Smooth sumac is well known for its brilliant red fall foliage and its deep red berries. Smooth sumac, Rhus glabra, is the only shrub or tree that is native to all of the 48 contiguous states. It is a woody shrub that grows three to six feet tall in the Rocky Mountains, but 10 to 20 feet tall elsewhere. The genus Rhuscontains about 35 species that are native to North America.
The benefits of staghorn sumac are endless! It is an antioxidant which helps boost your overall health. Sumac also contains a lot of our essential vitamins. It is very high in vitamin C which helps your immune system. You can use all parts of the plants for various things. The leaves are good for asthma and respiratory conditions.
Wild Sumac contains Calcium malate, Dihydrofisetin, Fisetin, Iodine, Gallic-acid-methylester, tannic and gallic acids, Selenium, Tartaric-acid, and many beneficial minerals. An infusion of the leaves is used for asthma, diarrhea and stomatosis. A poultice of the leaves used to treat skin rashes. Sumac leaves are also chewed for sore gums and rubbed on sore lips.
Chemical defenses in the leaves of sumacs are diverse and potent. They contain tannins, phytols, and three different compounds related to gallic acid which have antimicrobial activities. The arsenal of chemical defenses is so effective. A poultice of the leaves has been used to treat skin rashes.
The leaves have been chewed to treat sore gums and they have been rubbed on the lips to treat sore lips. Sumac is very high in vitamin C and contains antioxidants. This is why indigenous populations consume sumac when they are sick with the flu or fever. This is very good for clearing the lungs. This is particularly useful for any respiratory-related illness.
Native Americans made good use of the chemical defenses that evolved to deter herbivores. A rinse made from boiled berries was applied to stop bleeding after childbirth. Tea prepared from leaves was used to treat asthma and diarrhea. Sumac can help the lungs is to ingest the leaves through smoking, tea or tincture. In order to do this, you need to dry the leaves in the sun until they lose all their liquid. At that point, you will be able to grind and roll it into a cigarette.