Dittany Tea

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X:1 T:Dittany Tea N:From a field recording of fiddler Jimmy Wheeler (1917-1987, N:Portsmouth, Scioto County, southern Ohio), by John Harrod M:C| L:1/8 R:Polka Q:"Moderately Quick" D:https://soundarchives.berea.edu/items/show/3555 Z:Transcribed by Andrew Kuntz K:C c3d cBcd |e2c2a4|g2B4B2|dcBd cAGF|E2G2c2-G2|e2c2 a4|g2 B4 B2|dcBd c4| G2AB c2G2| e2c2a4|g2B4B2|dcBd cAGF|E2G2[c2e2]c2|[c2e2]c2 a4|g2 B4 B2|dcBd c4|| K:G B-d d2 d2B2|d2g2{a}[d4b4]|a2gf e2d2|dedc BAG2|Bdd2 dcBc|d2g2{a}b4|a2 gf e2d2|dedc B2G2| Bdd2 dcBc|d2g2{a}b4|a2 gf e2d2|dedc B2G2|Bdd2 dcBc|d2g2{a}b4|a2 gf e2d2|dedc B2G2|| g2-|gbag fage|dced-B2 z2 [G2B2]|F[FA][F2A2] A2dB|GABc d2g2-| gbag fage|dced- B4 [G2B2]|F[FA][F2A2] e2dB|1G6:|2 G8||



DITTANY TEA. American, Polka (cut time). C Major ('A' Part) & G Major ('B' and 'C' parts). Standard tuning (fiddle). ABC. "Dittany Tea" is from the repertoire of instrument repairman and fiddler Jimmy Wheeler (1917-1987) of Portsmouth, Scioto County, Ohio, located on the Ohio River, and the border with Kentucky. Dittany Tea (Cunila origanoides) is a traditional greek herb, once (over) harvested wild from the mountainsides of Crete, however, there is an American plant called dittany that has been used medicinally for generations. Gunn's Domestic Medicine: Or Poor Man's Friend, in the Hours of Affliction, Pain and Sickness (1835) gives:
American Dittany Plant

This handsome little plant belongs exclusively to America, and is known to almost every farmer and his family in the country. It grows plentifully in Tennessee. The dittany is always found in dry soils, and in shaky and hill places: it is used in slight fevers as a tea: every old lady in the country has more or less used dittany tea in colds. It is excellent to relieve nervous head aches, and is a good remedy in the hysterical affections of women. In South Carolina and Georgia, the dittany is given frequently be infusing the leaves in hot water and administering it as a tea, drank as warm as possible, to produce sweating. The medicinal virtues of dittany are much the same as penny-royal, mint, and sage: it is a perfectly innocent plant.[1]



Additional notes

Source for notated version: -

Printed sources : -

Recorded sources: -

See also listing at:
Hear Jimmy Wheeler's field recording by John Harrod at Berea Sound Archives [1]



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  1. John C. Gunn, Gunn's Domestic Medicine: Or Poor Man's Friend, in the Hours of Affliction, Pain and Sickness, 1835, p. 537.