"American Indian Healing Arts" draws on a lifetime of study by herbalist and ethnobotanist E. Barrie Kavasch. Beautifully illustrated, it is a fascinating overview of the rituals performed to insure health throughout the life cycle, together with safe, effective remedies for many health problems.
From the delightful Navajo First Smile Ceremony, to the festive Apache puberty rites and the Creek and Seminole Old People's Dance, we are introduced to the traditions that nurtured a long life in harmony with nature. Many sidebars feature accounts by native elders, stories, chants and prayers, as well as explanations of important ceremonies.
At the heart of each chapter are recipes (more than fifty in all) for everyday herbal remedies, including soothing rubs for baby, a yucca facial mask for troubled skin, massage oils, natural insect repellents, and warming soups. Descriptions of more potent medications are accompanied by appropriate cautions. There is also a basic American Indian medicine chest that can be assembled from readily available ingredients.
A direct descendant of Pocahontas, E. Barrie Kavasch has studied with many acclaimed native healers and is a trustee of the Institute for American Indian Studies in Washington, Connecticut. She is the author of Native Harvests and Enduring Harvests; her work has been featured in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, and more. She has been a guest lecturer at the New York Botanical Garden, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Yale Peabody Museum. Karen Baar has a degree in public health from Yale University Medical School and writes for The New York Times, Self, and Natural among others.