Healing with Nature in North Carolina

Health and Healing Experiences in North Carolina

Healing with Nature Multidisciplinary Educator Guide
North Carolina Museum of History
HEALTH AND HEALING EDUCATOR GUIDE,

2008

1

Healing with Nature in North Carolina

Healing with Nature Multidisciplinary Educator Guide Table of Contents
Background Information Guide to North Carolina Plants and Healing Lesson 1: Planned Picking Lesson 2: Healing to a “T” Lesson 3: The Origin of Strawberries Lesson 4: Contained Art 3 7 14 16 18 22

North Carolina Museum of History 5 East Edenton Street Raleigh, NC 27601 919-807-7900 http://ncmuseumofhistory.org
Office of Archives and History, Department of Cultural Resources www.ncculture.com
HEALTH AND HEALING EDUCATOR GUIDE,

2008

2

Healing with Nature in North Carolina

Healing with Nature in North Carolina
As long as people have lived in North Carolina, they have relied on nature’s elements—plants, animals, fire, and water—as sources for healing. Native Americans developed and practiced a culture that recognized both the physical and spiritual aspects of nature. When Europeans and Africans began to settle the state in the 1600s, they quickly learned how to identify and use various medicinal plants found throughout North Carolina’s Coastal Plain, Piedmont region, and Mountains. Nature continues to play a key role in maintaining the health of present–day North Carolinians, from the gathering of herbs for medicines to the use of natural areas for relaxation to calm the spirit and exercise to strengthen the body. Nature—it’s the world’s biggest drugstore!

Medicinal Plants from the Wild Herbs have always been integral to the practice of medicine. The word drug comes from the old Dutch word drogge, meaning “to dry,” as pharmacists, physicians, and ancient healers often dried plants for use as medicines. The historical records are filled with information about what our ancestors knew about herbal treatments. Diaries, letters, recipe files, travelogues, and recorded interviews contain accounts of how Native Americans, European settlers, and enslaved Africans used medicinal plants, or botanicals. The records also show that all three groups shared knowledge and methods. Native Americans knew most about indigenous plant varieties, while newcomers introduced new types of plants from Europe and Africa that changed North Carolina’s ecology. Published herbals summarized this information and instructed readers on how to identify, gather, prepare, and use herbs to treat illness and injury. Today, North Carolinians continue to harvest and use botanicals, either as a replacement for or as a complement to modern medical treatments.
HEALTH AND HEALING EDUCATOR GUIDE,

2008

3

Healing with Nature in North Carolina

Why Herbs? People rely on botanicals to treat illness and injury for several reasons. One explanation often given is that people tend to trust what seems natural because nature is often associated with what is pure and gentle. This trust is reinforced by herbal remedies tested and used across several generations, as well as faith in the experience of community practitioners. Religion also shapes people’s perceptions of nature. Many devout individuals firmly believe that God has provided a plant to cure every disease, and some claim that divine guidance has led them to find effective herbs. Lack of access to a doctor is another reason people turn to botanicals. Finally, the potential for experiencing unpleasant—and sometimes dangerous— side effects caused by synthetic drugs often leads people to seek alternative cures. These explanations hold as true today as in the past, when North Carolinians tended to be less educated and affluent, living primarily in rural areas before the advent of modern transportation. Scientific and technological progress, along with higher standards of living, have increased the medical options available, but access and cost still influence the choices people make in seeking health care. Today, people practicing natural, or holistic, healing seek balance between their bodies and the environment. Part of achieving such balance means using herbs derived from the whole plant rather than artificial drugs that mimic the herb’s active ingredients.

What is an herb? The word herb as used in herbal medicine means a plant or plant part that is used to make medicine, food flavors (spices), or aromatic oils for soaps and fragrances. An herb can be a leaf, a flower, a stem, a seed, a root, a fruit, bark, or any other plant part used for its medicinal, food–flavoring, or fragrant property.

HEALTH AND HEALING EDUCATOR GUIDE,

2008

4

Healing with Nature in North Carolina

Herbal Remedies—Safe or Unsafe? In general, herbal medicines work in much the same way as do conventional pharmaceutical drugs, i.e., via their chemical makeup. Herbs contain a large number of naturally occurring chemicals that have biological activity. According to Andrew Weil, M.D., of Tucson, Arizona, because herbs use an indirect route to the bloodstream and target organs, their effects are usually slower in onset and less dramatic than those of purified drugs administered by more direct routes. However, the common assumption that herbs always act slowly and mildly is not necessarily true. Adverse effects can occur if an inadequate dose, a low–quality herb, or the wrong herb is prescribed for the patient.

