Many of TriLight’s products were passed down to our founder, Lyle Bennett, by a Cherokee herbalist named D. Walt Burchett (Medicine Bear). Our Item of the Month, Scout Out, is one of these formulas. Unfortunately, Native American medicine is becoming a thing of the past for most tribes. We are proud to have these formulas to share with you. We’re thankful to help carry on Medicine Bear’s legacy and provide a great product for you. Native American medicine men and healers are fascinating to learn about. Today we bring you a brief introduction and hope you’ll dive in and do some more research on your own.
Silence, Listening & Few Words
Native American culture values silence. Oh that this would be something modern day Americans could embrace! It was not uncommon for Native Americans to spend significant amounts of time sitting in quiet. Healers and elders would often be quiet “listening” to disease and encouraging silence with the patient. Part of this was due to the knowledge that talking about a disease strengthens the patient towards identifying as the disease and with the disease. This is more likely to put the patient in a negative state of mind and feel stuck.
The Four Sacred Directions
Some tribes refer to the “Four Winds”, others to the “Four Sacred Directions.” In Cherokee tradition, it is the Four Sacred Winds. North, South, East and West are the directions and each helps to balance ones life. These were the cords of life and relate to psychological, and spiritual health of the individual. Ideally, one would find themselves in the center of the circle. The Four Directions are utilized in the famous Native American Medicine Wheel. Each direction is connected with a color, a moment in life, personality traits, favorite activities, and specific medicine. These medicines are herbs which are most powerful for direction. For example, Aloe is an herb of South, Echinacea is an herb of West.
Obviously, herbs were key for Cherokee healers. The image of the circle came about when picking an herb. The herb was approached, circled and only picked if at least 4 were in that area. Native Americans have always treated the Earth with utmost respect and honor. Herbs were treated with utmost care and respect. As one Cherokee Elder said, “These are all ‘wonder plants’ as special helpers for the healing to take place.“
A recognition that we are all connected to the Earth and everything on it, was central to the education of all Native American children. Herbs were so prized and valued that the Cherokee people had a trust the proper medicine would be revealed to them. Current studies are proving the accuracy for which Native Americans used various herbs through research studies.
Modern day herbalists have adapted this method which was a regular practice for Native Americans. By walking through the environment, individuals connect with herbs and learn about their healing properties, when and how to harvest, and how to combine them with other herbs. A specific and sacred process is in place for picking and using the herb.
Other Healing Methods
In addition to herbs, healers used many other modalities for physical, emotional and spiritual concerns. These included: smudging, massage, prayer, chants, sweat lodge, vision-seeking, music, counseling, fasting, laying on of hands, placing natural materials on or near the body, unique ceremonies, laughter and much more.
Our formulas that have come from Medicine Bear are:
Worm Out, Female Formula, Scout Out, Tummy Plus, Peace Treaty, White Willow & Feverfew, and Wild Cherry Coffaway
We hope this has given you a good introduction in Cherokee and Native American healing. Would you like to learn more about herbal medicine from other cultures? Let us know in the comments!