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In my healing practice, taught to me based on the guidance I
have received from Grandmother
Adele and many other elders as well as my own life experiences,
there are times I follow a
tradition common to many Native American/First Nation healers.
Both I and the patient may
decide to ask friends, family and members of their tribe or
community to participate in the
healing by praying, singing or performing ceremonial actions
I have found there are times when choosing this method benefits
the patient not only in healing
ceremonies but also counseling sessions ... this process is
extremely helpful and powerful in
bereavement counseling. A gathering of family and friends help
affirm the bereaved person's
worth as a member of the community and having the sympathy,
support and love of the group
definitely has a therapeutic influence strengthening the bonds
of friendship and love.
Lately there have been a couple of occasions when this same
method of therapy has been used to
resolve criminal offenses ... a community leader or "peacemaker"
meets with the offender, the
victim, family members and any others affected by the offense
to talk things out and decide on
an acceptable plan of restitution. I haven't had the honor of
being part in this type of session yet
but I believe this action is far more beneficial than sending
a youth to prison. Any thoughts...?
We can never have too many people showing their concern for
our future. Be it in times of peace
or times of trouble. Supporting each other is what we are all
called to do.
Lotus - are you referring to what I think is called "restorative
justice"? If so, I think it's awesome!
I personally feel that being punished by doing time or community
hours alone doesn't help the
offender understand the cause and effect situation. It is my
experience with young offenders that
they have entirely distanced themselves from the situation and
only focus on a very small aspect
of it which allows them to do what they did. Drawing attention
to the larger aspect from which
they've disconnected, IMO, is much more healing than simply
giving a random punishment that
is not related in any way, shape or form to their immediate
actions and the knock on effects of
their actions. For me, restorative justice is about natural
consequence, not about punishment -
which is a big one in our family.
Contributed by CinnamonMoon
Article by: Steve Nubie
31 Long-Forgotten Native American Medicinal Cures
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. But thats common knowledge
compared to the insights and
treatments that Native American medicine men discovered and
Native American medicine men developed a wheel very similar
to the yin/yang of Asian
medicine. The use of herbal remedies and other alternative forms
of treatment was the cuttingedge
medicine of their day. This was a holistic approach to medical
treatment that relied heavily
on plants and their unique benefits.
What follows is list of indigenous plants, trees, fruits and
flowers unique to North America that
have surprising benefits as defined by Native American tribes.
If and when times are tough, it
might be good 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.
Licorice tea for a sore throat is a good example. Its
also interesting that many of these natural
cures are still in use today, including beeswax and bee pollen,
chamomile and others. Its a good
demonstration of the benefit of wisdom developed over centuries.
Its hard to know how Native Americans determined which
plants might have medicinal
properties, although trial and error was probably one approach.
Its also thought that they
observed sick animals eating certain plants and determined that
those plants must have a certain
property worth exploring. Since that time, scientific studies
have verified the medicinal value of
many 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.
These medicines were usually administered via teas or pastes
that were either ingested or
applied externally. Sometimes the plants were eaten as food
or added to food or water. On
occasion, a salve or poultice was applied to open wounds. I
would strongly recommend that you
avoid the latter, given the risk of infection from wild sources.
Ive omitted many of the natural remedies. There was a
use for mistletoe that I came across, but
mistletoe is essentially poisonous and if not used properly
the results could be counterproductive,
if not deadly.
Ive also found a great deal of redundancy. It seems like
everything is good for a cough or
diarrhea. Rather than endlessly list plants that cure the same
conditions over and over, Ive tried
to isolate this grouping to the most prevalent plants that you
may find and recognize. As always,
if you are pregnant, check with your doctor and do plenty of
research before using any of these.
Heres the list:
1. Alfalfa: Relieves digestion and is used to aid blood
clotting. Contemporary uses included
treatment of arthritis, bladder and kidney conditions and bone
strength. Enhances the immune
2. Aloe: A cactus-like plant. The thick leaves can be squeezed
to extrude a thick sap that can be
used to treat burns, insect bites and wounds.
3. Aspen: The inner bark or xylem is used in a tea to treat
fever, coughs and pain. It contains
salicin, which also is found in willow trees and is the foundation
ingredient for aspirin.