Without the expertise of traditional or scientifically trained healers, experimenting with herbal drugs can be dangerous. Lay persons should be warned not to pick and eat herbs, because doing so could result in serious illness and even death.

Gathering Herbs from the Wild North Carolinians who gather herbs for personal use or sale are known as wildcrafters. Since the 1600s, wildcrafters have combed North Carolina’s mountains, forests, and meadows for leaves, flowers, roots, barks, and berries to sell to crude–drug wholesalers. These merchants, in turn, export the herbs to other states or to Europe, where drug manufacturers use them to produce refined drugs, tonics, herbal preparations, food additives, and other commercial products. The C. J. Cowles company is an example of a North Carolina herb wholesaler. Established in Wilkes County in 1846 and later moved to Ashe County, the company purchased herbs and roots from local wildcrafters, paying them not in money but in groceries and household or farm supplies. Wildcrafting became a source of extra income for many North Carolinians and remains so today, though payment now takes the form of money.

HEALTH AND HEALING EDUCATOR GUIDE,

2008

5

Healing with Nature in North Carolina

Wildcrafters practice their trade using simple tools. Anything from a sharpened walking stick to a pick, shovel, hoe, or mattock (which looks like a pickax) can be used for unearthing roots. A knife peels bark from trees, cuts roots from the ground, and severs branches from small trees. Wildcrafters also carry burlap sacks for transporting their finds home, where herbs are prepared for sale according to guidelines published in journals like Spring Market Report, produced annually by Wilcox Natural Products. The growth of the synthetic–drug industry, especially in central North Carolina, has somewhat reduced the demand for medicinal herbs. Still, demand remains high in Europe, and the revived interest in herbal products in this country, coupled with newly discovered uses for wild plants, keeps wildcrafters in business. Some herbs, like ginseng, sell for several hundred dollars a pound, and as a result are endangered by overpicking. Experienced wildcrafters, however, tend to recognize the significance of the resources they harvest and take only limited amounts. State laws also place external limits on what, when, and how much wildcrafters may gather. The importance of wildcrafting as a North Carolina cottage industry yields mixed blessings: much–needed income for many rural residents, but sometimes not without threat to the state’s ecology.

HEALTH AND HEALING EDUCATOR GUIDE,

2008

6

Healing with Nature in North Carolina

Guide to North Carolina Plants and Healing
NOTE: The North Carolina Museum of History does not endorse or encourage the use of plants for medicinal purposes without the consultation of a physician. The plant list below contains items that could be toxic if taken in inappropriate amounts.

Blackberry—Whether eaten as a fruit (rich in iron and vitamins C and E), fermented into wine, or used to treat dysentery and other stomach disorders, the blackberry plant was familiar to Europeans and Native Americans alike. Its tannin content relieved symptoms of an irritable bowel, and its astringent qualities made it a popular tonic. Bloodroot—Known to Native Americans as pochon, or puccoon, bloodroot was used as a dye. European explorers sought it as early as 1609 for trade. The herb’s root was ground to a powder and sprinkled on the skin to remove ulcers. When mixed with whiskey, bloodroot relieved the symptoms of asthma, and it was recommended as a cure for liver trouble. Today, it appears in some dental products as a plaque–fighting agent and is a potential treatment for cancerous tumors. Potentially toxic, bloodroot should not be taken internally. Catnip—Catnip remains one of the most commonly used domestic remedies, especially for children. Early English medical texts mentioned many uses for catnip, but its popularity among the medical profession has waned significantly over the past three hundred years. People have reported using catnip for colic, teething, hives in children, bronchitis, colds, diarrhea, fevers, chicken pox, and headaches. Some people say that it induces sleep, promotes sweating (for the reduction of fevers), and calms restless children. Catnip has an essential oil that acts as a sedative. Catnip also contains tannin, an astringent (or drying)
7

