When it comes to Native American herbal remedies, many of us are familiar with echinacea or purple hemp as an antibiotic, willow bark as a pain reliever, and aloe vera as a local anesthetic and treatment and cure for skin conditions. But this is common knowledge compared to the concepts and treatments discovered and used by Native American healers.
Native American healers developed the yin/yang wheel in Asian medicine. The use of herbal medicine and other alternative therapies was the newest medicine of their time. It was a complex method of treatment that depended heavily on plants and their unique benefits.
Below is a list of incredibly beneficial plants, trees, fruits, and flowers that are unique to North America and identified by Native American tribes.
candles, pollen, chamomile and other medicines are still used today. This is a good example of the benefits of wisdom that has been built up over the centuries.
Trial and error may have been one method, but it is difficult to know how Native Americans determined which plants had medicinal properties. It is believed that they observed diseased animals eating certain plants and decided that these plants must have certain properties that needed to be studied. Since then, scientific research has proven the medicinal value of many plants. In fact, simple aspirin is a chemical found in the inner bark of the willow tree called salicin, which was used in ancient times to treat fevers and pain.
(That’s why laughter is one of the best medicines)
These medications are usually taken in the form of teas or pastes that are swallowed or applied externally. Sometimes the plant was eaten as food and added to food and water. Sometimes ointments and pads are applied to open wounds. I recommend avoiding the latter because of the risk of infection from wild sources.
I missed a lot of natural remedies. I’ve come across some pansy herbs that have been used, but they’re mostly toxic and can have negative results if not used properly.