Herbs and Plants
Herbal Medicine
Herbal Usage
Healing Herbs
Sacred Formulas Of Tke Cherokee

These are the Herbs, Oils and Plants that I use within my Incenses, Ritual Soaps, Salves, Teas and Tinctures

U thru Z

B = Bouquet
DNB = Do Not Burn
H = Bark, Flower, Fruit, Gum, Herb, Leaf, Root & Seed
O = Essential Oil
R = Resin
S = Synthetic

Feminine Masculine Neuter
PlantTypePlanetElementUsage
Valerian H Venus Water Love Protection Purification Sleep
Velvetback H-DNB Saturn Fire Courage Divination Exorcism Health Love Protection
Velvet Flower H-DNB Saturn Fire Healing Invisibility Protection
Vanilla H Venus Water Love Lust Mental Powers Power
Vervain H Venus Earth Celibacy Chastity Healing Love Money & Riches Peace Protection Purification Sleep Youth
Vetivert H-O Venus Earth Exorcism Hex Braking Money & Riches Love Luck Protection
Violet H-DNB Venus Water Healing Love Luck Lust Peace Protection Wishes

B = Bouquet
DNB = Do Not Burn
H = Bark, Flower, Fruit, Gum, Herb, Leaf, Root & Seed
O = Essential Oil
R = Resin
S = Synthetic

Feminine Masculine Neuter
PlantTypePlanetElementUsage
Walnut H-DNB Sun Fire Health Mental Powers Wishes
Wheat H-DNB Venus Earth Fertility Money & Riches
Wild Lemon H-DNB Mercury Fire Fertility Health Love Money & Riches Protection
Willow H-DNB Moon Water Healing Love Protection
Wintergreen H Moon Water Healing Hex Braking Protection
Wisteria H Spirit Spirituality
Witchbane H-DNB Sun Fire Healing Power Protection Psychic Powers Success
Witchen H-DNB Sun Fire Healing Power Protection Psychic Powers Success
Witchwood H-DNB Sun Fire Healing Power Protection Psychic Powers Success
Witch Hazel H-DNB Sun Fire Celibacy Chastity Protection
Wood Aloes H Venus Water Love Money & Riches Protection Spirituality
Woodruff H-DNB Mars Fire Money & Riches Protection Victory
Wormwood H-DNB Mars Fire Love Protection Psychic Awareness Psychic Powers

B = Bouquet
DNB = Do Not Burn
H = Bark, Flower, Fruit, Gum, Herb, Leaf, Root & Seed
O = Essential Oil
R = Resin
S = Synthetic

Feminine Masculine Neuter
PlantTypePlanetElementUsage
Yarrow H-O Venus Water Courage Exorcism Love Psychic Awareness Psychic Powers
Yellow Avens H Jupiter Fire Exorcism Love Purification
Yellow Dock H-DNB Jupiter Air Fertility Healing Money & Riches
Yellow Snowdrop H-DNB Moon Water Healing
Yerba Mate H Spirit Fidelity Love Lust
Yerba Santa H Spirit Beauty Healing Protection Psychic Powers
Yucca H-DNB Mars Fire Protection Purification Transmutation
Ylang Ylang H-O Venus Water Love Peace

American Botanical Council
First Nation and Plant Medication
Modern Phytomedicine
Plant Medicines

The herbs of our fields are medicines for our bodies. Just as animals know which plants to nibble when they are not feeling well, Native Americans and other ancient peoples learned how to use plants for healing. Today's pharmaceutical companies emerged from this study of plants, isolating ingredients from the plants and turning them into chemicals that could be made in a laboratory. White Willow became Aspirin. Ephedra became the common allergy medication Ephedrine. Senna became Ex Lax. Eucalyptus became Vicks.

Plant Medicine

You will need: a teaball or empty, fillable teabags; empty, fillable pill capsules; a ceramic teapot; cotton gauze for bandages; a dark glass bottle and some honey for syrups; a glass jar, some baking soda and sesame or sunflower oil for salves.

To make an Herbal Tisane (Tea): Put 1 teaspoon of dried herb in a teaball or teabag for each cup of water you want to use. Place the teabag or ball into a CERAMIC teapot (do not use a metal teapot.) Heat the water to boiling in a metal pot on the stove and pour it over the dried herb in the ceramic pot. Cover the pot and let the herb steep in the hot water for 5 to 10 minutes. Pour and drink hot or cool and add ice for iced tea. If sweetener is desired, please use Honey or Blackstrap Molasses.

