Herbs & Plants
Of The Southwest
Welcome to Native American Herbs and Plants of the Southwest, where we hope you will find out more about Indian gifts to our world. Herbal preparations, when used correctly, are a safer and more natural method of helping the human body attain a normal and healthy balance. Wise and discriminating use of healing herbs can help people to become more self reliant in health care. The harsh synthetic chemical formulations of the modern drug industry mostly imitate the vegetable compounds used by Native American healers for thousands of years. A wise Indian healer knows what modern physicians often overlook: for a cure to be fully effective, the patient must be regarded as a whole, not just a disease. All aspects of the patients' being must be treated- the spiritual, social and psychological as well as the physical problems. Of course, knowing what you can effectively treat yourself, and when to seek professional help, is the key to success.
When the Conquistadors came to the Americas, they were looking for golden treasure. They did find gold, although not in the quantities of which they had dreamed. In their single-minded rapacious greed, they dismantled great civilizations, in their own way the equal of anything in Europe. The gold and silver that the Conquistadors found was poor stuff compared to the real treasure of the Americas: the multitude of new plant species that tremendously increased the worlds' food supply. and today greatly enriches our lives.
Today, more than 60% of the types of food produced around the world were first grown by Native Americans. When we gather together on Thanksgiving Day, sometimes we remember that it was the Native Americans who gave us the main ingredients of our feast of turkey with cornbread stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, corn on the cob, green beans, baked beans with maple syrup, and our pumpkin and pecan pies. But how many of us are aware of the global influence of Native American foods? The gifts of the Indians provide the major flavorings for fiery Schezuan cuisine, German chocolate cake, vanilla ice cream, pizza and peanut brittle!
We must be responsible and caring stewards of Mother Earth. If each one of us (and there are so many!) goes out into the desert and gathers herbs and plants, some of these precious gifts will disappear. We must also consider that a wild plant community is a balanced biosphere, and that many forms of life are interdependent upon each other. That is why we request that you not gather roots from the wild, and that the less common plants be obtained from commercial sources. When buying herbs from a health food store, read the label carefully, and please avoid buying herbs that are not commercially grown. A plant source that becomes depleted may be on the way to extinction. No one wants to be responsible for helping eradicate a plant that may be tomorrow's cure for cancer.
Come explore with us the riches of the Native American gifts to the world.
THE INDIAN GIVERS:
FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
THE INDIAN GIVERS:
HERBSJuniper Mesquite Prickly Pear
NATIVE AMERICAN WISDOM:
This website is "teacher friendly". If you are a teacher or student, feel free to copy what you need for educational purposes. You may not use any of this material for use on other websites, and no commercial use is permitted. Mess with me, and your scalp will hang on my lodgepole!
The true story of the Native Americans must be told. Please help us keep this non-profit informational site alive by visiting our sponsor, Amazon. Here's something I truly love, and I think you will too! Normally, I recommend books that I have enjoyed in this space, but here is something new from me: Native American flute music. This haunting collection is played on a unique instrument, a flute that is an exact copy of an Ansazi flute in a museum The tone is much deepr, and quite haunting. It gives me the feeling of a direct link back to the Ancient Ones.
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