Arthur Lee "Tommie" Bass (January 24, 1908 – August 28, 1996) was an Appalachian herbalist who lived near Lookout Mountain, Alabama. At the time of his death at age 88 on August 31, 1996, Bass, was one of the best-known local herbalists in the United States. He was profiled on the pages of the Wall Street Journal in 1985, subject of a film on his life, interviewed on national television, subject of a master's thesis and subject of scholarly and popular books. Tommie’s immense knowledge of herbal lore encompassed more than 300 local plants in his personal pharmacopoeia and others that might not be useful to "give ease" to others. He was well known for his tinctures, salves and compounds.
To quote his apprentice, Darryl Patton:
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.
- "ARTHUR BASS (1908-1996)", Social Security Death Index
- Williams, Linda. Doctors May Frown, But Hill People Say Herbalist 'Gives Ease'; Tommie Bass, 77, Even Lures Folklorists and Academics To a Leesburg, Ala., Shack. Wall Street Journal, July 8, 1985. p. 1 (2 pages)
- FolkStreams » Tommie Bass
- Tullos, Allen. Tommie Bass: a Life in the Ridge and Valley Country, MA Thesis, Curriculum in Folklore, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1976.
- Bass, A. L Tommie. Wintertime for a Backwoodsman: Reminiscences of A. L. Tommie bass of Leesburg, Alabama (Printed by John K. Crellin, Jane Philpottl, and A. L. Tommie Bass: Chapel Hill, North Carolina: 1983)
- Crellin, John K., Jane Philpott, and A. L. Tommie Bass. 1997 . Trying to Give Ease: Tommie Bass and the Story of Herbal Medicine. Durham : Duke University Press. 335 pp
- Patton, Darryl. Tommie Bass: Herb Doctor of Shinbone Ridge (np: Back to Nature Publications, 1988)
- Crellin, John K., and Jane Philpott. 1997 . A Reference Guide to Medicinal Plants: Herbal Medicine Past and Present [based on the practice of herbalist A.L. "Tommie" Bass]. Durham : Duke University Press. 551 pp. (Previously published as vol. 2 of Herbal Medicine Past and Present)
- Patton, Darryl Mountain Medicine, The Herbal Remedies of Tommie Bass
- http://www.stalkingthewild.com/sh/tommie_newsletter.html Darryl Patton. Herbal Mountain Medicine: The Healing Remedies of Tommie Bass
- http://www.stalkingthewild.com/sh/tommiebass.html by his apprentice, Darryl Patton.
- http://www.folkstreams.net/pub/ContextPage.php?essay=154 transcript to film about Tommie Bass
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