Monday 2 February 2015

Seneca Snakeroot

Seneca Snakeroot is a beautiful plant growing in the dry woodlands from northern Saskatchewan to Alberta down into the central and eastern United states. Tea made from this plant is somewhat impalateable and is usually made with an eighth of a teaspoon per mug of hot water, brew with a cover on! Due to the 3-5% methyl salicate these roots have an incredibly gorgeous smell of wintergreen to them. Which is a nice break when you are harvesting roots for a living, most smell like spicy dirt at best.  This plant has a lot to teach us. Lets dive right in

3 Proofs of the medical claims of Seneca Snakeroot:

Traditional/Cultural Proof

When we walk past this plant, for the last thousands of years it was simply referred to as: "Lung Medicine"


I am incredibly stubborn and I couldn't just believe my elders who would tell me these roots are 'lung medicine.' Such a simple and vague explanation, especially when they insist on not elaborating (with a smirk of course!) What I did, was take what they said and prove, with hard empirical science, what they said the plant is allegedly good for.
I have to back up what my people are saying with science. Lucky for me there are universities and institutes across the globe that have their studies on plant based medicine available to the public.

Our bodies have something really cool called the vagus nerve. This is a nerve that connects different body parts to one another. One of the strongest connections that we know of is the connection from the lungs to your stomach. This means that whenever something happens to your lungs, something happens to your stomach and vice versa.

Seneca Snakeroot has five kinds of senega-saponins concentrated in the roots that irritate the lining of the stomach in a very special way. They stimulate the vagus nerve which sends signals to the lungs to make every part of the lungs secrete mucus, including the alveoli!

So what happens is the mucus mixes with pollutants in your lungs and because this plant has such a powerful expectorant action the mixture of pollutants and mucus are evacuated leaving you, ultimately, with clean lungs and inflated alveoli again.
The plant is also an incredibly effective expectorant, it doesn't just make you cough, it purges your lungs. Something only experience can explain.
It is important to note that the most common over the counter expectorants are Sudafed and Robitussin which are made of chilli peppers which irritate the lining of the stomach, though, in a much more diluted action than senega snakeroot.
When you smoke, or live in a very polluted area where air quality is horrible is, your lungs just cant keep up with flushing the pollutants out and they accumulate. It continues to build up until chronic lung complaints develop.

Other really amazing information about Seneca snakeroot:

These effects of Seneca snakeroot do not end at simply cleaning lungs, these roots are a necessary ingredient in all cough medicines, used for pneumonia and most extensively used cure for tuberculosis.
This was used to cure TB to such an extent that our indigenous population almost wiped out the entire natural population. A ban was put on harvesting this plant to prevent its extinction. As a result of this ban many thousands of natives died. Also because of this ban why this plant is now extremely plentiful especially in the dry woodlands of northern Saskatchewan and Alberta.

In fact, when approaching elders about this plant, many still say it is forbidden to harvest these roots. If your brave enough to pry, they express they “don't know why, its just not allowed.” Much, much love sent to my ancestors for looking out for their future generations; who is more specifically, you.

One thing that I have been finding lately, is that most plants that I study either encourage lipid metabolization or have a hypoglycaemic effect. Meaning that most plants help your body revert back to the state it needs to be healthy (hypoglycaemic) and back to using the source of energy our bodies are designed to use. Seneca snakeroot has a beautiful hypoglycaemic effect with no increase in insulin which was studied extensively by Suzuka University of Medical Science and Technology, in conclusion they referred to this root as an antidiabetic.

One thing that we have been making a great shift towards is more holistic approach to health and healing. One thing that we promote is something called ketogenic therapy, or the ketogenic diet. It is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-no-carb, no sugar diet designed initially to remedy epilepsy but its effects on obesity, heart disease, diabetes and metabolic syndrome were unrivalled. The diet is designed revert our bodies back to use the proper dietary sources for energy. Hint; its not sugar/carbs, its fat. Our bodies are designed to use fat for energy rather than sugar (lipid metabolization). Ever hear of anyone with a glucose deficiency?

I do as much research as I possibly can, sometimes for days, before writing these articles. More often than not I have to scavenge for these studies. This was not the case for Seneca Snakeroot. Universities are just swollen with studies done on the anticancer and chemo-preventative effects of these senega-saponins, pertaining exclusively to lung tissue.

A tincture made from these roots inhibit the growth of, and cause apoptosis to lung cancer cells. When rats were inoculated with lung cancer, they were administered Chemotherapy and Seneca snakeroot extract, the results of these studies show that Seneca snakeroot's exhibit a – for now - unspecified protecting action to normal lung tissue, but leaving cancerous tissue totally vulnerable.

The Doctrine of Signatures

When you go outside and watch Seneca Snakeroot and try to find its signature feature or its most significant feature, you will find that the roots are quite unique. Most roots, first of all are bright yellow, which is odd, most are a dirt brown..dark orange and dark yellow, but Seneca roots, bright yellow. Also most roots smell like dirt, some, spicy dirt, Seneca roots have a very clean smell due to their 3% methyl salicate content. Furthermore, all roots are made quite smooth and some are even self-lubricated to be able to dig around quickly and grab the nutrients the plants needs and to anchor itself but in Snakeroot's case they are ribbed! These distinctive ribs would seemingly be nothing but be a hindrance to the plant, there is only one way that I can make sense of this. These roots have been created in such a way that they would show me what they are made to heal. The roots look identical to the primary and secondary bronchial tubes of your lungs.
There is more, check this out!
The Doctrine of Signatures is a proof that many people overlook and pass off as a coincidence, but it is my job to break these mystic elements of plant-based-medicine. The thing about this method of interpretation is, people seem to only take it as far as food. As a result of being 'ancient' It has been hindered by the power of the naked eye.

In the 30's the electron microscope was developed, and in the 80's it was pretty much perfected. It is still today the most powerful microscope man has made. The human body has been under that microscope since its birth. What I do is I analyse different body parts on a molecular level, and compare those body parts to plants that exist in nature. The findings are overwhelming! 

For a few days of this plants bloom the flowers are purple. Purple is such a rare colour to find in nature that when I take people out to harvest these roots I point to the field and say “go get me purple, not blue, not burgundy, not pink but purple” and its not too long before they realize that, when you look hard enough, not much out here is actually purple. When they do find a true purple it is Seneca snakeroot. These flowers are also significant because when you look at most other flowers, they have petals, whereas Seneca snakeroot has empty sacks of air. This feature is definitely 'out there' and seemingly an anomaly. Using this method of interpretation I know that there is something about this signature feature that is indicative of its doctrine. When you look at your lungs under an electron microscope it will reveal to you that the flowers of Seneca snakeroot look identical to the alveoli of your lungs. This is a signature example that is now only visible due to the powerful technology of the electron microscope, such discoveries simply could not be made previous to that innovative invention.
Any questions? 


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  2. Miigwech for the information and hard work researching this plant! I am researching for a class and just so happened to come across this entry- It is so pertinent to my health issues right now. I will definitely need to harvest some and try it out.