Herbs Used by Native American Indians

WARNING! Any information about botanicals on this web site is provided for historical and educational purposes only. Many of these plants are known to have medicinal properties, but they might be also harmful if used inappropriately. We only provide these plants as a service to those of you who have a legitimate need for them, and strongly urge you to seek the assistance of knowledgeable peoples before using these plants. Always use common sense and be responsible when using botanicals. We are not responsible for any ill effect caused by using these plants.
Public Domain - Wikipedia Photo O. Pichard Yarrow Flowers, (Achillea Millefolium)
The Lakota call this plant "taopi pexuta" which means "Wound Medicine". The Cheyenne call it "i-ha-i-se-eyo" or "Cough Medecine". The Yarrow is used in a wide variety of medicinal treatments by manyt Indian tribes for treating coughing, colds and to stop bleeding. Recent studies suggest that Achillea is antispasmodic, and is an active hemostatic. Its use to heal wounds and stop bleedings dates back to prehistoric times.

Public Domain - Wikipedia USDA American Licorice (Glycyrrhiza lepidota)
The Pawneecall it "Pithahatusakitstsuhast"; the Dakota "Wi-nawizi" for "Jealous Woman", referring to the burrs which "take hold of a man". The roots are often used to treat diarrhea and upset stomach. They were chewed by the Cheyennes in the Sweat Lodge, and during Sundances for their cooling effect. They are also used to treat colds, ear and toothaches as well as a fever reducing aid. It can also be applied to ease swellings.

Public Domain - Wikipedia Photo Walter Siegmund Horsetail (Equisetaceae)
The Blackfeet call Horsetail "sa-po-tun-a-kio-toi-yis" or joint water grass. The Cree used it in a medicine to correct menstrual irregularities; women also drank it after childbirth to clean up the system. Equisetaceae is particularly rich in silica, salts and potassium and is used as a diuretic, hemostatic and remineralizer.

Public Domain - Wikipedia Photo Dominiku Damiana (Turnera diffusa)
The Damiana was recorded to be used as an aphrodisiac in the ancient Mayan civilization, Spanish missionaries first reported that the Mexican Indians made a drink with the leaves, they added a little sugar, and drank it for its purported power to enhance lovemaking. As such it was used to restore sexual vitality. It is also a good medicine for the nervous system as well as a relaxant and antidepressant.

Public Domain - Wikipedia Photo Rasbak Boadleaf Plantain (Plantago Major)
This common weed is native from the Americas, but has spread to all the continents. Plantain is a drawing agent meaning it can pull splinters, dirt, and infections out of the wounded skin as well as a treatment for insect bites. Plantain also acts on the large intestine and can be used either as a laxative or as a drying agent for diarrhea - as its often the case plants work both ways.

Public Domain - Wikipedia Photo Pethan Burdock Root (Arctium lappa)
Burdock is considered as a weed and grows almost everywhere in the continent, it is also very inconvenient as the seeds stuck to clothing, hair, fur. But it's one of the best root for easing skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, teenager's acne. Burdock will help clean your system. Besides, Burdock roots and stems are good wild food.

Public Domain - Wikipedia Photo Jrtayloriv Cascara (Rhamnus purshiana)
Cascara is a large shrub from the Pacific Northwest. Native American introduced it to Spanish explorers, and it was then popularized in Europe. Although it's one of the safest laxative it is nonetheless very strong and should be used sparingly. It should not be used by pregnant women as it could induce labor.

Medicinal Wild Plants of the Prairie (Kelly Kindsher)
The Book of Herbal Wisdom (Matthew Wood)
Medecinal Herbs, A Beginner's Guide (Rosemary Gladstar)
Herbal Recipes for a Vibrant Health (Rosemary Gladstar)
Rainforest-database.com (Leslie Taylor)
Andy Fyon Ontario Wild Flowers


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