Herbal Resilience Guide & PDF

We are happy to share this Herbal Guide to Collective Protection and Healing During COVID-19 with you. This was developed for the Sitting Bull College community earlier this week by community members, herbalists, and herbalism students. This is our gift to the community. Please feel free to share it. Linda Black Elk, one of theContinue reading “Herbal Resilience Guide & PDF”

Wínakapo — Hops

A common request I get, as someone who works with the plant medicines from the Dakotas, is for help managing sleeplessness or anxiety – but not with anything that will knock the patient out too long, leave them woozy, or be addictive. The flowers of this plant are my best solution. Wínakapo (Wild hops, HumulusContinue reading “Wínakapo — Hops”

Omníča Kačháŋ: Bean Winnowing

This is another waníyetu wičhóȟ’aŋ, or winter project. In a lot of ways, it’s pretty similar to corn winnowing (wagmíza kačháŋ). After harvesting the last of the dry beans for the season, I bring them inside to finish drying out. I usually put them in a basket. (You have to be careful where you placeContinue reading “Omníča Kačháŋ: Bean Winnowing”

Winter Projects: Wagmíza Yukpáŋ

This was one of my waníyetu wíčhoȟ’aŋ, or winter projects, last year. After the flour corn has hung in braids inside my home for a few months, dried out by time and the heaters that parch everyone and everything indoors during these Northern Great Plains winters, it’s ready to be made into cornmeal. First, aContinue reading “Winter Projects: Wagmíza Yukpáŋ”

Wáǧačhaŋ Wičháȟpi: Cottonwood Star

When I am introducing someone to the wáǧačhaŋ (cottonwood, or Populus deltoides) and its medicine for the first time, I love surprising them with the star. If you’re just using your hands to break the twigs you find on the ground, without a precise cutting tool, it might take a few attempts to find aContinue reading “Wáǧačhaŋ Wičháȟpi: Cottonwood Star”

Pápa (Bapa) Waháŋpi

This is one of my favorite traditional foods. Pápa (or Bapa, as it’s often called around here) is dried meat, usually wild game — and waháŋpi means “soup.” The main plant ingredients are sliced thíŋpsiŋla (Pediomelum esculentum) and waštúŋkala (dried sweet corn, Zea mays). This is a hearty, nourishing winter soup. I had this bowlContinue reading “Pápa (Bapa) Waháŋpi”

Winter Wormwood

Wormwood. Pȟežíȟota swúla. Artemisia absinthium. This plant, introduced here from Eurasia, is one of the hardiest members of the sage (Artemisia) family. I took this picture in late winter, when the snow was starting to melt, but no other plants had emerged yet. It must have a lot of antifreeze in its leaves, because theContinue reading “Winter Wormwood”

Cleaning Buffalo Berries

Harvesting maštíŋča phuté (Buffalo berries, Soap berries, or Shepherdia argentea) is messy business. Due to the thorns on the shrubs, and the difficulty of picking them, the traditional harvesting method on the prairies is to lay a dropcloth underneath the plant, and (gently) beat a branch to shake loose any ripe berries. As you canContinue reading “Cleaning Buffalo Berries”

Corn Harvest in Porcupine, ND

This is a belated post. Last year the fall, I visited my friend Linda S.’s garden in Porcupine, ND, to help with the corn harvest. She grows her own corn blend, selecting for what grows best on her land. I’m not sure what all the parents of this corn line are, but at least oneContinue reading “Corn Harvest in Porcupine, ND”

Fall Plant Walk: Burdock Seed Pod

These are seedpods from a waȟpé tȟáŋka  (Burdock, or Arcticum minus) plant that I encountered on a fall plant walk. This prickly seedpod is split open to reveal seeds for next year’s babies. Waȟpé tȟáŋka is not native to North America — it was brought here from Eurasia. But its roots and leaves are excellentContinue reading “Fall Plant Walk: Burdock Seed Pod”