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A little Cherokee Medicine 7 years 9 months ago #5350

  • texastee2007
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Cherokee Medicinal Herbs

The Cherokee have been gifted by the Creator with an understanding of the gathering, use and preservation of medicinal herbs. The Cherokee believe that these plants were put on this earth to provide not only healing methods, but preventative measures, as well.

Many plants have disappeared throughout the years or have become extremely scarce. Because of this, we recommend extreme care in gathering wild herbs and other plants. The old ones taught that when you gather, only pick or dig every third plant you find. This will ensure that enough specimens remain to continue propagation.

Many traditionalists carry on the practice of asking the plant's permission to be gathered, and leave a small gift of thanks. This can be a small bead or other such item. It is also recommended by Cherokee traditionalists that should you find a wild crop of useful herbs, do not share its location unless it is to a person very close to you. This will ensure that large numbers of people do not clean out an entire wild crop in a short time.

Additional information regarding the gathering, usage and application of medicinal herbs can be found by talking to the elders of a Cherokee family. Many of these people will still recall some of the home remedies that their families used, as well as provide information on herbs which they themselves use.

We share a few of the herbs common to the old Cherokee country, and their uses. Remember, these plants are very valuable as medicines because of the great chemical powers they contain. At the same time, these chemicals can be potentially dangerous if used in the wrong way. Cherokee herbalists have great experience, and have gone through extensive training and observation. Novice herbal practitioners are advised to seek out and develop a close relationship with Cherokee herbalists or their elders to learn how to use these medicines properly.

One of the herbs known the longest time for soothing stomach problems is the blackberry. Using a strong tea from the roots is helpful is reducing and soothing swollen tissues and joints. An infusion from the leaves is also used as a tonic for stimulating the entire system. A decoction from the roots, sweetened with sugar or honey, makes a syrup used for an expectorant. It is also healing for sore throats and gums. The leaves can also be chewed fresh to soothe bleeding gums. The Cherokee historically use the tea for curing diarrhea.

Cherokee healers use a mild tea made from small pieces of black gum bark and twigs to relieve chest pains.

Hummingbird Blossom (Buck Brush) is used by Cherokee healers by making a weak decoction of the roots for a diuretic that stimulates kidney function.

Cat Tail (Cattail) is not a healing agent, but is used for preventative medicine. It is an easily digestable food helpful for recovering from illness, as it is bland. Most all parts of the plant, except for the mature leaves and the seed head, are edible. Due to wide-spread growing areas, it is a reliable food source all across America. The root has a very high starch content, and can be gathered at any time. Preparation is very similar to potatoes, and can be mashed, boiled, or even mixed with other foods. The male plant provides a pollen that is a wonderful source for protein. You can add it as a supplement to other kinds of flour when making breads.

A decoction of the small roots of Pull Out a Sticker (Greenbriar) is useful as a blood purifier. It is also a mild diuretic. Some healers make a salve from the leaves and bark, mixed with hog lard, and apply to minor sores, scalds and burns. Some Cherokee healers also use the root tea for arthritis.

Mint teas are a stimulant for the stomach, as it aids in digestion. The crushed and bruised leaves can be used as a cold compress, made into a salve, or added to the bath water which relieves itching skin. Cherokee healers also use an infusion of the leaves and stems to lower high blood pressure.

Tobacco-like Plant (Mullein) is one of the oldest herbs, and some healers recommend inhaling the smoke from smoldering mullein roots and leaves to soothe asthma attacks and chest congestion. The roots can be made into a warm decoction for soaking swollen feet or reducing swelling in joints. It also reduces swelling from inflammation and soothes painful, irritated tissue. It is particularly useful to the mucous membranes. A tea can be made from the flowers for a mild sedative.

All parts of Qua lo ga (common Sumac) have a medicinal use. Mild decoctions from the bark can be used as a gargle for sore throats, and may be taken for a remedy for diarrhea. A tea from the leaves and berries also reduces fevers. Fresh bruised leaves and ripe berries are made into a poultice which soothes poison ivy. A drink from the ripened or dried berries makes a pleasant beverage which is a good source of vitamin C.

