Here's an old Ozark Mountain spring meal that was a tonic to clean out the innards of folks after a hard winter: gather the first leaves from dandelion plants along with Spring onions (note-be sure and don't get these mixed up with wild garlic which ain't good-ever). Chop these up real fine and cook in a little fat (usually lard or perhaps butter if the milk cow has freshened) until the greens are tender. Stir in enough hen eggs to make a good dish, good for any time of the day. This was my Grandmother's favorite Springtime breakfast.
If you really want clean innards then wait a few weeks and gather some early poke sallet. Strip off the leaves and parboil them. Save the pot liquor from the first boiling and drink down-it will be bitter. You can cook the leaves any way you like greens and prepare the stems like asparagus if they are still real small and tender. My Grandfather liked poke sallet once a year in spring, he called it his "pizen". Poke is supposed to get your liver gurgling and clean out the bowels. Personally, I hate poke sallet and would rather drink olive oil in a liver flush, but to each his own.
Lucky folks (like me) have some watercress growing near their springs or spring fed ponds. Mountain folks like to add this peppery green to salads or cook with scrambled eggs.
They say our wet spring and early summer will produce a bumper crop of "Sang (Ginseng) and the buyers are getting ready for a good year. Right now I am not able to crawl around on the hill where the "Sang" used to be plentiful. My Grandparents made the mistake of allowing some poor neighbors to pick the ginseng to sell and the neighbors pretty well wiped out the patch. I am hoping it will come back some day. I miss the ginseng, bee trees, quails and choke cherries that were part of my summer childhood.
My great-great grandmother and great-grandmother were Cherokee "Yarb" doctors and knew all about healing herbs. I just know a tiny fraction of what they knew. How I regret not learning more at a much younger age.
Trapper-did your family have any old mountain cures and tonics?