Gziib’naashk, is a plant that is a well known bone medicine. It can help humans with strengthening their bone density, and is also known as scouring rush or horsetail. This plant relative is amazing at soaking up water soluble calcium, which is why it is so helpful for strengthening bones.
Gziib’naashk takes up a mineral called silica into their fibers. If you look at cross sections of this plant under a microscope you can see quartz crystals. Not only is this plant used to create an important medicine, but the strength of their fibers can also be used to scrub and polish pots, along with sanding pipe stems.
What is so cool about this plant realize is that their ancestors lived 350 million years ago! They lived during the Carboniferous Period of the Upper Paleozoic Era where these plants would have been the size of a large tree.
Land Invitation: Harvesting medicines is always something you want to be careful about. Luckily Gziib’naashk grows in many areas in this territory so it’s very easy to find. If you have found Gziib’naashk, and it is growing in a clean area (not a roadside), ask the plant to share medicines with you, give thanks for the plant's life and offer something in return for these gifts. Cut a handful of stems 1-2 inches above the ground. This will encourage new growth! Once you get home, bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a medium-sized pot. Take the pot off the heat once the water has boiled and put in the gziib'naashk. Cover and let steep for 15 minutes, or if you wish for a stronger tea, leave for several hours. Return leftover plant matter to the land. Add something sweet and enjoy!