26 February 2009

The Conifer Trees In Native Medicine Traditions

This is the first of two articles on the medicinal and
wellness potential of conifer trees. In this first article,
I'll discuss some of the history of conifer trees in eastern
and northeastern North American Native medicine

The conifers were widely used by medicine makers
in those traditional cultures. In fact, it's fair to say that
conifer trees were used as often as many of the
herbs and woody plants and bushes. So, it's not
surprising that the earliest reference to indigenous
medicines, in the journals of European visitors to
North America, refers to a conifer tree.

n 1536, Jacques Cartier and his crew were wintering
over at Stadacona (Now known as Quebec City). Their
ships were frozen in the thick ice of the St. Lawrence
river. His crew were dying of scurvy.

Nearby, an Iroquois Chief learned of the illness and
death amongst Cartier's crew. He sent branches of an
evergreen tree to Cartier, with instructions on how
to prepare it. The branches were from the "annedda"
tree (This is probably from the Iroquois word, "haneda,"
which I've read translates something like, "greens on a

Within days the crew had recovered. Cartier wrote
in his journal (translated): "... had all the doctors of
Louvain and Montpellier been there, with all the drugs
of Alexandria, they could not have done so much in a
year as did this tree in eight days."

Two centuries would pass before the British medical
community discovered the cause and cure for scurvy.
And, to this day, the Annedda tree has not been
identified with any measure of certainty.

Other accounts of explorers and missionaries, make
mention of conifers, including Balsam Fir, Spruce, and
Pine. The Balsam Fir is legendary, and is the tree that
I personally feel is likely the fabled Annedda. Scholars
have suggested that it is White Pine, White Cedar, or
White Spruce. It has also been suggested that there is
etymological evidence to support Eastern Hemlock, in
this regard.

Whatever the case may be, the story of the Annedda
tree points out the long history of the Native medicine
maker tradition. It also illustrates the beauty and holistic
nature of that tradition -- the medicine maker's eyes
are not only pointed to the ground, to the herbs, but they
are in the trees, as well.

Good medicine always,

Note: This article appeared in the 15 February 2009
edition of my Natural Healing Talk Newsletter.

09 February 2009

This Melancholy Moon

Hi Everyone,

Over the years, I've noticed how the moon influences
me, emotionally. For instance, the January moon
impressed me with its strength and brightness.

Now, of course, the moon various in her brightness,
partly because of changes in our atmospheric conditions,
the seasons, and her distance from the earth. There
are probably other factors at work, as well.

But, what I really want to mention in this post, is
that for me, this February moon is a melancholy moon.
As it approaches fullness, it is having a strong
influence on my emotional or mental state. I'm feeling

I've often recognized such lunar influences in the
past. I'm very sensitive in this regard. The moods
leave me as the moon passes through fullness, and
begins to wane.

Perhaps this sensitivity is related to my Pisces

Does anyone else notice the moon's influence on
their emotions?

Well, I must move on and "twitter". if you are a
member of Twitter, you can follow me at this link:

All the best,

p.s. By the way, I'm always trying to boost my
Natural Healing Talk newsletter subscriber base.
So, at the moment, I'm participating in a Self-Help
Gift Giveaway event. When someone signs up through
my link, my gift (Sweet Grass Prayers) ranking
improves. Of course, a higher ranking means more
subscribers to the newsletter.

If you'd like to help me out, and to grab some
interesting Self-Help products, sign up through
my link: CLICK HERE

Thanks! It's much appreciated!

03 February 2009

Walking In A Winter Storm

Hi Everyone,

Well, I dressed warm, put on my boots, and went
walking in the snow, sleet, and wind, earlier this
evening. As I walked along the old mines road, I
noticed a constant hum, as the wind danced and
darted its way through the needles and branches
of the tall spruce trees.

A couple of vehicles had broken a path through the
snow. So, the walking was made somewhat easier
because of that, although I still felt my feet slip
with each step I took. In the end, I soon turned
back, as my warm house and a cup of tea, beckoned
my return.

To some extent, I enjoy walking in storms, as they
show us another side of nature. They also make me
appreciate a warm home!

Now, as I type this message, I notice there's a lull
in the wind, and, in this calmness, even the sleet
has ended. Perhaps the storm has passed and moved
further east?

In the morning, I will prepare a feeding area for the
birds. I do this with snowshoes. How? Well, I walk
over the area until the snowshoes create a hard
surface for the birds to enjoy. I then scatter the
seeds and the birds have a grand time on their new
feeding grounds.

I hope everyone has a splendid February! I'll return,

All the best,