Is Indian Hemp a good source of fiber?

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Apocynum is commonly referred as Indian hemp and depending on the region known by other names such as Milkweed, Bitter root, Wall flower. The plant is native to North America and was used as a source of fiber. It was especially important in the lives of the Native Americans. They used Indian hemp to tie the frames of their winter lodges together, they made nets out if the Indian Hemp which was strong enough to catch fish like the sturgeon. The Itatamat, or "counting the days" was a very important ritual for a married Indian women. She would record her life events by tying a knot on the string every time something significant occured. Any important event  like birth, death, marriages were  marked by adding shells, beads or talismans  to it. They also made soft bags with the Indian hemp. With more stress on ecofriendly products, clothes, bags and a range of household products are made using Indian Hemp fiber.

Indian Hemp  belongs to the genus Apocynum  and includes about seven species. These plants are found in moist areas, near streams and ditches. Apocynum plant is one of the wild plants that has a  thin, long, soft and shiny fiber and came to be known as "King of the wild fiber".



What medicinal value does  Indian Hemp have?

  • Indian Hemp under chemical anlaysis was found to contain, apocynamarin, apocynin, cymarin and rosin.
  • The herb acts as a vaso-constrictor which means it strengthens the heart beat and raises the blood pressure. So one should be careful if they have any cardiac disorders.
  • It can be used as an emetic to induce vomiting, laxative for constipation problems.
  • Helps with digestion, liver and  urinary tract problems.
  • The milky juice of Indian hemp can be used to treat warts.
  • Indian Hemp contains cardiac glycosides, quercetin, and amino acids for treating heart diseases, asthma and tracheal diseases. 
  • The root of the Indian Hemp plant is used for medical treatment like syphilis, rheumatism and scrofula.



What are the features of an Indian Hemp?

Apocynum or Indian Hemp are woven to make fine thread that is stronger than cotton thread.These woven threads are used in making nets, fabric and bowstrings. They are cultivated in well drained moist soil with full or partial shade of sun. Indian hemp is a perennial herb grown in 2-4 feet in height and 2-4 feet in width also. Indian Hemp herb is naturally occurring with green leaves and red colored stems. Flowers are grouped and appear in bell shape with green and white colors. The size of apocynum flower is 1/4 inch wide. The Indian hemp is still grown in california for fiber. In autumn the dead plants are burnt to stimulate growth plants with longer stems and get better seeds from the next harvest.



What are the other uses of Indian hemp as Fiber?

  • These Indian hemps are used in making bags, baskets, belts and nets.
  • Apocynum are used as pray for monarch caterpillars.
  • Indian hemps are used in treating asthma, coughs and heart problems.



Where to buy Hemp Fiber products?

Click on the links below to get more products made with Indian Hemp fiber, an attractive range of Bean bags, clothing, cushions, pillows, curtains and furniture.

Bean Products - Earth Friendly products for yoga, meditation, home and pets. Made in USA


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What are side effects of Indian hemp?

  • Using apocynum causes nausea, vomiting, decreased heart rate and high blood pressure.
  • Apocynum includes cardiac glycosides which controls the heart rate and increases the rate of blood flow through kidneys to relieve swelling in body You do not have access to view this node.
  • Cardiac glycosides when combined with other herbs could  slow down heart rate leading to heart failure and even death. SO care should be taken before using Indian hemp. Always take the help of a qualified doctor or herbal practitioner before trying out new herbs.


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