Since known history, Native American herbal remedies have been used not only to heal the body, but also to purify and balance their spirit with the world they live in. It is assumed that they studied closely, and discovered new natural herbal remedies, by closely observing sick animals.
The Native American herbal remedies of course have been used long before Europeans got there, but unfortunately there are no written records of this. The first written records about this is when they started sharing their knowledge with the newcomers.
There are literally hundreds of native american herbal remedies. We made a short list of ten witch we consider to be the most popular and most widely spread.
Native American herbal remedies: Blackberry
This berries are known by all kind of different names. Just few of them are: Brambleberries, dewberry, thimble-berry, bramble or lawers. All the same they meant a lot to the Native American people.
Blackberry, another well deserved spot in our top 10 native american herbal remedies list, was used most commonly for problems with the stomach. But it can be used for just about anything. The tea made from it’s root will reduce swelling, and relieve joints pain. Also the root of blackberry along with honey or maple syrup will make first-rate syrup against cough. Chewing the leaves of blackberry will treat bleeding gums.
Other health benefits of blackberry worth mentioning are:
- Strengthened immune system
- Healthy functioning of the heart
- Prevention of cancer
- Relief from endothelial dysfunction
The berries also contain various vitamins. The nutrition list of blackberries is a long one. It includes: vitamin A, B6, C, E, K. Also they have hiamine, riboflavin, niacin and folate. Blackberries are rich in minerals including: magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorous and zinc. They provide excellent of fiber and contain essential amino acids.
Native American herbal remedies: Wild Mint
The Cherokee widely used wild mint against digestion problems. Today, this is proven worldwide. If you get stomach pain, drink a cup of mint tea and you will get rid of the stomach pain in matter of minutes.
The refreshing aroma will effectively treat nausea. Just get few leaves of fresh wild mint, and smell them. The Native Americans also made balms who are based on wild mint. Apply them to the nose and forehead for headaches.
It can be used for treating respiratory disorders and coughs. The strong scent of this herb clear up congestion in the nose, bronchi, throat and lungs. It’s aroma soothes the throat and reduces the inflammation. It is also worth mentioning that wild mint can be used in treating asthma.
Other health benefits worth mentioning are:
- Reduce nipple cracks and nipple pain while breast feeding
- Can be used against depression and fatigue
- Widely used for skin care and against pimples
- Can be used against memory loss problems
- Wild mint sometimes is effective for female sterility
- It is widely used for heath oral care
- It can be used to sooth allergies and hay fever
- Researchers state that certain enzymes of mint will prevent cancer
This were the only few health benefits of wild mint. As there are many others, you can read more here.
Native American herbal remedies: Sumac
Sumac also known as mountain sumac, red sumac or dwarf sumac is another herb that Native Americans used extensively for food and medicine. Young shoots and roots could be eaten raw after peeled. The fruit can be also consumed raw or cooked. It can be turned into tasty lemonade drink also.
The nutrients of sumac are studied and proven to be great beneficiary against diseases like TB, diabetes and even against few types of cancer.
Sumac bark or its roots can be used as antiseptic, haemostatic, galactogogue, astringent, rubefacient, alterative and tonic. In alternative medicine it is widely used against cold, fevers, diarrhea, improving breast milk flow, sore throat, bladder inflammation, painful urination, dysentery or it can be externally applied to treat excessive vaginal discharges, burns or skin eruptions.
Flawless antiseptic salve can be made from sumac bark. The leaves are used in asthma treatment, for oral healthcare or diarrhea. They can be also used for the treatment of skin rashes and can be chewed against sore gums or rubbed against sore lips.
The sumac berries have diuretic, emmenagogue, emetic, refrigerant and purgative abilities. They can be used in treating diabetes, painful bowel movements, febrile diseases or difficult menstruation. Sumac blossoms are used for eye was, and the milky latex can be used as sores salve.
Native American herbal remedies: Ginger Root
Ginger root is a considered to be super plant when it comes to native american herbal remedies. It can be used as an oil, juice or tea. Fresh, dried or powdered. Very common ingredient in cooking recipes. Responsible for the healing properties of Ginger root is the main compound Gingerol. The bio-active compound, gingerol, gives most of the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Ginger root is also used by cancer patients that are under chemotherapy treatment to relieve nausea. Its anti-emetic abilities puts ginger root at the top of the Native American herbal remedies list for pregnancy-related nausea. According to few studies, 1-1.5 grams of ginger can eliminate or significantly reduce nausea symptoms.
Native American herbal remedies: Hummingbird Blossom (Buck Brush)
Hummingbird blossom also known as buck brush, well known herb in Native American herbal remedies list, was used widely by the Cherokee people to treat various diseases. Today research confirms this plant and it’s and puts it at the top of natural herbal remedies for its healing abilities against:
- Inflamed tonsils
- Enlarged lymph nodes
- Enlarged spleens
- Menstrual bleeding
The Cherokee people used prepare a 5 minute tea with steeping hummingbird blossom plant in boiling water and drink while it is warm. This super plant is proven to be great to treat hypertension or lymphatic blockages.
