e-book Herbal Remedies of the Lumbee Indians

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Lumbee English: Part 2

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The Lumbee Indian tribe has lived in the coastal plain of North Carolina for centuries, and most Lumbee continue to live in rural areas of Robeson County with access to a number of healing plants and herbs used in the form of teas, poultices, and salves to treat common ailments. The first section of this book describes and documents the numerous plant and herbal remedies that the Lumbee have used for centuries and continue to use today. There are remedies for ailments relating to cancer external and internal , the circulatory and digestive systems, the heart, hypertension and hypotension, infections and parasitic diseases, asthma, pregnancy, sprains, swellings, and muscle, skeletal and joint disorders, to name just a few.


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The second portion of this work records the words, recollections and wellness philosophies of living Lumbee elders, healers, and community leaders. From 11 a. I enjoy learning of the early uses of our native plants and the great stories associated with them. The wax myrtle, Myrica cerifera , is often called southern bayberry, associated with popular bayberry candles. The waxy-coated, silver-gray berry-like fruits are the source for the scent of those candles.

Healing Practices

The Houma Indians of the Louisiana territories are described as boiling the wax from the berries of our southern species for candle making. These days, I suspect the northern bayberry, Myrica pensylvanica , with larger fruit, restricted in our state to Dare and Currituck counties, is most likely the plant used. Numerous descriptions include decoctions of leaves, stems and roots for all manner of medicinal use, from headaches to stomachaches. I particularly enjoy reflecting on a wax myrtle use attributed to the Seminoles.

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