Native American Herbal Remedies

The Native Americans were known for their oneness with Nature. They made good use of the resources of the land in their everyday activities.

And when the time came to administer medicines, these primitive American residents tapped into the riches around them in order to heal their loved ones. This industrious people survived for thousands of years off of the land.

Survivalists can learn a lot from the methods used, especially if you’re going to be going off the grid and living off the land.

You’ll need to recognize which plants are which and which you can use in order to heal some of the common ailments known to man. So let’s get started.

General Ailments

The Common Cold – Boneset herb boiled into a tea is commonly used to reduce fevers and body aches that accompany the common cold.

Bronchitis – Making a tea of the Creosote Bush leaves has been used for bronchitis and other bronchial type of illnesses. Wormwood tea made from the leaves of a wormwood plant is a cure for bronchitis.

Pneumonia – Pleurisy Root has been used to expel impacted phlegm from the lungs. When the root is boiled and made into a tea, the person suffering from pneumonia drinks the tea and later the herbs causes the phlegm to be expelled from the lungs. This tea is taken several times until there is a noticeable improvement.

Asthma – Skunk cabbage is used by a few tribes including the Dakota and Winnebago tribe to remove phlegm from the lungs. As in the above ailments, skunk cabbage can also be added in the list of herbs that promote respiratory health.

Occasional Pediatric Coughs – Mullein boiled and sweetened into a syrup can be given to children as a cough syrup.

Infant Colic – A tea made from the catnip leaves has been an age old remedy for infant colic. It relieves the gas that is trapped inside of the infant, causing relief.

Adult Coughs – Tea made from the bark of a Wild Cherry, Aspen, and White Pine trees are used for calming the coughs.

Fevers – Teas made from the barks of Dogwood and Willow trees are used to reduce fevers associated with the common cold and influenza virus. The Feverwort leaves are excellent cures for a fever when boiled and soaked in a tea.

Headaches – The Pennyroyal plant leaves steeped in hot water may alleviate headaches.

Digestive Problems

Heartburn – Dandelion tea made from the root of a dandelion plant is a great remedy for heartburn.

Stomach Ache – When a stomach plagues, the yellow root is the go to agent to help relieve the pain of it. A tea made from the root is used to remedy the aches.

Diarrhea – There are many remedies for diarrhea used by various Native American tribes.

  • Black Cherry tea made from blackberry roots,
  • The juice from fermented ripened wild black cherries is known to cure diarrhea,
  • Enema made of a solution of boiled dogwood bark and warm water,
  • Boiled geranium as a tea helps relieve diarrhea
  • White Oak bark boiled tea

Hemorrhoids – The bark of a white oak tree, boiled and used in an enema relieves hemorrhoids.

Cures for Insect Bites and Stings

Spider bites – When members of the tribe fell victim to spider bites, the Fendler Bladderpod was boiled into a tea and given to the victim. The herb would force the poison out of the body.

Various Insect Bites and Stings – The Purple Coneflower is applied to the various types of bites that are suffered during the peak summer season months.

Bee Stings

  • When the flowers of the Stiff Goldenrod are crushed and ground into a lotion, it provides relief for a painful bee sting,
  • The Trumpet Honeysuckle leaf can be chewed and applied to a bee sting to also bring relief,
  • Chewed stems of a saltbush plant can be placed on a bite to bring down the swelling and inflammation,
  • The resin of a broom snakeweed applied to a sting can bring relief,
  • Crushed wild onions and garlic bulbs, and
  • Wet tobacco leaves are the leading remedy for stings and bites.


There are times when a sedative is needed. Here are some popular sedatives found in nature.

  • Tea from the bark of the wild black cherry tree
  • Hops tea
  • Wild lettuce was also used to sedate someone

Heart & Kidney Problems

Anytime a person would suffer from some kind of minor heart or kidney problem, American Hemp was used. It was boiled in water and drank by the sufferer.

Diabetes – Blossoms of the wild carrot were steeped in warm water and drank in order to offset the symptoms of diabetes.

These herbal remedies have been around for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Native Americans have relied on natural resources to help alleviate many common ailments.

Running to the pharmacy isn’t always the best answer. A lot of times you can find what you need in nature and it’s free for your use.

As with all things, make sure you do further research before you add it to your survival medicinal kit. The one good thing about Native American remedies is that they are age old and being that they are age old, several generations can continue to use the same recipe without it getting old. Best of luck to you!


The information in this article is provided “as is” and should not be mistaken for or be a substitute for medical advice. Always consult your physician before trying any of the advice presented on this page. Always seek the help of a professional when delivering a baby. Neither the author nor or the company behind the website shall be held liable for any negative effects of you putting into practice the information in this article.

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