Herbal remedies are used all across the world for many reasons and some are even more powerful and beneficial than modern medicine.
When we deal with herbal remedies, we are mostly accustomed to the benefits of willow bark for pain relief, purple cone flower or Echinacea as an antibiotic, aloe as a topical anesthetic and for skin conditions.
However, this is small compared to the other treatments discovered and used by the indigenous. Native medicine men created a wheel identical to the yin/yang of Asian medicine. Back in ancient times, alternative medicine and herbal remedies were the popular go-to for medical care. This holistic approach relied predominantly on plants and their health benefits.
Many indigenous tribes utilized trees, flowers, fruit and plants that are unique and have a variety of health benefits. When times get worse, having these ancient methods of healing, can help with illness.
These cures can be used in daily needs around the home as well. For an example, licorice tea is beneficial in soothing a sore throat. Interestingly, these remedies are still being utilized, as well as chamomile, bee pollen and beeswax, amongst many others. We don’t know how Natives found which plants have medicinal benefit, however, trial and error could have been their approach.
It is believed that they tested plants in sick animals and then determined if it was effective. Since ancient times, science has proven the medicinal value of the plants used. In fact, aspirin comes from salicin, a chemical found within willow tree bark. The medicines were always in paste or teas that had to be consumed or applied on the skin. In certain cases a salve or poultice was used on open wounds.
I suggest that you avoid consuming some plants in case they are infected. If you are pregnant, consult with your doctor before using these herbs and do your research.
Here’s 31 herbs:
1. Alfalfa: This herbs has been found to aid blood clotting and improve digestion. It can treat bladder, arthritis, kidney conditions and bone strength. It also strengthens your immunity.
2. Aloe: Its thick leaves can excrete thick sap, when squeezed, that can effectively treat burns, wounds and insect bites.
3. Aspen: is used in tea to alleviate coughs, fever and pain. It has salicin thats found in willow trees and is a main ingredient in aspirin.
4. Bee pollen: Mixed with food will increase energy levels, aid digestion and strengthen the immune system. If you’re allergic to bee stings you will most likely be allergic to bee pollen.
5. Beeswax: Used as a salve for burns and insect bites, including bee stings. Intended to only be used externally.
6. Blackberry: The bark, root and leaves can be crushed and added into a tea to reduce inflammation, alleviate diarrhea and boost metabolism. As a gargle it treats mouth ulcers, sore throat and inflamed gums.
7. Black Raspberry: The roots can be crushed and used as a tea or boiled and chewed to alleviate coughs, diarrhea and intestinal discomfort.
8. Buckwheat: Buckwheat seeds are used in a porridge or soup to lower blood pressure, help with blood clotting and alleviate diarrhea.
9. Cayenne: pods can be utilized as a pain reliever when taken with food or drunk in a tea. Cayenne can be used to help alleviate arthritis and digestive inflammation. It is good for wounds as a powder to increase blood flow. It can act as an antiseptic and anesthetic to quell the pain.
10. Chamomile: The leaves and flowers are used as a tea to treat intestinal problems and nausea.
Considered by Native American tribes as an all-purpose medicinal treatment, the berries were pitted, dried and crushed into a tea to treat body distress like coughs, Inflammation, flu, nausea, colds and diarrhea.
As a salve or poultice it is used to heal burnt, broken skin. The pit of the chokecherry is deemed poisonous in high amounts. Be sure to pit the cherries if you’re considering this for any use.
12. Echinacea: is a popular Native American medicine used to strengthen the immune system, fight infections and fever. It also is used as an antiseptic and general treatment for colds, coughs and flu.
13. Eucalyptus: The oil from the leaves and roots is a common treatment when added into a tea to treat coughs, sore-throat, flu and fever. It’s used in a variety of cough drops sold in stores today.
14. Fennel: can be used in a tea or chewed to treat sore-throat, cough, aid digestion, relieve diarrhea and treat colds. It also is used as a poultice for eye relief and headaches.
15. Feverfew: is commonly used for fever and headaches like migraines. it is also used for digestive problems, muscle, asthma and joint pains.
16. Feverwort: Another fever remedy that also is used for general pain, itching and joint stiffness. It can be added to a tea or chewed, or crushed to a paste as a salve or poultice.
17. Ginger root: this root can be crushed and mixed in food, tea or salve. It has the ability to improve digestive health. It also includes anti-inflammatory properties, improves blood circulation and can relieve colds, joint pain, coughs, flu, and bronchitis.
18. Ginseng: Ginseng’s history dates back millions of years and was used in many cultures. The roots were used by Native Americans as a food additive, tea and a poultice to boost energy, treat fatigue, strengthen immunity, and enhance lung and liver function. The leaves and stems were utilized, but the root is more abundant in nutrients.
19. Goldenrod: Native Americans used goldenrod for a multi-purpose medicine, while nowadays people are having allergies from it. This can be made as a tea, a topical salve and food additive. Goldenrod was used to treat chest congestion, bronchitis, the flu, inflammation, colds, and a sore throat. Goldenrod can even be an antiseptic for scrapes and minor cuts.
20. Honeysuckle: The stems, flowers, berries and leaves were mainly used to treat bee stings and skin infections. As a tea, it is used to treat colds, headaches and sore throat. It contains a good amount of anti-inflammatory properties.
21. Hops: Hops can be made into a tea that treats digestive illnesses and when mixed with other herbs or plants, like aloe, it can be a muscle relaxer. If you have a toothache or sore throat, hops would help.
22. Licorice: Roots and leaves can be used for coughs, colds, sore throats. The root also can alleviate pain from toothaches.
23. Mullein: Native Americans used mullein to treat coughs, congestion and a variety of other respiratory problems. It is found in our backyards and close by.
24. Passion flower: A tea can be made from the roots and leaves of passion flower to treat muscle pain and anxiety. A poultice for skin injuries like burns, boils, and insect bites, can be made from passion flower.
25. Red clover: Red clover leaves, root and flowers can be added to tea or as a food topping. It was used to alleviate inflammation, treat respiratory illnesses and improve the circulation of blood.
26. Rose hip: Rose hip is a red/orange berry that comes from roses. When eaten whole, crushed into a tea or added to food, it will work to treat inflammation, coughs, intestinal distress and colds. It can also be used as an antiseptic.
27. Rosemary: is used in food and tea to improve circulation, treat muscle pain, and works as a general cleanser for body metabolism.
28. Sage: Sage is grown across North America, a natural insect repellent that can be used for digestive problems, colds and sore throat.
29. Spearmint: Spearmint was popularly used amongst several Native American tribes for treating colds, respiratory issues, and coughs. It also improves blood circulation, and eliminates diarrhea.
30. Valerian: The root of valerian can be added into tea to relieve pain, muscle aches and is soothing.
31. White Pine: White pine inner bark and needles can be infused in a tea. It was widely used to treat chest congestion and respiratory illnesses.
Believe me, there is way more! There are other books on natural cures and medicinal properties that Native American tribes discovered and used. Natural remedies are worth looking into from a historical view. Be sure you identify the herbs properly and consult with your doctor before consumption.