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(Before consuming wild plants, contact your doctor to make sure it is safe, and make positive identification in the field using a good source such as Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West also contains a glossary of medical terms as do all of Michael Moore’s books.)
 
# 16
 
Common Name: Arrowhead, Tule Potato,  Duck Potato
Latin Name: Sagittaria latifolia
Native American Names: Wapato,  (Oregon tribes); Katniss,   (Algonquin). (1)
Family: Alismataceae
Range: http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=SALA2 entire US except Nevada and Alaska.
History: Lewis and Clark found them in the mouth of the Willamette River in Illinois. (2)
Appearance and Habitat: Duck-potato or arrowhead is a colony-forming, aquatic perennial, rising above water level to a height of 3 ft. The long-petioled, emergent leaves are arrowhead shaped. Flowers have showy, white petals and are arranged in a whorled raceme. Arrow-shaped basal leaves surround a taller stalk with small white flowers in whorls of three at ends of short, whorled branches. Sap milky. This aquatic is closely related to Water Plantain. In mud, rhizomes produce starchy tubers, utilized by ducks and muskrats and known as duck potatoes. The plant was once an important source of food for Native Americans, and Wapato is one of the names they gave it. The genus name comes from sagitta, Latin for arrow, referring to the shape of the leaves of some species.  Members of the Water-Plantain Family grow in water, in swamps, on muddy banks, or occasionally in wet sand. Each plant has long-petioled leaves in a clump with a flowering stem rising among them. The flowers have 3 green sepals, 3 white or pink-tinged petals, 6 or more stamens, and several pistils. Stamens and pistils may be in separate flowers.  Native Americans are said to have opened muskrat houses to get at their cache of roots.(3) Found in ditches, lakes, ponds, and swampy areas in most parts of N. America and naturalized in parts of Europe. (4)
Edible Uses: Root – raw or cooked. Excellent when roasted, the texture is somewhat like potatoes with a taste like sweet chestnuts. The tubers can be eaten raw but they are rather bitter (especially the skin). It is best to remove this skin after the tubers have been cooked. The tubers can also be dried and ground into a powder, this powder can be used as a gruel or mixed with cereal flours and used to make bread. The N. American Indians would slice the boiled roots into thin sections and then string them on ropes to dry in much the same way as apples.The egg-shaped tubers are 4 – 5cm long and are borne on the ends of slender roots, often 30cm deep in the soil and some distance from the parent plant. The tubers are best harvested in the late summer as the leaves die down. They cannot be harvested by pulling out the plant since the tops break off easily, leaving the tubers in the ground (4) The roots were boiled or roasted in the ashes, and used with fish or meat.  Native American women collected it in shallow water from a canoe, separating the bulb from the root with their toes.  (5)
Medicinal Uses: A poultice of the leaves has been used to stop milk production. A tea made from the roots is used as a digestive. A poultice of the roots is used in the treatment of wounds and sores(8)
Foot Notes: (1, 2, 5) Indian Uses of Native Plants by Edith Murphey, page 13, Publisher: Meyerbooks Copy right 1990; ISBN 0-916638-15-4
 
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#15
 
Common Name: Indian Paintbrush, Wyoming Indian Paintbrush
Latin Name: Castilleja linariaefolia
Family: Scrophulariaceae
Native American Names: Dosh mooye hanguna (Paiute),  Doo wan dayem (Shoshone) (1)
Range: http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CALI4 all states west of the Rocky Mountains with the exception of Washington.
Photos:
Appearance and Habitat: Wyoming indian-paintbrush is a grayish-green, pubescent perennial with several leafy stems to 30 in. tall. Linear leaves subtend the torch-like spikes of showy, bright-red bracts. These bracts are hiding small, green flowers.  Roots grow until they touch the roots of other plants, frequently grasses, then penetrate the roots of these host plants, obtaining a portion of their nutrients.  A perennial found in moist to dry, open woods & brush areas from 2500-12,000 ft.  (2)  Dry plains and hills, usually with sagebrush, and in hills to 3,000 meters in South western N. America.
Warnings: None (3)
Edible Uses: Flowers (4) Native American’s made a tea from the flowers for love medicine (5)
Medicinal Uses: Treats skin diseases, kidney disorders and leprosy. A decoction of the plant has been used in the treatment of excessive menstrual discharge and other menstrual difficulties, and also to prevent conception. A decoction of the leaves has been used during pregnancy in order to keep the baby small and thus lead to an easier labour. The root is cathartic. A decoction has been used as a blood purifier. When taken over a long period of time, a decoction of the root is said to be an effective treatment for venereal disease. The plant has been used to treat stomach aches. (6)
Foot Notes: (1, 5 )  Indian Uses of Native Plants by Edith Murphey, page 50, Publisher: Meyerbooks Copy right 1990; ISBN 0-916638-15-4
Foot Notes: (2)
 
