Today we look at a flower which was considered deeply sacred by some Native American ("Indian") tribes.
Beliefs and practices differed greatly (and still do) between different indigenous American tribes. But certain themes are consistent, most notably including a reverence for nature and spiritual connection to plants and wildlife.
The plant we're focusing on in this blog is larrea, a flowering desert shrub consideered especially sacred by the Pima tribe.
The Pima myth of larrea is quite beautiful: they believe that the larrea was the first plant created when the Earth was made, and was given to the Pima as a gift, to help keep them healthy.
And this magical gift certainly works! Larrea is effective at curing many common illnesses: the Pima used it to treat everything from colds and fevers to tuberculosis and toothaches. How many of these treatments relied partly on mysticism and placebo effect is a separate conversation, but it seems probably that there are at least some genuine healing powers in this "sacred" plant.
Larrea is also known for being amazingly long lived -- one shrub was found to be 12,000 years old!