SQUAW VINE, Mitchella repens

This sounds strange, but I know of almost a half dozen herbs referred to as squaw vine, or squaw bush. Likewise, this herb is known by a half dozen or more names like “partridge berry,’ “checker berry,” “squaw berry,” “winter clover,” “deer berry,” “one berry,” and many more. A hundred years ago, this wasn’t a big problem because no one traveled very far. Everyone around each part of the country knew their herbs by their particular name.

Some master herbalists got together to straighten this problem out. Since Latin was an international language, they gave each herb its own first and last name. The last name is capitalized and written down first. In this case the last or surname is Mitchella. The first name is capitalized and it is written down last. The given name is repens. However, most everyone still calls this herb by its common name “squaw vine.” Confusing, I know. Even yet, squaw vine might be the common name for a half dozen herbs, but there is just one herb that is called Mitchella repens, and that is the squaw vine that we are going to talk about today. Native Americans were closely in tune with herbs and herbal remedies. These were their medicines. When we started to use their herbs, we adapted their Indian names and we still use many of their Indian names today. This little herbs or vine they called squaw vine was used by the squaws during the time of pregnancy. According to ancient Indian folklore, squaw vine was used by the mother Indian, or the squaw, during the time of her pregnancy. It was said that if she drank the tea from this herb, her baby would be healthy and she would have a much easier and a faster delivery. This is why we hear stories about the young squaw who walks away from camp by herself and returns with her little baby no help from anyone.

To bear this out, I heard a woman who was in the hospital for about a day and a half for delivery. However, during her next pregnancy, someone brought her some squaw vine tea during the last week. Her delivery time was less than six hours. During her next pregnancy, she used squaw vine and red raspberry leaf tea all during her pregnancy. She said her delivery was quick and easy and this baby is the healthiest of all three. For thousands of years, these herbs have helped millions of women don’t have the faith to use these harmless but very effective herbs throughout their pregnancy.

Squaw vine is a perennial, evergreen shrub. It is a low creeper that likes shady, moist ground. You find it mostly in the forest and around trees. It has a creeping root stock that round and shiny green and grow in opposite pairs. They are tough and leathery and stay on the funnel-shaped with four petals that make one red seed pod in the fall. Squaw vine can be domesticated and used as a ground cover.

Squaw vine is sometimes called a female regulator as it is used for most female problems. It is also a tonic to tone up the female organs, an emmenagogue to help regulate the menstrual cycle, a diuretic to help increase the flow of urine, an alterative to help the body become healthier and it will also help to dissolve the stones in the kidneys. Squaw vine is one of the main herbs in Grandma’s herbal Menopause formula. Any woman who loves her baby-to-be should lay off junk food, eat fruits and vegetables, take walks or do light exercises, and take squaw vine and red raspberry tea throughout all of her pregnancy.

Those nine months are so very important to your new baby!

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