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The Cherokee Lying Tree (American Red Bud)

Da-yi-go-gi (American Red Bud)

Da-yi-go-gi means Liar in Tsalagi, the language of the Cherokee. It is called this because it is the first tree to bloom before the last frost. The Cherokee elders say if you were to plant by when the Liar buds, you will lose your crops.

Da-yi-go-gi was known to have many uses which included food. The flowers can be eaten raw or pickled. Unopened buds can be pickled and eaten as a substitute for capers. The flowers are rich in vitamin C and make a pleasant addition to salads. For utilitarian purposes the bark of the young shoots is used for making baskets.


A tea made from the inner bark is highly astringent. Used in the treatment of fevers, diarrhea and dysentery, it is also a folk remedy for leukemia. A cold infusion of the roots and inner bark have been used to treat various chest complaints including whooping cough and congestion.

In addition to all this, herbalists say that redbud blossom tea is loaded with vitamin C and antioxidants, making it a useful agent against inflammation while giving a boost to our immune system. Reviewers have reported that the tea made from fully open flowers tastes better than that made from early, tightly closed blooms.

Known hazards of Cercis canadensis:

If taken in a large dose, the plant is reported to contain a toxic saponin. Although toxic, saponins are poorly absorbed by the body and most pass straight through without any problem. Saponins are mostly broken down in the cooking process. Saponins are found in many foods, such as some beans.


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