Changing Plants Into Medicine

The purpose of my blog is to educate and highlight the historical and cultural significance of the medicinal plants used by the Cherokee.    It is not intended as an endorsement of the usage of these plants by anyone today,  but rather to frame an historical perspective.

These are the five most common ways the Cherokee prepared these plants.  An understanding of these methods will be helpful when reading future posts.

Decoction:   Plant material is placed in a large amount of water which is partially boiled away.

Steep/Infusion:    Plant material is shredded or pounded and soaked in cold water.

Poultice:   Plant material, after being prepared in one of several different ways, is wrapped in cloth and applied to a needed area.

Boiled:   Plant material is boiled for a short time in water.

Tea:   In most cases they would drink the tea.   Sometimes the tea would be applied to directly to the affected area.   In some cases the patient was scratched with an sharpened instrument before application.


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