Mooseberry (soapberry)

Common Name: 
Alestine Andre, GSCI
Gwichya Gwich'in Name: 
dìnjik jàk
Teetł’it Gwich’in Name:: 
dinjik jàk
Latin Name: 
Shepherdia canadensis
As food
The red berries are edible. Annie B. Robert (COPE) said that the boiled berries can be eaten like any other cooked berry and that it helps to increase one’s appetite.
As medicine 
The red berries can be used to make medicines for a variety of ailments. The berries can be eaten raw for colds or sore throats, though they have a soapy taste. Mooseberry tea can be made by putting berries in a pot, boiling and mixing them until they turn foamy. The foam is then skimmed off the top. Laura Pascal (COPE) said that this tea can be used for sore throats and colds. The stems and roots can be boiled, producing a tea that relieves stomach aches and diarrhea. Annie B. Robert (COPE) said mooseberry roots and juniper berries can be washed and boiled to produce a laxative. The tea from boiled branches can be used to wash a person’s legs for soreness, or to rub on mosquito bites and infections.
Source: Andre, Alestine and Alan Fehr, Gwich'in Ethnobotany, 2nd ed. (2002)