"A compilation of 454 plants listed by family classification with usage data collected from about 75 Iroquois authorities. . . . Recipes for preparation, modes of application, and dosages are given for most of the plants, many illustrated line drawings. . . . Recommended for ethnobotanical collections."—Choice
"An important new contribution to Native American scholarship. It contains significant new information which was previously unavailable. It gives new insight into Iroquois curing practices and concepts of health and well being and presents details of the uses of medicinal plants never before published."—Richard L. Ford, University of Michigan
The world view of the Iroquois League or Confederacy—the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, and Tuscarora nations—is based on a strong cosmological belief system. This is especially evident in Iroquois medical practices, which connect man to nature and the powerful forces in the supernatural realm.
Iroquois Medical Botany is the first guide to understanding the use of herbal medicines in traditional Iroquois culture. It links Iroquois cosmology to cultural themes by showing the inherent spiritual power of plants and how the Iroquois traditionally have used and continue to use plants as remedies.
After an introduction to the Iroquois doctrine of the cosmos, authors James Herrick and Dean Snow examine how ill health directly relates to the balance and subsequent disturbance of the forces in one’s life. They next turn to general perceptions of illness and the causes of imbalances, which can result in physical manifestations from birthmarks and toothaches to sunstroke and cancer. In all, they list close to 300 phenomena.
Finally, the book enumerates specific plant regimens for various ailments with a major compilation from numerous Iroquois authorities and sources of more than 450 native names, uses, and preparations of plants.
James W. Herrick lectures in anthropology, sociology, psychology, and gerontology, and studied under William N. Fenton. He and his family live in Chittenango, New York.
Dean R. Snow is professor of Anthropology at the University at Albany, SUNY, where he has directed the Mohawk Valley Project. He is the author of The Archaeology of North America and co-author of Atlas of Ancient America.
Series: The Iroquois and Their Neighbors
8.5 x 11, 292 pages