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Ancient Tuscarora Remedies: Part 2

Ancient Tuscarora Remedies: Part 2

TURTLE ISLAND – Sometime before 1888, an aged Tuscarora shaman, who went by the English name Joseph Williams, was interviewed about ancient remedies of the Tuscarora for a wide range of ailments. The handwritten manuscripts from that interview were translated from the Tuscarora language, collected by J.N.B. Hewitt and filed with the Bureau of American

TURTLE ISLAND – Sometime before 1888, an aged Tuscarora shaman, who went by the English name Joseph Williams, was interviewed about ancient remedies of the Tuscarora for a wide range of ailments.

Common yarrow. Submitted photo

The handwritten manuscripts from that interview were translated from the Tuscarora language, collected by J.N.B. Hewitt and filed with the Bureau of American Ethnology Catalogue of Manuscripts under number 435 — Iroquois, in the year 1888. There were 31 remedies for various diseases handwritten on 15, 8×12 pages.

We publish these traditional remedies for historical interest only and do not in any way endorse or promote these remedies as safe for use today.

There is a lot more unknown than known about the plants named in this following remedy. Since the document was hand written, the spellings of some of the ingredients could be wrong.

Dysentery — for dysentery a cold infusion of the bruised leaves and branchlets of a wen’cya o-terwake (little bitter weed), the common yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is given to the patient.

Heart trouble — for pains in the chest accompanied by shortness of breath, a cold infusion of Chimaphila umbellate (Umbellate Wintergreen, Pipsissewa, aka Prince’s Pine) is administered (internally) and is taken until the symptoms aforementioned disappears or develops into others requiring a different treatment.

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