The articles in this section are old, may be inaccurate, and are being updated or deleted.
DO NOT use this information for health advice.

Cherokee Herbology

(Agrimonia Gyposepala) Drink tea of burs to check bowels, and for fevers; root tea to build up blood.

Alder, red/smooth/tag (Alnus Serrulata) For pains related to birth, ingredient in tea for menstrual period - acts as an emetic and a true purgative.

Alder, white (Clethra Acuminata)
Decoction of bark and wild cherry is drunk to break a high fever.

Aloe, false Aloe
(Agave Virginica) Chew root for obstinate problems with diarrhea. Also good for treating animals for worms.

Alum-root, American Sanicle
(Heuchera Americana) Root is an astringent; root tea for bowel complaints or dysentery (usually made with honey to improve the taste).

Angelica (Angelica Atropurpurea)
Root tonic for fevers and colds; Gargle for sore throats and mouth pains/cold sores.

Bastard Toadflax (Comandra Umbellataa)
Steep with roots of pink lady's slipper for kidneys; put juice on open cuts or sores.

Beardtongue, hairy
(Penstemon Laevigatus) Tea for cramps.

Birch, cherry-mountain-red-river-sweet
(Betula Lenta) chew leaves or drink tea for dysentery; tea for colds.

Bittersweet (Celastrus Scandens)
Bark tea to settle stomach; strong tea combined with red raspberry leaves for pains of childbirth.

Blood leather-rock tripe
(Gyrophora Dillenii) Stop bleeding from open wounds.

Bluebells-Lungwort-Virginia cowslip
(Mertensia Virginica) for whooping cough; consumption.

(Houstonia Caerulea) Tea to stop bedwetting.

Branch lettuce-saxifrage
(Saxifraga Pensylvanica) Root poultice for sore swollen muscles.

Buckeye, red
(Aesculus Pavia) Pounded nuts are poultice for swelling, sprains and infected wounds. bark tea drank for facilitating woman's delivery in childbirth.

Buffalo nut-oilnut
(Pyrularia Pubera) Salve for old sores.

Butterfly weed-Witch weed (Asclepias Tuberosa)
Seeds or root are a gentle laxative; boil seeds in new milk for diarrhea; also for pleurisy, pains in breast, stomach and lungs.

Cinnamon Tree
(Cinnamomum Zeylanicum) Bark tea for flu.

(Symphytum Officinale) Boil roots in water for gonorrhea.

Coneflower-Black-eyed Susan (
Rudbeckia Fulgida) Root ooze for earache. wash for snakebites and swelling caused by worms.

Fern, bracken
(Pteridium Aquilinum) Root tonic used as antiseptic.

Fern, rattlesnake
(Botrychium Virginianum) Boil root down to syrup and rub on snake bites.

(Chrysanthemum Parthenium) Bathe swollen feet in a tea.

Geranium, wild
(Geranium Maculatum) used for open wounds; astringent.

(Galium Aparine) Tea to move bowels.

Indian Pipe-Fit Root/Ice Plant
(Monotropa Uniflora) Root pulverized and given for epilepsy and convulsions.

Laurel, Mountain
(Kalmia Latifola) Ingredient in liniments.

New Jersey Tea/Red Root (Ceanothus Americanus) hold root tea on an aching tooth; hot root tea for bowel complaints.

Note: This is not meant to be a complete monograph on the subject of the Cherokee plant lore, just a sampling of the available information.


Click on links to learn more about the books!

Cobb, B. 1963 : Field guide to The Ferns. Boston. Houghton-Mifflin Co.
Fernald, M.L. : Gray's Manual of Botany. NY
Hamel, Paul : Plants of The Cherokees. 1974.
Plowden, C.C. : Manual of Plant Names. NY 1970.
Sharp, J.E. : The Cherokees Past and Present. 1970. Cherokee Press.

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Copyright 1996, 1998 by Rowan Fairgrove, Lori Herron and Alternative Nature
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