Long before the advent of modern medicine, the Cherokees, a tribe of Native Americans, learned healing from nature. They considered their knowledge of the healing arts, a blessing from god.
They saw nature as their pharmacy and the elders always made sure that the young ones learned to only pick every third plant they saw so that the species could thrive without interference.
Before reading this list of the 12 plants they most commonly used, remember that these plants have strong properties that can be harmful if used improperly.
The Cherokee used blackberries for everything from indigestion to soothing swollen and inflamed tissues and joints to cough syrup. They even ate the leaves to help with bleeding gums.
Hummingbird Blossom (Buck Brush)
This has been used for a variety of ailments from cysts and fibroid tumors to mouth/throat problems. Current scientific research has also proven that it can stabilize blood pressure.
A paste made from the roots is applied on burns and sores. The pollen is rich in protein and is a good ingredient from baking. The seed down can be used to soothe diaper rash and the flowers cure diarrhea.
Pull Out a Sticker (Greenbriar)
The starch in its roots make them perfect for a high calorie meal and the texture is similar to potatoes. Greenbriar is also an excellent blood purifier and a good medicine for UTIs.
Mint is still a much sought-after herb and mint tea is very popular. It also contains antioxidants, minerals, like phosphorus and potassium. Vitamins A and C, and dietary fiber.
The smoke of mullein leaves is good for those with asthma and chest congestion as it soothes the lungs and clears out blockages. It also soothes inflamed membrane.
Qua lo ga (Sumac)
Not one single part of Sumac should be wasted! The bark cures diarrhea, a decoction helps a sore throat, berries are full of vitamin C, the leaves reduce fevers and relieve poison ivy rash.
Big Stretch (Wild Ginger)
Mild tea from the root can be used for digestion, a strong tea from the root can clear up the lungs. The Meskwaki tribe crush and steep the stems to use as a pain killer specially for ear aches.
JisduUnigisdi (Wild Rose)
A plentiful conduit of vitamin C, an infusion of petals helps with the common cold. The tea made out of this can improve your digestive functions and the petals can be used for jam.
Squirrel Tale (Yarrow)
As it stimulates blood clotting, leaves are applied to fresh wounds. The juice can even stop internal bleedings. A decoction produced from the leaves and stems can cure acne.
Kawi Iyusdi (Yellow Dock)
A Cherokee kitchen essential, it is a good substitute for spinach. The leaves have a high iron content and can also cure constipation. A decoction of the crushed roots is used for its antiseptic properties.
Lastly, remember to follow the Cherokee rule while scavenging them and do not take more than you need.