Native healers believed in a spiritual component to healing. They knew that prayer, visualization, and a variety of healing ceremonies strengthened the body as well as the mind and emotions, making recovery much easier. Our ancestors discovered ways of living in harmony with Mother Earth. They revered the Earth and all her plants and animals as sacred and they had a spiritual approach to nature and the environment.
Mother Earth was seen as nurturing and healing and the People believed in her Medicine and were led to it. Our ancestors felt that the power to heal was a gift entrusted to them by the Creator and believed that human power and strength came from Mother Earth and all living things. Native healers used plants and herbs to aid in the healing of mind, body, and spirit. Sage is one example.
In Native culture sage is sacred and associated with prayer, wisdom, and healing. The name sage is derived from the Latin word Salvere, some powerfully revealing tag words and phrases for the translation are “to feel well and healthy, to have health, to heal, well-being, to save, prosperity or salvation.” Sage is a small perennial evergreen shrub with woody stems, greenish-gray leaves, and blue flowers. Sage is a member of the mint family and has a long history of medicinal and culinary use. It is no coincidence that ancient cultures around the world used sage for spiritual purification ceremonies and valued its healing properties.
For our physical bodies, our ancestors discovered that using sage leaves to make a tea treated fevers, headaches, arthritis, and diarrhea. Sore throats, mouth sores, and gums were also treated with this tea. Roots of the sage were boiled by the daughters of the Earth to relieve symptoms of menstrual cramps and menopause. According to current research sage is reputed to boost the health of the brain and nervous system. Sage can also be used as an effective antiperspirant, as well as an insect repellant.
For our spiritual needs, our ancestors used the smoke from the sacred sage in ceremonies and prayers. This is called smudging. The smoke aids in purification and carries our prayers up to the Creator. Natural aromatherapy from the sage allows for the senses to awaken to the spiritual realm. The sacred smoke from sage is used in prayer ceremonies to clear and cleanse people, places and things of negative energy. This is necessary and makes the way clear for supernatural healing.
We gives thanks to the Creator for a planet full of gifts as we pray for a return to excellence in Native health care by honoring Traditional healing practices, and restoring the balance of mind, body, and spirit.
“Everything on the Earth has a purpose, every disease, an herb to cure it, and every person a mission. This is the Indian theory of existence.” Mourning Dove, 1888-1936, Salish