11 Medicinal Plants The Native Americans Used As Herbal Remedies

Medicinal Plants The Native Americans Used As Herbal Remedies

The tea from the leaves of the sumac can reduce fevers. You can even crush the leaves into an ointment to help relieve a poison ivy rash. A study published in the Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research reported that sumac if added to the daily diet, can help lower cholesterol levels.

8. Big Stretch (Wild Ginger)

11 Medicinal Plants The Native Americans Used As Herbal Remedies
Medicinal plants Big Stretch (Wild Ginger)

The Cherokee recommended a mild tea, made from the root of wild ginger, to stimulate better digestion. This herb can also help with intestinal gas, upset stomach, and colic. A strong tea from the root of wild ginger can be used to remove secretion from the lungs.

The Meskwaki, another Native American tribe, use crushed, steeped stems of wild ginger as a relief from earaches. You can use rootstocks from this herb as a substitute for regular ginger and flowers as flavoring for your favorite recipe!

Related: What Your Native American Totem Says About You

9. Jisdu Unigisdi (Wild Rose)

11 Medicinal Plants The Native Americans Used As Herbal Remedies
Medicinal plants Jisdu Unigisdi (Wild Rose)

The fruit of a wild rose is a rich source of vitamin C and is a great remedy for the common cold and the flu. The Cherokee would make a mild tea out of wild rose hips to stimulate bladder and kidney function.

You can even make your own petal infusion to soothe a sore throat! Or try making a decoction from the root to help with diarrhea. My grandmother uses to make jams out of the petals and it was delicious.

10. Squirrel Tail (Yarrow)

11 Medicinal Plants The Native Americans Used As Herbal Remedies
Medicinal plants Squirrel Tail (Yarrow)

This herb is known best for its blood clotting properties. Fresh, crushed leaves can be applied to open wounds to stop excess bleeding. Yarrow’s juice, mixed with spring water, can stop internal bleeding from the stomach and intestinal illnesses. You can also use the leaves to make tea which will stimulate abdominal functions and assist in proper digestion.

It can also help with kidney and gallbladder related issues. Oh, and did I mention that you can use a decoction made from leaves and stems to help clear up your acne? It works wonders for chapped hands and other skin irritations.

Related: 15 Native American Proverbs That Will Speak To Your Soul

11. Kawi Iyusdi (Yellow Dock)

11 Medicinal Plants The Native Americans Used As Herbal Remedies
Medicinal plants Kawi Iyusdi (Yellow Dock)

Another one of the many medicinal plants that the Cherokee often use in their kitchen. It is very similar to spinach but contains a lot more vitamins and minerals due to its long roots that gather nutrients from deep underground.

The leaves of yellow dock are a great source of iron and can also be used as a laxative. You can even prepare a juice decoction out of yellow dock stems to treat minor sores, diaper rash, and itching. The Cherokee healers use a decoction, made from the crushed roots of yellow dock, as a warm wash for its antiseptic properties.

You should always remember that all of the above-mentioned herbs are very potent and might be dangerous if used in the wrong way. The Cherokee healers have many centuries of practice and experience. Another thing to keep in mind is the fact that these herbs are all very valuable! They are nature’s pharmacy, so please be kind and caring when scavenging any of these.


11 Plants Native Americans Use to Cure EVERYTHING (From joint pain to cancer)2
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17 thoughts on “11 Medicinal Plants The Native Americans Used As Herbal Remedies”

  1. Using the past tense dishonors those who sacrificed so much to survive !!!
    It is part of how the U.S. distances itself from the genocidal policies and atrocities of the past, and ongoing exploitation…by pretending “that was then, and we feel really bad about it…” while still trying to steal, sell, and mine…more Native-held lands.
    I know that is probably not at all your intention…but Native traditional herbalists and healers need to be respected NOW as they struggle to bring these medicines forward in a good way…rather than being genocidally referred to as a nostalgic memory of
    THE PAST !!!
    The actual article does refer to the Native nations in present tense…it is just your splashy headline and culturally misappropriative headline, including the anonymous “chief” portrayed in stereotypical headdress/warbonnet, and painted up full of nontraditional colors in it.
    Please repair the headline to honor the real and current plant medicine practices and the healers travelling and teaching and sharing them…
    In the PRESENT.

    All My Relations….
    Peter Thomas

      1. the past tense is still used in the very title of the article and can be seen throughout the whole thing so you did not at all change the title it appears. I fully agree with Peter Thomas and I am very offended with the careless way that this valuable information has been handled. It seems that your website is happy to take some healing tips from native culture but doesn’t have the decency to be politically and culturally considerate. The anonymous rainbow chief with the stereotypical headdress and garments is careless and insulting and even more so, the title “11 Plants Native Americans USED to Cure Everything” is so inaccurate and undermining. Please change every mention of the word “used” to “use” because Native peoples are still alive today and USE these plants and other herbal remedies regularly. Speaking of the indigenous peoples of this land as if they do not exist is disgustingly insulting to the thousands of people who survived genocide and persevere to this day and it perpetuates a false idea that they are a past people not to be thought about too deeply because they don’t exist anymore. This country’s history with indigenous peoples is sickening and peoples current appropriation of native culture and thinking of the indigenous as non existing is insulting. Please do your part to not perpetuate this and fix the article like you said you had.

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