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The Aztecs were the first to cultivate amaranth.

Ancient Remedies: 10 Native Herbs or Foods to Ease Common Ailments

ICTMN Staff
2/24/14

7. Oregon Grape

The evergreen shrub the Oregon grape, plentiful along the west coast from Canada to California, has healing powers to alleviate pink eye and other inflammatory skin diseases, ease the digestive tract, and promote recovery from chemotherapy and radiation therapy, according to Discovery Fit & Health.

Oregon's state flower blooms yellow buds and grows purple berries. It's also a natural healer. "I thought people would not know that about our state flower," said Gina Davis, a forester for seven years who has worked for the Coquille Indian Tribe in North Bend, Oregon for the past two years. She has taken to learning about local, wild plants that can double as pain relief and ointments, reported The World.

Davis credits her upbringing with peaking her interest in the healing properties of native plants, and thus inciting her to move away from the idea of Western medicine. "I grew up in a log cabin in the middle of nowhere," Davis told The World. "And my grandfather was full-blown Cherokee."

Oregon grape (Flickr/StarMist1)Though bitter due to the presence of alkaloids, the plant is edible. Ingested, the herb has a beneficial effect on the digestive tract, "stimulating the flow of bile, which loosens the stools and helps prevent and sometimes relieves constipation, diverticulosis, gallbladder disease, and hemorrhoids," reported Discovery Fit & Health. "They may also help people with constipation-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)."

When made into a tincture, an alcohol extract of the root, it's an effective treatment for pink eye. To create a tincture, according to Discovery Fit & Health: "Mix 1/2 to 1 teaspoon in 2 to 4 ounces of water and sip before each meal. The amount of alcohol in tinctures at this dose is very low and presents no significant problem."

To consume as a beneficial digestive, drink it in a tea. "Simmer 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried, coarsely chopped root in 1 cup of water for 10 to 15 minutes. Strain out the leftover root (or eat it, if you prefer), and sip the remaining liquid just before eating each substantial meal."

Storage is important. Keep "dried Oregon grape root away from light and heat. Do not keep longer than one year. Tincture will keep indefinitely if stored away from light and heat," stated Discovery Fit & Health.

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builds-the-fire's picture
builds-the-fire
Submitted by builds-the-fire on
My grandmother could tell you what your dreams meant, how to heal illness, and for a while--as they were growing up--made all of her children's clothing. She walked on many years ago. I wish I'd listened more to her.

aliberaldoseofskepticism's picture
aliberaldoseofs...
Submitted by aliberaldoseofs... on
On 3, I should still point out coconut is high in saturated fat. Some 90% of its oil is saturated fat. Coconut oil isn't *as* bad as palm oil, from an environmental and labor perspective, but still, it can't be gotten locally. On 9, homeopathy? Really? Homeopathy is basically what happens when this German dude, Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann, had a bad reaction to chinchona bark (from which quinine is derived) which was similar to symptoms of malaria. (It's now known this is a fairly rare metabolic disorder.) From this he concluded that symptoms provide a doctrine of signatures, and that something which causes a symptom will also cure a disease with the same symptom. After this, he found that his patients, well, died, so he started diluting his substances. A lot. Dilute by ten, whack the underside of it the mason jar, dilute that by ten, whack the underside, repeat 30+ times. Unfortunately, after 30 dilutions by ten, you need a sphere of water roughly the size of the solar system to get even one atom of the original substance. After 90, give or take, you have more than the total number of atoms in the known universe. Some homeopathic remedies dilute by one hundred over 100 times. All of this because of his own idiopathic reaction. Seriously. He did have better success than his contemporaries, but that has little to do with the value of homeopathy. It has everything to do with the poor quality of medicine in the 18th century, since everyone was still relying on leftovers from alchemy.

Michael Madrid's picture
Michael Madrid
Submitted by Michael Madrid on
My grandmother chewed mint to help with upset stomach, raw garlic to help fight respiratory infections and honey for small cuts and scrapes. She came from a time when the medicine chest was found outdoors in nature.

jofloresz's picture
jofloresz
Submitted by jofloresz on
This is the way my Grandmother Elder taught us if you have a walk way anywhere or put one in your back yard that you can walk on with no stones between you and the earth. Yes, this means shoes as well and walk on your path and what ever you need will grow there. Just let the weeds grow and look them up and you will see what that weed helps with you will be surprised what will grow. I have an immune problem and echinacea grew. haha true!! Our Elders are the best scientist on the planet!!! Thank you God for allowing me to grow up native!!!!! I tell everybody all the time if you can grow the plant don't you dare eat the pill!!! My Grandfather was a medicine man he would have to study with his grandpa while my grandmother went out to dances with her sisters! Poor grandpa!! Gotta love our medicine people, the white people think when a doctor takes 8 years of school they know it all hahaha, My grandpa started his training when he WAS 8!!!

Valerie Goodness
Valerie Goodness
Submitted by Valerie Goodness on
aliberaldoseofs, The Mayo clinic makes it very clear that there are a number of different saturated fats; some of which are good for you in healthy amounts. Coconut is one of those. Which is very different than meat saturated fats. To equate the two is very wrong indeed. Coconut saturated fat is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E. The Mayo Clinic recommends that nut oils and coconut oil be a good substitution for less desirable fats. Also....Your "malaria" contribution seems unfair since Indigenous people have a very different perspective of it and Quinine plants used to remedy it. Malaria is not rare and the chinchona bark is only one remedy of hundreds that Indigenous people used for it. The number one remedy was to stop developing wetlands and to honor Indigenous human carrying capacity laws handed down through generational oral history. Something colonizers and settler colonialists can't wrap their brains around. Want to end disease? Stop overpopulation and stop over development....
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