Tid Bits Gathered Here and There

July 1998

Just finished taking a twelve week course on herbs and their remedies, Native American Medicines. Our teacher for this herb class was Mary Hockett, a Cherokee and many of the recipes she shared were from her ‘granny’. She feels a responsibility to carry on the tradition of passing this information on to those who are in tune with Mother Earth, Nature, plants, herbs. In the Colorado area, she taught this class for those interested in continuing education credits.

Mary begins her classes by sharing the following story:

From a time long ago is an old Native American prophecy telling how all ours lives would be affected. An old woman named "Eyes of Fire" tells of a time coming when "Birds would fall from the sky...fish would be poisoned in the streams...deer would drop in their tracks...seas would be blackened." All this would come from the greed of the white man and his technology.

The Native Americans, the legend tells, would all but lose their ‘Spirit’, only to find it again in teaching white men how to respect and revere Mother Earth. They would use the symbol of the Rainbow (colors) to band together all the races of the world. They would go forth "Warriors of the Rainbow" to bring an end to the destruction and desecration.

To Become "Warriors of the Rainbow", we must:

Stay with one with Nature -
    Do not take more than you can use or more than you need.
Do not commit crimes against Nature -
    Fro Nature holds the key to our survival!
Always state the reason for gathering -
    And always give thanks!

Blessed Be,
Mary Hockett

We had a very diverse group all knowledgeable in their own way with herbs, methods of using, and shared with each other. The class was about two hours long and held at the Unitarian Church. Mary plans on starting another herb class in July and perhaps in September a class on Aroma Therapy. For sure, I will be attending the latter class.

This class covered everything from Basil to Wild Strawberry and other things thrown in for good measure. Feverfew treats from reducing fever, colds, diarrhea, migraines, stiff joins to being an excellent insect repellent and balm for bites. Did you know that the plant so many people have allergy to, the Goldenrod, according to John Gerard, 1597, is excellent above all other herbs for the stopping of bleeding wound? Hemp Dogbane in addition to being used as weaved fibers for mats, baskets, the tea from roots was used as a heart stimulant (scientifically proven to be a cardiac stimulant), diuretic and rheumatism remedy. Larkspur kills nits, crabs and lice? Mullein is excellent for asthma, loosening mucous, ear aches, research studies showed an extract inhibited growth of Staph aureaus and E.coli. Onion is a food, all parts are utilized, nothing is wasted. Bruised onions applied to bee and wasp stings. Juice prevents infections (especially ear), removes warts and prevents acne. Poultice used to drain pus from sores. Pumpkin promotes wound healing, deworming, the Mayas used the sap of the plant to treat burns and the pulp relieves intestinal inflammations. (Also wonderful wine). Wild Strawberry for kidney stones & gout, sore throat gargle from a strong tea and ‘build strong blood’ in the sick and excellent for anemia. (Researchers have found the fruit to contain hematinic, an agent that stimulates red blood cell formation and increases hemoglobin in blood.) Nicholas Culpepper, 1652, states.....also good to fasten loose teeth and to heal spongy foul gums.

Because we have ample resource of many things we all take it for granted that it will always be so. Even those same people who are aware of the changes coming. There are many courses on survival, what to do if, ......well here is another that is excellent and only requires a few hours a week to attend. Of course, there is a much larger investment if you plan on applying what you have learned. It takes time and patience in recognizing the plant/herb, habitat, harvesting, utensils to use, method of preparation, best time of the month to start, making tinctures, teas, ointments, poultices, the length of shelf life, what each remedy is good for, how much to give to certain ages, etc .

More and more people today are wanting to take responsibility for what they put into their bodies to alleviate pain, assist with endurance, topically apply ointments for sunburn, ivy poisoning or to keep bugs away or to get rid of lice. All of these herbal remedies are plentiful on your health food store shelves, the easy way to find an alternative medicinal remedy. For now some are still plentiful in Nature (some herbs are becoming endangered) if you choose this method. But do your homework. KNOW what you are doing before applying, or ingesting any plant or herb.

Other methods for learning any ‘how to.....course’ would be to go along with someone you know who is wise in knowing when, where, how and is comfortable with you and allowing you to ask questions. Look for advertising in well known and reputable plant life or herb magazines; call and ask questions on the material, cost, any updates; do they care about you really learning and will they be there. Going to classroom type classes are fine if there are field trips so you actually can see what you are doing and how to and not do certain things.

It really boils down to you personally taking responsibility for learning as much as you possibly can about what interests you and those people you interact with. What have you always had an interest in or a burning desire to know more if the interest is new. The time is now to begin doing all the things that you want to do to learn for the changes. The changes are upon us now.

leaf2.gif (92 bytes)Back to White Dove's Messageleaf2.gif (92 bytes)