The problem with turmeric is that I have a hard time pronouncing it. I'm one of those people whose vocabulary expanded through reading voraciously. There are many words that I know how to use and spell correctly, but their correct pronounciation continues to elude me. It doesn't matter how many times someone has corrected me …
My son was worried that my new interest in herbalism would expose us to all sorts of deadly dangers. I scoffed at him. But then I discovered Bitter Sweet growing in our side yard.
I often teach the history of herbal contraceptives in my courses, but I had never heard that common garden sage was on the list of potential pregnancy dangers. Sage is another reminder of the long history of induced abortion in women's health care.
When I teach the history of medicine, I ask students to think about how everyday people — people much like themselves, but in more Puritanical garb — responded to symptoms such as runny noses, sore throats, sprained ankles, and relentless diarrhea. We turn to Nicholas Culpeper for the answers.