The Cherokee Indians believe that the Creator has given them medicinal herbs for natural healing. Their medicine is solely found in nature. These 10 medicinal plants have a long history of common use with the Cherokees to promote different forms of healing.
Blackberry is a long-known remedy to the Cherokee Indians for calming an upset stomach, among other things. Blackberry tea can be used to reduce swelling in the joints, while chewing on blackberry leaves can soothe sore gums. Blackberry root mixed with honey or maple syrup makes an all-natural cough syrup. Blackberries are full of antioxidants that promote heart health and boost the immune system.
The roots of this plant have been used used by Cherokee Indians to improve kidney function and reduce inflammation. Researchers still believe today that this herb is a great natural treatment for high blood pressure. To make a tea, simply steep the leaves and flowers in boiling water for about five minutes, then drink.
This plant has been used as a preventative medicine, rather than a healing plant. The cattail was eaten because it is easily digestible, and the Cherokees believed it would help to prevent illness or assist in recovery.
In this case, mint is made into tea and used to soothe digestion problems and an upset stomach. The Cherokee crush and bruise the leaves to use as a cold compress for pain or itching. Mint is also used as a remedy to help with nausea, fatigue and allergies.
The roots of this herb are high in starch and minerals, while the leaves provide vitamins and supplemental minerals. The Cherokees have used greenbriar as a blood purifier and a mild diuretic to treat urinary infections. An ointment can be made from the leaves and bark to be applied to minor sores and burns, and the berries can be eaten raw or made into jam.
6. Wild Ginger
A tea made from the root of wild ginger is meant to stimulate better digestion. Ginger is known to help with intestinal gas and an upset stomach. Native Americans also used crushed, steeped stems of wild ginger as a form of relief from earaches.
Yarrow has historically been used to treat external wounds on the skin. Fresh, crushed leaves can be applied to open wounds to stop excess bleeding and prevent infections. The leaves can also be used to make a tea in order to promote proper digestion and help with kidney or gallbladder issues.
8. Wild Rose
The fruit of a rose is known as a rose hip. They are packed with Vitamin C to boost the immune system, and the Cherokee have used them to make a tea in order to stimulate the bladder and kidney function. They also work great as a natural cold and flu remedy.
9. Yellow Dock
The Cherokee Indians have historically used this herb in cooking, as it boasts vitamins and minerals from its long roots that form deep underground. The leaves of yellow dock contain iron and can be used as a laxative, and the crushed roots mixed with warm water provides antiseptic properties.
Sumac (the non-poisonous kind) has antioxidants that promote healing. The berries are rich in Vitamin C and can be made into a beverage, while tea from sumac leaves can be used to reduce fevers. Crushed sumac leaves can even be made into an ointment to provide relief from a skin rash.