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#14
 

Common Name: Biscuit-root
Latin Name: Lomatium ssp
Family: Umbelliferae
Native American Name:  cous (1)
Range: http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=LOOR west to the Mississippi River excluding Oregon, California, Nevada, Arkansas, Louisiana (L. orientale)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=LOMAT all states west of the Mississippi except Arkansas, Louisiana (L. Raf. )
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=LOLA3 Washington, Oregon(L. laevigatum)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=LOCO4 Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, N. and S. Dakota ( L. cous)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=LOMA5 Washington, Oregon, California (L. martindalei)
 (L. abiguum)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=LOBI all states west of the Rocky Mountains excluding New Mexico  (L. bicolor)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=LODI all states west of the Rocky Mountains (L. dissectum)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=LODIM same as above L. dissectum var. multifidum )
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=LOTRT Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Nevada (L. donnellii)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=LOCA3 Oregon, California (L. californicum)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=LONU2  Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Nevada, Utah
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=LOFO all west of the Mississippi except Washington, Minnesota, Arkansas, Louisiana (L. foeniculaceum )
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=LOGR Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico (L. grayi )
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=LOMA3 all States west of the Rocky Mountains except Arizona, New Mexico, including N and S Dakota (L. macrocarpum)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=LOMO (L. mohavense) California, Arizona
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=LONE (L. nevadense)  Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=LONEN (L. nevadense var. nevadense  (same states as above)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=LONU3 Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, S. Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico (L. nuttallii )
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=LOPA Nevada, Utah, Arizona, California (L. parryi)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=LORA Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah (L. ravenii)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=LOSI2 Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona (L. simplex)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=LOTR2 Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah (L. triternatum)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=LOTRM Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Nevada (L. triternatum)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=LOTRT same as above plus Wyoming, Utah (L. triternatum var. triternatum
(Please do a search using the latin name, first and last,  on google for photos, that are not provided on usda.  This is an extremely large group of plants, some I didn’t even list that only occured in one or two states. )  
History: introduced to Lewis and Clark Expediton by Sacajawea (2)
Plants For A Future lists many varieties.
Edible Uses: Root – raw or cooked. A staple food for some native North American Indian tribes. The fresh root is rather like parsnip in flavour, though when the plant dies down the root becomes brittle with an agreeable flavour of celery. The root can also be dried and ground into a powder for use as a flavouring in soups etc. Seed – ground into a powder or eaten raw. An aromatic flavour, it can be used as a flavouring in cooked foods. Flowers and upper leaves can be used as a flavouring in salads, soups etc (3a)
Root – raw or cooked. It is usually peeled before being eaten. The root can be dried and ground into a powder and then be mixed with cereal flours or added as a flavouring to soups etc. When dug up in the spring it has a parsnip-like flavour. Seed. No more details are given, though it is most likely used as an aromatic flavouring in cooked foods. (3 b)
Root – cooked. It can be dried and ground into a powder and then be mixed with cereal flours or added to soups etc. Seed. No more details are given, though it is most likely used as an aromatic flavouring in cooked foods. (3c)
Root – cooked. It can be dried and ground into a powder and then be mixed with cereal flours or added to soups etc. Eaten in the winter when there was little other food available. Tender young stems – raw. Seed. No more details are given, though it is most likely used as an aromatic flavouring in cooked foods. (3d)
Root – raw or cooked. A staple food for a number of native North American Indian tribes. The root is usually peeled before being cooked or eaten. It can be dried and ground into a powder and then used to make cakes etc. Seed – raw or cooked. Very nutritious, they can also be ground into a powder and then used with cereal flours when making bread, cakes etc, or be used as a flavouring in soups etc. The seed is very small, but quite easy to harvest. A tea can be made from the leaves, stems and flowers. (3e)
Root – cooked. Resinous and balsamic. The root can be dried and ground into a powder and then be mixed with cereal flours or added as a flavouring to soups etc. The roots have been boiled to make a refreshing and nutritious drink. Young seed sprouts – raw. Seed. No more details are given, though it is most likely used as an aromatic flavouring in cooked foods (3f)
Root – raw or cooked. About the size of peanuts, the roots were a staple food of the local native North American Indian tribes. When roasted it makes an excellent vegetable. It can also be dried and ground into a powder, when it develops a mild sweet flavour. The dried flowers and upper leaves are used as a flavouring in soups and stews (3g)
Medicinal Uses: An infusion of the flowers and upper leaves has been used in the treatment of colds and sore throats (3a)
None (3 b)
None (3c)
None (3d)
An infusion of the roots has been used as a general strengthener for a weakened patient. The infusion is also used as a treatment for colds, influenza and bronchitis. The root has been chewed and the juice swallowed as a treatment for sore throats. The root has been eaten by childless couples, especially older people, in order to help them conceive. A poultice made from the boiled root has been used to treat swellings. The leaves have been used as a padding in a child’s cradle to encourage it to sleep more. (3e)
Fernleaf biscuitroot was widely employed medicinally by many native North American Indian tribes who considered it to be a universal panacea and used it especially in treating chest problems and skin complaints. It is little, if at all, used in modern herbalism, but probably warrants investigation. The whole plant, but especially the root, is disinfectant, pectoral, salve, stomachic and tonic. The dried root was used in the treatment of rheumatism, stomach complaints, coughs, colds, hay fever, bronchitis, influenza, pneumonia and tuberculosis. The root was burnt and the smoke inhaled in the treatment of asthma and other chest complaints, it was also used as a herbal steam bath for treating chest complaints. The root was used to make a drink that was taken as a tonic to help people in a weakened condition gain weight. A poultice of the peeled and crushed roots has been applied to open cuts, sores, boils, bruises and rheumatic joints. The root has been soaked in water and then used as an antidandruff wash for the hair. An infusion of the leaves and stems has been used as a tonic. The root oil has been applied as a salve to sores and also used as an eye wash in the treatment of trachoma (3f)
An infusion of the leaves and roots has been used in the treatment of chest complaints. An infusion of the flowers and upper leaves has been used in the treatment of colds and sore throats (3g)
Foot Notes: (1, 2 ) Indian Uses of Native Plants by Edith Murphey, page 12, Publisher: Meyerbooks Copy right 1990; ISBN 0-916638-15-4
 
Reproduced, in part, (as well as previous postings under this title) in accordance with Section 107 of title 17 of the Copyright Law of the United States relating to fair-use and is for the purposes of criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.
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