I hate to plaigarize, but this comes straight from a book. "The Old Beloved Path" talks about daily life of the local natives from paleo times. I have been reading and came to the "wilderness school" section where it talks about obtaining sustenance from nature. The Woodland Indians were truly masters of their environment. There was a good section that I think many of us could research further for more plants and sources of Salt and Sugar. Here goes.
down here we also have sugar cane, which can be eaten raw, or cooked down and evaporated to produce sugar. this is probably the most common method of obtaining sugar today.The Woodland Indians had many sources for both salt and sugar. Salt could be obtained throught trade with coastal tribes or those that lived near inland salt licks or salt springs in what is now Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Louisiana. The Indians also burned a certain moss that grew in creeks to produce a salt substitute (Salt Creek in Talladega County, Alabama, probably refers to this practice). They did the same with stalks of a particular herb, thought hto have been an orache (Atriplex spp.). Ash of hickory bark also makes an acceptable salt substitute, as any competent woodsman knows.
Sugar could be obtained from the sugar maple simply by tapping the tree and boiling the sap, then letting the syrup evaporate. Most people are familiar with this process, which is still in use today wherever the sugar maple is found. However, few people realize that the same method can be used to produce syrup and sugar from other trees found in the valley. The best of these are the sycamore, red maple, walnuts, and hickories. The sugar contents of these trees is not quite so high as is found in sugar maple, but the syrup they provide is far better than no sweetener at all. Honey locust pods were also eaten for their sugar content.