Acer saccharum, Sugar Maple, Hard Maple, Rock Maple
Acer saccharum, sugar maple, rock maple, hard maple staminate flowers. Sugar Maple inner bark was used by the Mohegan to make a cough medicine. The Ojibwa used the inner bark of this species as a diuretic and antidiarrheal. The inner bark was decocted by the Potawatomi as an expectorant. Sugar maple is practically absent from the materia medica of European settlers. Folk belief held that maple syrup was a tonic for the liver and was cleansing to the kidneys. Perhaps these were simply excuses to consume larger quantities of the syrup. Sugar Maple is one of the most revered trees of North America, not only for its fine wood, but the sweet delicate syrup and sugar. Though not significant as a medicinal plant, the syrup has provided healthful pleasures. Perhaps the tree’s greatest healing qualities come in its explosion of glorious autumnal raiment, providing a welcome climax of warmth before the bleak winter sets in.
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