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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Monday - June 25, 2007

From: buena vista, VA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Medicinal Plants
Title: Herbalism and Native American EthnoBotany
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

What plants cure diarrhea?

ANSWER:

At the risk of sounding pedantic, Mr. Smarty Plants would point out that diarrhea is a symptom, not a disease in itself. Through-out recorded history, people have used various plant remedies to alleviate diarrhea and other ailments, a practice referred to as herbalism.

Native American EthnoBotany is a website that has over 500 listings for plants that have been used to treat diarrhea. Another source of information about medicinal plants is the Bakken Library and Museum, It is important that you pay attention to the caution found on the Bakken site when you use plant remedies from any source. I have paraphrased it below (the italics are mine).

Caution: The information found in many Herbals is purely historical and should not be construed in any way as medical advice. Many plants are poisonous or cause severe allergic reactions. Identification of plants may sometimes be difficult. Always consult a physician before using plant remedies.

 

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