To make an Herbal Decoction (A Medicine from a Root or Berry): Place about a tablespoon of the root or berry per cup of water in a pot (the pot can be metal but not aluminum). Boil the water with the herb in it for 15 - 30 minutes. Strain the herb out and use the water the same as a Tisane.

To make a Poultice or Compress: Make a tisane without using a teabag. (Just put the dried herbs directly into the water.) Strain, but save both the water and the herb. Shape the wet herb into a flat mass and apply it to the wound. Hold it in place with a cotton gauze or clean cotton bandage, soaked in the tisane water.

To make a children's medicine: Cut the dosage for an adult in half. Make a Tisane or Decoction. Then boil the Tisane or Decoction in a metal (not aluminum) pot, with Honey to taste in the pot, until it is reduced by about half and takes on a syrupy texture. Cool the mixture and pour it into a sterilized, dark glass bottle. Store in the refrigerator.

To make a salve: Simmer the dried herb in just a little water in a metal pot (but not aluminum) for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain. Add the water to a mixture of a little baking soda and sesame or sunflower oil, or to beeswax or Vaseline. Gently heat just a little to reach the desired consistency. Store in a sterilized jar.

To make a tincture: Put 2 oz dried herb per pint of (drinking) alcohol (40 proof and above cheap vodka is good). Let it sit in a cool, dark place for a week, shaking daily. Strain it and discard the plant material. Store it in a dark-colored dropper bottle. Use only a few drops at a time in a little warm water.

Plant Medicine Example

If the mosquitoes head straight for you, bypassing others in the group, you may have a thiamine (Vitamin B1) deficiency. Or, you may have just washed your hair with a sweet smelling soap, used perfume, eaten a sweet dessert, or had a glass of alcohol. To deter the insects, eat a spoonful of blackstrap molasses or take a bath in a tub of warm water with a cup of chlorine bleach added before going out. Mosquitoes are repelled by B vitamins, which are excreted through the skin.

To draw the poison out of ant, mosquito, bee sting, spider, tick, or chigger bites: Wash the area with soap and hot water. Make a paste of baking soda and water then add few drops of Goldenseal Tincture. OR add a few drops of Goldenseal Tincture to a Nettle Poultice. Put the paste or poultice on a piece of gauze and apply it to the bite area. Cover it with a bandage.

To relieve itching, apply Witch Hazel and Calendula Salve.

The Blueberry

The Blueberry is native to North America and for thousands of years has been consumed for their protective and curative powers by the First Nation. Blueberries, especially wild species, contain antioxidants which have been found to reduce the risks of some cancers. At the 2004 International Conference on Longevity, a group of researchers released details of a study that suggests certain compounds found in blueberries (and some similar fruits, including cranberries) have a significant impact in reducing the degradation of brain function, as in Alzheimer's Disease and other conditions. Research at Rutgers has also shown that blueberries may help prevent urinary tract infections...

The Cranberry

Native Americans were the first to use cranberries as food and a medicinal herb. Calling the red berries Sassamanash (Algonquian), natives may have introduced cranberries to starving English settlers in Massachusetts who incorporated the berries into traditional Thanksgiving feasts. American Revolutionary War veteran Henry Hall is credited as first to farm cranberries in the Cape Cod town of Dennis around 1816..

The Docks and Sorrels

These plants have many uses. Broad-leaved Dock (Rumex obtusifolius) used to be called Butter Dock because its large leaves have been used to wrap and conserve butter. Most of them contain oxalic acid and tannin. They have astringent and slightly purgative qualities. In the UK, crushed dock leaves are a traditional remedy for the sting of nettles and one that is surprisingly widely known, perhaps due to the abundance of nettles and the fact that Rumex plants often live nearby in the same sorts of habitat..

The Lowly Fennel

Fennel, from Koehler's Medicinal-plants (1887)The bulb, foliage, and seeds of the fennel plant all have secure places in the culinary traditions of the world. Dried fennel seed is an aromatic, anise-flavoured spice; brown or green in colour, they slowly turn a dull grey as the seed ages (for cooking, green seeds are optimal). Fennel seeds are sometimes confused with aniseed, which is very similar in taste and appearance, though smaller. Indians often chew fennel seed (or saunf) as a mouth-freshener. Fennel is also used as a flavouring in some natural toothpastes. Some people employ it as a diuretic, while others use it to improve the milk supply of breast feeding mothers.