4. Bee pollen: When mixed with food it can boost energy,
aid digestion and enhance the immune
system. If youre 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
6. Blackberry: The root, bark and leaves when crushed and
infused in a tea are used to treat
diarrhea, reduce inflammation and stimulate the metabolism.
As a gargle it treats sore throats,
mouth ulcers and inflammation of the gums.
7. Black Raspberry: The roots of this plant are crushed
and used as a tea or boiled and chewed
to relieve coughs, diarrhea and general intestinal distress.
8. Buckwheat: The seeds are used in soups and as porridge
to lower blood pressure, help with
blood clotting and relieve diarrhea.
9. Cayenne: The pods are used as a pain reliever when taken
with food or drunk in a tea. Also
used to threat arthritis and digestive distress. It is sometimes
applied to wounds as a powder to
increase blood flow and act as an antiseptic and anesthetic
to numb the pain.
10. Chamomile: The leaves and flowers are used as a tea
to treat intestinal problems and
11. Chokecherry: Considered by Native American tribes as
an all-purpose medicinal treatment,
the berries were pitted, dried and crushed into a tea or a poultice
to treat a variety of ailments.
These include coughs, colds, flu, nausea, inflammation and diarrhea.
As a salve or poultice it is
used to treat burns and wounds. The pit of the chokecherry
much like apple seeds are
poisonous in high concentrations. Be sure to pit the cherries
if youre considering this for any
12. Echinacea: Also known as purple coneflower, this is
a classic Native American medicine that
is 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 infused in a tea to
treat coughs, sore-throat, flu and fever. Its used to
this day as an ingredient in cough drops.
14. Fennel: A plant with a licorice flavor, this is used
in a tea or chewed to relieve coughs, sorethroat,
aid digestion, offer relief to diarrhea and was a general treatment
for colds. It also is
used as a poultice for eye relief and headaches.
15. Feverfew: Used to this day as a natural relief for fever
and headaches including severe
headaches like migraines it also can be used for digestive
problems, asthma and muscle and
16. Feverwort: Another fever remedy that also is used for
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.
17. Ginger root: Another super plant in Native American
medicine, the root was crushed and
consumed with food, as a tea or a salve or poultice. Known to
this day for its ability to aid
digestive health, it also is anti-inflammatory, aids circulation
and can relieve colds, coughs and
flu, in addition to bronchitis and joint pain.
18. Ginseng: This is another contemporary herb that has
a history that goes back across cultures
for millennia. The roots were used by Native Americans as a
food additive, a tea and a poultice
to treat fatigue, boost energy, enhance the immune system and
help with overall liver and lung
function. The leaves and stems also were used, but the root
has the most concentration of active
19. Goldenrod: Commonly thought of today as a source of
allergies and sneezing, 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
20. Honeysuckle: The berries, stems, flowers and leaves
are used to topically treat bee stings and
skin infections. As a tea, it is used to treat colds, headaches
and sore throat. It also has antiinflammatory
21. Hops: As a tea it is used to treat digestive problems
and often mixed with other herbs or
plants, such as aloe, to soothe muscles. It also is used to
soothe toothaches and sore throat.
22. Licorice: Roots and leaves can be used for coughs, colds,
sore throats. The root also can be
chewed to relieve toothaches.
23. Mullein: As an infusion in tea or added to a salad or
other food, this is a plant that has been
used by Native Americans 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
24. Passion flower: The leaves and roots are used 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
25. Red clover: It grows everywhere and the flowers, leaves
and roots are usually infused in a
tea or are used to top food. It is used to manage inflammation,
improve circulation and treat
26. Rose hip: This is the red to orange berry that is the
fruit of wild roses. It is 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.
27. Rosemary: 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.
28. Sage: A far-reaching shrub across much of North America,
it is a natural insect repellent
and can be used for the standard list of digestive disorders,
colds and sore throat.
29. Spearmint: Used consistently by Native American tribes
for treatment of coughs, colds,
respiratory distress and as a cure for diarrhea and a stimulant
for blood circulation.
30. Valerian: The root as an infusion in a tea relieves
muscle aches, pain and is said to have a
31. White Pine: 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.
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