Episode 31: Before Modern Medicine, These Female Healers Cured What Ailed

In the days before modern medicine, the sick, injured, and expecting often relied on community healers to perform the services of doctors and midwives. Women largely fulfilled these roles. Whether their practices were rooted in scripture, nature, or common sense, there’s no denying their quintessential place in the history of medicine. Have you ever heard of the Ozarks’ Granny Women?



Janet Allured, a professor of history and the Director of Women’s Studies at McNeese University in Louisiana, and Vincent Anderson, historian and author of multiple books on the Ozarks’ region.


Granny Women: Healing and Magic in Appalachia; Burns, Phyllis Doyle; RemedyGrove; March 11, 2018.

Women’s Healing Art: Domestic Medicine in the Turn-of-the-Century Ozarks; Allured, Janet L.; Gateway Heritage, Spring 1992, Vol. 12, No. 4; Missouri Historical Society; Retrieved January 2019.

The “Granny-Woman” in the Ozarks; Rayburn, Otto Ernest; Midwest Folklore, Vol. 9, No. 3 (Autumn, 1959), pp. 145-148, Indiana University Press; Retrieved January 2019.

Last of the Ozark Granny Women; Shannon Country Coordinators; Shannon County, Missouri GenWeb; Retrieved January 2019.

Mozark Moments: Tales of Granny Women and Yarb Doctors; Johns, Paul; CCHeadliner.com; March 20, 2011.