Aboriginal Students Health Sciences Elder in Residence Bertha Skye talks about various Indigenous medicines and cultural practices. This episode looks at the Rat Root.

Teton-Dakota warriors chewed the root to a paste, which are rubbed in their faces. It is believed to prevent the excitement and fear when facing an enemy.

People Potawatomi powder of the dried root and this placed in the nose to cure colds.

Sweet flag, known as “Root Rat” is one of the drugs most widely and frequently used herbal between the Chipewyan people.

For the people Penobscot this was a very important result. One story was a disease that afflicts people. A muskrat spirit came to a man in a dream, telling him that he (muskrat) was a root and where to find it. The man woke up, found the root, and made a medicine that cures the people. In the houses of Penobscot, pieces of dried root bind together and hung for conservation. Steaming whole house was thought to “kill” the disease. While traveling, a piece of root remained and chewed to ward off the disease.


Responses to "Cree Elder talks about how the natives used the Rat Root to cure diseases"

  1. thank you

  2. Sakoieta says:

    Ononóron as sweetflag is called in Mohawk was and is an all round medicine that we still use today in our traditional medicines list of medicine plants. It was used for colds, fevers, ailments of the heart and also as a protection medicine against unwanted spiritual activity. Many people carry this medicine in small pouches around their neck and even place some in each house window. It could either be chewed as it is or ground down into a powder and made into a tea.

  3. Unknown says:

    Hiy! Hiy! my people the Woodland Cree of northern Alberta use this in many different recipes. I am no expert but I know this root is very effective for colds flu and sore throat! One of my herbalist mothers' must haves! Thank you

  4. What area do you find it? What plant is it from

  5. This sounds like the same qualities as skoy duck, it is found in moist areas by streams and rivers and the root is made into tea or bitten, it is bitter as well and works very well for colds , pneumonia, sinus infections and related illnesses.

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