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Image from Bob in Swamp retrieved on Feb. 27, 2013.
The Menominee tribe combined the rapidly spreading perennial St. John's wort with black raspberry root in hot water and drank the resulting tea as a treatment for tuberculosis.
St. John's wort was introduced to the United States from Europe, where it had been used in medicine since ancient times. Galen and Dioscorides recommended it as a diuretic, as an emmenagogue, and for killing internal worms. Gerarde, a famous herbalist, says "St. John's Wort, with his flowers and seed boyled [sic] and drunken, provoketh [sic] urine and is right good against stone in the bladder..." The plant received its name from superstitious European peasants who assigned it magical powers and gathered it on St. John's Day for special cures. It the last century it was widely employed as an application to wounds where the nerves were exposed. Millspaugh said, "It is to the nervous system what Arnica is to the muscular.
Dr. Eric Stone, the physician who authored an authoritative book on American Indian medicine, states that the Indian practitioner distinguished only the common cold from other respiratory diseases. Bronchitis, pleurisy, and lung affections were all treated with the same medicine, mainly the pleurisy root, yerba santa, mesquite, the sunflower and red cedar. Dr. Stone continues, "One exception was the Sac and Fox group which recognized pleurisy as such and were so far ahead of their time that as early as 1750 they treated pleurisy with effusion by incision and drainage".
- p. 112, Earth Medicine- Earth Foods by Michael A. Weiner (1972)ShareThis