|Bear Corn (conopholis alpina var. mexicana)
Many forest animals eat the bear corn, especially bears coming out of hibernation. If ever seen a pile of bear scat or wolf or coyote scat, you may see it filled with many seeds from the bear corn.
The Bear Corn is sometimes called squaw root, American cancer root and Indian corn, but the two are somewhat different as to what they are depending on what part of the U.S you are in.
Edible Uses: The spring roots of Conopholis have been roasted for food, but taste like a bland old turnip.
Medicinal Uses: The root is the strongest part, but the whole plant can be used. It is strongly astringent, and there for makes an excellent poultice. It is used internally as a mild laxative, sedative, and can be of great use for restoring muscular strength after a debilitating illness or a mild stroke. An average dose is a slightly rounded teaspoon boiled in water and drinking up to two cups a day.
(source: Medicinal Plants Of the Mountain West by Michael Moore, 1st Edition, page 42 , publisher: Museum of New Mexico Press ; copy right 1979)
Stay Prepared! Stay Alive!