Portfolio: Medicinal Plants of the Sicangu Lakota
Ambrosia trifida, giant ragweed
Ambrosia trifida © 2008 1sagebrush23
Lakota name: caŋĥlóĝaŋ paŋśpaŋjela (means bulky weed seeds)
Listen to Lakota Plant Name: caŋĥlóĝaŋ paŋśpaŋjela
Scientific name: Ambrosia trifida
Common name: Giant ragweed
Medicinal uses: The leaves are very astringent, it is an emetic and febrifuge. It is put onto insect bites, and other skin complaints. It is also a tea for the treatment of pneumonia, fevers, nausea, intestinal cramps, and diarrhea. The juice of ground leaves is a disinfectant and it is applied to infected toes. Tea made from the roots is used for menstrual disorders and stroke. The pollen is harvested commercially and used as a pharmaceutical for the treatment of allergies to the plant allergens. The pollen from Ambrosia trifida is a major cause of hay-fever and other allergies.
Edible uses: The plant was cultivated by the Columbian Indians. An oil is used from the seed. Seeds found in historic sites are 4-5 times bigger than today's. It was eaten because the seed has up to 19% oil and it is better at drying than soybean oil.
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Ambrosia trifida. © 2005 zen Sutherland
Description: Giant ragweed is indigenous to North America. It can be found in every state in the continental U.S. except Nevada, and is also widespread in Canada. It flowers July- September, it has yellow flowers and lives in low woods along rail roads/roads. It forms huge colonies when it is left undisturbed. Giant ragweed is different-looking than common ragweed, Ambrosia artemisiifolia. Ragweeds are responsible for ragweed allergies. Under the right conditions giant ragweed can get 15 feet tall or more. The plant can be thicker than a broom handle and can have big branches.
Words to know:
- astringent–meaning sharp
- emetic–an agent that causes vomiting
- febrifuge–a drink to reduce fever
Information on the Internet
State Education Standards
- South Dakota Education Standards
- 9-12.L.1.1. Students are able to relate cellular functions and processes to specialized structures within cells.
- 9-12.L.1.2. Students are able to classify organisms using characteristics and evolutionary relationships of major taxa.
- 9-12.S.1.1. Students are able to explain ethical roles and responsibilities of scientists and scientific research.
- 9-12.S.1.2. Students are able to evaluate and describe the impact of scientific discoveries on historical events and social, economic, and ethical issues.
- 9-12.N.1.1. Students are able to evaluate a scientific discovery to determine and describe how societal, cultural, and personal beliefs influence scientific investigations and interpretations.
- 9-12.N.2.1. Students are able to apply science process skills to design and conduct student investigations. (Synthesis)
- 9-12.N.2.2. Students are able to practice safe and effective laboratory techniques.
National Education Standards
- National Education Standards
CONTENT STANDARD A: As a result of activities in grades 9-12, all students should develop
- Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
- Understandings about scientific inquiry
CONTENT STANDARD B: As a result of their activities in grades 9-12, all students should develop an understanding of
- Structure of atoms
- Structure and properties of matter
- Chemical reactions
- Motions and forces
- Conservation of energy and increase in disorder
- Interactions of energy and matter
CONTENT STANDARD C: As a result of their activities in grades 9-12, all students should develop understanding of
- The cell
- Molecular basis of heredity
- Biological evolution
- Interdependence of organisms
- Matter, energy, and organization in living systems
- Behavior of organisms
CONTENT STANDARD E: As a result of activities in grades 9-12, all students should develop
- Abilities of technological design
- Understandings about science and technology
CONTENT STANDARD F: As a result of activities in grades 9-12, all students should develop understanding of
- Personal and community health
- Population growth
- Natural resources
- Environmental quality
- Natural and human-induced hazards
- Science and technology in local, national, and global challenges
CONTENT STANDARD G: As a result of activities in grades 9-12, all students should develop understanding of
- Science as a human endeavor
- Nature of scientific knowledge
- Historical perspectives
About This Page
Classroom Project: Medicinal Plants of the Lakota Sioux
Lead-Deadwood High School
Lead, South Dakota United States
License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License - Version 3.0
Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to , Lead-Deadwood High School
Page copyright © 2008 1sagebrush23
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About This Portfolio
I would like to acknowledge the following individuals for their help with this project:
- Rev. Raymond Bucko S.J., Creighton University Department of Sociology and Anthropology
- My student mentor Devan, Kim Loeffen, Tony Beisiot, Wade Mackey, and Sharon Burns for their technical help.
- F.J. Doody, Buechel Memorial Museum, St. Francis, S.D.
- Ben Black Bear Jr. for his audio of Lakota names, St. Francis, S.D. (Author of the Introduction of Dilwyn Rogers' Book of Father Buechel's research.)
- Katja Schulz Managing Editor ToL
- And mostly, my students for their perserverence!
Lead-Deadwood High School
Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to Robin Cochran-Dirksen at
Page copyright © 2008 Robin Cochran-Dirksen