Flowering Plants

Alpine arnica

The flowers of the alpine arnica plant are used to make medicinal tea that is taken for stomach ailments (Andre 1995).

Bear root

The roots may be eaten raw, or some Gwich’in prefer to eat bear root with duck or fish oil.


The chamomile plant is used as a relaxant tea. The tea is boiled for only a few minutes and then left to steep. Ruth Welsh said,

“It's a very soothing tea...also used for new mothers that are having problems getting the milk to flow for the baby. You give them the chamomile tea to drink....


Two species of coltsfoot (Petasites frigidus and P. palmatus) plants are in the Gwich’in Settlement Area. They are used as a steam to treat chest conditions such as asthma, congested chest conditions or colds.


The leaves or the roots of the dock plant are used to make a tea to wash skin ailments.  Ruth Welsh said,

"Dock is…used for making...a poultice...out of the root and [applied]...
on sores that won't heal.”

Fireweed - dwarf

The leaves of the tall fireweed and dwarf fireweed are chewed and applied to bee stings and bites.

Fireweed - tall

A poultice is made from the leaves and applied to burns, bee stings, aches and swelling caused by arthritis.


The whole larkspur plant, purple in color, is used to make a tea for washing people's hair when they have lice.  The whole plant from the ground up is chopped and made into a tea.


The leaves of the plantain plant are made into a poultice as a painkiller for cuts and bruises and the above ground part of the plant is made into a tea to soothe burns. A leaf that is large enough to cover a cut is used.

Rhubarb, wild

The picking time for this plant lasts only about two weeks.

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