Purple Cress, Cardamin douglassii, is a member of the Mustard family but it hasn’t been used as a wild medicine. This plant is a harbinger of spring. The flowers are in bloom from March to April, the plant has opposite leaves and the leaves are toothed or lobed, roundish, oblong to slightly heart-shaped, and the basal leaves are long stalked. The Iroquois used this plant as a poison antidote and anti-witchcraft medicine. Here’s how you get back at the witch. Smash the roots and place them in a small wooden cup then cover it of about a hour. The image of the witch will appear, then you can take out a needle and shove it in his/her eye. This will cause the witch’s eye to get sore as well.
Keep your eyes and ears open and your powder dry.
Purple Cress Sources:
Herrick, James William. Iroquois Medical Botany. Ph.D. Thesis, New York: State University of New York, Albany 1977. Print. pg. 154-155
Moerman Daniel E., Native American Ethnobotany, Portland: Timber Press. 1998. Print. pg. 137
Newcomb, Lawrence. Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1977. Print. pg. 140-141
United States Department of Agriculture. Natural Resources Conservation Services. Web.