Native American herbal medicine

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Native American herbal medicine

Native American herbal medicine refers to traditional herbal medicine practices that have been preserved in an effort to carry some American traditions. A number of herbal medicines which are currently in use have actually been used by Native Americans. For instance, Native American herbal medicine such as purple coneflower (Echinacea), willow and goldenseal are some herbs they used which are being used up to the present. Native Americans practice herbal medicine as a way of life and to keep them in harmony with nature. Native American herbal medicine required young people to go through a number of mentally and physically tough ceremonies and training. The Medicine Man who practiced Native American herbal medicine was considered almost immortal at that time. Native American herbal medicine for women used particular herbs as medicine for a number of purposes. These plants are gathered to stimulate and promote the normal female cycles, to ease childbirth, ease menopausal symptoms and other gynecologic problems.

Some of the Native American herbal medicine practiced up to this day includes the following:

Skunk cabbage. This is a Native American herbal medicine to treat asthma.
Horsemint. This is medicine used by Native American to treat backache pains.
Creosote Bush, pleurisy root and wormwood. These are used to treat bronchitis.
Yellow-spined thistle. This is a Native American herbal medicine to treat burns.
Patridgeberry and blue cohosh. These are used for faster childbirth.
American Licorice and broom snakeweed. These are for delivery of the placenta during childbirth.
Buckwheat, black Western Chokecherry and smooth upland Sumac. These are used to stop post-partum hemorrhage during childbirth.
Wild black cherry and cotton are used to relieve pain of childbirth.
Boneset. This is Native American herbal medicine used for colds.
Catnip. This is Native American herbal medicine for colic.
Ragleaf bahia, Indian paintbrush, blue cohohos, dogbane, milkweed, American mistletoe, Antelope sage and stoneseed. These are all used individually by Native American women as contraceptives.
Aspen, Wild cherry, white pine and sarsaparilla. These herbs are used to treat coughs.
Wild carrot and devil’s club. These herbs were used for diabetes.
Blackcherry, wild black cherry, dogwood, geranium, white oak, black raspberry and star grass were Native American herbal medicines for diarrhea.
Dandelion and yellow root are used for digestive disorders.
Dogwood, willow and feverwort were used for fevers.
Pennyroyal was used in Native American herbal medicine as treatment for headache.
Green hellebore and American hemp and dogbane were used to treat heart and circulatory problems.

The above Native American herbal medicines are but a few of the herbs they used as medicine in the past. They are still effective to this day. But caution must be exercised before using such herbs. And they should not be used to replace medications recommended by doctors but as complements to them.