Latin name: Picea mariana (Mill.) BSP.
Botanical family: Pinaceae
Growth habit: Tree
Vernacular name(s): black spruce (Eng.)
épinette noire (Fr.)
ithinahtik, minahik, setakwunatik, pekewatik, mithawapakonuk, mistikopiki (Cree)
kaawaataak (Ojibway)
Say-say-gah-dag, jingwûp (Chippewa)
a'mikwan'dok (Ojibwa)
ushkâtuku (Montagnais)
ts'iivii, edzò (Dene)
el (Chipewyan)
Used for a sudatory after childbirth [Algonquin: 69].
Twigs :Boiled to make a broth for cough [Algonquin 63]. or to produce steam that relieves cold [Dene 99]. Tips or buds peeled and eaten to prevent breathing shortness, heart problems, and high blood pressure [Cree 13]. Decoction used to treat sore eyes [Dene 101; Dene, Metis 13]. Tips used to make a tea for "healing the inside" [Algonquin 69]. Tea used against fever [Montagnais 71]. Yound twigs chewed to relieve itchy throat [Dene 99]. Used to treat diabetes [Cree 82]. Boiled and steamed to cure congestion or cold and to ease headache. Towels soaked in tea and wrapped around a woman's waist to speed up delivery, to ease afterbirth pain, and to loosen retained placenta [Dene 101].
Gum :Applied as a salve for skin infections, cuts, boils, rashes, burns, sores, and chapped or craked skin [Dene 13, 100; Cree 13, 79, 80; Algonquin 69]. Mixed with grease to make an ointment to treat skin rashes, scabies, persistent scabs and bad burns [Cree 95]. Chewed to prevent breathing shortness, also good for the heart [Cree 13]. Soaked in hot water and used to treat infected cuts and wounds [Cree 13]. Chewed and applied to a sore ear or to treat stomach ache [Cree 13]. Boiled until it turns pink and then cooled to make an ointment to draw the infection out of cysts [Cree 13]. or to treat infected wounds, rashes, scabs on the head or chiken pox [Cree 13]. Used as a laxative [Algonquin 69]. Used for cuts and back pain [Montagnais 71]. Used to treat diabetes [Cree 82]. Used to treat gum disease, tea drunk for stomach ailments [Dene 100]. Smeared on painful areas of the body, boiled and gargled to cure toothache, used as an ointment for sores and placed on a wound to stop bleeding. Boiled and tea drunk for cough and cold [Dene 101]. Used to treat sore throat [Dene 100].
Sap :Blood medicine, used to soothe irritated skin, applied to cuts and mouth infections [Dene 13; 99]. Applied in chest to prevent colds and tuberculosis, tea taken to soothe sore throats [Dene 99]. Applied in cuts and sore breasts [Cree 81].
Bark and branches :Mixed with red willow bark to treat cold [Dene 13].
Wood :Powdered and used as baby powder [Dene 13]. Inside strips put on burns, or boiled without bark and taken for sore throats [Cree 79].
Charcoal :Used as a baby powder [Dene 13].
Cones :Young cones boiled to make a mouth wash for mouth infection, toothache or sore throat or to clear phlegm from the throat [Dene, Metis 13; Chipewyan 92]. Chewed to relieve toothache or sore mouth. Mixed with other plants in a decoction to treat venereal disease [Cree 95]. Made into a jelly used to treat headache and stomachache [Algonquin 75]. Decoction used to gargle a sore throat or mouth infection [Cree 95; Dene 101]. Used to treat diabetes [Cree 77; 83]. , diarrhoea [Ojibway 89; Cree 95]. and stomach ache [Montagnais 71]. Applied to stop bleeding. Boiled and tea used to wash broken legs, to easeskin rash [Dene 101].
Leaves and bark :Decoction used for headache [Ojibwa 66].
Leaves :Used as a reviver [Ojibwa 87]. or to treat diabetes [Cree 82]. Crushed and used to treat pain. Crushed, placed on cloth and put in throat to treat pain and burns [Cree 80].
Bark and roots :Tea used for stomach pain, fainting and fits [Ojibwa 86].
Inner bark :Chewed for laryngitis [Mi'kmaq 62]. Chewed to relieve colds or maintain good health, placed on a wound [Dene 99]. Used to treat diabetes [Cree 82].
Bark and gum :Used against cough [Montagnais 71].
Cones and branches :Tea used for cough and colds, sore throat and chest pain [Dene 99].
Roots :Pounded and boiled to make a liquid medicine [Dene 99].
Young tips, cones and branches :Boiled and taken to treat itchy throat [Dene 99]. Steam used to treat congested head and chest [Dene 100].
Bark :Used as a splint and to heal broken limbs [Dene 100]. Boiled and taken in cough Heated and pressed on blisters [Cree 80].