13. Medicial Wild Plants of the Prairie: An Ethnobotanical Guide by Kelly Kindscher
Before modern medicine, humans would use natural remedies, herbs, and plants to treat illnesses. In the Great Plains of North America, Indigenous peoples had a vast understanding of the types of plants that grew and their medicinal purposes. Ethnobotanist Kelly Kindscher details these plants and their uses in his 1992 book, Medicinal Wild Plants of the Prairie.
Using information gleaned from archival materials, interviews, and fieldwork, Kindscher describes plant-based treatments for ailments ranging from hyperactivity to syphilis, from arthritis to worms. He also explains the use of internal and external medications, smoke treatments, moxa (the burning of a medicinal substance on the skin), and the doctrine of signatures (the belief that the form or characteristics of a plant are signatures or signs that reveal its medicinal uses). He adds information on recent pharmacological findings to further illuminate the medicinal nature of these plants.
“Kelly Kindscher is the plains version of John Muir. Join him in the journey to discover the great pharmaceutical house on the prairie.” —Wes Jackson
“One of the most important, original contributions to American medicinal plant literature in decades. Combining thoughtful insight with thorough research, this book has broad appeal yet is scientifically sound—a rare blend with lasting value.” —Steven Foster