The Cherokee commonly recommend a mild tea of Big Stretch, or Nuyigala dinadanesgi utana (Wild Ginger) made from the rootstock which is a mild stimulant for the digestive system. It can also help colic, intestinal gas, or the common upset stomach. A strong, hot infusion of the roots can act as an expectorant in eliminating mucus from the lungs. Fresh wild ginger may be substituted for the regular store-bought ginger roots as a spice for cooking.

The ripe fruit of What Rabbits Eat, or Jisdu unigisdi (Wild Rose) is a rich source of Vitamin C, and is a reliable preventative and cure for the common cold. The tea from the hips is a mild diuretic, and stimulates the bladder and kidneys. When the infusion of the petals is used, it is an ancient remedy for sore throats. Cherokee healers recommend a decoction of the roots for diarrhea.

Squirrel Tail, or Saloli gatoga (Yarrow) has many uses. The best known use is to stop excess bleeding. Freshly crushed leaves can be applied to open wounds or cuts, and the properties of the herb will cause the blood to clot. A fresh juice of yarrow, diluted with spring or distilled water, can halt internal bleeding such as stomach and intestinal disorders. The leaves, prepared as a tea, is believed to stimulate intestinal functions and aid in digestion. It also helps the flow of the kidneys, as well as the gallbladder. A decoction made of the leaves and stems acts as an astringent, and is a wonderful wash for all kinds of skin problems such as acne, chapped hands, and other irritations.

Looks Like Coffee, or Kawi Iyusdi (Yellow Dock) is not only a medicinal herb, but also a food. It is much like spinach, but actually contains more vitamins and minerals. Because of the long taproot, it gathers nutrients from deep underground. The leaves are a source of iron, and also have laxative properties. Juices from the stems, prepared in a decoction, can be made into an ointment with beeswax and olive oil, and used for itching, minor sores, diaper rash, and other irritations. Cherokee herbalists prescribe a warm wash made from the decoction of crushed roots for a disinfectant. Juice from the root, not prepared in any certain way, is said to be a cure for ringworm.

As always, remember that these plants are very valuable as medicines because of the great chemical powers they contain. At the same time, these chemicals can be potentially dangerous if used in the wrong way. Cherokee herbalists have great experience, and have gone through extensive training and observation. Novice herbal practitioners are advised to seek out and develop a close relationship with Cherokee herbalists or their elders to learn how to use these medicines properly.
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Re: A little Cherokee Medicine 7 years 9 months ago #5358

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Very interesting post, I love learning new things, thanks :)
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Re: A little Cherokee Medicine 7 years 9 months ago #5359

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I do to...I have followed natural healing since 1978. The more I learn...the more I want to learn. I start my Cherokee language class in January...
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Re: A little Cherokee Medicine 7 years 9 months ago #5360

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Native Americans use natural healing remedies to treat a variety of ailments. These remedies developed from painstaking experimentation, trial and error and the handing down of anecdotal research from healer to healer during the course of centuries. Relying mostly on herbs, many Native remedies offer medically-validated healing benefits, and are still used today in homeopathic and holistic treatments.
Respiratory Ailments

Native Americans treat many breathing problems via herbs brewed into medicinal teas. Some of these herbal remedies include: skunk cabbage (as an expectorant and to treat asthma); pleurisy root (to treat bronchitis, pneumonia and other lung ailments); wormwood (to treat bronchitis symptoms; sage (aches and pains from colds and flu); aspen, cherry, and white pine bark (cough remedy); sarsaparilla and sweet flag (cough syrup); blackberry and ginger (as expectorants); wild rose (to treat a sore throat).
Back Ailments

Applied as a poultice or drunk in a tea, two natural treatments for back problems include horsemint (a tea to alleviate back pain) and arnica (applied as a poultice or balm).
Diarrhea

Diarrhea is a serious problem that can cause dehydration. This can severely weaken an already undernourished person, and can be treated with the following remedies: black cherry root (pre-fermented, kept on hand to treat dysentery); dogwood bark (used as an enema in tea form); black raspberry root (drunk as a tea); juniper berry and wild rose (to treat diarrhea).
Digestive Problems