HEALTH AND HEALING EDUCATOR GUIDE,

2008

Healing with Nature in North Carolina

agent that shrinks tissues. Experiments with catnip suggest that it may have properties to make it useful as an herbicide, insect repellent, and E. coli bacteria inhibitor. Collards—Collards, part of the cabbage group, are particularly popular in the American South. Over two thousand years ago in Rome, Cato the Elder (234– 149 B.C.) noted that cabbages were especially valuable as ingredients in poultices (medications spread on cloth and applied to the skin). Cabbages had a reputation from that time through the Middle Ages as plants valuable for both medicine and food. Physicians and home remedy manuals recommended cabbage poultices for inflammations, swellings, and sore eyes, and even as a cure for hangover. The medicinal reputation of cabbage lessened greatly in the 1800s, though its value as a nutritious food remained high. Recent research suggests that vegetables in the cabbage family can help to inhibit the action of carcinogens (cancer–causing substances). Comfrey—The use of comfrey, also called boneknit, has appeared in medical literature since the Middle Ages. This herb was recommended for treating external wounds and for clearing mucus from the respiratory tract, as in a severe cough. It was also recommended for healing broken bones. Comfrey’s popularity as a domestic remedy outstripped its use by the medical community. In 1912 comfrey was found to contain allantoin, a substance that promotes tissue repair. Tannin, another substance found in comfrey, may also contribute to its reputation as a wound and sprain healer. Recent research has raised concerns over the possible toxicity of comfrey. Long–term internal use of certain species may have a toxic effect. Dandelion—Not indigenous to the United States, dandelion is an example of a plant introduced into North Carolina’s ecology by immigrants. Native Americans used it as a diuretic to treat high blood pressure and as a springtime tonic. Although its leaves tend to be bitter in taste, they are often found in salads and are rich in vitamins A and C, as well as niacin. Other uses include treatment for kidney, urinary tract, and liver ailments. Dogwood—Native Americans used dogwood bark brewed into tea to ease fevers. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, dogwood worked as the best treatment for malaria in the absence of quinine. Doctors used it in this manner on Confederate soldiers during the Civil War. Later scientific research has confirmed that extracts from the tree’s bark do indeed attack the parasites that cause malaria.

HEALTH AND HEALING EDUCATOR GUIDE,

2008

8

Healing with Nature in North Carolina

Ginseng—Found mostly in the mountains, ginseng, or “sang,” has been used in a variety of ways, from inducing a restful sleep in colicky babies to soothing an upset stomach. European Americans used it as a tonic to restore energy and impart a sense of vigor, while the Cherokee desired it to return a balance and harmony to the body and spirit. Some modern research points to ginseng’s ability to boost mental and physical functioning and to combat stress. Cherokee healers who harvested the root used to take only every fourth plant discovered. Limits on amounts harvested are necessary even today, since excessive demand around the world has pushed the price of ginseng as high as $320 per pound. North Carolina law requires a license to gather ginseng on government lands and permits harvesting only from September through December. Goldenseal—This herb is considered by many to be a panacea, or general cure– all, with specific applications in treating colds and asthma attacks when brewed as a tea. Other uses include treating jaundice, as a wash for eye infections, and as a tonic and blood purifier. Goldenseal is known to contain an antibacterial alkaloid that could explain its effectiveness on wounds and other skin ailments. Like ginseng, goldenseal runs the risk of disappearing from the North Carolina landscape because of growing demand and over–collection. Horehound—Horehound has enjoyed a reputation as a treatment for chest complaints such as coughs, colds, wheezing, and chronic asthma. It has also been used as a remedy for sore throats, stomach and gall bladder disorders, jaundice, and hepatitis and as a poultice for cuts and wounds (although the plant juice may cause dermatitis, or itching and redness of the skin). Horehound was a popular ingredient in both domestic and professional medical remedies until the 1800s, when it gradually declined as a prescribed medicine. Despite its solid reputation in the popular literature as an aid to chest complaints, little scientific research has been conducted to determine horehound’s effectiveness. Horseradish—Horseradish served as both a popular food and a medicine long before North Carolina became a colony. In the 1500s, medical authors recommended it for colic swellings and as an emetic (a substance to induce vomiting). In the 1600s, physicians praised it primarily for its diuretic action (producing urine) and as a counterirritant for the treatment of such conditions as rheumatism. Although professional medicine’s use of horseradish began to wane in the 1800s, domestic manuals continued to recommend it. The plant still enjoys a reputation in home use. Horseradish–root tea has been used to treat
HEALTH AND HEALING EDUCATOR GUIDE,

