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Jun 06

What is Indian Warrior? (Pedicularis densiflora)

Indian Warrior Pedicularis densifloraIndian Warrior is one of the most beautiful and recognizable plants that could end up in your herbal smoking blend, its flower buds are always a vibrant color, ranging from brilliant reds and purples to bright pinks and oranges. When you see huge purple buds in an herbal blend, there’s a fair chance you’re looking at piece of Pedicularis densiflora or another species of Pedicularis, of which there are more than a few notable ones. Pedicularis racemosa (Parrots Beak), Pedicularis groenlandica (Elephant’s Head), and Pedicularis bracteosa (Bracted Lousewort) are just a few examples, but this herbs explored guide will focus on specifically the most commonly seen herb, Pedicularis densiflora (Indian Warrior). 

Indian Warrior has certainly had a long use in traditional herbal practices by the Native Americans residing in both the United States and Mexico. First cataloged shortly before the California gold rush in 1850, Indian Warrior predominantly grows in California and Oregon in the United States. Indian Warrior is a heartier plant than the limited growth in these two warmer western states implies, it can actually withstand cold nights that can drop down to 25°F, but Indian Warrior is still not an easy plant to grow. As a hemiparasitic plant it attaches to another plant like a parasite, drawing water and minerals from its host, while still photosynthesizing to some degree. This makes Indian Warrior a tricky plant to grow, but in the end it’s a rewarding one.

The traditional Native American uses of Pedicularis densiflora are a bit muddled. Although according to a few accounts Indian Warrior was used medicinally by the Native Americans, exactly how it was used is still lost. It’s theorized that the flowers and leaves may have been used to make a tea to relieve respiratory issues, muscle pain, and back pain. While the entire Indiana Warrior plant (leaves, roots, stems, and flowers) offers extensive physical benefits for a variety of ailments, the flowers themselves can help to relax the mind.

Smoking Pedicularis densiflora can be euphoric, commonly encouraging mild feelings of empathy, peace, calm, and happiness. It’s an overall pleasant feeling, not overwhelming, but instead comfortably encompassing. Smoking Indian Warrior encourages relaxation by relieving muscle tension and relaxing your body as well as your mind. It’s said that the sedative nature can help those with insomnia, and overall smoking Indian Warrior can work as an aphrodisiac. Depending on your physiology, some people report feeling a perception of clarity and enhanced focus alongside the peaceful effects.

The smoke itself is mild and not harsh, and the flavor is just a bit sweet. As an all-around pleasurable herb, it makes an appearance in a number of herbal smoke blends and we’re always happy to see it. Indian Warrior can also work as a mixer with Cannabis sativa, helping to extend and enhance the experience without negatively impacting the smoothness or flavor of the smoke. Pedicularis densiflora is one of the most popular and potent members of the Pedicularis family, but we’ll be visiting the rest of the family in upcoming herbal smoking guides! If you use Indian Warrior, have a question, or just want to drop us a line, feel free to leave a comment or visit our Facebook page.

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