Jon Mychal Heatherly
What the Lakota Call Ichahpe Hu
Updated: Dec 3, 2021
A floral, medicinal herb
Photo by Khara Woods on Unsplash
Echinacea, or coneflower, includes 10 species from Eastern/Central North America — often used as medicinal teas. E. purpurae tends to be the most common therapeutic choice today. Most Great Plains tribes consumed this herb — including the Lakota Sioux, Choctaw, Pawnee, and Cheyenne.
With a spiny blossom, its name derives from the Greek “ekhinos,” or sea urchin. Lewis and Clark documented indigenous most using E. angustifolia. Seemingly a native cure-all, tribes treated symptoms like cold/flu, snakebites, sore throats, general pain management, and more.
Scientific name: Echinacea (var) Tastes: floral, pine, meadowsweet Uses: herbal tea, pollinator food, folk medicine
Recipe: Echinacea Tea
Ingredients: ¼ cup dried echinacea, 1 tsp dried lemongrass, 1 tsp dried mint Directions: Add boiling water, steep for 15 minutes, sweeten with honey if desired
Photo by Nataliia Kuznetcova on Shutterstock