The Cherokee tribe is one of the Native American tribes that have a true and historic understanding of medicinal herbs.
Following a belief system for thousands of years, one of the tribe’s primary beliefs was in nature’s pharmacy, and as a result, the tribe has used the following five plants to treat almost every health condition and illness for centuries.
A word of warning, these plants are extremely powerful and can be dangerous if used improperly. Make sure you are gentle when you scavenge for them and are aware that Cherokee healers have been using these plants for centuries, they know their properties inside and out. If you are unsure about using any plants, or if you have the correct plant, make sure you seek advice from a natural expert.
Here are the top five plants used by the Cherokee for healing:
Big Stretch (Wild Ginger)
The Cherokee tribe used Big Stretch to help stimulate digestion. Most often prescribed in the form of a mild tea, the medicine can help with upset stomachs and intestinal gas. It can also assist with removing secretion from the lungs. Other Native American tribes use wild ginger in cooking, replacing regular ginger, to cure earaches and other conditions.
Buck Brush (Hummingbird Blossom)
The Buck Brush was primarily used by the Cherokee tribe to treat mouth and throat conditions, as well as cysts, inflammation, and fibroid tumors. The tribe also believe that the Buck Brush plant balances high blood pressure and can treat lymphatic blockages. With regards to more serious issues, the Cherokee tribe also use the plant to stimulate the kidneys and treat enlarged spleens, hemorrhoids, inflamed tonsils, menstrual bleeding, and swollen lymph nodes. To use this plant, boil the leaves and flowers in water for five minutes and consume when warm.
Pull out a Sticker (Greenbriar)
This plant may have a strange flavor to it and is full of starch, but it’s also extremely high in vitamins and minerals. Its roots have a similar texture to potatoes, and can be used in much the same way. The Pull out a Sticker plant was primarily used to treat urinary infections and to purify the blood, but the tribe also use its leaves and bark to create an ointment that can effectively soothe and treat sores and burns. The leaves can be added to boiling water and drunk as tea, and the berries can be eaten raw or cooked in pies or turned into jam.
Mint is already a common plant, used in cooking and drinks, it has a fresh flavor that many chefs and cocktail makers admire, however, it also has strong antioxidant properties, is high in vitamin C, fiber, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and phosphorus. Used on the skin, mint can relieve itchiness and treat high blood pressure, as well as soothe cracked nipples on breastfeeding mothers. When drunk as tea, mint can also help with digestion.
Another common fruit that Native American tribes used, blackberry is tasty in a jam, pie and as a tea! Moreover, it is also great for helping relieve an upset stomach and so much more. Chew the leaves to help alleviate bleeding gums, make a cough syrup from the roots, and make tea from the leaves to help reduce swelling of your joints and tissues.
By Charlotte H.