rain and no people. Its spreading because of the desertification of the west. When people see "sagebrush," they're including all the silvery, blue-green shrubby stuff growing out in the decomposed granite. It's diverse plant life out there. The stuff with yellow flowers are not sage.

There's a lot of highly flammable brush covering hills in wildfire areas. Most are natives such as manzanita, mountain mahogany, creosote brush and a dozen other species. Of course there are many easily spread escapees from reclamation and landscape projects which became noxious weeds at the top of the list for eradication. Scotch broom and gorse right off the top of my head.
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