Broomweed

(1) (Gutierrezia microcephala) An American plant, used by the Navajo for a yellow dye (Kluckhohn et al), and they also recognised its medicinal properties. Women made a tea of the whole plant to drink in order to promote expulsion of the placenta, and they also chewed the plant and then applied it to insect stings. The Hopi sometimes used the tea for stomach upsets (Weiner), while Plains tribes gave a decoction to their horses for diarrhoea (Youngken). There was a very strange usage further east, for this is a "root-doctor" prescription for "loss of mind", used by African Americans from Florida : "Sheepweed (another name for our plant leaves), bay leaf, sarsaparilla roots. Take the bark and cut it all up fine. Make a tea. Take one tablespoonful and put in two cups of water and strain and sweeten. You drink some and give some to patients" (Hurston).

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