Published on December 2, 2012 by Casey
Sweetgrass is one of the most important Native American ceremonial plants, used by many tribes as an incense and purifying herb.
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Sweetgrass symbolizes healing, peace, and spirituality in many Native cultures, and braids of sweetgrass are sometimes left as offerings at graves and sacred sites. Sweetgrass is also one of the herbs frequently included in medicine bundles and amulets. Plains Indian people used to chew sweetgrass during ritual fasts, and it was also used as a medicinal herb in some tribes. Sweetgrass still holds great spiritual importance to many Native Americans today, but these days it is almost always burned as an incense, not chewed or eaten. More prosaically, sweetgrass is also used in traditional basket-weaving. In the myths of some tribes, such as the Ojibwe and Cree, sweetgrass is said to be the eldest of all plants and sometimes referred to as the hair of Mother Earth.