Volume VI, No. 1, Fall 1978


Compiled by Kathy Long

The common cold, as the name suggests, was probably one of the most prevalent illnesses known to the people of yesterday as well as today. Although people today have the alternative of purchasing their cures from a druggist, some may still prefer the touch of Mother Nature found in such old time cures as these.

For COLDS, two common medications Were swallowing a mixture of sulfur and sorghum, or drinking a tea made by boiling mint leaves.

Make a mixture of turpentine, kerosene, quinine and castor oil to rub on the chest to ease CHEST COLD symptoms. The castor oil keeps the rub from blistering the skin.

For a BABY'S COLD, mince an onion, add two to three teaspoons of sugar and feed the extracted juice to the baby.

Black pepper and sugar mixed together in a teaspoon of water and swallowed slowly controlled a COUGH.

SORE THROATS were eased by letting a piece of crystalled alum, a pain killer, dissolve in the mouth. Alum is available in the powdered form and was also applied to wounds to stop BLEEDING.

Bring peach tree leaves to a boil, let steam for a while, and drink the tea to calm CHILLS.

A small garden of sage provides a good tea remedy for a HEADACHE from a cold or any headache. Pour boiling water over one teaspoon crushed sage leaves, or one tablespoon green leaves, let the mixture brew off the stove and drink the strained liquid.

Living and working close to nature, as the old timers did, exposed them to many external ailments, as well as internal. For these, they could turn to nature for even more cures.

To remove FOREIGN PARTICLES IN THE EYE, place a flax seed in the eye.

A sedative made from one cup milk and two tablespoons honey mixed together quickly cures INSOMNIA.

A poultice made of homemade soap, sweet milk and cornbread will quickly bring a BOIL to a head. However, because of their great iron content, eating raisins may help prevent boils.

To stop BLEEDING, apply spider webs or soot to the wound. Also effective is the powder inside puff balls found in the woods. Sprinkle the powder over the wound as you would a powder antiseptic today. The juice obtained from the tip of an Aloe verde plant--burn plant--is good for a BURN, and other soothing properties are found in homemade soap lather or linseed oil.

Make a poultice of homemade soap and sugar and apply to a FELON--a bruise of the bone.

Two available plant remedies for POISON IVY are the juice from the jewel weed and the nightshade plants. The jewel weed's juice is obtained from a bruised stem, while the nightshade's juice comes from the mashed leaves, which are soaked in milk before applied. A bit of sulfur mixed with saltless lard forms a thick salve to treat poison ivy.

Drop the juice from the milkweed plant on WARTS to remove them.

Tobacco smoke blown into the ear eased the EARACHE.

For an ASTHMA ATTACK, smoke a hornet's nest in a pipe and inhale the smoke.


Copyright © 1981 BITTERSWEET, INC.

Next Article | Table of Contents | Other Issues

Local History Home

 Springfield-Greene County Library