Sorry, *NOT* re: aff., cf.

Kathy Bilton kbilton at CAP.GWU.EDU
Mon Nov 15 08:39:08 CST 1993

Sorry, if you have seen this somewhere else.  I posted it to bionet.plants
several days ago, as well as to the mailing list, HERB, but decided to
post it in one more spot, namely here!

I have just been asked by my naturalist and storyteller friend, Doug
Elliott, who does not have access to the net, to post a couple of questions
for him.  I will give his address at the bottom of this posting - or - I
will forward any replies to him on the net via snailmail.
1. Doug is interested in finding some traditional pawpaw recipes.

(Added note:  Brian Compton wrote a master's thesis entitled "The
Ethnobotany of the Pawpaw - Asimina triloba" in 1986 at Eastern Illinois U.)

2. Several years ago, Bessie Jones, an elderly Sea Island, Georgia, gospel
singer told him about using Bull Nettle (Solanum caroliniense.)

        (From here on, I will quote from Doug's letter.)

        "She called the plant 'Tread Softly.'  The roots were strung on a
string and made into a necklace and strung around a baby's neck to help
with teething.  When she told me this, I assumed the baby chewed on this
like a teething ring.
        But a couple of weeks ago at a gathering, I asked Cherokee elder,
Walker Calhoun, about the plant.  He called it 'bull weed.'  They string
it around a baby's neck 'to help 'em when they slobberin,' he told me.
The stem and the berries are strung 'like beads.'
        'Does the baby chew on them?' I asked.
        'No,' he said, 'Might be poison.' (It is somewhat poisonous.)
        A Creek woman from Alabama had another name for it.  (I can't
remember.) She said they also use it as a necklace for teething babies.
She also said the necklace is tied tight enough so the baby can't actually
get it into its mouth.
        So - teething babies drool a lot.  Could it be that the saliva
reacts with the plant and small amounts of solanine, solanidine, or some
related anesthetic alkaloid is transmitted transdermally into the oral
cavity (or to some nerve center) to ease the sore mouth and gums!?!?"
There you have it.

Doug's address:   Doug Elliott
                  Rt. 1 Box 388
                  Union Mills, North Carolina 28167

  *****************************         Kathy Bilton
  *   Interesting Etymology:  *          P.O. Box 886
  *    "Book"  <<<  "Beech"   *           Shepherdstown, WV  25443
  *****************************            <kbilton at>

More information about the Taxacom mailing list