Many cultures in the Indian subcontinent and the Middle East incorporate fennel seed into their culinary traditions. It is an essential ingredient in the Bengali spice mixture panch phoron and in Chinese five-spice powders. It is known as saunf or moti saunf in Hindi and Urdu, mouri in Bengali, and shombu in the Tamil language. In the west, fennel seed is a very common ingredient in Italian sausages and northern European rye breads.

Many egg, fish, and other dishes employ fresh or dried fennel leaves. Florence fennel is a key ingredient in some Italian and German salads, often tossed with chicory and avocado, or it can be braised and served as a warm side dish. One may also blanch and/or marinate the leaves, or cook them in risotto. In all cases, the leaves lend their characteristically mild, anise-like flavour.

Medicinal uses: Essential oil of Fennel is included in some pharmacopoeias. It is traditionally used in drugs to treat chills and stomach problems.

Perfumery: Fennel essential oil is used in soaps, and some perfumes.

Fennel is thought to be one of the nine herbs held sacred by the Anglo-Saxons. The other eight are not entirely certain, but were probably mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris), greater plantain (Plantago major), watercress (Nasturtium officinale), wild chamomile (Matricaria recutita), stinging nettle (Urtica dioica), crab apple (Malus sylvestris), chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium), and viper's bugloss (Echium vulgare)...

The Juniper Berry

The Juniper Berry was The Native American's culinary and medicinal general additive. Pepper (Black and White) were unknown to the American Indian. But in its place the Juniper Berry was used. Furthermore a paste of its substance was used as an astringent. When combined with honey it was used as an antiseptic. When consumed whole it became a very powerfull purgative (for both directions). In otherwords if you were constipated beforehand, you would not be after consuming the berry, you would be coming and going from both ends...

The Lowly Mustard Plant

Mustard plasters, also known as sinapisms, consist of a mixture of dry mustard powder and a small amount of flour, mixed with water and/or egg whites to form a paste, and applied to the chest or abdomen to stimulate healing. In times past and present, the mixture was spread onto a cloth and applied to the chest or back. The mustard paste itself should never make contact with the skin. Applied externally, Black Mustard is used in the treatment of bronchial pneumonia and pleurisy...

The Raspberry

The Raspberry was consumed for their protective and curative powers. Raspberries contain significant amounts of polyphenol antioxidants, chemicals linked to promoting endothelial and cardiovascular health. The leaves of the raspberry cane are used fresh or dried in herbal and medicinal teas. The leaves have an astringent flavour and in herbal medicine are used in regulating menses...

The Slippery Elm

The Native American's cure all was the American Slippery Elm tree.

In 1920 A Native American Priest of the Ojibway of Eastern North America prepared a blend of herbs which cured breast cancer in Canadian prospectors wife. The woman's nurse (Rene M. Caissse) documented the miracle. This still very popular herbal tea, now called Essiac (Caisse spelled backwards) is believed by many to be a treatment for cancer. The four main ingredients of this tea are Burdock Root, Sheep Sorrel, Indian Rhubarb Root and the the soft, white inner bark of the native American Slippery Elm tree.

Whether or not essiac tea is an effective cancer treatment, one thing is certain. Slippery elm bark by itself, is a very useful herb. When mixed with liquid, Slippery Elm bark becomes mucilaginous, or gel-like. This soothing characteristic makes it an effective, gentle treatment for constipation in babies. Mix 1 teaspoon of powder and a pinch of cinnamon in one cup of warm apple juice. Provide as much as the baby will drink.

The dry powdered bark can be sprinkled on babies skin to soothe diaper rash. The powder can also be applied to chicken pox to soothe itching and dry oozing sores.

If you are unfortunate enough to find yourself wounded, and lost in the woods, don't despair. Cut some strips of the white inner bark of the Slippery Elm tree and soak them in water. Apply the wet bark to your cleaned wounds and it will dry into a natural bandage. Just make sure you get lost in the eastern part of the United States, as Slippery Elm is not native to the western part of the country.

One old fashion slippery elm product that is still popular throughout the country is the soothing Slippery elm lozenge. These soothing 'cough drops' can be purchased at herb and health food stores, but why waste your money? Restless children stuck in the house on a cold wintery day would have a blast mixing and rolling their own herbal throat soothers. In a bowl, mix 3 tablespoons Slippery Elm powder, one tablespoon Ginger root powder, and one teaspoon of Licorice root powder. Blend in enough Maple syrup or Honey to form a dough. (Keep in mind that it is not safe for children under 18 months of age to eat honey.) Roll into a long 'rope' and slice into 1/4-inch pieces. Place on a wax-papered cookie sheet and bake at 250 degrees until dry, about 20 minutes. Store in covered containers, and use as needed.

