En Español

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.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?


Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - June 25, 2007

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


What plants cure diarrhea?


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.


More Medicinal Plants Questions

medicinal uses of Rudbeckia triloba
September 16, 2009 - Browneyed Susan, Brown-eyed-Susan, Thin-leaved coneflower, Three-lobed Rudbeckia Rudbeckia triloba L My question relates to the above species. I am doing research on historically medicinal plants...
view the full question and answer

Lists of medicinal plants from New York City
April 11, 2014 - Do you know any resources for lists of medicinal plants native to New York? Thank you
view the full question and answer

Sharing Selfheal with Texas Friends
April 25, 2013 - I have discovered selfheal plants in my yard. When and how do I collect the seeds or do I just dig up plants to share with friends? I understand this is actually an herb. I love identifying wildflower...
view the full question and answer

Comptonia peregrina tea as topical treatment for poison ivy
July 19, 2007 - I have been told that Sweet Fern stewed into a tea is a great topical treatment for poision ivy. Is this true?
view the full question and answer

Possible medicinal uses of Spanish Moss (Tillandsia usneoides)
April 13, 2006 - I recently read an article about the healing properties of Spanish Moss. It mentioned reducing bad cholesterol in the human body. What exactly are the properties in this plant that are good for you, ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center