31 Long-Forgotten Native American Herbal Remedies
Some people think that the herbal remedies aren’t useful and that they are not effective, but the real truth is that these herbal remedies have been well rooted in the medical practice for centuries. Many people around the world, including medical experts, methodically collected information about herbs and developed well-defined pharmacopoeias to treat a variety of ailments. Note: you should know that more than a quarter of all drugs used today contain active ingredients derived from those same ancient plants. But, when it comes to herbal remedies, many of us are familiar with the benefits of Echinacea or purple cone flower as an antibiotic, willow bark as a pain killer and aloe as a topical anesthetic and treatment for skin conditions.
To be honest with you, that’s just common knowledge compared to the insights and treatments that Native American medicine men discovered and used. They’ve developed a wheel of very similar to the yin/yang of Asian medicine. The use of herbal remedies and other alternative forms of treatment was the cutting-edge medicine of their day. Well, this was a sort of holistic approach to medical treatment that relied heavily on plants and their unique benefits.
In this article we are going to show you a long list of indigenous plants, trees, fruits and flowers unique to North America that have surprising benefits as defined by Native American tribes. So, it’s extremely important and useful to keep some of these ancient cures in mind. They also are good for everyday needs when you consider how effective some of them can be. Take this for example: licorice tea is the best herbal remedy for a sore throat. As we said, many people around the world still use this amazing herbal remedies, including beeswax and bee pollen, chamomile and others. It’s a good demonstration of the benefit of wisdom developed over centuries.
To be honest with you, nobody knows how the Native Americans determined which plants might have medicinal properties, although trial and error was probably one approach. Well, some experts think that they observed sick animals eating certain plants and determined that those plants must have a certain property worth exploring. Many different studies have studied and verified the medicinal value of these plants. In fact, common aspirin is derived from salicin, a chemical in the inner bark of willow trees that was used in ancient times for fever and pain.
You should also know that these medicines were usually administered through teas or pastes that were either ingested or applied externally. But, sometimes the plants were eaten as food or added to food or water. On occasion, a salve or poultice was applied to open wounds. Note: we highly recommend that you should avoid the latter, given the risk of infection from wild sources. And you should be very careful, because some of these plants can be very dangerous. There was a use for mistletoe that we came across, but mistletoe is essentially poisonous and if not used properly the results could be counter-productive, if not deadly. And if you are pregnant or nursing, check with your doctor and do plenty of research before using any of these plants.
Here’s the list:
- Alfalfa – this amazing plant relieves digestion and is used to aid blood clotting. You can use this powerful herb to treat other health problems as well, such as: arthritis, bladder and kidney conditions and bone strength. You can also use it to boost your immune system.
- Aloe – you’ve probably heard about aloe. The aloe leaves contain high amounts of aloe gel, that can be used to treat burns, insect bites and wounds.
- Aspen – the inner bark or xylem is used in a tea to treat fever, coughs and pain. You should also know that it contains salicin, which also is found in willow trees and is the foundation ingredient for aspirin.
- Bee pollen – you can mix it with food and use it as energy booster. Bee pollen also aids digestion and boosts the immune system. Note: you should be very careful, because if you’re allergic to bee stings you will most likely be allergic to bee pollen.
- Beeswax – you can use it to soothe burns and insect bites, including bee stings. Note: it can only be used externally.
- Blackberry – you can use the root, bark and leaves. You need to crush them and make a tea. You can use this powerful tea to treat diarrhea, reduce inflammation and stimulate the metabolism. As a gargle it treats sore throats, mouth ulcers and inflammation of the gums.
- Black Raspberry – you can use the roots of this plant. Just crush the roots and make a tea or you can just boil them and chew to relieve coughs, diarrhea and general intestinal distress.
- Buckwheat – buckwheat seeds are used in soups and as porridge. People use these seeds to lower the high blood pressure. These seeds are also very helpful and useful with blood clotting and relieve diarrhea.
- Cayenne – you should know that the pods are used as a pain reliever when taken with food or drunk in a tea. You can also use them to treat arthritis and digestive distress. Or, you can apply it to wounds as a powder to increase blood flow and act as an antiseptic and anesthetic to numb the pain.
- Chamomile – you can use both chamomile leaves and flowers and make a tea, and use this tea to treat intestinal problems and nausea.
- Chokecherry – the Native American tribes considered this herbal remedy as an all-purpose medicinal treatment, the berries were pitted, dried and crushed into a tea or a poultice to treat many different health problems, such as: coughs, colds, flu, nausea, inflammation and diarrhea. You can also use it to treat burns and wounds. Note: but, you should be very carefyl, because the pit of the chokecherry – much like apple seeds – are poisonous in high concentrations. So, make sure to pit the cherries if you’re considering this for any use.
