September 18, 2018
Learn About Haida Gwaii's Devils Club
Ts’iihlnjaaw Devils Club is a very powerful medicine in Haida culture, and it has many specialized uses. Stories associated with this spiny plant has been told for time immemorial.
Devils Club – Ts’iihlnjaaw
As you discover the many plants on the west coast rainforest, make sure to watch out for this one. Devils Club is highly regarded as a medicinal or protective plant but the spiny stems and prickly leaves can be extremely irritating if touched. The berries were once rubbed in the hair and scalp to get rid of lice and dandruff. Today, it is still used by the Haida and is highly respected for its medicinal and spiritual powers. Some believe it is an important protection to ward against evil and illness. The lengths of stems can be placed above a door, under a mattress or on a person to protect the member and keep them safe for dark spirits or energy.
There are many Haida stories regarding Devils Club, and eating it to gain supernatural powers, wealth and strength. One story tells of a man who lost his wealth gambling. He went to a river and placed Devils club sticks around him in a circle and ate the bark off each one and then put the sticks under his head. He ate a great amount, and then got sick and lost consciousness. When he awoke and ate more and to his delight he received a powerful song and found a copper salmon. It was after that, he was able to regain his wealth.
Learn more about the plants of Haida Gwaii on the Ocean House News Page - stay tuned for new posts.