About Our Image

     This photograph, representing the remarkable natural beauty of east Tennessee, is of Hazel Creek in the Great Smoky Mountains. It has been selected to represent the College of Public Health because it reflects the importance of our regional environment to both public health and to our local quality of life. The photograph was taken by Tennessee native Kim Guinn and it is used with his permission.

Stream and plants

    The plants in this picture were identified by Dr. Foster Levy, Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, and Director, Undergraduate Research

    The medicinal use of these plants, as used by the early settlers in the region, have been identified by Dr. Anthony Cavender, Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, and author of the book "Folk Medicine in Southern Appalachia."

Black Birch ( Betula lenta L.) Better known as sweet birch in southern Appalachia, its inner and outer bark contains an essential oil that has the flavor and scent of wintergreen. In the past, the sap was used to make a beer and a tea made from the bark was ingested for rheumatism and fever. A toothbrush was made by chewing one end of a sweet birch twig to a fibrous state.

Branch lettuce ( Saxifraga micranthidifolia) Also known as “bear lettuce” in southern Appalachia, the leaves of this plant have traditionally been eaten with other wild greens (e.g., dandelion, plantain, and poke) to strengthen and clean blood. A favorite method of consumption is to “kill’ the greens with bacon grease, i.e., pour hot bacon grease on them.

Hemlock ( Tsuga canadensis) The bark is strong in tannins and a decoction made with it was applied to wounds to stop bleeding and gargled in the mouth after pulling a tooth to stop profuse bleeding from a tooth socket.

Ironweed ( Vernonia altissimia, Vernonia fasciculata) Some sources indicate that a tea made from the roots and leaves of ironweed was used as a blood cleaner, to treat stomach disorders, and to sweat out a cold.


The Academic Banner of the College of Public Health East Tennessee State University Designed and crafted by Linda Gallagher “Most innovative integration of photography and quilting” Mountain Messages IV Competition 2007

College of Public Health Banner

     This photograph, by ETSU Photographer Charlie Warden shows some of the ways that the “stream scene” image has been used by the College of Public Health.