Video Review: Little Medicine and Native American Medicine

| April/May 1996

Little Medicine: The Wisdom to Avoid Big Medicine
Produced by and featuring Jim Meuninck

Native American Medicine
Produced by Jim Meuninck, featuring Theresa Barnes, Patsy Clark, and Estela Roman

• Media Methods, 24097 North Shore Dr., Edwardsburg, MI 49112.
• VHS, color, 55 minutes, $29.95 plus $2 postage each

Jim Meuninck is the kind of guy I’d love to have with me on a hike or canoe trip through the wilds of Michigan (where he lives) or anywhere else. He’s a friendly, homespun fellow whose love of the outdoors and subtle sense of humor enliven and enrich his passion for field botany and herbal medicine, particularly Native American herbalism. These two productions establish Meuninck as a leader in herbal video.

Little Medicine: The Wisdom to Avoid Big Medicine (1995) takes its name from a distinction Native Americans make among medicinal plants. The “little medicines” are herbs that anyone can learn to use as first-aid treatments for everyday medical problems. The “big medicines” are the plants reserved for more highly trained medicine people.

In the video, Meuninck demonstrates the use of about three dozen plants that qualify as little medicine, including larkspur as an insecticide; elderberry as an insect repellent and athlete’s-foot treatment; yucca root to treat head lice; cedar and juniper to repel snakes; echinacea and jimson weed as treatments for snakebite; cattail as an antiseptic for wounds; bee balm for beestings; and goldenseal and barberry as antibiotics to treat infections.

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