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Aboriginal Youth Identity Series: Health and WellnessTid BitsBiographiesGlossaryTimeline Health and Wellness
Health and Wellness
Health and Wellness

Tid Bits

Modern medicine has learned much from aboriginal healing tradition. There is much more to learn. Check out these Tidbits.

  • Sweet grass grows on the prairie and was collected individually and then braided together. It is one of the most important spiritual items and components used in Aboriginal ceremonies
  • Sweet grass is commonly found on the prairie. It has flat leaves and green flowers that bloom for three months every summer
  • White Birch was used for more than just healing. It’s bark was also used to make baskets, dishes and fans
  • White birch trees start out with brown bark, and gradually turn white, and may turn black when old Aboriginal people would sometimes chew lumps of spruce or pine sap
  • It usually takes 10-12 years before the bark on a White Birch tree actually looks white!
  • The sap from a White Birch tree can be boiled to make tasty syrup.
  • Along time ago there was no such thing as chewing gum, so aboriginal people would some times chew parts of the White Birch as gum
  • The berries from the Bearberry or Kinnikinnik plant sometimes resemble small apples
  • Ingesting too much Bearberry or Kinnikinnik can make your urine GREEN!
  • Bearberry or Kinnikinnik is commonly found in open woods or on dry, sandy hillsides
  • Sweet grass is usually dried, braided, and burned for use in Aboriginal ceremonies
  • Birch contains methyl salicylate, which can relieve pain and reduce irritation.

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