|Staghorn sumac berries may be made into a refreshing, medicinal drink. Rough off the berries, then put them in a pair of clean panty hose or a clean white cotton sock. Bring water to a boil, then dip the sock full of berries into the water until you have achieved the desired tartness (see sumac).|
Rhus typhina L. (Rhus hirta) Family: Anacardiaceae: Staghorn sumac.
Personal experience: Sumac berries dried, crushed and powdered make a wonderful spice. Kurdish cuisine utilizes sumac berries in much of their cooking. Try it sprinkled on a salad of Feta cheese, sliced cucumbers, green peppers and onions moistened with olive oil, garlic and a light vinegar. Also, delicious with lamb, chicken, fish and beef. Use with pepper or as a pepper substitute. Integral to most stir fry dishes.
Fragrant Sumac, Rhus aromatica Ait. left=fruit; right=compound Poison Ivy like leaf.
|Native American Uses: Dried leaves used as a tobacco substitute or smoked blended with tobacco. Berries used as food and medicine: fruit was crushed and eaten; berries used as ceremonial medicine. Roots used externally and internally, internally to stem diarrhea, externally to treat boils.|
|Winged or Dwarf sumac; Rhus copallina
L. Edible Fruit.
Note: photo below, winged leave stalks of winged sumac.
Important food for wildlife especially seeds for game birds and song birds; young shoots foraged by deer.
Leaves and bark may be used for tanning hides.
|"Wings" of winged sumac.|
|Smooth sumac, Rhus glabra L.
Wild Food: Native Americans and others have eaten the new shoots (peeled and eaten), berries (as fruit or tea, sweetened drink).
Below left: Note winged leaves
|Native AmericanMedicine: Root: in decoction for
diarrhea and dysentery; in decoction for urinary tract pain;
Berries: eaten as an emetic (purgative); berry infusion over burns, bites and stings; same infusion over sunburn; used in rituals.
Bark: In decoction externally for blisters, burns; infusion said to be a lactagogue (promote milk flow in mothers); decoction for diarrhea, dysentery; inner bark astringent, styptic. Used in rituals.
Leaves: therapeutic smoke usually mixed with tobacco; in cold maceration for dermatitis; leave latex used on wounds, sore (external).
Flowers: used for brushing teeth (with dogwood stick brush) and mouth sores; in decoction