Daniel Moerman in Native American Medicinal Plants (from Hamel & Chiltoskey, Witthoft, Herrick, Smith, & Sturtevant) reports that Red Maple was used by the Cherokee for cramps, diarrhea, hives, menstrual troubles, and measles. "Inner bark boiled and used with water as a wash for sore eyes." "Decoction of inner bark boiled into a syrup and used as a wash for sore eyes."
Iroquois used as a blood cleanser, "Infusion of bark used as drops for sore eyes and cataracts." Ojibwa used also for eyes. "Decoction of bark used as a wash for sore eyes." And Potawatomi. "Decoction of inner bark used as an eyewash."
Seminole used for athletes and for hemorrhoids.
An additional use by the Iroquois is trapping medicine.
Red Maple is sweet and nourishing. It has a particular affinity with water. Sometimes Red Maple is known as Swamp Maple because of its preference for wet soil. Sugar Maple prefers higher, drier soil. Ash-Leaf Maple also likes water, but in our area is primarily along rivers while Red Maple will be in swampy or otherwise moist soil. Perhaps this indicates more of a yin quality than Sugar Maple. Though Sugar Maple is also used for the eyes; for blindness and sore eyes, Silver Maple is also used for sore eyes.
Generally, red and sore eyes are related to liver heat. Liver heat generally is due to inflammation and/or deficient liver yin. The liver channel (meridian) enters the body from the surface in the region of the liver and continues from the liver upward to the eyes. It is said: "The liver opens to the eyes."
Red Maple is also called Soft Maple because the wood is softer than Hard Maple, or Sugar Maple.
Red Maple is host to many mushrooms, including Violet Tooth Polypores, Autumn Oysters, Luminescent Panellus, Oysters, and at my place where they grown near Oak the Honey Mushrooms take quite well to them.