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Medicinal Teas

Herbs and hot drinks have been around for a long time. Certain herbs can be used for medicinal purposes and have been made into teas. Medicinal teas can have a lot of different affects and can help with a lot of different sicknesses or problems. The uses of these herbs for medicinal purposes have been linked back to Native Americans.

A few examples of medicinal teas/plants and their uses:

Pitcher plant was used by Native groups as a tea made from the root as a specific cure for small pox. The treatment not only shortened the term of the disease but also prevented the formation of “pox” marks or scars.

"FountainSpringsWintergreen" by Mike Serfas - Own work. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons - http://bit.ly/1oCZdlu
“FountainSpringsWintergreen” by Mike Serfas – Own work. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://bit.ly/1oCZdlu

Wintergreen berries were used by the Mohawks as well as the Ojibwes. They knew the teas, as a medicine as well as a healthful beverage. Wintergreen contains methyl salycliates, the active pain killers of aspirin, useful for colds, headaches, and to bring down fevers. Tea was used to treat kidney problems, colds, fever and asthma. Tea and berries were used to increase the mother’s milk flow and delay menstruation. Also used as an aromatic antiseptic to relieve sores and joint aches.

Yarrow tea is used for irritated eyes, measles, chicken pox, poison ivy/oak, and many other general itching. Tea was also used for women to promote their menstrual cycle and stronger doses were used to induce abortion. It was ingested to treat malfunctioning kidney and liver systems.

Medicinal plants are used today in modern medications such as Tylenol and are still effectively used by many all around the world.

MOA provides an adult tea tasting workshop where you can sample traditional teas such as cedar, lavender, sassafras, and a few others while learning about their health benefits. Call 519-473-1360 for further details.

-Heather : co-op student, April 12, 2011.

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