Monday, January 14, 2013


Each time I turn on the TV, I'm alarmed at the flu raging across America.  I hope my blogger friends are well.

I'm posting some home remedies mountain folks used for colds and other ailments.  I would not recommend these.  This is just for entertainment, but I recall my grandparents used some of these.

BLACKBERRIES:  Drink the juice of blackberries to settle your stomach.  (My mother gave us blackberry juice for nausea).

ONIONS:  Eat onions to keep from getting the cold and to clear chest congestion.  Grandma used to eat onions almost everyday.

CHEST CONGESTION:  Wear a flannel shirt with turpentine and lard on it all winter.

COLDS:  Boil pine needles to make a strong tea.

PINE RESIN:  Put this on sores and wounds.

RABBIT FOOT:  Wear around your neck for good luck.

CROUP:  Put some groundhog oil on some hot flannel rags and place on your chest.

EARACHE:  Tie a flour sack around your head.

SORE THROAT:  Bake onions in an open  fireplace, then tie them around your neck.  Also, take a sock you have worn inside a boot and worked in for a week so it has a bad odor.  Tie it around your neck.

TOOTHACHE:  Put drops of vanilla straight from the bottle on the tooth.

WARTS:  Stick the hand which has warts on it into a brown paper poke and tie it up.  The first person who opens the bag will get your warts.

These are little tricks the old folks used before we had modern medicine in the Blue Ridge Mountains.


Muddling Through said...

It is a cold, rainy, gloomy day here and you have given me my first real laugh of the day! Thank you.

Betsy Adams said...

Hi Brenda, I love reading all about those old remedies... I'm sure that they work better than most of the medications that people take now... Thanks for the list. I had heard of some of them --but not all.

P.S. Hubby and I are healthy as of NOW....

Janet said...

Good ones, Brenda! A rabbit's foot also protects against witches. And we always rubbed bean leaves on a wart and put it under a rock, when the leaf rotted your wart would be gone. We could go on and on couldn't we? I'm glad we have modern medicine now.

lil red hen said...

I find these interesting. I can remember Mama rubbing my chest with something like Vicks or Ben Gay after I had stood by the coal heater and my chest was almost red from the heat. Then she would put a cloth over my chest and send me off to the feather bed for the night. I suppose the vapors helped clear my nose at least. lol

Susie Swanson said...

These are some good remedies Brenda.. I remember the blackberries for sick stomach.. My mom swore by it. She always fixed some up when we took a virus.. I had forgotten most of them until now.. They all are probably better than some of the stuff they give now.. It was so good talking to you yesterday too.. Stay dry and warm ..

Daisy said...

The smelly sock tied around the neck made me laugh. In some cases the "cure" might be worse than the ailment!

Dorothy said...

Interesting to read all these old 'home remedies'! I'm sure there are more out there. I wouldn't want to try most of them:)

Glenda C. Beall said...

Great tips, Brenda. I grew up with a mother who used more home remedies on us kids than store bought medicine. And we all survived.
Love your blog.

Mamabug said...

Just wonderful! Love reading about all these old timey cures.

Delisa said...

Hi Brenda, I too enjoyed reading about all the old timey remedies! I never heard about the vanilla extract before, or the flour sack. My grandma use to boil Eucalyptus leaves and make a salve for colds and congestion. Grandpa was a firm believer in the onions. I often make a chicken soup when we get sick and put lots of garlic in it. I don't know if it truly helps but it tastes good! Delisa :)

Eggs In My Pocket said...

How wonderful these tips are! Wonderful post

Paula said...

Some of these remedies I've heard before, Brenda~ but some I haven't... some are very interesting! These must have worked for people years ago for people to have passed that knowledge down.

Rana W. said...

Brenda Kay,
You write wonderfully.. I hear your voice as I read this creative touching poem.

I entered the Clay County Contest. I submitted one poem. The poem is a narrative poem. It is from a young girl's perspective.

It has the feel of Appalachia all through it. I grew up in Appalachia also and I enjoy all of your poetry.

I have been trying to read as much poetry as I can for the celebration of poetry month this month. And also for the inspirational urge to create my own poetry.

Thank you again for such good poems.

Your friend,

The Hiding Place

I discovered a treasure within a stone's throw of my home.  It's amazing what you'll find if you take time to savor the beauty...