bergamot, Monarda fistulosa
The plant was used as an insect repellent. It was made into a tea the same way as the wild mint.
Stinging nettle, Urtica
The plant was used for many ailments, such as stomach ulcers, thyroid conditions, syphilis, diabetes and as an emetic, cough syrup and a laxative. Various parts of the plant were ground into powders for external poultices for arthritis and rheumatism or fresh pieces were laid on open pieces.
Labrador tea, Ledum
The lichen was widely used amongst the Secwepemc people. They collected the moss from the Ponderosa pine or lodgepole Pine. In an emergency the lichen could be eaten raw but it was better when it was steamed in a pit overnight. The lichen was then cut into loaves or dried into cakes for later use. The cooked moss was usually cooked with wild onions, or mixed with Saskatoon berries or Saskatoon juice after cooked. False whiskers was used for decorating dance masks and especially children, for masquerading.
The Northern Secwepemc smoked or dried sumac like tobacco.
Ivy, Rhus radicans Toxicodendron rydbergii
The Secwepemc ate the roots of first year, non-flowering plants, which they report to taste like sunflower roots. The roots of most thistles are edible when cooked and can provide nutritious food in an emergency. The name for this plant in Secwepemc and Nlaka’pmx is derived from their word for ‘flatulate’ because the roots were known to cause gas if too many were eaten.
burdock, Arctium lappa
Interior native people used the intensely red fruits of this plant as a source of red dye.
black current, Ribes hudsonianum
Black gooseberries were eaten fresh or cooked by all Interior native groups. The people did not use large quantities and seldom gathered enough to store for winter use. Combs were carved from the wood.
current, Ribes cereum
The yellow bell is a small, delicate flower that appears soon after snowmelt. The Secwepemc ate the yellow bell bulbs when available in late spring or summer. They were eaten raw, boiled or steamed. They sometimes stored them in underground pits with “Indian Potatoes”.
sarsaparilla, Aralia nudicaulis
The Secwepemc ate the small spherical corms by unearthing them just after they flowered from late May to late June. The potatoes could be eaten fresh, dried, boiled with little water or stored in earth pits insulating them from freezing. Often the Secwepemc strung them on a line of sinew, buckskin, or Indian hemp or other plant fibre, and hung them up near a chimney or fire hole to smoke them. After several weeks, the corms could be stored or eaten without further preparation.
/Swamp potato, Sagittaria latifolia
The fruit of both wood strawberry and wild strawberry were highly prized by all Interior native peoples. The strawberries ripen from May to July, depending on elevation and latitude. They usually ate the berries fresh, although some people mashed and dried them in cakes, uncooked for winter use. The dried leaves were steeped to make a tea for diarrhea, or they were used to flavor cooked roots. Wild strawberry is also called blue-leaved strawberry.
mariposa lily, Calochortus macrocarpus
The Secwepemc ate the berries fresh or made into cakes by drying in the sun. They made a decoction from the roots as a stomach remedy.
wildrye, Elymus cinereus
An infusion was made as a bath for the mother at childbirth.
desert parsley, Lomatium dissectum
They dug up the roots in spring before the plants flowered. The root has a strong peppery taste and was eaten raw, boiled, cooked in pits or dried for later use. An infusion could be made to treat heart problems.
lupine, Lupinus arcticus
The Secwepemc used layers of this grass for drying soopolallie berries.
The Secwepemc people ate the sweet, finger-like roots. They were dug up in the spring, before the plants bloomed, and again in the summer, and they were eaten raw, fried or steamed. Water parsnip is also called swamp parsnip, wild carrot (distinct carrot flavor) and wild saccharin. The Secwepemc people considered the flowers poisonous. They used to dig the roots in the wet meadows around Kamloops and Shuswap Lake.
Scouring-rush, Equisetum hyemale
The Secwepemc dug up the roots in early spring, just before the plant flowered as the leaves were developing and before the root became bitter. The roots were peeled and cooked or dried for winter use. Bitterroot was considered a valuable plant and it figured prominently in trade between the Southern and the Northern Secwepemc. A favorite dish was a pudding of bitterroot, saskatoon berries and salmon eggs.
clematis, Clematis ligusticifolia
Almost all Interior people made a poultice from plantain leaves to soothe cuts, sores, burns, and bee stings.
tobacco, Nicotiana attenuata
The blooming buttercup was an indicator to the Secwepemc that it was the arrival of the spring.
thistle, C. undulatum