Dr. Michele Williams Talks About Native Plants and How the Native Americans of South Florida Used Them to Treat Injury and Illness

Jun 17, 2014, 15:23 ET from Fort Lauderdale Historical Society

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla., June 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Long before hospitals and corner drug stores dispensed life-saving and pain-easing modern medicines, the Native Americans of South Florida had to rely on the plants and trees around them for solutions to injury and illness.

Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140617/119001

"Those plants and trees were their sole source of medicine," said Dr. Michele Williams. "Everyone in the world relied on medicinal plants for medicine until the 20th Century."

The Fort Lauderdale Historical Society has invited Michele Williams, Director for the Southeastern and Southwest Regions of Florida Public Archaeology Network at Florida Atlantic University, to give a free lecture entitled, "Native American Medicinal Plants," on Monday, July 14 from 6 to 7 p.m. at the New River Inn Museum (231 SW 2 Ave, Fort Lauderdale).

"I will be focusing on all items that were used by Native Americans; wild coffee and firebush to name a few," said Williams.

And just like the plants and trees varied from culture to culture, Williams says symptoms also varied from culture to culture. "Everyone used plants, but the ways they would heal and the way they viewed the healing was unique to their culture. Anthropologists call it Cultural Perception."

Williams said even though the medicines are natural there's still danger in them being misused. "The Native Americans had 10,000 years to perfect their use," said Williams. "How did they learn? They asked their grandmother, and she asked her grandmother, and so on and so forth over thousands of years here in South Florida."

This free lecture is part of an on-going monthly lecture series hosted by the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society. While the event is free RSVP is required on or before July 11, 2014. RSVP to education@flhc.org or call (954) 463-4431 ext. 16.

About the Ft. Lauderdale Historical Society
The Fort Lauderdale Historical Society (FLHS) brings the history of greater Fort Lauderdale to life through education, research and preservation for the enrichment of present and future generations. Believing that a sense of history is fundamental to understanding human experience, the FLHS collects, preserves and shares material from our community's past, so that present and future generations can comprehend more fully their predecessors, their community and themselves.

With education as the primary focus FLHS offers public lectures and workshops; publish teacher resource materials; arrange school and general group tours and activities; support scholarly research through significant research assistance; maintain a 1907 house museum and three other 1905 historic structures, and a museum of changing and permanent exhibitions, and operate a research center that has functioned uninterrupted for more than 50 years. For more information visit www.fortlauderdalehistoricalsociety.org or call (954) 463-4431.

About Michele Williams
Michele Williams, Ph.D., RPA is the Director for the Southeastern and Southwest Regions of Florida Public Archaeology Network at Florida Atlantic University.  Dr. Williams has participated in excavations throughout the southeastern United States for the past 25 years. Her specialty within archaeology is the use of plants by prehistoric Native Americans.

CONTACT: Laurie Menekou, (954) 271-4666 (or) lmenekou@conceptual-communications.com

SOURCE Fort Lauderdale Historical Society