Ozark Encyclopedia – M – Mayapple

Mayapple, American Mandrake - Podophyllum peltatum Parts used: root, fruit Traditional uses: Poisonous. Root soaked in whiskey and taken for rheumatism and as a purgative. Boiled root eaten as a purgative. Powdered root used on ulcers and sores. Fruit used for food. “Podophyllum is a medicine of most extensive service; its greatest power lies in... Continue Reading →

Ozark Encyclopedia – J – Jimsonweed

Jimsonweed - Datura stramonium ***CAUTION! Poisonous!*** Parts used: flower, leaf Traditional uses: Poisonous. Poultice of wilted leaves used on boils and fresh wounds. Smoked for asthma. Poultice of decoction of leaves mash applied to the chest for pneumonia. Compound poultice with crushed seeds rubbed on sore throat. “Antispasmodic, anodyne and narcotic. Its properties are virtually... Continue Reading →

Ozark Encyclopedia – H – Horseshoe

To protect a house from witchcraft – “Probably the commonest way to keep witches out of the house is to nail a horseshoe over the door; this is regarded as a sort of general prophylactic against witches, bad luck, contagious disease, and other evil influences. Many hillmen insist that it doesn't work unless the open... Continue Reading →

Ozark Encyclopedia – G – Goldenseal

Goldenseal - Hydrastis canadensis Parts used: root Traditional uses: Infusion used as wash for local inflammations and skin complaints. Generally alterative, anti-catarrhal, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, astringent, bitter tonic, laxative, anti-diabetic and muscular stimulant. “The action is tonic, laxative, alterative and detergent. It is a valuable remedy in the disordered conditions of the digestion and has a... Continue Reading →

Ozark Encyclopedia – E – Elderberry

Elderberry, Elder - Sambucus nigra, S. canadensis Parts used: bark, leaf, flower, berry Traditional uses: Berries used in formulas against chills and cold. Helps support the immune system. Infusion of berry used internally for rheumatism. Flower infusion used as a febrifuge and to sweat out a cold. Leaf infusion used to wash sores and prevent... 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 – D – Dishrags

Dirty or stolen dishrag for curing warts – “One school of wart catchers place their trust in dirty dishrags, and some healers say that they require stolen dishrags. After touching each wart with the rag, one either buries it secretly in the earth or hides it under a flat rock, being careful to replace the... Continue Reading →

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