Native American herbal remedies: Cattail
This is one of the main herbs Native Americans used for food, medicine or even in technology development.
Cattail has high amounts of pollen that has been proven to be astringent and hemostatic. It can be used to control bleeding by applying it directly on a cut. It was also eaten to stop internal bleeding. This includes chest pain, menstrual pain and various of other forms of blood stagnation.
It is also known that pollen is mild emenagogue and diuretic. Pounded cattail root can be applied and used against infections, stings and blisters. Mashed cattail root can be used as toothpaste and from the root you can make flour that boiled in water can treat diarrhea and dysentery.
The sticky starch found at the base of the leaves is bit numbing and can be used as antiseptic or coagulant. The leaves of cattail can be boiled then used for external skin wash.
All of this, puts Cattail on well deserved spot #6 of our top 10 Native American herbal remedies list.
Native American herbal remedies: Wild Rose
Wild rose were widely used by Native American Tribes.
“Roses were eaten by First Nations people on a casual basis or in times of scarcity… The Tsilhquot’in tribe ate fresh rose petals and made the hips into tea… The Carrier tribe scraped the cambium from the roots, soaked and then boiled them, and applied the ointment to sore eyes… The interior Salish people widely used baldhip roses (Rosa gymnocarpa) for medicinal and spiritual purposes… The St’at’imc and Nlaka’pmx peoples used it to cure many sicknesses. They made a pleasing tonic with young leaves and twigs, infused in water. The leaves and bark were dried, and toasted. The resulting powder was smoked. …The Secwepemc made arrows out of rosewood, and rose leaves were chewed and put on inset bites to alleviate pain and swelling…The Okanagan ate the flower buds but not the hips. They used the thorns for fish lures.”
This amazing herb can be used as sedative, vulnary, antiseptic and nervine. It relives flu symptoms as well as cold ones. They have antidepressant abilities as well as antibacterial, anti-inflammatory. Can be used as aphrodisiac or treat varicose veins. Wild rose helps with menstrual pain and reproductive system. Can be beneficial to the kidneys or the liver.The herb helps with detoxing the body by draining lymph nodes.
Wild rose is full with zinc minerals as well as vitamins C, E, D, B3 and A. One cup of rose hips contains 60 times vitamin C that is contained in one orange.
Native American herbal remedies: Mullein
The Cherokee used this herb to fight various diseases connected with the respiratory system. They primary used the flower of the plant to make medicine.
Mullein can be used to treat cough, TB, bronchitis, pneumonia, hoarseness, whooping cough, cold, flu, fever and much more. It is also used to treat asthma, colic, diarrhea and gastrointestinal bleeding. The list of illnesses that mullein can treat also includes migraines, joint pain and gout.
Mullein can be used as sedative and can also be used as diuretic to increase urine flow. It helps with wounds and burns by applying it on the skin. Also can be used for hemorrhoids, frostbite wounds or bruises.
Today its leaves are widely used, by applying externally, against all kind of skin infections including cellulitis.
Mullein contains properties that are able to treat influenza and herpes viruses. Also it contains properties that can fight off bacteria that are connected with respiratory infections.
The chemicals in mullein might be able to fight influenza and herpes viruses, and some bacteria that cause respiratory infections.
Native American herbal remedies: Yarrow
Yarrow is one of the greatest gifts nature gave to mankind. It has valuable antiseptic, astringent, antispasmodic, carminative and anti-inflammatory abilities. In addition it is an excellent febrifuge, diaphoretic, haemostatic, vasodilator, diuretic, digestive, bitter tonic, tonic, antimicrobial, hepatic, analgesic, wound healer… and this list just might go on and on. Its unbelievable how powerful this plant is!
The Native American people knew this. They used it to treat various ailments, including cramps, fevers, flu and cold, digestive disorders, hemorrhages, various skin infections and rashes and blood purifier. They also used it for wound healing and cleansing. This is due its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic oils it contains. Yarrow also contains silica, it is helpful for renewing any damaged tissue.
Native American herbal remedies: Tobacco
Last but not least, tobacco is one of the four most sacred herbal remedies used by Native Americans. It was used for treating various diseases, but also in all kind of rituals and ceremonies they did. Back then tobacco was smoked also, but pure, with no additives or chemicals at all. Native Americans used tobacco as anesthetic.
Mixed with chalk or lime, it has been as a toothpaste for oral health issues by the Native Americans.
Tobacco at the time, was widely spread and also used in parts of Brazil where the indigenous people used it for treating ulcerated abscesses, sores, fistulas, inveterate polyps and various ailments. It had the title of holy herb because in desperate cases was the only way out.