Even the FDA admits that Slippery Elm bark is a safe and effective throat and respiratory soother. However, the high mucilage content of Slippery Elm may interfere with some prescribed medications. If in doubt, consult your doctor...

The Stinging Nettle

Despite its sting, it has many uses. It is recommended by the herbalists of many different cultures for a wide variety of purposes in herbal medicine. Cooking, crushing or chopping disables the stinging hairs, and the leaves are not only tasty, but high in nutrients. The young leaves are edible and make a very good pot-herb. A simple recipe is to gather the upper stalks including 3-4 pairs of leaves before the plants flower (using gloves), until one has enough to entirely fill a small saucepan. Fill the pan with cold water, and then put on a lid and drain off the water until all that remains is what is clinging to the leaves. Then put the pan on high heat and steam the leaves, shaking the pan occasionally, until all the leaves are wilted. The leaves can also be dried and used to make a tisane.

In the maintenance of buildings there is a historic practical use of the drained off water as it is acid in nature and was used as an effective way of neutralising the alkaline salts evident on the walls of older damp houses. The salt contaminated patches on the walls continue to 'look' damp even after effective damp resistant course has been inserted. This is due the fact that the crystals have hygroscopic properies i.e. moisture attracting.

Nettle stems contain a bast fibre which has been traditionally used for the same purposes as linen, and is produced by a similar retting process. Nettles can also be used as cattle fodder; cows appear to find harvested nettles a delicacy...

Sweetgrass

Sweet grass was, and is very widely used by North American indigenous peoples. A sacred plant, used in peace and healing rituals. Leaves are dried and made into braids and burned as vanilla-scented incense; long leaves of sterile shoots are used by Native Americans in making baskets. Natives of the Great Plains believe it was the first plant to cover Mother Earth. The Anishinaabe Natives believe it is a purifier, and burn sweetgrass before all ceremonies. It is a reminder to respect the earth and all things it provides.

It is also used in ceremonial items by the Blackfoot, Dakota and Lakota peoples.

Incense used by at least the Blackfoot, Cheyenne, Dakota, Kiowa, Lakota, Menominee, Missouri, Montana, Ojibwa, Omaha, Pawnee, Ponca, Sioux, and Winnebago peoples. Used for purification, as oblations to ancestors, for protection of spirits, and keeping out of evil and harm. Used in a variety of ceremonies including peace ceremonies and initiations.

Used by Blackfoot, Cheyenne, Kiowa, Lakota, Missouri, Montana, Okanagan-Colville, Omaha, and Thompson for cosmetic and aromatic purposes. Blackfoot and Gros Ventre use Leaves soaked in water and used as a hairwash. Sweet grass tea and smoke were used for coughs and sore throats (Flathead, Blackfoot). Teas as wash to treat chapping and windburn, and as an eyewash. The Blackfoot chewed grass as a means of extended endurance in ceremonies involving prolonged fasting. Iroquois, Kiowa, Malecite, Menominee, and Micmac people (amongst others) use sweetgrass in basketry (including mats) and crafts.

Kiowa and Soiux use fragrant leaves as stuffing for pillows and mattresses. Used for sewing at least by Menominee. Used as body & hair decoration/perfume by Blackfoot, Flathead, and Thompson. Used as an incense to "keep the bugs away" by Flathead. Used by Cheyenne to paint pipes in the Sun Dance and the Sacred Arrow ceremonies.

Sweetgrass has a mellow, almost soporific effect, and for many is a useful aid to entering a meditative state. Interestingly enough, it appears that coumarin, although not known to possess psychotropic effects, is a common denominator among a number of herbs used ritually which have strong anecdotal evidence for at least mild psychotropic properties.

The Watercress

Many benefits from eating watercress are claimed, such as that it acts as a mild stimulant, a source of phytochemicals and antioxidants, a diuretic, an expectorant, and a digestive aid.

Willow Bark

Native Americans have been using Willow bark for headaches, fever, sore muscles, rheumatism, and chills for thousands of years. This is not really very amazing since an active extract of the bark, called salicin, after the Latin name for the White willow (Salix alba), was isolated to its crystalline form in 1828 and has become known to western culture as the Aspirin...

Metaphysical and Healing Lore

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