Quaking Aspen : How is it used by Native Americans?

Single Quaking Aspen in Colorado

Single Quaking Aspen in Colorado (Wikimedia username: Tewy, August 11, 2006)


An infusion of the bark of the quaking aspen has been used by the Salishan people of Canada for many types of internal ailments including stomachache or “rotten insides” and has also been used as a contraceptive. The bark is also used in the Salishan “ten-barks” medicine which is used to treat tuberculosis and scrofula sores.

The Carrier people of British Columbia call the quaking aspen “T’ughus ‘yas.” They chew the bark and apply to open wounds in order to stop bleeding. The warm ashes of T’ughus ‘yas can also be used as a hot compress for arthritic pain or swelling.

The Abnaki people used an infusion of the bark of the quaking aspen as a vermifuge, something taken to expel worms from the intestines.

The Apache, Chiricahua, and Mescalero scraped off the inner bark of the tree and baked into the form of a cake to eat. Many tribes used the cambium part of the wood of the tree for food. The Blackfoot used the bark as fodder to feed their horses in the winter.