Sweet Grass


Sweet Grass Image Sweet grass found along railroads, highways and roads where there may be wet ditches all year round. There will be many different teachings on this and all of them will be good but I will share the one given by our people here. This has always been known as our Grandmothers hair. Great care was given to this medicine because of its significance to the Earth and because of its aromatic smoke. Around here this became known as the medicine of the southern direction because as we were told when we go looking for this we have to stand facing the sun which of course is usually in the southern direction and when we look down at the grass the sweet grass will actually look a silvery white color when the sun reflects off of it. When we see that we pick one out by pulling the roots out and checking to make sure, it should have purple and white roots. Once you identify it by its roots do not pull the rest out by the roots break it off or cut off so the roots stay in place for next year. Of course the other way is to smell it. Either way we do it we start off by facing south hence the southern direction medicine. After this is picked one ties the root side ends with string or yarn and braids it the same way one braids hair and as you go along remove the brown or dried stands. When braiding is complete hang up root side up and let dry. As I stated before this medicine was used after the sage in the smudging ceremony to bring in something good. The essence of our Grandmother the Earth through the incense of a burning smudge, there is no greater spiritual strength. We take that and not only fan it over us but we also breathe this in. Years ago the guys you used to use this as a rinse for their hair so they would smell good for their woman. This can also be used for a form of tea. Sweet grass was also used to decorate the edges of birch bark baskets and people also made baskets out of sweet grass. Many other decorative articles were also made out of sweet grass. The aroma of the sweet grass can be brought back after a period of time by running it under water as long as one does not saturate it too much. Be careful not to store it in a damp place it could start to get moldy, if mold does set in get rid of it.