Appalachian Roots~Mountain Medicine
~My ancestors carved a life deep in the mountains of central Tennessee...making their own music and finding natural health cures by the streams and in the woods and meadows~
Mary Foust was the daughter of Daniel Foust. She never left East Tennessee and lived to be around 100 years old. When President Teddy Roosevelt was visiting Tennessee she was considered the oldest living American at the time and he traveled to meet her and eat one of her home cooked meals. Mary was famous for living an unchanged lifestyle that was a living window into the past. Her loom is now in the "Museum of Appalachia" near where she once lived.
Joe Pye Weed produces huge, puffy flower heads in late summer. It prefers moist soils & is a large plant, growing 4 to 6 feet tall. Joe Pye, an Indian healer, used it to treat a variety of ailments, which led to the name Joe Pye weed for these plants. Folklore says that Joe Pye used this plant to cure fevers & American colonists used this plant to treat typhus outbreaks. Indians used Joe Pye Weed in the treatment of kidney stones & other urinary tract ailments. Photo by Gerri Wilson.
Mullein is high in iron, magnesium, potassium, and sulfur. It is considered the herb of choice for respiratory problems and pulmonary diseases. Not only does it loosen mucus and expel it out of the body, but it also calms spasms, is a natural painkiller, and helps to reduce swelling in the glandular system.
A scrawny, long-bearded mountain man with a foul mouth & a passing acquaintance with copper tubing & kettles, Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton seemed the embodiment of moonshiners of yore Brought up in rural Cocke County, Tenn, identified as one of four “moonshine capitals of the world” in the corn-whiskey history “Mountain Spirits,” Mr. Sutton learned the family trade from his father. Going back to the Scots-Irish, who brought it to the New World & it wasn’t illegal until after the Civil War.