Mich. woman concocts 'Mother' of alternative medicines

She was born before parents took their kids to the doctor for an earache or a runny nose. She was born before you could go to WebMD to research different diseases or buy cough medicine at 7-Eleven.
"You had to live off the land," she said.
And that is why this 92-year-old great-great-grandmother -- whose first name is Jessie, though no one calls her that -- stands in front of a stove, stirring a secret potion in an old metal pot. The recipe has been passed down for at least three generations, originating on a cotton plantation in Georgia and ending up in this small kitchen in a tidy two-story home on the west side of Detroit.
Supporters of alternative medicine say that more than 50% of Americans go outside traditional medicine to treat illness -- such as using herbal therapy -- although many never tell their doctors.
Critics say that the homemade remedies might seem to work because of the placebo effect. And the Food and Drug Administration cautions that a doctor should be consulted before taking any supplement.

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