Seneca Snakeroot
Below are some medicines used by the Turtle Mountain Chippewa to cure common ailments.  Please do not try these remedies at home.  Always consult a medicine man before using these remedies...

White Pine.   The needles of the white pine could be crushed and applied to relieve headache.  The vapors of boiled white pine could be inhaled to cure backache.  The smoke (fumes) of the needles heated upon a stone or a hot iron pan could also be inhaled to cure headache.

Balsam Fir.  
The bark was scraped  from the trunk and a tea made to induce sweating, or it could be applied externally to sores and cuts.

White Cedar.  
The leaves could be crushed and the vapors (smudge) could be used to drive out bad spirits possessing an individual.

Red Cedar.  
Bruised leaves and berries are used internally to remove headache.

White Oak.
The bark of the root and the inner bark scraped from the trunk is boiled into a tea used to treat diarrhea.

Sugar Maple.  
In addition to its use in making maple sugar, the inner bark could be made into a tea used to treat diarrhea.

Black Sugar Maple.  
Like sugar maple, its inner bark could be made into a tea used to treat diarrhea.

The cottonwood down could be applied to open sores as an absorbent.

The crushed root could be applied to bruises and contusions to speed the healing process.

Seneca Snakeroot.  
A tea could be made from the roots to treat colds and cough, and the leaves could also be brewed into a tea for sore throat.

Wild Raspberry.  
A tea made from the crushed roots could be taken to relieve pains in the stomach.

Wild Black Cherry.  
The inner bark can be applied to external sores, either by first boiling, bruising, or chewing it, and a tea made from the inner bark is sometimes given to relieve pains and soreness of the chest.

Wild Red Cherry.  
A tea made from the crushed root can be given for pains and other stomach disorders.

Common Cattail.  
The roots could be crushed by pounding or chewing, and applied as a poultice to sores.

Black Ash. 
The inner bark could be soaked in warm water, and the liquid applied to sore eyes.

Bitter Root.
A tea made from the crushed root could be taken as a purgative.

The inner bark of the root could be boiled and the tea, when cold, applied to sore eyes.

Dwarf Wild Rose. 
The roots of young plants were steeped in hot water and the liquid applied to sore eyes.


    Content is provided by Kade M. Ferris M.S.  Kade has a B.A. in anthropology and history from University of North Dakota, and a M.S. degree in anthropology from North Dakota State University.  Kade serves as the Historical Society board Vice President and is a professional historian and anthropologist with over 18 years of experience.  He serves as the THPO and Director of Natural Resources for the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, and is the Vice President of the Turtle Mountain Chippewa Historical Society Board.


    June 2012
    March 2012