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”

July Squash Takeover

July is the month of the Squash Takeover! (This is another 2018 post that’s been sitting in my “Drafts” folder.) In June, my squash plants seemed to be spaced out too thinly. I’d planted several bumpy green Hubbards (Curcubita maxima) from Linda Black Elk, as well as a couple Lakota squash.* But there was aContinue reading “July Squash Takeover”

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”

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”

Willow Fence/ Čhoȟwáŋžiča Čhúŋkaške

This was from my garden a few years ago. Soon after I planted my seeds, pawprints and bootprints emerged on my carefully-cultivated fresh soil. I knew my seeds had no hope of making it past the seedling stage unless I could find a way to protect them. I needed a fence that would keep theContinue reading “Willow Fence/ Čhoȟwáŋžiča Čhúŋkaške”

Winter Projects: Marigold Seed Saving

I’ve been growing my own marigolds from seed for many years now. They are quite easy to save seed from, once you know what you’re doing. Since fall is a chaotic season that leaves little time for non-time-sensitive projects, I tend to save my marigold seed-saving activities for the winter. Once a flower head driesContinue reading “Winter Projects: Marigold Seed Saving”

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”

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”