2008

9

Healing with Nature in North Carolina

bronchitis, coughs, bronchial catarrh, and dental plaque. Root poultices have been used for respiratory congestion and rheumatism. Large amounts of horseradish can trouble the digestive system. Jimsonweed—Named for the colonial settlement of Jamestown, Jimsonweed can cause death if ingested because it acts as both a narcotic and a poison. However, Europeans and Native Americans used it externally to alleviate burns, swelling, sprains, hemorrhoids, and headaches. Since the early 1800s, asthma sufferers have also smoked it in the form of “stramonium” cigarettes in an effort to relieve breathing difficulty. Lady’s slipper—Like mayapple, this indigenous orchid has been used by Native Americans to get rid of worms in the intestinal tract. More commonly, the yellow lady’s slipper was important in treating nervous disorders, heart problems, and “female troubles.” As with ginseng and goldenseal, overpicking has reduced the availability of this herb. Mayapple—The roots of this plant contain a substance that acts as a natural laxative. Native Americans used it as a purge–inducing herb excellent for ridding the body of worms and shared its qualities with European colonists. Modern pharmaceuticals incorporate extracts from the mayapple root and plant to treat a variety of viruses, including herpes simplex type II and influenza A. The mayapple’s fruit is edible, but its root and leaves are poisonous. Mullein—English colonists introduced this plant to North Carolina, where Native Americans quickly adapted it to their own uses. Scientific research suggests that mullein provides no therapeutic value, but historically it has been used to treat swelling, internal injuries, coughs, hemorrhages, and problems involving the bladder, liver, and blood. Onion—Wild and domesticated varieties of onions have been used as both medicine and food for thousands of years. By the end of the 1500s, onion was noted for its ability to promote urination. Claims of antivenom properties and effectiveness as an external medicine also appeared. Writers of the next century agreed and added that onion cleansed the stomach and excited the appetite. Its soothing and coating qualities and its expectorant action (causing the coughing up of phlegm) made it good for coughs and colds. Though onion rarely gained mention in medical texts after the mid–nineteenth century, its domestic use remains well established. Perhaps best known as a poultice for coughs and colds, onion has also been used internally for epilepsy and diabetes.

HEALTH AND HEALING EDUCATOR GUIDE,

2008

10

Healing with Nature in North Carolina

Peach—Domestic use of the peach tree’s bark, kernels, leaves, and flowers has far outstripped its uneven reputation in medical literature. Though used as a medicine in its native China, peach has not attracted a great amount of attention in Western European medicine. Writers in the 1600s and 1700s did note the use of peach products for stomach, liver, and skin complaints and to treat worms and wounds. In the 1800s, peach continued to be used medically for its purgative properties and action against internal parasites. Twentieth– century reports of domestic uses of peach include treatments for such ailments as fevers, headache, earache, toothache, morning sickness, and crick in the neck. Pennyroyal—A medical author in the late 1600s listed numerous conditions treated with pennyroyal, including kidney stones, indigestion, and lung obstructions. An American species of the plant made its way into medical manuals of the 1800s and enjoyed widespread usage for such additional problems as colds and children’s colic. Pennyroyal is now known to be toxic if taken internally. Pine—Various parts of the pine tree and its derivatives, including needles, cones, rosin, kerosene, turpentine, and pine tar, were considered useful in treating everything from colds, aches, and fevers to bedwetting, chapped hands, lockjaw, and worms. As they did with poison ivy, the Cherokee used boiled pine needles to treats various sicknesses. When applied to the skin, pine compounds act as counterirritants that produce surface inflammation, which in turn relieves swelling in underlying tissues. Ingesting pine can be dangerous, as it is generally considered toxic. Poison ivy—Poison ivy is another potentially dangerous herb that people used in the nineteenth century to treat rheumatism and tuberculosis. The Cherokee included the bark from the vine in a potion that would cancel a spell cast upon some unlucky individual. Some people eat a small amount of the root each spring, because they believe that doing so will protect them for that year from contracting the skin rash commonly associated with the plant. Rabbit tobacco—This indigenous herb also goes by the name “life everlasting.” It is most commonly used to treat a variety of respiratory ailments, such as asthma, whooping cough, and colds. Users usually boil the leaves and blooms to make a tea or stuff the leaves inside homemade “asthma pillows.” Some people even smoke it. As early as the eighteenth century, medical practitioners understood that rabbit tobacco’s effectiveness stemmed from its astringency, or ability to dry and shrink tissues and mucous membranes.
HEALTH AND HEALING EDUCATOR GUIDE,

