Ozark Encyclopedia – B – Basswood

Basswood, Linden - Tilia americana Parts used: root, bark, leaf Traditional uses: Bark from tree struck by lightning chewed and spit on snakebite. Bark beaten then used in cold infusion for snakebite. Inner bark used as infusion for dysentery. Decoction of bark mixed with cornmeal and used as poultice for boils. Compound decoction of leaves... Continue Reading →

Ozark Encyclopedia – B – Balmony

Balmony, Balmonia, White Turtlehead - Chelone glabra Parts used: root, leaf, flower Traditional uses: Infusion of roots and cedar bark used as a medicinal tea. Infusion of blooms taken for worms, fever, and as a laxative. Used for sores or skin eruptions. “The leaves have anti-bilious, anthelmintic, tonic and detergent properties, with a peculiar action on... Continue Reading →

Ozark Encyclopedia – A – Angelica

American Angelica, Purplestem Angelica - Angelica atropurpurea Parts used: root Traditional uses: Tonic of roots taken for obstructed menses, colds, fever, ague, and for flatulent colics. Roots used as gargle for sore throat. “AMERICAN ANGELICA or Masterwort (A. atropurpurea, Linn.), also used in herbal medicine in North America, grows throughout the eastern United States. The... Continue Reading →

Ozark Encyclopedia – A – Alum

Alum, or alum rock, is a naturally occurring chemical compound that’s been used for centuries in various applications. In the Ozarks alum was typically used in taxidermy and dying clothes (as the alum acts as a mordant for the dye). In medicine alum has been historically used as a strong astringent specifically in the treatment... Continue Reading →

283: Tobacco, part 2

This is an addendum to my other post on tobacco, and lists some more traditional uses of tobacco in Ozark medicine and magic: Thrown in river before journey – “I once knew a man near Pine Bluff, Arkansas, who threw little pieces of tobacco into the river whenever he was about to start on a... Continue Reading →

280: Black Draught

Black Draught, famed laxative known throughout the Appalachians and Ozarks during the late 19th early 20th century. My grandpa mentioned having it in the cabin when he was growing up. Dolly Parton even sang a jingle about the medicine: Smile from the inside out, Smile from the inside out, Black Draught makes you Smile from... Continue Reading →

279: Fingernails

Fingernails have long been used in folk traditions for both healing and magical purposes. The fingernail, much like hair which is often used in a similar way, is a symbolic connection between the healer and the patient. Through the manipulation of the fingernail the patient is thereby manipulated as well, for good or bad depending... Continue Reading →

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