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All tribes of Native Americans thrived successfully across the continent long before the arrival of Europeans. Through well established healing methods, herbal medicines and tried and true practices, skilled healers treated many ailments. The Sarracenia Purpurea plant was highly succcessful in treating smallpox. 

The plant's range extends from Canada and down through the Atlantic coastal states, found mostly in swampy areas. 

In 1862, Dr. Frederick Morris wrote to the Chicago Medical Examiner crediting himself and his peers in their "shared discovery" of sarracenia purpurea or "pitcher plant" as a highly effective treatment for smallpox. The tribes in the area such as the Beothuk, Maliseet, Innu , Abenaki and Mi'kmaq had been using the pitcher plant for centuries to treat ailments such as fevers.

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 1861, a Dr. McWilliam also wrote about sarracenia purpurea as an effective treatment for smallpox. Dr. McWilliam credits the source of this information as coming from one of the First Nations tribes in Cananda, the Mi'kmaq (or Micmac), who still reside in what is today's Nova Scotia. The Mi'kmaq learned about the remedy from an "old squaw." Most likely this woman was a healer, or medicine woman.

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