The Watering Hole: August 18 — Purple coneflowers

Photo by Zooey

From the Wiki:

Echinacea angustifolia was widely used by the North American Plains Indians for its general medicinal qualities. Echinacea was one of the basic antimicrobial herbs of eclectic medicine from the mid 19th century through the early 20th century, and its use was documented for snakebite, anthrax, and for relief of pain. In the 1930s echinacea became popular in both Europe and America as a herbal medicine. According to Wallace Sampson, MD, its modern day use as a treatment for the common cold began when a Swiss herbal supplement maker was “erroneously told” that echinacea was used for cold prevention by Native American tribes who lived in the area of South Dakota. Although Native American tribes didn’t use echinacea to prevent the common cold, some of the tribes did use echinacea to treat some of the symptoms that could be caused by the common cold: The Kiowa used it for coughs and sore throats, the Cheyenne for sore throats, thePawnee for headaches, and many tribes used it as an analgesic, including the Sioux from South Dakota.

Native Americans learned of E. angustifolia by observing elk seeking out the plants and consuming them when sick or wounded, and identified those plants as elk root.

I wonder if the treatment of cure for every disease could be found in nature?  And I wonder how many medicinal species we’ve wiped out, in our quest for “progress.”

This is our daily open thread — discuss.


80 thoughts on “The Watering Hole: August 18 — Purple coneflowers

  1. I firmly believe that many undiscovered cures exist in nature. Any loss of biodiversity may well destroy the genetic material needed to solve the next crisis, be it disease or famine.

    • The pretty is only skin deep — scratch the surface, and the ugly bubbles forth like pus.

      Good thing Phyllis Schlafly earned her chops by fucking over every woman in this country, or she’d be chained to the oven, making bitter pies.

  2. I believe that there is a cure for any disease in nature. It’s part of the balance. We just need to know what to look for. Europeans and Asians use more nutraceuticals than Americans. We are taught that only manufactured drugs cure disease which usually isn’t the case. Most drugs just mask the symptoms.

  3. I just want to say I’ve never grown a purple cone flower that looked anywhere near that nice. And my black eyed susans are a plain embarrassment this year. But then again, I don’t water perennials. If they die they die.

  4. Zooey,
    At the end of live Hartmann, go here.
    That’s my first choice for hearing Thom on tape delay. The first hour also might be available on the Ustream player at, but it isn’t always the first hour.

  5. One of the things that irritates the crap out of me is the American Exceptionalist attitude that we can extract the essential component from something, package it and market it and viola! miracle drug!

    I had a go around with my doctor last month because he wanted to put me on the latest bit of pharma-ego with fish oil. Its bad enough that it is difficult in the heartland to find sufficient fresh fish of the proper type to get omega3 that they have to process and sell it in capsules but I told him I would be damned if I would use the new super-concentrated pharmaceutical version with its usual warnings.

  6. I’m all caught up now Zooey.

    I like him better than I thought I would, and it happened right away.

    Of course, Amy Pond didn’t hurt things at all.

    I’m watching 2005-2006 episodes everyday on BBC America at 4pm my time, and they throw in a mini-marathon of the same episodes about once a week, in case you miss any.

    • House, I hope you liked this season. I think it’s one of the best. Love the new Doctor, Amy, and Rory — loved it when Rory punched the Doctor right in the kisser. Never seen that before!

      Trust me, House. I never miss Doctor Who. 😀

  7. Morning all!

    That GOP…classy as always. 🙄

    It turned out to be a short day at work. Our building lost power at 8:30, along with signals at several nearby intersections–third time in about two months. Apparently, this is a common occurrence (we’ve been there less than a year and had more outages in that time than in years at our old place). So after an hour or so, I brought home a few files to work on here. Beats sitting in the dark doing nothing. 😛

  8. You’re just doing this to torture me, Zooey. Admit it. “Oh, blah blah latest episode blah blah new Doctor wasn’t that great? snicker blah blah”

  9. Fox has posted one of their wonderful “You Decide” unscientific polls about the proposed Islamic center in NYC. I’ve posted my thoughts on it here.

