CORNMEAL

The offering least known about and used is cornmeal, although it's the most readily available.

For many years, it was considered to be a great gift to Creator. Depending on the tribe, a small amount was buried in a shallow hole by a person when greeting each new day; given to a Shaman or Medicine Man as a thank you for help; presented to an elder as a gift; put into medicine bags.

Today, a few still use it as our ancestors did long ago.


LAVENDER

This is probably the most popular of all herbs among people in general because of it's scent. It is commonly found and many grow it in their homes.

Purple is for healing and wisdom. Therefore, lavender can restore balance in mind and body; smoked or burned for a calming effect promoting peace and harmony; worn as a perfume which can ease stress and nervous tension.

Lavender is also put into medicine bags for it's healing powers and to encourage the person to use the wisdom they were given by Creator.


PEPPERMINT (Cut and Sifted)

This versatile and effective herb has the capacity to relieve numerous ailments but mostly used for gastrointestinal problems such as ulcers, diarrhea and nausea. It can also help the heart, lungs and gall bladder.


RED WILLOW BARK

Willow is usually noted for being more in the west but it's fluffy seeds are carried in the wind to the four directions.

Due to a chemical compound in the bark, it is used often as an aspirin to relieve headaches, fevers, neuralgia, hay fever and the reduction of inflammations in joints and membranes.

Our ancestors and modern day peoples take it orally; soak in steam baths in willow root streams; make prayer sticks and amulets with it.


SAGE

White Sage is probably the most frequently used herb and is extremely sacred. Several ceremonies require it's use. Some is grown in the midwest and Canada and picked only at certain times for the best leaves.

It is used for purification and medicinal purposes such as a tonic or antiseptic. Tea made with sage leaves is said to have a calming effect and can help ease the pain of sore throats.

Sacred white sage can be burned, smudged, chewed or rubbed on the skin.


SAGE SMUDGE STICK

Smudging can be used for many purposes but it is always a blessing. Instances being:

All of these should be done four times to honor the four directions or seven times for the four directions, Father Sky, Mother Earth and yourself.


SPEARMINT (Cut and Sifted)

Spearmint basically has the same uses as peppermint but is a milder version. This seems to be more suitable for children, pregnant women, debilitated individuals and for cooking. This is a great alternative for people who might be irritated by the stronger peppermint.


SWEETGRASS

Sweetgrass is a rare grass found growing wild in very few places. The fragrance is sweet smelling and attracts good spirits. When Sweetgrass is smoked or burned, prayers said into the smoke rise up into the air towards the clouds. The wind carries the prayers to Creator.

Used to bring good luck and good health; in Native American wake ceremonies, medicine and ceremonial dances; for burning in sweatlodges; for purification of the air, mind and thoughts and for burning during prayers.

Cut the braids into approximately 1" pieces. Four or seven need to be placed in your medicine bag. When used for smudging and burning with sage, add the sweetgrass after the sage begins to smolder.


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