Sunday 18 August 2019

Old-fashioned cures cause me to reminisce

Clair Whitty.
Clair Whitty.

By Clair Whitty

People at the shop where I work often talk about old fashioned cures.

They tell me stories about what they used. And they are surprised when I say that I occasionally recommend some of them myself. They always say that the old cures were the best.

Mostly they talk about nettles and how they were used to cleanse the blood and in the spring time, they were considered a tonic, and still are. Many people had them as a vegetable added to soups and stews. Or they boiled them and drank the water from them. They are a good source of iron too. And if you got stung with them you had to look for a dock leaf. Do children get stung today?

Bee stings were treated by making a paste of bread soda that was left on the skin for fifteen minutes to soothe the sting. But, for a wasp sting, you used vinegar. If you had a boil you had to put a really hot bread poultice on it to draw out the pus. And many people told me about rubbing warm olive oil into their achy knees for pain relief.

My dad bought a wart from me. He gave me a few pence and told me that the wart would be gone by the next day, and it was. Crazy, but true! Remember the potato cure? You rubbed the potato onto the wart and buried it. As the potato rotted so did your wart. Lots of people told me about rubbing the milky sap from the dandelion stem onto a wart to heal it.

Barley water is made by simply boiling pearl barley for a couple of hours. People drink this water to help with urinary problems. This is still a popular cure.

Many eat an apple to relieve heartburn, or they take a teaspoon of bread soda in water. Not pleasant, but it works for some.

Did you get hot red lemonade warmed in the saucepan for a cold? Did you ever pretend that you had a cold so that you could get a big mug full of it? It was lovely. It did the trick.

Maybe you have an old remedy that worked for you and would like to share with me. I love reminiscing.

Wexford People

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