  10. Thanks Z. I posted one of the Fox comments on TP, and naturally the trolls instantly ate it up as new talking points. It’s hard to imagine that people really think that way. Any presumably, they’re Americans.

  11. World Nut Daily has dumped Ann Coulter because she’s not sufficiently homophobic. She’s apparently speaking at a gay GOPer event, thereby failing to acknowledge the horrendous danger presented to America by teh gay.

    No, seriously. h/t Little Green Footballs

    “Ultimately, as a matter of principle, it would not make sense for us to have Ann speak to a conference about ‘taking America back’ when she clearly does not recognize that the ideals to be espoused there simply do not include the radical and very ‘unconservative’ agenda represented by GOProud,” said Farah. “The drift of the conservative movement to a brand of materialistic libertarianism is one of the main reasons we planned this conference from the beginning.”

    • “…radical and very ‘unconservative’ agenda represented by GOProud…”

      And yet, the members of GOProud continue to vote for people who hate them.

    • “The drift of the conservative movement to a brand of materialistic libertarianism is one of the main reasons we planned this conference from the beginning.”

      I think Gary will have to translate this little nugget of gold.

  12. Interesting. Work’s firewall blocked Gary’s link. The reason it gave was it called it a “tasteless site.”

    Sigh. Gotta hate corporate censorship.

    But this makes me all more interested to see it when I get home.

  13. I think the rise of the social conservatives (religious zealots) has been usurped by the Greed is our God crowd.

    materialistic libertarianism
    He who steals the most gold, is entitled to keep it.

  14. I echo the sentiments of Outstandstanding and Cats regarding natural healing – Nice post and photo, Zooey!

    Sorry to hear about your perennials, Shayne . . . Your attitude is spot on though – they’ll come back 😉

  15. Laughing so damn hard (pun intended) at that one Zooey!

    [Along those lines – do you think a man with a
    400 mm camera lens has compensation issues?]

  16. Finally Lawrence O’Donnell is filling in for Chris Matthews instead of Michael Smirconish. I don’t understand why that guy would fill in for anybody but Scarborough.

  17. We’re pulling out of Iraq!

    Live on MSNBC, anchored by Keith Olberman, with live reports by Rachel Maddow from the Green Zone in Bagdad, and Richard Engel embedded with a unit rolling toward Kuwait, covering the last combat units leaving Iraq.

  18. We had until the end of the month, and we wanted to get out while we could still have an element of surprise. This is why Rachel hasn’t done her show this week. MSNBC had to know in advance and keep the secret to get this access. CNN is so screwed!

  19. We’ll still have 50,000 advisers and instructors in Iraq, but the live fire exposure is supposed to be minimal. I haven’t heard how much of that is contractors.

    • Dumb question, but so what happens to the ‘biggest embassy in the world’ that we poured a billion U.S. tax dollars into in Baghdad..? Did it ever get finished? Is it in use? Do we still have control of it? Do we still have to protect it? Just asking..

  20. Not directly addressing your question nwmuse – at least there’s an ambassador.
    No mention if he’ll be housed in the monstrous monstrosity.

    New US ambassador to Iraq arrives in Baghdad

  21. History repeats. May we have a civil relationship with Baghdad in 30 years like we do with Saigon.

  22. There are already video clips of Rachel’s reports, at The Rachel Maddow Show and at Maddowblog, for those w/o cable.

  23. The righties apparently don’t want us to focus on good news in Iraq. They just want to distract with the Cordoba house.

  24. Until the Shrub, the US didn’t use mercenaries. In fact, it used to be illegal.

    • You’re right, Hooda. We need to start calling them what the are. They’re not “contractors,” they’re MERCENARIES.

      • BTW House (if you’re still around), what is the source of that quote you gave yesterday, “always remember and don’t ever forget?”

        It’s familiar somehow…

  25. Not only did the US military not use mercenaries until now, we used to be capable of supplying our own sandwichs and constructing our own shower facilities.

