Sacred Herbs: the philosophy of life
For the Amerindians, the intimate knowledge of the medicinal powers and the sacred herbs is not only a natural medicine, but a real philosophy of life.
They use it to heal themselves, purify themselves or to enable the accomplishment of their prayers. In the Shamanic tradition, we use them to enter into better contact with the world of the invisible.
They can be prepared in decoction, and then reduced into mash, boiled in water, or even burnt, in a way that the smoke that escapes them is guided towards the heavens, in order to enter into contact with the Great Spirit.
The Amerindian population doesn't believe in one God only, but to different Spirits living each thing on Earth. Therefore, the plants can also be used as Offerings, to the Creator or to the Spirit of Nature, at the moment of killing an animal, tearing down a tree or doing large harvests. The link between the Amerindians and these sacred herbs is that a spell accompanies their collection. Once the plant has been spotted, the Indian sits by its sides, imprints on it's Spirit, in order to explain why it needs its powers, why it wants to collect it and how it is going to use it.... a way to prepare it to be their destiny.
It's only after having taken its time that it picks it. In order to thank the plant for its virtues, and thank nature for offering it such a great gift, it leaves an offering. Once returned to the camp, it can use it as a remedy, as an incense or as a link with the world above...
7 plants and sacred herbs and their utilisations by the Amerindian Population
The Maple flower is used to purify the undesirable elements present in the atmosphere, promoting encounters and happy events.
The pine creates a healthy environment and allows a state of concentration. It usually stimulates a state of joy. Its smoke purifies the air, helping the organism to get rid of all the affection linked to aire, such as asthma, laryngitis or bronchitis...
Tobacco is often used by the amerindians as a remedy in order to ease and heal certain pains : asthma, itching due to insect bites, infections of the skin, intestinal problems or even neural disorders... It's also very common to be used as an Offering, when the Indians require favors from the Great Spirit, in order to obtain protection, health and security.
Wild mint is regularly collected by amerindians, at the same time to be tasted as a kind of infusion/tea or to be used as a remedy against fevers, menstrual pains or even headaches. It is also used in order to get rid of insects.
The fruit of this tree is used as a medicinal plant, bringing the necessary energy to fight against the cold, tiredness, a loss of weight or liver problems. Rich in vitamine C, the acerola has antioxydant and invigorating virtues.
Indians use cedar for its relaxing and soothing virtues. It favorises the state of concentration, calm and during their prayers, it helps them to obtain plenitude and stability. During ceremonies, it brings harmony and purity.
The Ginger Root
We all know ginger for its aphrodisiac virtues, but it isn't it's only benefit, and the amerindians are aware of that. Indeed, they also use its roots reduced into powder under the form of an ointment or poultice for its anti inflammatory virtues, and in the form of herbal teas for its digestive virtues.
Cleanse, heal, purge, prayer, calm... the Indians of America know the herbs, plants and their virtues and don't hesitate to use them on a daily basis, in diverse forms.
More than a harvest, gathering these different herbs is a true millennial ritual, which reminds us the extent to which they know and respect Nature, and with which they have a spiritual relationship, somewhat intimate.