The Desert Willow Tree has so many uses, it was like one-stop shopping for Native Americans. A preparation of Willow roots and leaves could alleviate diarrhea. A thick root tea was recommended as a "blood purifier" (although this had to be used with care; too strong a mash can be toxic). Desert Willow leaves and flowers could also be brewed into a tea to treat colds, sore throats and fevers as well as aches and pains.
In various formulations, the plant had healing properties for skin irritations and cuts. For instance, boiled bark could be used as a skin ointment. Mashed and cooked bark was also a treatment for skin irritations and cuts. |
The Desert Willow Tree also provided wood in a region where trees are not common. The wood was used as building materials in houses and granaries. Flexible, young branches were gathered as weaving materials for water jugs, baskets and cradle boards. Lastly, cured Willow leaves were smoked in a similar fashion to tobacco.
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