Saturday, May 12, 2018


Pipsissewa (Chimaphila umbellata)

Pipsissewa is another evergreen plant that lasts through the winter. It can be dried and used for tea but it is also broadly available in various forms s an herbal remedy. Native Americans had no fewer than 90 different uses among a broad range of tribes, among them a tobacco substitute, a remedy for nasal pain and in a decoction for sore eyes. 

It grows in large colonies and is easy to find because of its shiny green leaves that shine winter and summer and last up to 4 years. Like other plants in the wintergreen family it likes dry, sandy, undisturbed soil in pine forests. Pipsissewa was once used as a flavoring in candy and soft drinks, including root beer. Its name is fun to say. It’s a Native American Cree word meaning “It-breaks-into-small-pieces.” This is because it was used as a treatment for kidney stones and was thought to break them into pieces.

Links: Native American uses

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