Sacred and Medicinal Plants of Native America
Our project focused on the plants most used by indigenous peoples for ceremonial as well as medicinal purposes. We made a field guide of these plants and flowers, which includes sketches of each plant as well as a description its properties. We discussed the chemical healing power of the plants and how combined with ceremony this power is enhanced. We also touched on the history of plant usage in Native America and the stories and legends that were formed around each plant. Using the legend of the medicine bear as a starting off point, we outlined the fundamental philosophy behind Native health and how it involves the mind, the body, and the spiritual wellbeing. We centered much of our argument around the modernization of medicine compared with native herbalism, which is more strongly tied to nature. It seemed clear to us while researching that we as a culture have lost touch with nature and have lost respect for the treatment we use as we not consider its spiritual significance the way the natives did.