2008

11

Healing with Nature in North Carolina

Sage—“Why should a man die whilst sage grows in his garden?” So asks an author from the 1100s, indicating that sage has been recognized for centuries as an important herb for healing as well as for flavoring foods. Over the past several hundred years, its reputation in European and English medicine relied primarily on its ability to relieve problems associated with the head and to calm the nerves. Sage was also employed for flatulence, dropsy, and fevers and to prevent premature labor. Early American use centered around its effectiveness for sore throats and inducing perspiration. Sassafras—Explorer John Lawson noted in his 1709 guidebook A New Voyage to Carolina that all parts of the sassafras plant (flower, berry, and root bark) were used by Native Americans. Typically associated with tea, sassafras is recommended for its purifying effects, especially as a blood cleanser. It is also commonly taken as a spring tonic. Too much use, however, could prove dangerous, since this herb’s main ingredient is potentially carcinogenic. Spearmint and peppermint—Plants belonging to the mint family have a long history as popular medicines and were used to treat a variety of ailments. For thousands of years, peppermint and spearmint in particular have been taken to relieve flatulence, encourage urination, and soothe lung ailments. Introduced into America by early colonists, these two mints treated stomach ailments and were used as primary mixing ingredients for a variety of medicines. Domestic use adds headache, colic, insomnia, and morning sickness to the list of ailments treated by these mints. Tansy—Tansy was long employed in Europe as a flavoring and occasionally as a medicine, used to treat stomach disorders, malnutrition conditions, hysteria, internal parasites, and even gout. A popular item in colonial gardens, tansy was touted by 1800s medical authors as a tonic and as an agent to soothe nervous restlessness. By the 1900s, use of tansy both as a flavoring agent and as a medicine declined. Tansy’s astringency (ability to dry and shrink tissue), from its tannin content, may account for some of the herb’s past and present uses. White oak—This member of the oak family has traditionally been used as an astringent, or substance that dries and shrinks tissue, to alleviate the symptoms of hemorrhoids and varicose veins. Like bloodroot, the boiled bark produces tannin that is antiseptic and possibly reduces tumors. Unfortunately, tannin is toxic in large quantities. Wild cherry—The bark of the wild cherry was considered very effective against all sorts of respiratory ailments, such as sore throats, colds, and

HEALTH AND HEALING EDUCATOR GUIDE,

2008

12

Healing with Nature in North Carolina

tuberculosis. When distilled as a tonic, it was favored as an appetite stimulant and blood purifier. Although science has discerned wild cherry’s sedative and astringent qualities, the active ingredient, hydrocyanic acid, is actually highly toxic. North Carolina farmers have reported fatal effects on cows that chewed wild cherry leaves. Yellow poplar—Europeans steeped the bark of this tree to make a tea to treat intestinal parasites, chronic rheumatism, and dysentery, whereas Native Americans used it to combat indigestion, pellagra, sores, fever, and kidney and bladder problems. The bark could also serve as a substitute for quinine, typically employed to fight malaria. Yellow poplar buds were used at least as early as the eighteenth century to produce an ointment effective in treating burns.

HEALTH AND HEALING EDUCATOR GUIDE,

2008

13

Healing with Nature in North Carolina

Lesson 1: Planned Picking

Competency Goals: Grade 4: Mathematics 1; Social Studies 1, 6 Grade 5: Mathematics 1: Science 1 Objective: Students will apply knowledge of decimals, whole numbers, and fractions to “harvest” healing herbs without destroying the wild population. 20 minutes “Planned Picking Worksheet,” one copy per student Pencils, one per student Paper, one sheet per student 1. Introduce the lesson by discussing how nature provides many of the medical treatments we know today. Explain how wildcrafters harvest only a certain percentage of the herbs they find each growing season. By collecting only a fraction of the plant population, they ensure the plants’ return season after season. Discuss conservation and why conservation practices are important. Distribute the worksheets to students with instructions. After converting each fraction into a percentage or percentage into a fraction, students will “harvest” the correct proportion of each plant by striking the picked plants with an X.

