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 – 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 →

Ozark Encyclopedia – D – Dandelion

Dandelion - Taraxacum sp. Parts used: root, leaf, flower Traditional uses: Greens eaten. Poultice of steamed or wilted leaves applied to indolent ulcers. Greens eaten to purify the blood. Decoction of roots taken for stomach pain. Infusion of root used for blood. Infusion of herb used to calm nerves. “Diuretic, tonic and slightly aperient. It... Continue Reading →

Ozark Encyclopedia – C – Copper

Importance of copper wire - “Dr. Hershel Shockey, an osteopath who practiced in Stone county, Missouri, during the Second World War, told me that he saw a young man with some rare skin disease brought into an osteopathic clinic in Kansas City. This patient was a hillbilly from southwest Missouri. Told to strip, he took... 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 – C – Catnip

Catnip - Nepeta cataria Parts used: leaf, flower Traditional uses: Infusion used for female obstructions. Infusion used for worms. Infusion used for spasms. Syrup with honey used for colds and infusion used for babies' colds. Syrup with honey used for coughs. Infusion taken for hives and poultice of leaf used for boils and swellings. Infusion... Continue Reading →

Ozark Encyclopedia – C – Camphor

Poultice to cure a cold – “…the only way to cure such a cold was to apply a poultice of lard, camphor, turpentine, and fried onions.” ~Randolph OMF 94 Worn to protect from meningitis – “Small boys are sometimes forced to wear little bags of camphor sewed to their shirts, to prevent their catching meningitis... Continue Reading →

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