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This profile was last updated on 8/19/10  and contains information from public web pages.

Professional Member

Phone: (617) ***-****  HQ Phone
American Herbalists Guild
125 S. Lexington Ave, Suite 101
Asheville , North Carolina 28801
United States

Company Description: The American Herbalists Guild was founded in 1989 as a non-profit, educational organization to represent the goals and voices of herbalists specializing in the...   more

Employment History

Board Memberships and Affiliations

  • Qualified treasure
14 Total References
Web References
Tommie Bass ..., 19 Aug 2010 [cached]
Tommie Bass Interview
Known internationally among herbalists as well as the common folk living near Lookout Mountain, Alabama, Tommie Bass used his God-given ability and vast knowledge of medical herbs to help thousands of people from all walks of life. During his apprenticeship with Tommie, Darryl was taught the identification and medicinal uses for literally thousands of plants found in the hills and hollows of the South.
Darryl is the author of "Mountain Medicine, The Herbal Remedies" of Tommie Bass published by Natural Reader Press and has appeared on Alabama Public Television and the Comedy Channel.
In addition to formal studies, Phyllis also studied with Tommie Bass and is considered an expert in Southern and Appalachian Folk Medicine. Phyllis is Director/Professor of Herbal Studies at Clayton College of Natural Health in Birmingham, Alabama ( Through Diversified Nursing Services, Phyllis is a continuing education provider for nurses, nursing home administrators, physical therapists and occupational therapists. She is a professional member of the American Herbalist Guild, a member of the American Folklore Society, the Herb Society of America and the International Herb Association.
Tommie Bass' Old Fashioned Liniment formula will be made and given to all participants.
Darryl Patton: The Southern Herbalist, 3 Nov 2014 [cached]
About Tommie Bass News & Events Blog
Darryl is the author of, "Mountain Medicine, The Herbal Remedies of Tommie Bass," published by Natural Reader Press and has appeared on Alabama Public Television, the Comedy Channel and served as a consultant on an episode of Man vs.
Darryl Patton: The Southern Herbalist [cached]
Herbal Mountain Medicine: The Healing Remedies of Tommie Bass
A well-worn path leads inquisitive visitors to Tommie Bass' simple home nestled against the bottom of Shinbone Ridge. It's a path worn smooth by the feet of faithful, simple country folk as well as the rich and famous.
The wiry, white-haired gentleman has spent over eighty of his eighty-eight years as a mountain herb doctor. Usually dressed in overalls, he has given most of his life to treating the people of Cherokee County and surrounding areas. When asked about his calling, Tommie simply replies, "I try to give 'em ease."
Don't go looking for Tommie to pass out instant cures. He says his life has taught him otherwise. His philosophy is more pragmatic. He only seeks to help nature take her natural course to healing and good health. Tommie willingly shares his life story and herbal knowledge with all who seek his company or advice.
An ancient but active pot-bellied stove dominates Tommie's shack on cold wintry days. It easily diverts one's attention from the coldness outside to the open warmth of Tommie Bass' heart.
The walls of the shack hold photographs of friends, presidents, patients, and newspaper articles attesting to his uniqueness among men. From overflowing bureau drawers come rich treasures of older almanacs, fading letters and ration stamps from wars long since fought and won. Tonics and liniment, carefully bottled, crowd a small cabinet leaning cautiously against a wall.
Known as the "Shack," the multi-windowed dwelling was hand built by Tommie during his seventies without help. However, Tommie is quick to point out that once a visitor did pass a board up to him on the roof.
Over crowded before it was finished, the 15-by 30foot structure is solid, warm and cozy. It easily withstands the buffeting, chilly winds that sweep down from Lookout Mountain during the winter.
Leesburg, in rural Cherokee County, is home to this 88-year-old patriarch of the few surviving mountain herbalists. In every way, Tommie Bass is a living American Treasure. Have an ache or pain?
Pokeroot is good for the itch and, "Of course," says Tommie, "Yellowroot will cure stomach ulcers."
To hear Tommie tell it is to know that Wild Cucumber Tree bark and Prickly Ash are the most wonderful things in the world for arthritis.
The son of a fur dealer, trapper and farmer, Tommie learned his trade in the school of hard knocks. He graduated at the top of his class.
In his earlier years, a child as young as the age of six had to 'make a hand' and help on the farm as best he could. Herbs became a means of escape from a life of extreme hardship for Tommie.
Along with fur trapping, herb digging provided an income that meant the difference between having or not having such essentials as shoes and a change of clothing.
This was incentive enough to be out wild-crafting for the medicinal barks, herbs and roots demanded by the drug industry. Over the years as his knowledge of herbal medicines grew, Tommie became much sought after for his ability to find just the right herb to ease up an ailment.
Things aren't so hectic for Tommie now, although he is much in demand nationally as a guest speaker. You are most likely to find him building a dog house for a customer or on the roof mending a leak. Greeted with a "Howdy neighbor! a request for a moment or two of conversation easily melts into an hour or more.
Tommie Bass fascinates fortunate visitors with songs and stories from younger years. Intertwined with these stories will be found valuable advice on herbs and their proper usage. As long as there is a speck of sunlight, it isn't necessary to ask twice for a tour of his yard, nearby fields, woods and mountains, all filled with herbs.
Like Mayberry, USA, Tommie Bass is an institution, a gentle man whose basic philosophy of life is to bring some 'ease' to those in need.
I first met Tommie Bass as a result of several people telling me stories of the 'Herb Man' up in Leesburg not far from where I lived.
