NARROW-LEAVED PURPLE CONEFLOWER
family: Aster (Asteraceae)
mo'ȯhtávėheséeo'ȯtse, "black root (medicine)"
This coneflover is a 15 to 60 cm tall perennial plant, with spindle-shaped taproots which are often branched. The stems and leaves are moderately to densely hairy. The flowers are 4 to 7,5 cm wide, pink to light purple around, brown-purple in the centre. Narrow-leaved purple coneflower blooms in June and July. It is found growing in dry prairies and barrens with rocky to sandy-clay soils. This plant ranges in southeastern Saskatchewan, southwestern Manitoba, eastern Montana, Dakotas, northeastern Wyoming, northwestern Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, western Oklahoma, northern and central Texas.
Cheyennes used it as a remedy for various health problems. If someone had sore mouth, gums, or throat the patient might be given a piece of the unground root to hold in the mouth, chew a little, and let the saliva run down the throat. If some of this juice got on a hollow tooth it relieved a toothache. Beside it, Cheyennes chewed the root in colds. The leaves and roots was powdered and used to make an infusion which was drunk for sore mouth, gums, or throat . The root of narrow-leaved purple coneflower tastes salty and somewhat cool. It is said the root stimulates the flow of saliva and reduces a sensation of thirst. So, it helped to the dancers during the Sun Dance Ceremony (hestȯsanestȯtse or hoxéhevȯhomó'hestȯtse). The infusion was rubbed on a sore neck and it relieve and removed the pain. Rubbing this infusion, it brought a cold sensation in burns and feavers. The Cheyenne prepared a tea for smallpox from coneflower root mixed with giant blazing star (Mentzelia laevicaulis). The coneflower tea was drunk for revmatism, arthritis, mumps, and measles. The coneflower ointment was rubbed on sore body parts. The Cheyenne cured furuncles with a mixture of puffball spores, coneflower root, and skunk oil. The healer cut furuncle open and drained it off. Afterward, he applied the mixture on it (Grinnell 1923 II: 188; Hart 1976: 53, 1981: 20–21).