    • Outstanding, it seems to me that military cooks, plumbers, and electricians would care more about the safety of their fellow troops. Contractors Mercenaries are in it for the money, nothing else.

  26. That was from Dwayne F. Schneider, the building superintendent in the sitcom One Day At A Time.

  27. My husband was a contractor in Afghanistan, and while some care deeply about doing a good job, the for profit culture is such that those folk don’t last long. Its a bit like being the safety guy on the Deepwater Horizon. Perhaps when we’re password protected I’ll tell you some stories.

    • I didn’t mean to offend, Outstanding. I should know it’s not good to make broad generalizations. Apologies.

      I think I’ll be doing a password post soon — prolly Saturday. Feel free to rip me a new one then. 😯

  28. Ah hon, I wasn’t offended. I’m an former defense contractor myself. I know the good, and the bad, of those that supply our military for profit.

  29. The specific genes and diseases mentioned in the Stanford study are new to me, but the general idea has been understood for a while. The gene for sickle-cell is a recessive, and only manifests as a disease when both parents pass it on to a child. But a single gene conveys significant resistance to malaria and so offered generic “advantages” to people in Africa.

  30. I may have posted this before:

    The history of the middle finger is actually something I never knew about before, and now that I have learned of this recently, I feel compelled to send it on to my more intelligent friends in the hope that they, too, will feel edified.

    I mean, isn’t history more fun when you know something about it?
    Before the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, the French, anticipating victory over the English, proposed to cut off the middle finger of all captured English soldiers. Without the middle finger it would be impossible to draw the renowned English longbow and therefore they would be incapable of fighting in the future. This famous English longbow was made of the native English Yew tree, and the act of drawing the longbow was known as ‘plucking the yew’ (or ‘pluck yew’).
    Much to the bewilderment of the French, the English won a major upset and began mocking the French by waving their middle fingers at the defeated French, saying, See, we can still pluck yew! Since ‘pluck yew’ is rather difficult to say, the difficult consonant cluster at the beginning has gradually changed to a labiodentals fricative F’, and thus the words often used in conjunction with the one-finger-salute! It is also because of the pheasant feathers on the arrows used with the longbow that the symbolic gesture is known as ‘giving the bird.’

    And yew thought yew knew every plucking thing

    • TtT told a similar story recently about the “peace sign,” Walt.

      It’s fun learning the origins of our cultural traditions — naughty and nice!

      • I’m gonna go watch a movie and let my brain settle down. Gotta go into work one more time tomorrow, to supervise the billing process. Hopefully it will be only a half day.

        Goodnight, all!

  31. I recall someone bringing up pheasant pluckers, but I may have that backwards.

  32. G’nite Zooey. And goodnight from me, who must spend tomorrow picking peppers in the mud.

  33. Also, “fuck” goes back to the Old English and Old Germanic languages in fairly traceable forms that significantly predate Agincourt. And it is the nature of language that the forbidden words are among the one’s least likely to change, right next to the fundamental grammatical particles. You go back to the Norman conquest and tell a Saxon to fuck off, he might very well not understand what “off” meant, but he’d catch that “fuck.” And then he’d kill you in some really unpleasant manner, but that’s outside of linguistics.

  34. he might very well not understand what “off” meant, but he’d catch that “fuck.” And then he’d kill you in some really unpleasant manner, but that’s outside of linguistics.

    hmm – still pondering this – I like the imagery

  35. Actually the English word “fuck” is derived from the Germanic “vic”. In Germanic languages, the “v” is pronounced like the English “f”. This provided much entertainment in Germany and certain WWII nations taken over from what had formally had been German states after the “VIC 20″was marketed world-wide by world weary nerds at Commodore.

    Does anyone remember the classic marketing fiasco when GM marketed the Chevrolet Nova? The Spanish equivalent for “no va” translates to “doesn’t go” in English

    • I’m off to work — hopefully it won’t be a full day. 😐

      Can one of you Critters put up an open thread for today? Thanks!

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