pejuta (Lakota for medicine)

novice_2009(zone 6b)May 3, 2009

"Their extraordinary resilience was due to a shared symbolism, an ability to communicate with nature, a strong sense of family, and an astounding knowledge of every herb, shrub, weed, and wild plant that grew on the plains."

"..it is even more ironic that we sought to ban the ecological awareness they practiced as 'pagan' when the very future of the planet may depend upon our learning it from them." -Richard Erdoes

"We must try to save the white man from himself. This can done only if all of us can once again see ourselves as part of this earth. We cannot harm any part of her without hurting ourselves......... But you cannot learn to be a medicine man like a white man going to medical school......The way to power is by giving, not by taking...." -Lame Deer, Seeker of Visions

A vision he had: "You will learn about herbs and roots, and you will heal people. You will ask them for nothing in return. A man's life is short. Make yours a worthy one."

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rusty_blackhaw(6a)

"Medicinal Wild Plants of the Prairie - An Ethnobotanical Guide" by Kelly Kindscher is a good source of information about the many plants Lakota Sioux and other tribes used for various conditions.

Many of the plants, together with the ones they brought to this country, were used by settlers as well.

In addition to historical aspects, the book also has modern information on the chemical constituents of these plants, plus growing, harvesting and preservation facts.

The latter (preserving remaining stocks of what are in some cases endangered herbs) is especially important when some today are being gathered from the wild at such a rate as to threaten their existence.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2009 at 4:48PM
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novice_2009(zone 6b)

Yes, eric- with the popularity of ginseng, black cohosh, and others, many native herbs have been over-harvested, taking the plants, and giving nothing in return, not even leaving a few! It's all about money. Thanks for the reference to the guide- I'd like to check that out.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 1:08PM
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goshen(6)

A great post, novice. Thank you for posting it. I have ginsing growing on my property and no one but me knows where it is. And it is spreading some. Feel like i've done a small thing for my planet.

There are times when i wish the coming of the white buffolo did mean the end of the white man.but not often.LOL

    Bookmark   May 6, 2009 at 2:17AM
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novice_2009(zone 6b)

Very cool goshen. It is sad that the ancient healing art of herbalism has turned into a way to make money, at the expense of the plants, earth, and the consumers themselves, who get a pill instead of the real thing. If any Native American has shared their knowledge of local plants with white people, I am amazed. After what we have done to them and their way of life.......

    Bookmark   May 9, 2009 at 3:48PM
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novice_2009(zone 6b)

" The plants are calling you. They have a rich and diverse vocabulary and speak in many tongues. For the scientist the plant may speak in the minute language of chemicals and isolates; to the medicine person they speak in the multi-versed language of healing; to the poet, they speak in beauty. No matter what language you speak or comprehend the plants will converse in a manner in which you can understand, though it may take a listening ear and an open heart to hear them. Ask anyone who has dug their hands deep in the dirt, planted seeds, harvested medicine, and taken time simply to get to know plants on their own turf, they will tell you- these people who know and work with plants- that the the plants communicate in a language clearly discernable if we but choose to listen. And the plants are calling us now, asking us for help. The wild gardens are in trouble and the precious medicines of the earth are being lost...."
-Rosemary Gladstar

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 12:16PM
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