Herbs can be used to treat a variety of stomach problems: dandelion roots (to treat urinary tract problems and heartburn); yellow root, blackberry and sage (for stomach problems); juniper berry (to treat urinary tract infections); elder berry (as a laxative); mint, yarrow (to promote good digestion as a preventive treatment); ginger (as a tea to stimulate digestion and help relieve colic, gas or upset stomach); and wild rose (to stimulate kidneys and the bladder).
Skin Problems

Native Americans use a variety of herbs to create salves, balms, poultices and teas to treat skin problems: yarrow (to treat open wounds, chapped hands and acne); mint (in bath water, as a cold compress or as a salve to alleviate itching skin); yellow dock (used to treat itching skin, diaper rash and sores); greenbriar (soothe scalds, burns and sores).
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Re: A little Cherokee Medicine 7 years 9 months ago #5384

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B) Very informative. An awesome addition to natural health remidies. Natural remidies will almost always have a modern application that was traced back to the days long before modern medicine. Some go back thousands of years and are still practiced today. It is good to see that some people still keep track of the natural medicines and their uses. But, just out of couriosity, how little was this Cherokee? :laugh:
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Re: A little Cherokee Medicine 7 years 9 months ago #5385

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I've done a pretty good work up on my family...two generations back I start as Talley, Brooks, Wheat, Happy, Salmon, Walkingstick....never done the math.....so I would take my best guess at richly fat....LOL
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Re: A little Cherokee Medicine 7 years 9 months ago #5398

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Im very surprised that you did not include : GARLIC-which is a natural atibiotic & blood thinner, as well as bee pollen/propopalous /honey, that will counteract MAL-nutrition in the early stages of recovery,
I get stung as much as I can on my knee's / elbow's & fingers for join pain/swelling.
I also eat one clove of raw garlic a day, as well as an eight oz glass of water with a table spoon of apple cider vinegar. VINEGAR flushes out the system & pickles you as well lol
IN ORDER TO SUCCEED ACT AS IF IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO FAIL !!
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Re: A little Cherokee Medicine 7 years 9 months ago #5403

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B) I think that the number of medical alternatives with natural healing is much more than can be listed in this or any site. Memory and handed down remidies must number in the hundreds of thousands. Each tribe, each village and every medicineman had their own remidies and personal combinations of plants and other ingredients. Most were just handed down from word of mouth or through teaching someone to carry on the medicine for the tribe or village. Before written word was introduced this was the only way things were passed down and many were forgotten. Still, many were handed down. To many to remember by any person. Thus, many cures were lost or re-invented as needed. Recipies were changed or guessed at if not remembered. Just pick up any book on medicines or treatments and look at the lists. How could someone from a tribe or village remember half of the folklore remidies? The ones mentioned here are but a drop in the ocean of natural remidies. Greatly appreciated, these are but a very few of the possible cures and treatments.
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Re: A little Cherokee Medicine 7 years 9 months ago #5409

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Just getting started...there are so many and some folks are not use to anything they do not go to the pharmacy for. I am feeling under the weather right now as a flu is going through the area. I just finished a large glass of hot lemon juice and honey myself...it will change my PH and the lemon will kill any bug in my intestines. It is an almost free treatment. Please let's get this up and running...you must know some...must remember back to Granny and what she would use....this could be a great thread.
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Re: A little Cherokee Medicine 7 years 9 months ago #5410

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Wise words but in this day and age of something even more then the spoken word or talking leaves...in a second we can run all the way around the world without even mounting our pony! Let's see if we can't dig some up...so we do not forget!!
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Re: A little Cherokee Medicine 7 years 9 months ago #5413

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:) Good idea. We always kept Aloe plants for burns, scrapes and minor cuts. Garlic is a good allaround for everything from colds to misquito repealant. Like you said, lemon and honey. sometimes a shot of Rock and Rye went into ours Grandad believed in Cherry Peppers so hot they would bring tears to your eyes from the next room. He never had a cold. I tried it at about 10 years old and my mouth still burns... Wow! :laugh: .
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Re: A little Cherokee Medicine 7 years 9 months ago #5414

