The North American Native Plant Society (NANPS) is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to conserving and restoring North American plant habitats as well as all their native flora. Their aim is to also educate people about the historical and modern day uses of these plants, from medicinal and nourishing to clothing and even shelter. Flora of North America (FNA) is an online/printable resource that keeps a database of all the 272 families of both indigenous and naturalized plants and trees currently in North America, as well as their uses and origins.
Echinacea is one of the most common medicinal plants seen today. It is used to treat a variety of topical illnesses and dietary needs, as well as acting as an immunotherapy agent.
Black cohosh is a flower that is also used for many modern-day ailments. One of its nicknames is bugbane because of its insect-repelling odor. It is also used to reduce premenstrual discomfort and aid in menopause.
The entire blackberry plant – the berries, leaves, and roots – can all be used to make medicine, and the fruit is eaten regularly. There are many ailments that have been known to be improved by drinking blackberry tea or by simply eating the fruit. People suffering from diarrhea, fluid retention, diabetes, and inflammation have been known to turn to blackberries and it is being researched as a fighter in the battle against cancer and heart disease.
In addition to being a tasty Thanksgiving side dish, this herb is also used antibacterially, as an anti-asthmatic and as a diuretic. The most popular theory is that it can help cure urinary tract infections, although that has been dispelled lately.
There are actually two distinct plants known worldwide with the name ginseng. Both are used to heal, but the main difference is that Korean ginseng has “warming” qualities while American ginseng has “cooling” characteristics. North American ginseng has been known to help reduce the process of aging and increase response time, focus and memory. There are reports that ginseng helps people deal with stress, but they are unsubstantiated. A lot of research has been conducted on ginseng’s anti-inflammatory and immuno-boosting qualities, with a specific focus on type 2 diabetes and cancer. Ginseng is also being studied as a possible treatment for ADHD and the flu.
Saw palmetto is a tree whose berries are used both as a food source and a medicine, specifically in men’s health where it is used to promote healthy prostate functioning. More importantly, it might be the key to solving men’s hair loss issues one day.