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The Profit of the EarthThe Global Seeds of American Agriculture$
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Courtney Fullilove

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226454863

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226455051.001.0001

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Elk’s Weed on the Prairie

Elk’s Weed on the Prairie

(p.151) 6: Elk’s Weed on the Prairie
The Profit of the Earth

Courtney Fullilove

University of Chicago Press

This chapter documents the attempts of Ohio pharmacist John Uri Lloyd to source a supply of Echinacea angustifolia from the diminishing prairie. Echinacea was prized by Plains Indians for its anti-infective properties and integrated into Euro-American botanic medical practice. The conversion of prairie to farmland, along with private land ownership, fencing, and increasing labor costs, imperiled the wild grass prairie and the indigenous materia medica it sheltered. Although typically explained as the triumph of professionalizing physicians and progressive reformers at the turn of the twentieth century, the marginalization of botanic medicine in the United States was as much as result of changes in land use and political economy as of medical knowledge.

Keywords:   Echinacea, Echinacea angustifolia, botany, medicine, botanic medicine, patent medicine, weeds, John Uri Lloyd

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