Today I thought we might have another look at medicine, Native American style. Let me define once again, medicine. Medicine meant in the days of early America, something mysterious, powerful, unexplainable. Different things in nature had different medicine and I suppose (although I don’t know this exactly) that this definition came into being because when the white man came into this country, he had so many things that the Indians of old could not easily explain and had no experience with, that these things became “mysterious,” or thus they had “medicine.” But originally the meaning of this word meant that something or someone or some animal or spirit had taken pity on you and had bestowed upon you its secret power.
Because Native Americans lived so closely to nature, their medicine included not only herbs and plants and roots (as well as the medicine man’s expertise), it also included food, itself. Last month we discussed how the Native Americans made corn their main food source by fermenting it with lime water (that’s not the limes that grow on trees, but rather the mineral, lime). Even today in the southwest, the Native Americans continue to treat corn in this tradition because amazingly enough, it gives the corn a complete amino acid base and becomes a complete protein. Today let’s revisit this concept and take up another food source that became medicine.
And what is that food source? Buffalo, of course. Buffalo was the staff of life to the Native Americas of yesterday. Not only did the buffalo give the people its skins for clothes, shoes, bags, sheilds and shelter, it gave the people medicine in the form of food. It’s liver eaten raw (as we once saw in the movie, Dances with Wolves) gave vigor to the people. Meat was cooked, yes, but for those who were sick, meat was usually eaten raw. Why? Because raw meat contain valuable enzymes and other trace minerals that our body needs. When food is eaten raw, it should allow one’s own digestive system to take a rest, because the food itself has it’s own enzymes to digest the food, thus allowing your own system to recover somewhat. Meat was also dried after smoking it, thus retaining its raw status. Organs were also eaten, something that we in our society have forgotten. How many of us would eat tongue, brain, intestines, liver, etc? And yet there is an entire system of healing called glandular remedies today that will help to rebuild and repair those same organs or glands in your own body. People with thyroid problems are aware of this kind of healing, since one of the main drugs for thyroid repair contains grandulars to rebuild your thyroid.
The theory in those days long gone was, build a strong system — we know this same premise today as build a strong immune system — and the body can take care of most anything. For those who needed extra help, or who were injured, there were herbs to fix snake bites (poisonous ones), herbs to help with childbirth or pregnancy, herbs for the stomach, teas for various problems and there was always soup brewing in every tepee, available to anyone for the asking. Soups? You might say? Soups have traditionally nourished thousands upon thousands of generations. Do you know why your grandmother or great-grandmother used to cook her stews for 24, sometimes 72 hours? And why she always insisted to make her stews with bones? Because the nutrients in the meat and in especially the bones are filled with micro-nutrients, some of which haven’t even been studies or discovered. These nutrients seep out into the broth during the cooking — if you cook it long enough.
Of course there are many other home remedies. MSM for spider and snake bites, goldenseal for cuts, mammary for female problems and the Native American remedy, Black Cohosh for female late life problems, charcoal & honey for sparkling teeth. So let’s open up the discussion today with home remedies. I’ve named a few, but I bet you have an entire household full of remedies. What did your mother, grandmother, father or grandfather teach you?
However, before we go onto this topic, let me do a little plugging for my book, THE LAST WARRIOR, that was just released into bookstores everywhere last week. Here are some last minute reviews that I thought I’d share with you.
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The Last Warrior is an achingly beautiful love story between a Lakota Indian and an English opera singer. Black Lion is a man on a mission, a masterful lover with the heart of his namesake, and the pride and integrity that are a part of his upbringing. Ms. Kay offers us a glimpse into Native American tradition and keeps their history alive with her vivid accounts of their beliefs and lore in this novel set during the time of the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show. The story touched me so deeply that I feel that words are inadequate. My best advice is to read for yourself.
And from ROMANCE AT HEART MAGAZINE:
From the mists of time, people have had legends about lost peoples, lost tribes, and lost civilizations. Karen Kay has chosen her topic well, brought forth legend and times when they were honoured. The Last Warrior is an intensely beautiful book, written on a backdrop of the 1890’s west, Karen takes us on a voyage of discovery with a young brave who has values not understood in the white world. Black Lion is led on a quest that leads him not only to Europe, but to the very one he seeks. There, yet unknown at the time, he finds the meaning of love. Too preoccupied to do anything but his job, the revelations come to him alter when he finds a pregnant and very lost Suzette in The Song Bird’s tent. Known for her voice, Irena has followed Bill Hickcock and his show to America, she has her own agenda, her own quest, but when Suzette joins her, and when Black Lion comes into the mix, then the world spins, and thunder rolls, and only the gods can know what might come from the mix.
The Last Warrior has a rich background, a wealth of beautiful scenery, a host of magnetic characters, and a story you will not be able to put down. The tension and attraction that flares between Suzette and Black Lion is riddled with passion and desire. From their first accidental meeting in England when he proposes marriage, to her acceptance of his proposal in her aunt’s tent at the Wild West Show in the US, We are rooting for them both as we learn of the circumstances, of the bond, and of the sacrifices each are willing to make for the other. Only when you finish the book will you understand. This is a book of depth and sensitivity as well as being a wonderful romance. The Last Warrior will make you laugh, cry, and cheer as the terms of the quest are outlined, and the players take their places in the drama to come. Only then does Karen Kay allow the readers to see the possible ending, and even then keeps one on the edge of the seat until the end. The Last Warrior makes room and stands among the books by authors like Madeline Baker, Susan Edwards, and Cassie Edwards. It is out now, available through Amazon from Berkley. Don’t forget to put it on your list before you make the next trip to your local bookstore either. The Last Warrior is a book you will read over and over again, and a great addition to your keeper shelf.
Yours in good reading,
From ROMANTIC TIMES MAGAZINE: 4 Stars — Rated at HOT
Kay’s series, about the legendary clans of the mists, concludes with an entertaining love story set against the backdrop of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. The unique setting adds to the romantic plot, with its colorful characters and circus atmosphere. Kay creates an ideal finish to her fascinating series.
And from reviewer, Lucele Coutts:
THE LAST WARRIOR Karen Kay
Don’t miss this one! The Last Warrior is the last and best of this powerful series. Always vigilant, Karen Kay tells his story in the same caring way, revealing the truth of the native American, who lives so close to nature it is easy to accept and explain the paranormal as part of the every day events in his life..
Well, that’s it for today. Again, please do come on in and let’s talk about some of the home remedies I’ve mentioned and some of your own.