Contributors: Gary Ferguson, Naturopathic Doctor, Rita Blumenstein, Tribal Doctor, with assistance from Meda Schleifman and Karen Sandberg, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, Anchorage, and Peggy Hunt, Alaska Plant Materials Center.

Also many thanks to Bertha Blondin - Diné, Cree Elder Bertha Skye and First nation woman, Catherine Boucher

The healing process in Native American Medicine is much different than how most of us see it today. Native American healing includes beliefs and practices that combine spirituality, herbal medicine, and rituals, that are used for both medical and emotional conditions.

From the Native American perspective, medicine is more about healing the person than curing a disease. Traditional healers worked to make the individual “whole,” believing that most illnesses stem from spiritual problems.

In addition to herbal remedies, purifying and cleansing the body is also important and many tribes used sweat lodges for this purpose. In these darkened and heated enclosures, a sick individual might be given an herbal remedy, smoke or rub themselves with sacred plants, and a healer might use healing practices to drive away angry spirits and invoke the healing powers of others.

1- MILK THISTLE: Liver Cleanser, Blood purifier, anti-inflammatory: Believed to be an antioxidant with great anti-cancer properties, It prevents cancer cells from reproducing and replicating. Test tube samples even showed the herb’s ability to cut off the blood flow to the tumors, hence causing the death of the growth neoplasm or reducing its life span.

2- SUMAC, BARK and BERRIES: AIDS, Chronic Diarrhea, CANCER, Diabetes, Heart-disease, Asthma, Infection diseases, Hemorrhages, Post Birthing Malaria, Headaches

3- BIRCH: Kindney Stones, CANCER, infections diseases. Bark makes wintergreen too

Cree Elder Bertha Skye talks about Birch trees as Medicine- Read Full Story Here

4- SPRUCE GUM: First nation woman, Catherine Boucher was diagnosed with a rare cervical cancer in 2003. Instead of accepting standard treatment and a hysterectomy, the Fort Resolution, N.W.T., woman took the advice of her late grandfather.

"I heard him in my ear telling me to use spruce gum."

Boucher says her grandfather used to take her out on the land and teach her about natural medicines, including spruce gum, which has been used as a traditional medicine for generations. Spruce gum is dried tree resin. Trees exude resin to heal any damage to its trunk.

Boucher says traditionally the gum was boiled in tea, but she thinks eating it raw makes it more effective as a medicine. READ FULL STORY HERE

5- DEVIL'S CLUB: also known as Alaskan ginseng (Alutiiq name: Cukilanarpak, Athabascan name: Heshkeghka’a, Tlingit name: Sauthkt. Scientific name: Echinopanaxhorridum)

The most noted uses of devil’s club are for colds, cancer, depression, and stomach problems, and also for broken bones, burns, coughs/chest congestion, and inflammation. It is considered “strong medicine” due to its effects on the psycho-pharma-spiritual aspects, and should be used only under the guidance of a traditional healer.

6-HEMLOCK: Cancer, auto-immune diseases

7- RED CLOVER: Ulcers, Cancer, infections, preventing senility

8- SHEEP SORREL: cancer Cure. Grows readily over North America as a weed.

9- OYSTER FUNGUS: Anti- carcinogenic

10- CHANTRELLE: Anti- carcinogenic

Heal Your Spirit- Most illnesses stem from spiritual problems.
Bertha Blondin - Diné

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