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”

Processing Dried-out Čhaŋšáša

Oops. I let the čhaŋšáša dry out — again. Have you ever gotten so busy that you just didn’t get to processing the čhaŋšáša you harvested before the bark got all dried out? Or maybe you just forgot about a piece, and discovered the poor, dried-up stick in a corner somewhere, months later? I’ve doneContinue reading “Processing Dried-out Čhaŋšáša”

Pȟežíȟota kiŋ Hinápȟa: 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 kiŋ Hinápȟa: Spring sage, and Sage Tea”

Anishinaabe-style Čheyáka in Cree territory

Anishinaabe-style Čheyáka in Cree territory…what? This tri-national title sounds confusing: two indigenous nations, and a plant name from a third. Let me explain. Čheyáka? I always think of čheyáka as its Lakota name. I have to think a little longer to remember its scientific name…Mentha arvensis. And even longer to recall its common English name.Continue reading “Anishinaabe-style Čheyáka in Cree territory”

Čhaŋíčaȟpehu: Nettles in early June

Čhaŋíčaȟpehu, Urtica dioica, Stinging nettles. They grow in shaded, damp areas. Many people today avoid them or even wear thick gloves to pull them out for fear of the sting. But on Standing Rock, the knowledge that they are actually a powerful medicinal plant, and that the stingers can help with pain and inflammation, isContinue reading “Čhaŋíčaȟpehu: Nettles in early June”

Waȟpékȟalyapi waŋ Wakáǧe – Making a Tea Blend

Three medicinal plants that make a great tasting and medicinal tea (clockwise from top left): Pȟežíhota waštémna – Artemisia frigida – fringed sage Čhaŋíčaȟpehu – Urtica dioica – stinging nettles Ziŋtkála tȟačháŋ – Amorpha canescens – leadplant

Igmú Čheyáka / Catnip

I accidentally harvested catmint seeds the other day, thinking I was harvesting nettle seeds. This plant is called igmú čheyáka in Lakota, catmint in English, and Nepeta cataria. It is also (perhaps more commonly) known as catnip in engl. It’s indigenous to Eurasia, but has naturalized over here. It’s all over the place. I foundContinue reading “Igmú Čheyáka / Catnip”