A Handbook of Native American Herbs [NOOK Book]

Overview

This authoritative guide—based on the author's classic reference work, Indian Herbalogy of North America—is a portable illustrated companion for the professional and amateur herbalist alike. It provides detailed descriptions of 125 of the most useful medicinal plants commonly found in North America, along with directions for a range of uses, remedies for common ailments, and notes on the herbal traditions of other lands. Entries include staples of folk medicine such as echinacea and slippery elm as well as common...

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A Handbook of Native American Herbs

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Overview

This authoritative guide—based on the author's classic reference work, Indian Herbalogy of North America—is a portable illustrated companion for the professional and amateur herbalist alike. It provides detailed descriptions of 125 of the most useful medicinal plants commonly found in North America, along with directions for a range of uses, remedies for common ailments, and notes on the herbal traditions of other lands. Entries include staples of folk medicine such as echinacea and slippery elm as well as common kitchen herbs—such as parsley, thyme, and pepper—whose tonic and healing properties are less widely known.

This uniquely authoritative portable guide--based on the famous bible of American herbalists, Indian Herbalogy of North America--identifies and describes the uses for 125 medicinal herbs, and gives instructions for preparing herbal remedies. Line drawings throughout.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780834824225
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/23/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 371,296
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Alma R. Hutchens, a close associate of the late herbalist N. G. Tretchikoff, has been a student and practitioner of herbal medicine for many years.

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Read an Excerpt

CENTAURY
Centaurium
erytraea

COMMON
NAMES:
Rose
pink, bitter bloom, bitter clover.

FEATURES:
This plant is common to most parts of the United States. There are many species
and colors; the English distinguish between them by using the red centaury in
diseases of the blood, the yellow in choleric diseases, and the white in those
of phlegm and water. Variety is not limited only to color; the centaury family
will grow in many soil conditions—moist meadows, among high grass, on the
prairies, and in damp ditch soil. It flowers from June to September and is best
gathered at this time. The flowers close at night, and the American variety is
considered preferable to the European.

SOLVENTS:
Water, alcohol.

MEDICINAL
PART: The whole herb.

BODILY
INFLUENCE: Tonic, febrifuge, diaphoretic.

USES:
Excellent old American remedy, bitter tonic, preventive in all periodic febrile
diseases, dyspepsia, and convalescence from fevers; it strengthens the stomach
and promotes digestion. An aid to rheumatic and all joint pains. The following
in a warm infusion is a domestic remedy for expelling worms and to restore the
menstrual secretions: of the powder, ½–1 dram; of the extract,
2–6 grains.

The
loose dried herb, 1 teaspoonful to 1 cup of boiling water. Although bitter,
this effective herb is a good accompaniment to all herbal teas and
preparations. For taste, combine with other herbs such as anise, cardamom,
peppermint, ginger, fennel, etc.

HOMEOPATHIC
CLINICAL: Used as tincture of root in cases as follows: coryza, diarrhea,
inflammation of the eyes, fever, homesickness, influenza intermittents,
vanishing of sight.

RUSSIAN
EXPERIENCE: Russian centaury,
Centaurium
erytraea,
called
"a thousand golden leaves" and many other beautiful names. Official
medicine very often prescribes centaury alone, but also with other herbal
preparations. Folk medicine: Centaury tea and a home extract, usually prepared
with vodka, is given in cases of high blood pressure and liver and gallbladder
malfunctions. The bitter tonic is antiseptic in stomach sickness, working with
nature without destroying the necessary secretions that stimulate desirable
digestion and appetite. The parasitic tapeworm cannot maintain its circlet of
hooks and suckers, which enable it to gain livelihood in the mucous membrane of
the intestines of its host, when centaury is taken persistently.


CHAGA
Inonotus
obliquus

COMMON
NAMES: Chaga, birch mushroom.

FEATURES: In
North America and Canada the birch is well known for its beauty alone. Its
medical purpose is served by a mushroom, or fungus-type growth, found in the
older trees (also grows on beech and other trees). This growth is rough, dry,
porous, crusty, with deeply cut and crooked separations having the appearance
on the outside of dull charred wood. The surface is almost black in color. When
this projection is sawed off the tree it is as if the tree were having cosmetic
surgery or the removal of an out-of-control wart. The matured and most desired
chaga is 30–40 centimeters wide, 10–15 centimeters thick, and may be
4–5 feet long, weighing 4–5 pounds. There are three layers: (1) the
outside, rough with some old bark and possibly twigs, must be cleaned; (2) the
side, very close to the tree trunk, must be cut off; and (3) the middle part,
granulated and not spoiled, which is the part to use. It can be collected at
any time of the year.

Always
keep chaga in a dry and dark place (dark covered jar) as dampness and strong
light dissipate its power.

MEDICINAL
PART: Inside granulated parts of the three layers.

SOLVENTS: Boiled
(not boiling) water, alcohol, vodka.

BODILY
INFLUENCE: Tonic, blood purifying, anodyne, restorative.

USES:
It is well known that the Native Americans knew all plants and how they were
best used—for food, medicine, or if they are poisonous. In Anglo-American
literature we know that treatments of many sicknesses were kept as tribal
knowledge. We know they used the properties of many fungi, but from our
research work we cannot find a definite record of chaga being identified; we
are poorly informed.

