Sweet Grass gets its name from its scent of vanilla, which is due to its high content of coumarin. This plant is found in North America as well as Northern Europe.
It is also called "bison herb" and is used to flavour vodka. In France, it was used to flavour sweets, drinks, tabacco and also perfumes.
Since it became a protected species in Europe, its usage has stopped.
It grows from rhizomes in tufts of 60 to 70 centimeters or more and produces its strong scent of vanilla from the middle to the end of summer. It loses its scent with the first cold weather.
It is cut during periods of hot weather and then soaked in hot water to be made into plaits.
For Native American Indians, it is a sacred plant and is used for different purposes according to tribe. The Great Plains Indians believe it was the first plant that grew on earth.
Many tribes burn it in plaits before ceremonies as a purifyer or as an herb of peace and protection.
Among its many uses, it is used for sewing, braided into the hair, for painting pipes during Sun Dances, etc...
One can use it as a plait, cutting it with scissors and burning it on charcoal, or better yet, on a surface which is moderately heated to avoid the odor of burning.
This Sweet Grass is harvested by a Sioux family from whom we purchase it and with whom we have developed an excellent relationship.
Origin : USA