Indigenous Medicines

Since time immemorial, Indigenous peoples have used plants, trees and other natural materials and substances to promote healthy living, to cure illnesses and during cultural ceremonies.

Examples of Indigenous Medicines

Plant

Use

Preparation

Indigenous Group

Medicinal Principle

balsam fir
colds inhale vapours many monoterpenes - nasal stimulant

cascara
constipation tea from bark western groups anthracenes - cathartics

gold thread
mouth sores tea from roots Haudenosaunee & others alkaloid - antibacterial

kinnikinnick
kidney ailments tea from branches Syilx (Okanagan) glycoside - diuretic

red oak
diarrhea tea from bark ​Wolastoqiyik​
(
Maliseet)
tannins - astringents

poplar
back pain tea from roots Ojibwa
salicin - analgesic

For more information see the article Health of Indigenous People.