RUSSIAN
EXPERIENCE: The existence of chaga and its uses are mentioned in Russian
literature and in such sources as monographs, medical books, encyclopedias, and
popular herbal books.

Folk
medicine of European Russia and Siberia gives nearly unlimited credit to chaga,
which for generations has been thought of as magical. Chaga has a long list of
uses by persons of experience and faith in herbal folk medicine. It was used
for all stomach complaints—gastritis, stomach pain, ulcers—and for cancer,
tuberculosis of the bones, and glandular organs where operations were not
possible due to the network of blood vessels.

While
folk medicine may be unrestrained in its commendation of chaga, science is
reserved and cautious. From year to year scientific medical literature
carefully gives it more credence. The apparent value of this plant has
warranted commitments to further research and to laboratory and clinical tests.
Since 1955

the
Medical Academy of Science in Moscow has promoted chaga for clinical and
domestic medicine, encouraged it commercially, and collected it for medical
use. In an atlas of medical plants published in Moscow (Tzitzin 1963), chaga is
carefully recommended but definitely approved for administration as a tea,
extract, or
nastoika
(chaga
in vodka) for malignancies. It is recommended in cases where the patient cannot
undergo surgery or radiotherapy. Chaga is recognized as a very old folk
medicine for stomach gastritis and ulcers, and especially for cancer,
tuberculosis, or conditions of malignancy unfavorable to surgery.

It
should be understood that not all advanced forms of cancer can be controlled,
but chaga will reduce pain, give comfort, and stop or slow growths. Some early
and less-advanced cases of cancer are arrested, and spreading may be prevented.
In swelling of the lower bowel, chaga decoctions are prepared for colonics in
addition to oral medication.

Diet
is very definitely restricted to milk products and vegetables—no meat,
conserves, sausages, or strong spices (Saratov University 1932). Chaga is blood
purifying and regenerates deteriorated organs and glands;
Medical
Encyclopedia
(Moscow
1965).

Time
must be given for chaga to work. Recommended treatment is for three to five
months at seven-to-ten-day intervals. Domestic use: The bark and middle
portion, which have been carefully separated and cleaned, must be crushed or
shredded, then soaked in warm water (not over 500 degrees Fahrenheit). When
preparing chaga think of it as yeast; water too hot will kill the living
fungus. For 1 part of crushed chaga pour over 5 parts of boiled (not boiling)
water, let stand covered 48 hours, strain, pour in more boiled (not boiling)
water, perhaps twice as much, then drink three cups a day thirty minutes before
each meal.



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Table of Contents

Editor's
Foreword

ix

Ale
Hoof 1

Alfalfa
2

Aloe
3

Angelica
6

Arnica
7

Arsesmart
10

Balsam
Fir 11

Barberry
13

Bayberry
15

Bearberry
17

Beech
19

Beechdrops
20

Beth
Root 21

Bilberry
23

Birch
24

Bitterroot
27

Bittersweet
29

Blackberry
32

Black
Cohosh 33

Black
Root 35

Black
Walnut 37

Bloodroot
39

Blue
Cohosh 41

Blue
Flag 42

Blue
Vervain 44

Burdock
46

Capsicum
48

Castor
Bean 50

Catnip
53

Celandine
54

Centaury
56

Chaga
57

Chamomile
60

Cherry
62

Chestnut
64

Chickweed
65

Cleavers
66

Coltsfoot
68

Comfrey
69

Couch
Grass 71

Crampbark
74

Creosote
Bush 76

Damiana
78

Dandelion
80

Echinacea
82

Elder
84

Elecampane
87

Eucalyptus
89

Feverfew
91

Five
Finger Grass 93

Fringe
Tree 94

Ginger,
Wild 96

Ginseng
97

Goldenseal
101

Goldthread
104

Hellebore
105

Hops
107

Horehound
109

Horseradish
111

Horsetail
112

Hydrangea
114

Hyssop
115

Juniper
117

Lady's
Slipper 119

Licorice
120

Life
Root 123

Linden
125

Lobelia
127

Lungwort
130

Mandrake
132

Milkweed
134

Mint
136

Motherwort
138

Mugwort
140

Mullein
142

Nettle
144

Oak
146

Oats
148

Parsley
150

Plaintain
151

Poke
154

Prickly
Ash 156

Raspberry
158

Red
Clover 160

Sage
162

Sanicle
164

Sarsaparilla
166

Sassafras
168

Senega
170

Senna
171

Skullcap
172

Slippery
Elm 175

Solomon's
Seal 177

Spikenard
178

St.
John's Wort 180

Strawberry
183

Sumac
184

Sundew
186

Sunflower
188

Swamp
Beggar's Tick 192

Sweet
Flag 194

Sweet
Gum 196

Tamarack
197

Tansy
199

Thuja
201

Thyme
202

Turkey
Corn 203

Valerian
205

Violet
207

Virginia
Snakeroot 210

Watercress
211

Water
Pepper 212

White
Pine 214

White
Pond Lily 216

Wild
Carrot 218

Wild
Yam 219

Willow,
Black 222

Wintergreen
224

Witch
Hazel 225

Wormseed
227

Wormwood
229

Yarrow
232

Yellow
Dock 234

Yellow
Parilla 236

Yerba
Santa 237

Definitions
239
Index
241



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