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Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Few Medicinal Plants

Plant Medicine Treatments

a. Tannin

(1) Medical uses- Burns, diarrhea, dysentery, skin problems, and parasites. Tannin solution prevents infection and aids healing.

(2) Sources. Found in the outer bark of all trees, acorns, banana plants, common plantain, strawberry leaves, and blackberry stems.

(3) Preparation-

(a) Place crushed outer bark, acorns, or leaves in water.

(b) Leach out the tannin by soaking or boiling. Increase tannin content by longer soaking time. Replace depleted material with fresh bark/plants.

(4) Treatments-

(a) Burns- Moisten bandage with cooled tannin tea; Apply compress to burned area;Pour cooled tea on burned areas to ease pain.

(b) Diarrhea, dysentery, and worms. Drink strong tea solution (may promote voiding of worms).

(c) Skin problems (dry rashes and fungal infections). Apply cool compresses or soak affected part to relieve itching and promote healing.

(d) Lice and insect bites. Wash affected areas with tea to ease itching.

b. Salicin/salicylic acid.

(1) Medical uses. Aches, colds, fever, inflammation, pain, sprains, and sore throat (aspirin-like qualities).

(2) Sources. Willow and aspen trees

(3) Preparation-

(a) Gather twigs, buds, or cambium layer (soft, moist layer between the outer bark and the wood) of willow or aspen.

(b) Prepare tea as described in paragraph 3a(3).

(c) Make poultice- Crush the plant or stems; Make a pulpy mass.

(4) Treatments-

(a) Chew on twigs, buds, or cambium for symptom relief.

(b) Drink tea for colds and sore throat.

(c) Use warm, moist poultice for aches and sprains- Apply pulpy mass over injury; Hold in place with a dressing.

c. Common plantain

(1) Medical uses. Itching, wounds, abrasions, stings, diarrhea, and dysentery.

(2) Source. There are over 200 plantain species with similar medicinal properties.

(3) Preparation-

(a) Brew tea from seeds.

(b) Brew tea from leaves.

(c) Make poultice of leaves.

(4) Treatments-

(a) Drink tea made from seeds for diarrhea or dysentery.

(b) Drink tea made from leaves for vitamin and minerals.

(c) Use poultice to treat cuts, sores, burns, and stings.

d. Papain.

(1) Medical uses. Digestive aid, meat tenderizer, and a food source.

(2) Source. Fruit of the papaya tree.

(3) Preparation-

(a) Make cuts in unripe fruit.

(b) Gather milky white sap for its papain content.

(c) Avoid getting sap in eyes or wounds.

(4) Treatment-

(a) Use sap to tenderize tough meat.

(b) Eat ripe fruit for food, vitamins, and minerals.

e. Common Cattail

1) Medical uses. Wounds, sores, boils, inflammations, burns, and an excellent food source.

(2) Source. Cattail plant found in marshes

(3) Preparation-

(a) Pound roots into a pulpy mass for a poultice.

(b) Cook and eat green bloom spikes.

(c) Collect yellow pollen for flour substitute.

(d) Peel and eat tender shoots (raw or cooked).

(4) Treatments-

(a) Apply poultice to affected area.

(b) Use plant for food, vitamins, and minerals.

Stay Prepared! Stay Alive!

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