Ozark Encyclopedia – H – Honey

Vinegar and honey for arthritis – “I’ve always heard vinegar and honey is good for arthritis.” ~Carter and Krause HRIO 21 Vinegar and honey for a cough – “We made out own cough syrup with honey and white vinegar. We put half honey and half white vinegar and one quarter water, stir that real good.... Continue Reading →

Ozark Encyclopedia – G – Garlic

Garlic - Alium sativum Parts used: bulb Traditional uses: “Diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, stimulant. Many marvellous effects and healing powers have been ascribed to Garlic. It possesses stimulant and stomachic properties in addition to its other virtues. As an antiseptic, its use has long been recognized. In the late war it was widely employed in the... Continue Reading →

Ozark Encyclopedia – E – Eggs

Owl eggs for alcoholism – “Every old woman has heard that owls’ eggs are a sure cure for alcoholism. Owls lay their eggs in March, and it is said that many Ozark children are kept out of school and sent by their mothers to search for owls’ nests in the tall timber. Many a hillman... Continue Reading →

Ozark Encyclopedia – C – Cloth

Used in curing warts – “An old man near Bentonville, Arkansas, had quite a local reputation as a wart specialist, though he made no secret of his method, and said that anybody could perform similar cures if they only ‘knowed how.’ He told me that he just fastened a bit of cloth to the wart,... Continue Reading →

Ozark Encyclopedia – B – Buttons

Used in wart buying ceremony – “Some specialists go through a kind of wart-buying ceremony, but no money actually changes hands. You show the man your wart, and he says: ‘Want to sell it?’ You answer ‘Yes, sir.’ Whereupon the wart taker produces a big safety pin with many buttons strung on it. He selects... Continue Reading →

284: Ozark Taboos

There are a great many taboos in the Ozarks, inherited mostly from European traditions but with a few indigenous beliefs scattered in. The world of the Ozark hill person was a constant battle against nature, sickness, and the forces of evil. A simple misstep could potentially cause great strife to one’s family and home. The... Continue Reading →

272: Nails

Nails have been used in Ozark folk healing and magic in a variety of ways. There’s a belief among Hillfolk that the object that hurt the individual was just as important to the healing process as the medicine put onto the wound. Knife blades, bullets, and nails were often treated with healing salves and plants... Continue Reading →

271: Axes

Axes, much like knives, have been used in Ozark folk healing as a method of symbolically “cutting” maladies like fever, cramps, or birth pains. They’ve also traditionally been employed by weather conjurers to “cut” through storms and cyclones. Under bed for chills – “Some families are accustomed to treat chills-an’-fever by placing an ax under the patient's... Continue Reading →

264: Beads

Here’s an interesting look at the use of certain kinds of beads in Ozark folk healing. Sources: Parler, Mary Celestia - Folk Beliefs from Arkansas (FBA) Randolph, Vance - Ozark Magic and Folklore (OMF) Wilson, Charles Morrow - Backwoods America (BA) Bodark beads worn for summer complaint – “Dr. C. T. Ryland, of Lexington, Missouri, told me that... Continue Reading →

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