Herbal Formulas Used for Beverages
The Chippewa Native Americans usually did not drink water encountered in traveling, but boiled it, using some of the following herbs as a beverage.
If fresh leaves were used, they were tied in a packet using a strip of basswood bark before placing in the water. Dried leaves carried with them could be used if fresh leaves were not available. Twigs were tied into a bundle by a strip of bark long enough to permit the lifting of the bundle and dropping into hot water without burning the hand.
The quantity used was usually a handful of leaves, or small bundle of twigs, to a quart of water, often sweetened with maple sugar and taken hot.
The herbs usually used for a beverage were:
- Labrador tea leaves (Ledum groenlandicum oeder)
- Creeping snowberry leaves (Chiogenes hispidula L.)
- Wintergreen leaves (Gaultheria procumbens L.)
- Hemlock leaves (Tsuga canadensis L.)
- Spruce leaves (Picea rubra)
- Red raspberry twigs (Rubus strigosus)
- Chokecherry twigs (Prunus virginiana L.)
- Wild cherry twigs (Prunus serotina)