Pinaceae Pinus contorta Dougl. ex Loud.
Blackfoot - Drug, Tuberculosis Remedy
Use documented by:
Hellson, John C., 1974, Ethnobotany of the Blackfoot Indians, Ottawa. National Museums of Canada. Mercury Series, page 73
View all documented uses for Pinus contorta Dougl. ex Loud.
Scientific name: Pinus contorta Dougl. ex Loud.
USDA symbol: PICOC (View details
at USDA PLANTS site)
Common names: Lodgepole Pine
Family (APG): Pinaceae
Native American Tribe: Blackfoot
Use category: Drug
Use sub-category: Tuberculosis Remedy
Notes: Infusion of pitch taken for tubercular coughs. Here is a fine example of the origin and use of a 'personal medicine' which was later expanded to include general therapeutic practice. There was once a woman named Last Calf who was riddled with tuberculosis. While she and her husband were camped near a beaver lodge, she noticed the animal's tracks in the mud and left some food for it. The beaver took the gift and returned the favor by appearing to her in a vision. He gave her a cure for tuberculosis. She was to collect the pitch of the lodgepole pine, boil it in water and drink the infusion while uttering a special song. (The song had no words.) Last Calf's husband was alarmed at this treatment and cautioned her against poisoning but she went ahead and drank the brew. She said she felt as though she were going to die and began vomiting profusely. She drank again with the same result, but the next morning her chest was cleared as never before.
RECRD: 3759 id: 27389