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Natural Native American Treatments For Sickle Cell Anemia And Other Ailments

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We have become spoiled to modern medicine. When we have a pain or even a cold, regardless of severity, we turn to modern medicine. It is great that we have the technology, resources and financial abilities to pursue these avenues. However, our technologies have led us astray from nature and the knowledge of our ancestors in many of these areas. Prior to modern medicine we still had colds, disease, cancer and even sickle cell anemia (or the sickle cell disease). However, there were no manufactured treatments of this disease.

Chinese Angelica treating sickle cell anemia

In the Bible it tells of prophecies of things to come to pass. It speaks of the great deceiver, the one who will take over the world, the anti-Christ. One day our money may be no good. If one day you woke up, your money was no good, the world had failed, and you could not receive medical attention, what would you do? The common fever can kill without being treated, as it has throughout the history of man, so what would you do if you were in a sickle cell crisis? Where would you turn for relief?

What is Sickle Cell Anemia?

First, let’s explore what sickle cell disease is. It is broken into two major categories:

  1. Sickle cell trait
  2. Sickle cell anemia (or disease)

In sickle cell trait, someone carries a sickle cell gene and a normal gene but does not suffer from the full-blown effects of sickle cell anemia.

Sickle cell anemia is where a person is often in crisis from attacks because of the blood cells turning to a sickle shape and blocking blood flow without any extreme conditions. The cells are hard and sticky. These attacks or crisis can and have caused the patient to go blind, their organs to fail, and many of them to have a need for hip and other joint replacements as well as amputations.

What are natural treatments for sickle cell anemia?

Throughout history effective natural remedies have been used that are carried out today in many cultures. These remedies are used to prevent sickle cell attacks as well as treat them. Native Americans have been one culture that have carried on this tradition throughout history.

For thousands of years, Native Americans have used herbs to heal the sick. They monitored and watched sick animals to see how they would heal themselves, and passed that information down. There were no original writings on this, but it was passed down from generation to generation, and then shared with the Europeans that came over. Once modern language and writing became available, Native Americans began making booklets or recipe records of what to do with healing herbs.

The hidden secrets of making herbal medicines…right at your fingertips!

The remedies or healing herbs are still used today. It is time for these recipes to be shared with people again, so that they, too, may take record of these. These remedies can be made from wild herbs. In history the following remedies have been used to treat and even heal those in sickle cell crisis:

Dong Quai

What is Dong Quai and what are its uses?

Officially called Angelica Sinensis, and also known as Chinese Angelica, Dang Gui, the Female Ginseng, and Tang Kuei, the root has been used for more than a thousand years as a spice, tonic and medicine in China, Korea and Japan. In traditional medicine, it was usually combined with other herbs to treat women’s reproductive problems including PMS and cramps, improve circulation, and ease menopausal symptoms. It has also been found to be effective in treating weakness after childbirth, chronic nasal or sinus congestion, fibroid tumors, high blood pressure, fibrocystic breast disease, rheumatoid arthritis, anemia, sickle cell anemia, allergies, constipation, shingles, hepatitis, and  headache. Studies today suggest that it may also reduce pain, dilate blood vessels, and stimulate and relax uterine muscles.

When not to use Dong Qua

Do not use if you are pregnant, nursing, have asthma, or a viral infection.

Where do I find Dong Qua

Dong Qua is indigenous to China.

How to make the recipe

You can make a tea with hot water, honey and either Dong Quai powder, root or leaves. Boil and let cool for higher potency.

Ironweed-Tall Ironweed (Native American Name) or Vernonia Altissima

What is this plant?

Herbaceous perennial which can reach a height of 10 feet.

Leaves: leaves are alternate, 3-4 as much as 10 inches in length. Each lanced shaped leaf is very finely toothed and downy on the underside.

Flowers: Flowers are deep purple.

Habitat: Moist fields or open woods. Often seen in meadows and fallow fields, the rich purple of the flowers and the tall straight stems make this plant easy to spot. The stems can be used for kite-building.

Where can you find it and what does it treat?

Range: Throughout the southeast.

Culture: Durable and easy to grow in full sun in most soils. Prefers ample moisture but is also quite drought tolerant.

Uses: Native Americans have used some spices of Ironweed to treat stomach problems. Native Americans have used the root to treat post childbirth pain, sickle cell crisis pain, blood and liver cleaning, and to restore regular menses.

How to make the recipe

You will need 1 tablespoon of Ironweed and 2 cups of water.

Bring the 2 cups of water to boil. Powder or grind the Ironweed root and add it to the boiling water and then turn the heat to simmer, until the liquid is around 1 cup remaining. Cool and drink fast, because it is so bitter. This is not something to sip nor to let linger, it is more a drink that you will not want to play with, or come back to. Be sure to drink on an empty stomach.

What are Preventive Measures through Natural Remedies?

Although Ironweed is an excellent source of a preventive source, there are many other sources that are just used for preventive measures, that do not dilate the blood vessels as these earlier mentioned sources do.

Preventive Remedy:  Spirulina 

Spirulina is a fresh water algae. Spirulina is used to prevent damage caused by toxins affecting the heart, liver, kidneys, neurons, eyes, ovaries, DNA and testicles. Drinking powdered spirulina or flakes after mixing them into water will allow you to prevent the toxins of the environment as well as the food you eat to onset a sickle cell attack.

Remember, there are several other remedies out there such as Herbsfemi, spearmint and hundreds of others that come from nature, and that Native American’s have used for years. It is up to us to seek and become familiar with these remedies. There is no reason why we should not be prepared for tomorrow, when we have known for more than 2,000 years what it holds.


Choctaw and Cherokee Family Recipes from the Henderson, Jones, Self, and Constant family records.

Legends recipes:

The Dirt Doctor:

The Fallen Angels Foundation Website: Written by Shaun McLain 2012

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