Shadbush : Native American Lore

Native Americans are experts of nature. They were no strangers to the shadbush. Many tribes relied on the shadbush as their fundamental source of food. For example, the dried berries helped sustain them through the winter time. They also crushed the berries and added dried, meat, nuts and melted fat to make pemmican. The berries were also used as medicine. After childbirth, Iroquois women ate them to regain strength. They could also be used as a laxative and as a treatment for liver problem. The inner bark of roots of the shadbush served as a remedy for diarrhea. The dark wood of the shadbush is exceedingly hard, strong and close-grained, which is an excellent material for Native American to make arrow shafts. Settlers then used the wood for making handles for tools and equipment.