Indigenous to the Southeastern United States, the Cherokee tribe of Native Americans believed that they were given a rare affinity for understanding (as well as preserving) traditional medicinal herbs and plants.
While these plants were used in the treatment of practically every ailment or illness, they are inherently strong and can be dangerous when used in excess or improperly.
Cherokee healers, with traditions that have been passed down over hundreds of years, believe these five plants give us incredible health benefits:
The blackberry is largely used by the Cherokee to treat upset stomachs, even though it’s also used for many other things. Benefits of blackberry include: improved digestion, a boosted immune system, a healthy heart, cancer prevention and relief from endothelial dysfunction.
Blackberries hold high nutritional value, as they are chock-full of vitamins, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and folate. Not to mention they’re a good source of fiber and amino acids.
Hummingbird Blossom (Buck Brush)
Used in the treatment of cysts, fibroid tumors, inflammation and mouth/throat problems, Hummingbird blossom is an herb that has been used by Cherokee for generations.
Contemporary research has also found that it is beneficial for helping treat high blood pressure and lymphatic blockages. However, it is mainly used for its diuretic properties to help with kidney function.
Used as mainly a preventative measure, cattail is an easily digestible food that is believed to help with recovery from illness. Its root consists mainly of starch, and the male plants have a high pollen count, meaning that the plant is often prepared in a similar style to that of potatoes, being boiled and mashed.
The paste from these processes is often used to treat burns and sores, and the pollen is a great source of protein and has a use in baking.
While you’ve almost definitely tried mint at some point in your life, you may not know it’s health properties. A natural antioxidant, mint also contains magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin A, as well as a healthy dose of fiber.
It aids in digestion, and its stems and leaves have been used in teas to help lower high blood pressure.
Mullein is a powerful herb that is often used to relieve asthma and chest congestion. The Cherokee believed that inhaling smoke from the burning of mullein roots and leaves did wonders for calming the lungs and opening up airways.
You can also mix into a warm solution and soak your feet in it to help reduce inflammation and joint pain. And mixing it into a tea provides a mild sedative effect.