Wilderness Medicine


Healthful Plants
of the Far North








Eleanor G. Viereck
Illustrated by Dominique Collet

Alaska Northwest Books™
Anchorage * Seattle * Portland

Copyright © 1987 by Eleanor G. Viereck

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission of the publisher.

First printing 1987
Fifth printing 1995

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Viereck, Eleanor.

Alaska’s Wilderness Medicines.
Bibliography: p. 97
Includes index.
1.Medicinal plants--Alaska. 2. Materia medica, Vegetable--Alaska.

I.Title. [DNLM: 1. Plants, Medicinal--Alaska. QV 770 AA5 V6a]
QK99.U6V54 1986 581.6’34.’09798 87-1427
ISBN 0-88240-322-2

Cover design by Robert Chrestensen
Book design by Martine Richards

Alaska Northwest Books™
An imprint of Graphic Arts Center Publishing Company
Editorial office: 2208 NW Market Street, Suite 300, Seattle, WA 98107
Catalog and order dept.: P.O. Box 10306, Portland, OR 97210


About This Book
Collecting Wild Plants

Alder Cow Parsnip or Wild Celery Iris Rose Sweet Gale
Angelica Crowberry


Shepherd’s Purse Uva-ursi or Kinnikinnick


Currant Labrador Tea Shield Fern Willow
Bistort Dandelion Larch Soapberry Wormwood
Chamomile Devil’s Club Lowbush Cranberry Sourdock Yarrow
Chickweed Fireweed Plantain Sphagnum  
Cleavers Highbush-Cranberry Poplar or Cottonwood Spruce  
Coltsfoot Horsetail Raspberry Strawberry  

From Leaf to Tea
Therapeutic Uses of Alaskan Plants
Conditions that can be treated with Alaskan Plants
(no index available online)


I wish to acknowledge the assistance and motivation provided by Patsy Turner in obtaining funds to prepare the manuscript and in typing the first draft. I also wish to thank Dr. Helen Bierne, Commissioner of the Department of Health and Social Services, State of Alaska, and Dr. Nils Annerud, Coordinator of the Preventive/Holistic Health Project. A previous edition of this book was made possible by a grant from the state of Alaska.

Grateful acknowledgment is made to Dr. Dave Murray, Director of the Herbarium, University of Alaska Fairbanks Museum, for allowing me the use of his specimens in writing descriptions of plants. Without the botanical authority and personal support and good humor of my husband, Leslie A. Viereck, this book would never have been written. And the editing contribution of Maureen A. Zimmerman of Alaska Northwest Books has been thorough and responsive; she showed me many ways to improve this book and I thank her very much.