Page 4 - Chehalis Tribal Newsletter - March, 2017
P. 4


Preserving art of natural medicine

Students learn how
to harvest late winter,
early spring trees

The Elders Building hosted
a class sharing the magic
healing properties of our local
trees on Feb. 27.
This is the second series
of classes from Elise Krohn,
an experienced herbalist and
wild foods educator. Elise
was assisted by Charlene
Abrahamson and Ericka
It was a hands-on and
The class
was moved
from the
Classroom Participants learn to how to make bath salts, cottonwood and willow tree medicine at the Elder’s
to the Elders Building. They will share what they have learned in class and start to make their own at home.
Elise Krohn Building to
Herbalist, wild accommodate cottonwood tree. The trees are this lowers fevers and reduces
foods instructor the increasing bountiful along the Chehalis inflammation and pain. The
River Basin. bark tea is most commonly
number of people who want used for internal medicine and
to learn about the healing The giant black trees tower has a bitter yet aromatic flavor.
properties Mother Nature above the tops of alders and Cottonwood bud-infused oil is
provides for her native other deciduous trees and can especially helpful for swollen
children. be found along the rivers and arthritic joints and sore
Participants learned how wetlands. muscles.
to recognize, harvest, preserve
and teach others to process If you ever cut a cottonwood Messy, but worth it
various trees and make natural tree, you will notice how much
medicines. The hope is we water they hold. They also Elise discussed the process
will preserve the natural way are fast growing – sometimes of recognizing and proper
of making medicines just as soaring six feet or more in technique for gathering this
our ancestors did many, many height in just one year. precious material to make
moons ago. medicines from the oils.
After a good meal, The time to harvest Harvesting can be a little
elders, tribal members and cottonwood buds is in late messy as the resin sticks to
community members soaked winter. In early spring, their hands.
up the lessons Elise shared. resinous buds swell and
This class was about the give off a sweet and piney Before you begin, rub your
healing properties of late fragrance, signaling spring is hands with a salve or oily
winter and early spring tree near. lotion to prevent this from
medicines. Cottonwood and happening. The resin can be
willow trees are known as Cottonwood’s scientific easily removed with rubbing
nature’s aspirin. Making medicine out name, Populus, means the alcohol.
The process and materials of trees requires time and peoples’ tree. It is very useful
needed to make medicines patience. and cherished among those Cottonwood does have an
were provided. Participants who have been taught about extended shelf life, but you
are encouraged to take what Bountiful cottonwood tree its healing properties. It need to prepare for the slow
they learned and start to make carries a compound called and tedious process to get
their own at home. Participants discovered salacin, which is found in the to that point. When you get
the healing properties of the leaves, buds and bark of the
cottonwood and willow. See MEDICINE, page 6

The medicine made from
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