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as odd as it sounds...those peppers will sooth a belly ache. I have loved pepper since I was little and dad would scramble them into our eggs. Heck we even put JalapeƱos in our Spaghetti. Mr. Madina the fella that tells the next story brought a paper bag into the store I worked at and said..."I have a present for you but you can only take one....I reached in the bag and pulled out a JalapeƱo pepper...looked at him and smiled and took a big bite out of it...he made such a face..said I was the only Whetta he ever say do that.
I once worked with a sweet Mexican fella who had bad arthritis...he swore that Marijuana soaked in alcohol was all that would keep him moving his joints...no pun intended. He didn't smoke it but instead rubbed the stuff on his hands and knees. I could see the difference for sure. I have never tried it but am now hearing great things in the way of Cancer being killed with hemp oil....I have seen what it does with topical skin cancer...if it does the same on the inside as it does on the outside...this could be a miracle use.
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Re: A little Cherokee Medicine 7 years 9 months ago #5415

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yeah, memory & the amount of info is large, but garlic vinegar & bee products are more common & my main arsenal against diseases, illness.... NO WORRIES--!
IN ORDER TO SUCCEED ACT AS IF IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO FAIL !!
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Re: A little Cherokee Medicine 7 years 9 months ago #5420

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..he swore that Marijuana soaked in alcohol was all that would keep him moving his joints...no pun intended. He didn't smoke it but instead rubbed the stuff on his hands and knees. I could see the difference for sure. I have never tried it but am now hearing great things in the way of Cancer being killed with hemp oil....I have seen what it does with topical skin cancer...if it does the same on the inside as it does on the outside...this could be a miracle use. :cheer:

GOOD ON YOU MATE !---CHECK OUT THIS SITE,very easy to relieve the pain & anguish--

www.hempusa.org/
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Re: A little Cherokee Medicine 7 years 9 months ago #5421

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Bee products...as a child we kept bees...my dad would take a bee with a pair of tweezers and let it sting him on the back of his wrists...swore it cured his arthritis. Dad is almost 83 and just got back from Elk hunting with my brother.
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Re: A little Cherokee Medicine 7 years 9 months ago #5422

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Great link Scubasmitty...Thank you!
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Re: A little Cherokee Medicine 7 years 9 months ago #5424

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texastee2007 wrote:
I do to...I have followed natural healing since 1978. The more I learn...the more I want to learn. I start my Cherokee language class in January...


What a great topic, Tee! We have another thing in common, lol.

I have an interactive computer program for Cherokee words and phrases. It is produced by the Cherokee Nation Education Dept. in Tahlequah, Ok. The purpose of the program is to teach the user common Cherokee words and phrases in a user friendly computer environment. The words/phrases are written in both Cherokee phonetics and the Cherokee syllabary, and include a spoken version as well. I would be happy to send you a copy if interested.

Thank you for the wonderful topic. :)
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Re: A little Cherokee Medicine 7 years 9 months ago #5426

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Judy I start my Language lessons on January 9th...LOL I have to down load that same program...it is free and I am taking the Cherokee 1 class for 10 weeks and then if I do well enough will sign up for the Cherokee 2 and then Cherokee 3 class! That is exactly who I am going through...I have wanted to do this for a small life time. My aunt finally broke the link that we needed in order to register....now I really want to learn the language as well and will. It will be fun and I think my husband will participate with me and we can talk here at home.

I would love your link in case it is different....hey we could talk about things together Judy and no one will know what we are saying unless they have the decoder ring...LOL Thank you, you are a doll!
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Re: A little Cherokee Medicine 7 years 9 months ago #5428

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Lol, wouldn't that be fun! :lol:

What I have is the interactive computer cd, Tee. I think the link you need is....

www.cherokee.org/AboutTheNation/Culture/Language/31863/Information.aspx

There is another link on this page for registering. ;)


Do nada go hvi , Di Oginali !

(Till we meet again, My Friend) :silly:
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Re: A little Cherokee Medicine 7 years 9 months ago #5430

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Yep that is the same one I am enrolled in....Thank you...when I can catch my breath I will explore it more! I had the fonts down loaded about a week ago and haven't had a chance to play with them yet. Thanks again!!! Bill is going to get a hoot out of how much we have in common...no coincidences.....God moves among us for a greater reason!
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