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  • Writer's pictureJon Mychal Heatherly

What the Lakota Call Ichahpe Hu

Updated: Dec 3, 2021

A floral, medicinal herb

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

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

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