Time: Materials:

Procedure:

2.

3.

HEALTH AND HEALING EDUCATOR GUIDE,

2008

14

Healing with Nature in North Carolina

Name ___________________

Planned Picking Worksheet
Directions: Wildcrafters harvest only a part of the herbs growing each season. That part is called a percentage. Change the percentage of each herb that may
be picked into a fraction. Then “harvest” the allowed number of each plant by drawing an X through the center. Happy harvesting!

Plant

Percentage

Fraction

.25

.50

.20

.33

.16

HEALTH AND HEALING EDUCATOR GUIDE,

2008

15

Healing with Nature in North Carolina

Lesson 2: Healing to a “T”

Competency Goals: Grade 3: Science 1 Grade 5: Science 1 Objective: Students will observe parts of healing plants, hypothesize their use, and implement and experiment using herbal teas. Two class periods “Guide to North Carolina Plants and Healing” A selection of fresh and dried herbs, such as garlic, mint, ginseng, gingerroot, chamomile, cinnamon Glass jars, one for each type of herb or tea Mesh or cheesecloth Strainer Warm water A sunny window 1. Prior to the class, gather together all the materials needed. Introduce the lesson by discussing how herbs were (and still are) used for healing. Making tea out of specific kinds of herbs was/is one way to get well. Caution students that they should not try making teas without adult supervision, since some herbs can be harmful. Before creating their own medicinal teas, students will examine and identify the various plant parts being used. Many plants are used to heal diseases. Roots, stems, leaves, flowers, and berries have
HEALTH AND HEALING EDUCATOR GUIDE,

Time: Materials:

Procedure:

2.

2008

16

Healing with Nature in North Carolina

medical uses that humans have incorporated into their healing practices for thousands of years. But only recently have people begun to understand the relationship between plants and how they heal. This relationship between plants and humans is called ethnobotany—the study of how people use plants. 3. Instruct students to examine the fresh and dried herbs they will use to create their teas. Ask the students to determine which part of the plant they will be using, e.g., mint—leaves, ginger—root, cinnamon—bark. Have students use the “Guide to North Carolina Plants and Healing” on page 25 in the Teacher Background Materials to research the medicinal benefits of the fresh herbs they will use to make their healing teas. Assign a note taker to record what part of the plant will be used and the medicinal benefit of each tea. Use the example given below. Plant Used
Ginger

4.

Name of Tea
Ginger tea

Part Used
Root

Medicinal Use
Calming effect on stomach

5.

Place each herb into a glass jar. Pour enough water over the herb to cover. Cover and place in a sunny spot overnight. Uncover the jars and strain the mixtures. Discard the plant material. Have students note the physical characteristics of the tea. What properties did the plant lend to the tea (e.g., green color, strong odor)? Have students discuss their impressions of the teas’ healing values.

6.

7.

HEALTH AND HEALING EDUCATOR GUIDE,

2008

17

Healing with Nature in North Carolina

Lesson 3: The Origin of Strawberries

Competency Goals: Grade 3: English Language Arts 2, 3, 4; Social Studies 7 Grade 4: English Language Arts 2, 3, 4; Social Studies 2, 5 Grade 5: English Language Arts 2, 3, 4 Grade 6: English Language Arts 5 Objective: Students will read a Cherokee myth and add to it with creative writing. 30–45 minutes “The Origin of Strawberries” story, one copy per student “The Origin of Strawberries” worksheet, one copy per student Pencils, one per student 1. Introduce the lesson by asking students to name stories that include plants as a central focus. Explain that many cultures include plants in their stories because plants have been so important for food, healing, beauty, and tools.

Time: Materials:

Procedure:

Every culture has folktales in which plants are instrumental to the plot. Plants have caused princesses to fall into deep sleep (“Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”), identified royalty (“The Princess and the Pea”), and even been the center of economic debate (“Jack and the Beanstalk”). In this Native American story, strawberries are created to unite an estranged couple.

HEALTH AND HEALING EDUCATOR GUIDE,

2008

18

Healing with Nature in North Carolina

2.

Distribute the myth “The Origin of Strawberries” for students to read. After the students finish reading the myth, instruct them to add another “chapter” to the story. After all the students have finished writing, have them read their additions aloud. After the students have finished reading the myth, pick one student to add a few sentences to the ending of the myth. When through, that student will hand the paper to another student, who will add another two to three sentences. This pattern will be repeated until all the students have had a chance to add to the original myth. After all the students have added to the myth, choose a student to read the “new” myth aloud.

