My Dirt Time The Adventures of Tom Sciacca

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Rhus Typhina by Christina

Name: Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac) I included a photo of the dried flower head and the bud--people need to start learning bud identification! Facts about the plant/General Purpose: This plant was widely used by various Indian tribes historically--The Omaha and other tribes used the roots as a yellow dye, and Omaha medicine men would boil the fruits to make a wash to stop hemorrhaging in women after childbirth--but many tribes including the Kansas, Osages, and Kickapoos used sumac as an aid to stop bleeding in many forms. The Omaha also used a poultice made from bruised leaves for skin irritations, like poison ivy. They steeped the leaves and fruits to make a wash for sores, and sometimes included dried leaves in their tobacco mix (along with red willow and sometimes viburnum if sumac was not on hand). Other tribes also used sumac leaves in their smoke mixture, like the Kiowa and I think Pawnee, among others. The Blackfeet tried to fight smallpox by drying the fruits, grinding them, and applying the power to the open sores--obviously this did not work but it does speak to the high reverance they had for the plant's medicinal value. And most tribes steeped the fruits for a citrusy-tasting tea. Sumac was WIDELY used by almost all tribes that had access to it--some tribes even said it was a gift from god because of its many medicinal purposes.

What I used the plant for, what I thought, etc: At the time the photo was taken I didn't use the plant for anything except sheer enjoyment. It is a BEAUTIFUL plant in addition to all of its medicinal properties, and we cannot underestimate the value of appreciating beautiful things during times of survival--our souls need medicine, too. But I have had sumac tea before and it is kinda tasty.


NOTE: We post these plants pics for entertainment only and are not recommending that you go out and eat anything that we post. If you intend to try these wild plants or the like or anything we post, make sure you are 100% sure of what you are doing. Learn from an expert and double/triple verify. Itís only up to you and no one else!

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