Juniper Berry (Juniperus communis)
Lakota people used the berries to flavor their dried meats, soups, and stews. They also used the berries in herbal blended teas to help aid in upset stomachs, UTI's, pain caused by body inflammation, and ease sore throats and coughs.
Ingested forms of juniper assist with inflammation and increase the production of stomach acid, making them useful remedies to help soothe the gastrointestinal system.
It is a helpful treatment for conditions such as
- upset stomach,
- heartburn, flatulence,
- loss of appetite,
- gastrointestinal infections
intestinal worms. The antiseptic properties in juniper disinfect the urinary tract to provide treatment and relief for conditions like urinary tract infections, urethritis, kidney stones, and bladder stones. Juniper also acts as a diuretic to help flush excess fluids from the body. This helps rid the body of excess uric acid which can lead to gout. It also reduces fluid around the joints. Ingested juniper is high in natural insulin and therefore lowers blood sugar levels. It can also help heal the pancreas as long as no permanent damage has occurred on the organ. Juniper also alleviates problems associated with menstruation.
Stinging nettle ( Urtica dioica) čhaŋíčaȟpehu
Lakota used as an herbal tea to treat stomach pains and help with those struggling with nutrition.
Nettle has been used for hundreds of years to treat painful muscles and joints, eczema, arthritis, gout, and anemia. Today, many people use it to treat urinary problems during the early stages of an enlarged prostate (called benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH). Nettle is a powerful herb that has a significant vitamin source such as
- Vitamins: Vitamins A, C and K, as well as several B vitamins
- Minerals: Calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and sodium
- Fats: Linoleic acid, linolenic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid and oleic acid
- Amino acids: All of the essential amino acids
- Polyphenols: Kaempferol, quercetin, caffeic acid, coumarins and other flavonoids
- Pigments: Beta-carotene, lutein, luteoxanthin and other carotenoids
Antioxidants are molecules that help defend your cells against damage from free radicals. Damage caused by free radicals is linked to aging, as well as cancer and other harmful diseases.
Studies indicate that stinging nettle extract can raise blood antioxidant levels. Both human and animal studies link stinging nettle to lower blood sugar levels . In fact, this plant contains compounds that may mimic the effects of insulin.
Stinging nettle may offer other potential health benefits, including:
- Reduced bleeding: Medicines containing stinging nettle extract have been found to reduce excessive bleeding, especially after surgery.
- Liver health: Nettle’s antioxidant properties may protect your liver against damage by toxins, heavy metals and inflammation .
- Natural diuretic: This plant may help your body shed excess salt and water, which in turn could lower blood pressure temporarily. Keep in mind that these findings are from animal studies.