3.

4.

HEALTH AND HEALING EDUCATOR GUIDE,

2008

19

Healing with Nature in North Carolina

Name ___________________

The Origin of Strawberries
creative writing skills to create your own ending for the couple in the myth.

Directions: Read the Cherokee myth below. When you finish reading, use your

When the first man was created and a mate was given to him, they lived together very happily for a time but then began to quarrel, until at last the woman left her husband and started off toward the Sun Land, in the east. The man followed, alone and grieving, but the woman kept on steadily ahead and never looked behind, until the Sun took pity on the man and asked him if he was still angry with his wife. The man said he was not, and the Sun then asked him if he would like to have her back again, to which the man eagerly answered “Yes.” So the Sun caused a patch of the finest ripe huckleberries to spring up along the path in front of the woman, but she passed by without playing any attention to them. Farther on the Sun put a clump of blackberries, but these also the woman refused to notice. Other fruits, one, two, and three, and
HEALTH AND HEALING EDUCATOR GUIDE,

then some trees covered with beautiful red serviceberries, were placed beside the path to tempt her, but still she went on, until suddenly she came upon a patch of large ripe strawberries, the first ever known. She stooped to gather a few to eat, and as she picked them, she chanced to turn her face to the west. At once the memory of her husband came back to her, and she found herself unable to go on. She sat down, but the longer she waited, the stronger became her desire for her husband, and at last she gathered a bunch of the finest berries and started back along the path to give them to him. He met her kindly, and they went home together.
Mooney, James. James Mooney's History, Myths, and Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees. Asheville, N.C.: Bright Mountain Books, 1992.

2008

20

Healing with Nature in North Carolina

Name ___________________

The Origin of Strawberries
On the way home . . .

Once they reached home . . .

HEALTH AND HEALING EDUCATOR GUIDE,

2008

21

Healing with Nature in North Carolina

Lesson 4: Contained Art

Competency Goals: Grade 3: Science 1; Visual Arts 1, 5 Grade 4: Visual Arts 1, 5 Grade 5: Science 1; Visual Arts 1, 5 Grade 6: Visual Arts 1, 5 Grade 7: Visual Arts 1, 5 Grade 8: Visual Arts 1, 5 Objective: This lesson will introduce students to the art of container gardening and relate it to the science of growing plants from seed. Generations of North Carolinians have grown herbs to use for both healing and culinary purposes. Many herbs have varieties with different colored and variegated foliage, and these can be used as an artistic medium to create a satisfying tapestry of contrasting shades. Time: One class period to complete lesson, then maintenance as required “Guide to North Carolina Plants and Healing” Containers for plants (large clay pots, old containers, plastic cups with holes in the bottom), one per student Small stones or shards for drainage (gravel) Soilless growing medium Herb seeds or seedlings Tongue depressors, one per student Permanent marker Water

Materials:

HEALTH AND HEALING EDUCATOR GUIDE,

2008

22

Healing with Nature in North Carolina

Procedure:

1.

Prior to the class, thoroughly wash and rinse all of the containers. If necessary, poke two to three drainage holes in the bottom of each container. Protect drainage holes with stones or pottery shards, and then spread a layer of pebbles or gravel. Instruct students to determine what type of container garden they will create, e.g., healing or culinary, and select plants according to their choice. Students may wish to consider using herbs that have dual purposes, such as basil and parsley. Use the herb guide to research the plants’ many uses. Have students draw and color their garden plan. Discuss ways that planning and creating a garden is an artistic endeavor. Have students fill their containers almost to the rim with the soilless growing medium. Tap gently to remove any air pockets in the soil. Carefully remove the seedlings from their original pots or the seeds from their packets. Dig a small hole for each seedling. Arrange and plant a few chosen herbs in the soil, leaving enough space for the plants to grow. Repeat until all the seedlings/seeds are in place. After all the seedlings are in place, cover with growing medium. Gently press the mixture down and water. Write the name of each type of herb on a tongue depressor and place in the container next to the herb. Place the pot in a sunny spot. Water as necessary and harvest as needed.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

HEALTH AND HEALING EDUCATOR GUIDE,

2008

23

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful