Indian warrior is not a well known plant but is gaining more attention as a sacred and useful plant medicine. With buds similar to those of the Cannabaceae family in which hops and cannabis fall under, it certainly has a very unique ascetic. The buds of the flower are of a deep magenta color. Its latin name is Pedicularis densiflora. In certain native american tribes the plant was used for its psychoactive and medicinal properties. They sought after this plant for its useful skeletal muscle relaxant effects. Out of all the pedicularis species Indian warrior is the most potent.
To this day it’s still being used and is gaining popularity within the health conscious communities as a sedative, tranquilizer and relaxant. Its uses also include being helpful for anxiety, tension, nerve pain, sore muscles and insomnia.
I have found that Indian warrior is very useful for back pain, both upper and lower. Now keep in mind this herb doesn’t produce a narcotic effect, so it won’t remove the pain of sore skeletal muscles but because it helps relax tension so well, it can reduce the need for more powerful pain medicines. (As a health conscious side note when your pain does decrease. It doesn’t mean that the underlying issue is taken care, so I advise to be cautious so you don’t re-injure yourself.)
While it’s useful for back related issues, it can also be applied to all other musculo-skeletal tissues that may be particularly tight such as shoulder, neck, jaw and cranial muscles. I see this herb being incredibly beneficial to people who use computers at a desk on a regular basis. (I too myself use it on occasion for this very reason!). Also fantastic if taken right before a massage therapy session. An advantage to skeletal muscle relaxing herbs in particular is that they don’t dull your mind or have a numbing effect, so it’s easier to go about your day without feeling over-sedated or foggy minded.
This herb and its relative species have a good general record of safety, negative side effects are quite uncommon. The most common complaint is a feeling of spaciness or mild disorientation. For some that may warrant discontinue of use but for others finding relief can be quite comforting.
This plant can also be used for shamanic, yogic or even for lucid dreaming practices. Its called Indian warrior because the flowers look like fiery indian headdresses but also because it can help you be fierce like a warrior in times of stress, conflict and trauma. Relaxation is key to accessing your ability to focus, meditate and learn. So it can be a useful tool for those seeking to advance their skills in this way. Many people report of deep restful sleep and intense meaningful dreams when used right before bed.
Pedicularis species are known as hemiparasitic plants. That means they’re roots feed off of the roots of other nearby plants. Some of the plants that it parasitizes contain potentially toxic phytochemicals, so for all you “wild-harvesting, do it yourselfers” avoid harvesting the herb if there are poisonous plants growing near it, you never know what roots the indian warrior or other pedicularis species are feeding off of. Harvesting near plants like poison ivy, poison oak, aconite, arrowgrass among others, should be completely avoided. It is difficult to know exactly how much Pedicularis you would have to ingest and if the potentially toxic constituents were bioavailable. Now to this day I have never heard of anybody having any toxicity issues but it’s always best to have an experienced person show you where the right places to harvest are.
The buds are typically harvested and dried before use. Indian warrior can be made into a tea or tincture for best results. Traditionally the dried buds were smoked either alone or mixed with other herbs like mullein or tobacco. This herb combines well with other herbs and can be found to enhance the overall effects. Its seem though that the tea or tincture produces better results. Concentrated extracts can also be used.
For tea 1-2 tsp of herb is steeped in 2 cups of hot water for 3-5 minutes. Drink tea as needed. Pedicularis Densiflora Uses and Effects
For the tincture, suggested amount is a matter of experimentation. Everyone is different so for some they may need less, others may need more, it also depends on quantity and frequency of use. Start with a few drops and see if it’s the right fit for you
For some 1 dropperful (1.25 ml) every 2-3 hours works best while ½ of a dropper every hour is better. And for other people taking larger amounts, 2-3 droppers full whenever the onset of pain occurs works best. Pedicularis Densiflora Uses and Effects
Concentrated extracts work just as well but a much smaller amount is needed. In the case of a 10:1 powdered extract you only need ⅛-¼ of a tsp in a capsule, under the tongue or in 1 cup of hot water. Taken similarly as the tincture in regards to frequency.
Now that you have some super useful information on Indian warrior, it’s time to put it to good use. Whether you’re looking to use it for relaxing muscle pain, insomnia, anxiety or being fierce like a warrior this may be the right herb for you!