Pseudognaphalium obtusifolium

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Pseudognaphalium obtusifolium
Pseudognaphalium obtusifolium 003.JPG
Scientific classification
Kingdom:
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Family:
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Species:
P. obtusifolium
Binomial name
Pseudognaphalium obtusifolium
Synonyms

Gnaphalium obtusifolium L.

Pseudognaphalium obtusifolium (formerly Gnaphalium obtusifolium) is a member of the family Asteraceae, found on open dry sandy habitat throughout Eastern North America. Common names include old field balsam, rabbit tobacco and sweet everlasting. When crushed, the plant exudes a characteristic maple syrup scent.

Description[edit]

It is an biennial herb to one meter tall. In its first year, the plant produces tightly packed rosettes covered in wooly hair. In the second year, the plant produces a tall stem with alternate leaves and yellow peg-shaped flowerheads. These are borne in clusters. The seeds are dispersed by the wind.

Uses by Native Americans[edit]

Alabama tribe[edit]

The Alabama tribe use a compound decoction of it as a treatment for nervousness and sleepiness,[1] and a decoction as a face wash for nerves and insomnia.[2]

Cherokee[edit]

The Cherokee use it in a compound for muscle cramps, local pains, and twitching,[3] and apply an infusion of it over scratches made over muscle cramp pain.[4] It is also used internally with Carolina Vetch for rheumatism.[5] A decoction is taken for colds, and the plant is also made into cough syrup.[6] It is used in a sweat bath to treat various diseases, made into a warm liquid blown down throat for clogged throat (diphtheria), chewed for a sore mouth, smoked for asthma, and chewed for a sore throat.[7]

Choctaw[edit]

The Choctaw use a decoction of leaves and blossoms taken for lung pain[8][9] and colds.[10][11]

Creek[edit]

The Creek add the leaves to medicines as a perfume,[12] use a decoction to treat vomiting,[13] as a throat wash for mumps,[14] as a wash "for people who wanted to run away" and as a wash for people who are believed to be afflicted by ghosts.[15] A decoction made of the plant tops is used as a wash for old people who are unable to sleep.[16] They also use a compound decoction of plant tops as an inhalant for colds, and apply a poultice of decoction of leaves the throat for mumps.[17]

Koasati[edit]

The Koasati take a decoction of the leaves for fevers, and use it to bathe those who are feverish.[18]

Menominee[edit]

The Menominee steam the dried leaves as an inhalant for headaches, and as a treatment against "foolishness".[19] They also smudge the leaves and use them to fumigate premises to dispel ghosts,[20] and to bring back "loss of mind". This smudge is also used to revive unconscious patients.[21] The leaf smoke is blown into the nostrils of people who have fainted.[22]

Montagnais[edit]

The Montagnais use a decoction of the plant for coughing and tuberculosis.[23]

Rappahannock[edit]

The Rappahannock Tribe take an infusion of the roots for chills, smoke an infusion of dried leaves or dried stems in a pipe for asthma, and chew the leaves for "fun".[24]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Swanton, John R 1928 Religious Beliefs and Medical Practices of the Creek Indians. SI-BAE Annual Report #42:473-672 (p. 663,664)
  2. ^ Taylor, Linda Averill 1940 Plants Used As Curatives by Certain Southeastern Tribes. Cambridge, MA. Botanical Museum of Harvard University (p. 61)
  3. ^ Hamel, Paul B. and Mary U. Chiltoskey 1975 Cherokee Plants and Their Uses -- A 400 Year History. Sylva, N.C. Herald Publishing Co. (p. 51, 52)
  4. ^ Taylor, Linda Averill 1940 Plants Used As Curatives by Certain Southeastern Tribes. Cambridge, MA. Botanical Museum of Harvard University (p. 61)
  5. ^ Hamel, Paul B. and Mary U. Chiltoskey 1975 Cherokee Plants and Their Uses -- A 400 Year History. Sylva, N.C. Herald Publishing Co. (p. 51, 52)
  6. ^ Hamel, Paul B. and Mary U. Chiltoskey 1975 Cherokee Plants and Their Uses -- A 400 Year History. Sylva, N.C. Herald Publishing Co. (p. 51, 52)
  7. ^ Hamel, Paul B. and Mary U. Chiltoskey 1975 Cherokee Plants and Their Uses -- A 400 Year History. Sylva, N.C. Herald Publishing Co. (p. 51, 52)
  8. ^ Taylor, Linda Averill 1940 Plants Used As Curatives by Certain Southeastern Tribes. Cambridge, MA. Botanical Museum of Harvard University (p. 61)
  9. ^ Bushnell, Jr., David I. 1909 The Choctaw of Bayou Lacomb, St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana. SI-BAE Bulletin #48 (p. 24)
  10. ^ Taylor, Linda Averill 1940 Plants Used As Curatives by Certain Southeastern Tribes. Cambridge, MA. Botanical Museum of Harvard University (p. 61)
  11. ^ Bushnell, Jr., David I. 1909 The Choctaw of Bayou Lacomb, St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana. SI-BAE Bulletin #48 (p. 24)
  12. ^ Swanton, John R 1928 Religious Beliefs and Medical Practices of the Creek Indians. SI-BAE Annual Report #42:473-672 (p. 661)
  13. ^ Swanton, John R 1928 Religious Beliefs and Medical Practices of the Creek Indians. SI-BAE Annual Report #42:473-672 (p. 661)
  14. ^ Taylor, Linda Averill 1940 Plants Used As Curatives by Certain Southeastern Tribes. Cambridge, MA. Botanical Museum of Harvard University (p. 61)
  15. ^ Swanton, John R 1928 Religious Beliefs and Medical Practices of the Creek Indians. SI-BAE Annual Report #42:473-672 (p. 663,664)
  16. ^ Swanton, John R 1928 Religious Beliefs and Medical Practices of the Creek Indians. SI-BAE Annual Report #42:473-672 (p. 661)
  17. ^ Swanton, John R 1928 Religious Beliefs and Medical Practices of the Creek Indians. SI-BAE Annual Report #42:473-672 (p. 661)
  18. ^ Taylor, Linda Averill 1940 Plants Used As Curatives by Certain Southeastern Tribes. Cambridge, MA. Botanical Museum of Harvard University (p. 61)
  19. ^ Densmore, Francis 1932 Menominee Music. SI-BAE Bulletin #102 (p. 129)
  20. ^ Smith, Huron H. 1923 Ethnobotany of the Menomini Indians. Bulletin of the Public Museum of the City of Milwaukee 4:1-174 (p. 30)
  21. ^ Smith, Huron H. 1928 Ethnobotany of the Meskwaki Indians. Bulletin of the Public Museum of the City of Milwaukee 4:175-326 (p. 214,215)
  22. ^ Smith, Huron H. 1923 Ethnobotany of the Menomini Indians. Bulletin of the Public Museum of the City of Milwaukee 4:1-174 (p. 30)
  23. ^ Speck, Frank G. 1917 Medicine Practices of the Northeastern Algonquians. Proceedings of the 19th International Congress of Americanists Pp. 303-321 (p. 314)
  24. ^ Speck, Frank G., R.B. Hassrick and E.S. Carpenter 1942 Rappahannock Herbals, Folk-Lore and Science of Cures. Proceedings of the Delaware County Institute of Science 10:7-55. (p. 29)
  • Clemants, Steve and Gracie, Carol Wildflowers in the Field and Forest: A Field Guide to the Northeastern United States Oxford University Press 2006. 294:5
  • Yatskievych, Kay Field Guide to Indiana Wildflowers Indiana University Press 2000. 229:1149