All I had to say was that we were looking for Tommie Bass, the Herb Man, and people immediately told us how to find him.
For the next two hours, I was treated to fascinating stories of Leesburg and Lookout Mountain in the first half of this century, stories of herbal treatments, and even a couple of songs played on the French Harp. It turned out to be the most interesting day of my life.
I found Tommie to be the most humble and guileless person I had ever met.
The biggest result of my visit with Tommie was the birth of an intense interest in learning to identify and use the various plants he had shown on that day. With no charge he willingly shared his immense knowledge. He kept no secrets and demanded nothing in return.
Periodically, I still take various plants to him that I have collected in the fields and forests surrounding my farm. This, along with walks taken with Tommie, have served to greatly enlarge my knowledge of the plants God has provided for the healing of mankind. Some 1,500 plants later, I was still coming across some that I found necessary to take to Tommie for consultation. He did not always know what the plant was, but was usually right on the money when it comes to its identification. His ability to recognize herbs and trees from a distance was awesome.
Time and experience have left me with nothing but respect for Tommie. He is one of those rare and endangered species; a truly kind and honest person A giver not a taker. At eighty-eight, he has been treating those in his community with herbs for eighty years. At the same time, he has kept alive a true American folk-art.
There are many 'Herbalists' around recommending all sorts of strange herbal treatments. But they have absolutely no knowledge of what a medicinal plant looks like in the woods and outside of a bottle. These herbal "pharmacists" come and go like every other fad. Tommie and those who follow in his footsteps will continue to use simple herbs for healing.
If nothing else, he represents stability and continuity in the healing arts. Tommie has kept this tradition alive through good years and bad. When herbal practitioners were looked upon as hoodoo snake oil salesmen, he kept steadfastly to the path he had chosen to follow in life. He set the stage for those who were to follow.
When Tommie is gone, the world will have lost an irreplaceable part of its history and energy that is unlikely to be regained. I feel that it is time for this country, like Japan, to recognize those in its culture who are 'Living Treasures'. Tommie most certainly qualifies as a treasure of unique and exceedingly rare value. Tommie Bass is truly a diamond in a lump of coal. A vanishing resource.
Over the years of studying with Tommie, he gave me a massive collection of audio cassette tapes in which he spoke about everything from herbal medicine to sharecropping in the early 1900's.
Tommie Bass was an amazing ..., 12 Mar 2014 [cached]
Tommie Bass was an amazing teacher and a good and gentle soul. He could identify and use more plants in the woods than anyone I've ever met. Tommie lived in a run-down shack, never charged for his consultations, and tangled with the FDA. For cash money, he wildcrafted and repaired small appliances to pay his bills. Folks would just show up anytime to see him, no appointment necessary, and on Sunday afternoons after church, there might be 10 or 15 people just waiting in line outside his shack to see him. That's the way he operated. If Tommie wasn't at home, he was out in the woods and folks would sit in their cars and wait.
Tommie helped me grow my materia medica, that's for sure. But even more important, he taught me about belief. Tommie had a rock solid belief that herbs would help people, that God placed the herbs on this earth for just that purpose and that there was an herb for every illness. He had no doubt about this. And if you didn't take care of yourself with herbs and church, why then, you'd end up graveyard dead. His faith in herbs was absolutely unshakable. As he was fond of saying, "he knowed what he knowed about herbs" and nobody could tell him they didn't work.
Tommie often recommended a "swallow" of herbs in these situations; his version of drop doses.
Actually I've never seen any herbalist hassled except Tommie who blatantly put on his salve label that it cured skin cancer. It was the feds that came knocking on his door about that, not the local authorities. And I must say, the woman sent out to Tommie's place with a cease and desist order was really nice, non-threatening and totally reasonable. Tommie changed his label and that finished that business, well almost. He hand-wrote a sign on plywood that basically said his salve would do what he said it would do.
Darryl Patton: The Southern Herbalist [cached]
Whether it was a "Granny Woman" like Aunt Molly Kirby, who birthed every baby in Cherokee County and treated the people with herbs around the turn of the 19th century or, her student Tommie Bass who gathered literally thousands of medicinal plants for 88 years on the side of Lookout Mountain, there have always been herb doctors in every Southern community serving in many cases as the primary provider of "medical" help for those too poor too afford the services of a doctor or simply for those wanting an herbal "alternative".
It is the goal of The Southeastern Institute for Traditional Herbal Medicine to pass along this unique approach to health and healing to its' students. Our philosophy is that if a person wants to truly be an herbalist for their family, friends or community, it takes an intimate knowledge of the plant world to fully understand the craft. Classes consist of the standard classroom skills that any herb school has but what sets SITHM apart from the others is the field time each student receives. Darryl Patton studied with Tommie Bass for 12 years as his apprentice.
For Darryl and Tommie, 12 years studying consisted of going to to the woods with Tommie several days a week, assisting Tommie in gathering medicinal plants.
This is strictly a one on one program in which the student and instructor will work together to pass down the specific knowledge and skills taught Darryl Patton by his mentor Tommie Bass.
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