- Echinacea – this herb is also known by the name purple coneflower, and it’s a classic Native American medicine that is used to strengthen the immune system, fight infections and fever. Echinacea has powerful antiseptic properties and it’s often used for many minor ailments, such as: for colds, coughs and flu.
- Eucalyptus – the eucalyptus oil from the leaves and roots is a common treatment when infused in a tea to treat coughs, sore-throat, flu and fever. The eucalyptus oil is a common ingredient in cough drops.
- Fennel – this amazing plant, which has a licorice flavor, is often used in a tea or chewed to relieve coughs, sore-throat, aid digestion, offer relief to diarrhea and was a general treatment for colds. You can also use this amazing plant as a poultice for eye relief and headaches.
- Feverfew – people still use this herbal remedy as a natural relief for fever and headaches – including severe headaches like migraines. You can also use it to treat digestive problems, asthma and muscle and joint pains.
- Feverwort – you can use this herbal remedy for many ailments, such as: soothe general pain, itching and joint stiffness. It can be ingested as a tea or chewed, or crushed to a paste as a salve or poultice.
- Ginger root – is one of the healthiest roots on the plant and a super plant in Native American medicine. There are many different ways to incorporate ginger into your healthy diet: crushed and consumed with food, as a tea or a salve or poultice. Ginger root will improve your digestive health, and it also has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, aids circulation and can relieve colds, coughs and flu, in addition to bronchitis and joint pain.
- Ginseng – this amazing herb has a long history that goes back across cultures for millennia. Ginseng roots were used by Native Americans as a food additive, a tea and a poultice to treat fatigue, boost energy levels, boost the immune system and help with overall liver and lung function. Note: the ginseng leaves and stems also were used, but the root has the most concentration of active ingredients.
- Goldenrod – people nowadays think that this herbal remedy is just a source of allergies and sneezing, but it was actually considered another all-in-one medicine by Native Americans. As a tea, an addition to food and a topical salve, it is used to treat conditions from bronchitis and chest congestion to colds, flu, inflammation, sore throats and as an antiseptic for cuts and abrasions.
- Honeysuckle – you can use all parts: berries, stems, flowers and leaves – and you can use them to topically treat bee stings and skin infections. As a tea, it is used to treat colds, headaches and sore throat. It also has anti-inflammatory properties.
- Hops – you can make a hops tea and use it to treat digestive problems. Or, you can mix it with other herbs or plants, such as aloe, to soothe muscles. Note: it also is used to soothe toothaches and sore throat.
- Licorice – you can use the licorice roots and leaves to soothe chronic coughs, colds, sore throats. Note: the root also can be chewed to relieve toothaches.
- Mullein – the Native Americans used this herb to make a tea or they add it to a salad or other food, and they used it to treat inflammation, coughs and congestion and general lung afflictions. It is quite common and you probably have it growing in your backyard or somewhere close.
- Passion flower – you can use the passion flower leaves and roots to make a tea to treat anxiety and muscle pain. A poultice for injuries to the skin such as burns, insect bites and boils also can be made from passion flower.
- Red clover – this amazing plant grows everywhere and the flowers, leaves and roots are usually infused in a tea or are used to top food. This amazing herb is often used to manage inflammation, improve circulation and treat respiratory conditions.
- Rose hip – have you ever heard of the rose hip? Well, this is the red to orange berry that is the fruit of wild roses and it’s already known to be a massive source of vitamin C and when eaten whole, crushed into a tea or added to food it is used to treat colds and coughs, intestinal distress, as an antiseptic and to treat inflammation.
- Rosemary – is a member of the pine family and used in food and as a tea to treat muscle pain, improve circulation and as a general cleanser for the metabolism.
- Sage – is the most powerful and most effective natural insect repellent and it can be used for the standard list of digestive disorders, colds and sore throat.
- Spearmint – this amazing herbal remedy was used by Native American tribes for treatment of coughs, colds, respiratory distress and as a cure for diarrhea and a stimulant for blood circulation.
- Valerian – valerian root as an infusion in a tea relieves muscle aches, pain and is said to have a calming effect.
- White Pine – You should know that the ubiquitous and the needles and the inner bark can be infused in a tea. Used as a standard treatment for respiratory distress and chest congestion.
As we said in the beginning of this article, make sure you identify these remedies properly and check with your physician before using. We really hope you find this article helpful and don’t forget to share it with your friends and family. Thank You.