Food Science

Use Of Herbs As Medicine

The Plains Indians were a group of Native Americans located in the Midwest.They were a pastoral nomadic and a hunter-gatherer tribe.Their main source of food consisted of buffalo, which was their main source of protein.They also collected different types of plants.Many of these plants collected were used for medicinal purposes, such as wild onion for a bee sting.The use of plants to treat disease has long been a crucial part of Plains Indians medicine.
When the Plains Indians hunted for food, they also gathered plants.Medicine women would gather plants and berries to be used for seasoning and medicinal purposes.They would collect plants when they contained the highest amount of the preferred active ingredient.When collecting plants for medicinal purposes, they referred to the concept of "like cures like."For example, bloodroot was collected to stop bleeding because its juice is red.Medicine women learned about herbal remedies through assisting medicine men.Certain parts of the plant were collected during different times of the year.The inner bark was usually collected during the spring and the leaves were picked while the plant was in bloom.Many of the plants were dried for later use, but they would loose most of their active ingredients.
Preparation of these plants was an important step in the healing process.Many plants were burned and the smoke was inhaled to treat such symptoms as nausea and muscle aches.Smoke was believed to purify the mind, body, and air before religious and healing ceremonies.Boiling water was also a way for Native Americans to extract active ingredients from the plants.For example, they would make mesquite plants into a tea that was used to treat bladder infections.In addition, some Native Americans would prepare concoctions, a mixture of several ingredients, to treat some illnesses.
Determining what affects certain plants had on …

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