After the Harvest: Processing, Drying, Storing, & Caring for your Medicines (part 1)

We’re in the height of summer here in the northern hemisphere. Many medicine makers (including me) are heading out to harvest in the evenings after a full day of work/school/childcare. We race against sunset to gather our precious plant medicines while they are in season, and bring home baskets or bags full of beautiful medicine.Continue reading “After the Harvest: Processing, Drying, Storing, & Caring for your Medicines (part 1)”

All About Yarrow: Cold Remedy, Wound Medicine, and More

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about Yarrow lately, so I decided it was time for a more comprehensive Yarrow post. It’s a very important medicine, and in many regions, right now is the time to harvest it. First, a little background. This plant has many names: Ȟaŋté Čhaŋȟlóǧaŋ Tȟaópi pȟežúta Achillea millefolium YarrowContinue reading “All About Yarrow: Cold Remedy, Wound Medicine, and More”

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”

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”

Tincture Making: Curlycup Gumweed / Pteíčhiyuȟa

I wanted to share a few pictures of my Curlycup Gumweed / Pteíčhiyuȟa tincture. It’s a very simple recipe, but has helped me tremendously with breathing problems during the winter months. So I wanted to share this for others who might also want to try making this medicine. Generally, tincturing with alcohol is a wayContinue reading “Tincture Making: Curlycup Gumweed / Pteíčhiyuȟa”

Elderberry (Čháŋ phuté hú) Harvest

Elderberries are one of my favorite medicinal berries. They are one of the only antiviral medicines that are effective in shortening the length of flu viruses, as well as the severity. Elderberry syrup is also an excellent cough medicine, and can help to nip a cold or other winter illness in the bud. And thisContinue reading “Elderberry (Čháŋ phuté hú) Harvest”

Curlycup Gumweed

Pteíčhiyuȟa. Grindelia squarrosa. Curlycup Gumweed. This is one of the yellow flowers you’ll find growing by the side of the road this time of year — not just in the Dakotas, but across North America. This is the time of year to harvest it! If you look at the underside of the flower, you canContinue reading “Curlycup Gumweed”

Retrospective: Biodiversity at Sacred Stone Camp

This month marks three years since the founding of Sacred Stone Camp in April of 2016, on land just north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, at the confluence of two important rivers. These photos were taken during Prof. Linda Black Elk’s Sitting Bull College Field Ethnobotany class in June 2016. This day we didContinue reading “Retrospective: Biodiversity at Sacred Stone Camp”

Pȟežíȟota Hinápȟe: Spring sage, and Sage Tea

A shot from last spring: The first spring shoots of Pȟežíȟota (ceremonial sage, Artemisia ludoviciana) emerging in on the prairies of Standing Rock in late April 2018. Working with this plant over the years, I have noticed that there are certain times of the year that are better to pick it for certain uses. TheContinue reading “Pȟežíȟota Hinápȟe: Spring sage, and Sage Tea”

On Čhaŋšáša and Traditional Tobacco

Winter projects, continued: Peeling the red outer bark away to reveal the green cambium layer on a fresh čhaŋšáša branch. Another, more abstract waníyetu wóečhuŋ: reflecting on what “traditional tobacco” means. If you are wondering about ceremonial uses of čhaŋšáša and would like to know more about the traditional teachings around it, there are aContinue reading “On Čhaŋšáša and Traditional Tobacco”