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Olden Cures

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Before the days of modern medicine and drug stores on every corner, old-time country cures were handed down through generations in the form of poultices and potions learned through trial-and-error and observation. Some even worked! Don't be surprised . . . grandma's have known about the curative properties of chicken soup for years!

Remember some of these "cure alls" the next time you complain about having to swallow a pill. I believe there is an old saying about something that could kill a cat (even with nine lives!). A few of these remedies may fall into that category! 

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Stings - Baking soda mixed with vinegar was good for wasp and bee stings.

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Cuts - A mixture of sugar and lard was used on cuts, sugar being the curative. Lard held it together and on the wound.

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Blood Poisoning - An onion was good for blood poisoning which was suspected when red streaks spread from a wound or sore. Onions were cooked in water to a thick paste, wrapped in a flour sack and applied to the site.

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Warts - Milkweed cured warts. You rubbed the wart with milk from the broken weed. Another cure was to rub a piece of fat meat over the wart, place the meat between two bricks or two rocks, and bury them.

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Tonics - Sassafras tea was a good spring tonic to purify and strengthen the blood. Sarsaparilla - a kind of greenbriar vine - made into teas was also a good spring tonic.

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Muscle Cramps - Wear a narrow leather strap around the wrist to prevent cramps.

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Rheumatism - A copper bracelet, one made from twisted wire will do, wards off aches. Also effective is a horseshoe nail bent into a ring.

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Sinus Problems - Dried mullen leaves rolled into a cigarette and smoked would cure catarrh ( sinus problems).

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Risin's - The membrane from the inside of a boiled egg would draw a risin' to a head, as would a piece of fat salt pork.

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Wounds, Sores - Bark of elderberry bushes was good for infected wounds or sores. The bark was boiled in water and strained, and the water mixed with lard for a salve.

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Cuts, Punctures - Coal oil or turpentine were poured on open cuts and puncture wounds as an antiseptic.

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Evil Spirits - A buckeye would ward off evil spirits, and sometimes would make a sick person well.

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Kidney Trouble - Watermelon-seed tea was good for the kidneys.

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Ringworms - Black walnut juice was good for ringworms. You used the green outer shell and rubbed it on the affected skin.

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Bleeding, Chafing - Spider webs were good to stop bleeding. Webs were also used on babies to stop the skin from chafing, somewhat like the use of talcum powder.

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Burns - Yellowtop roots fried in tallow made a salve for burns. Yellowtop is that common yellow wildflower you see covering fields that have been left fallow.

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Hives - Catnip tea, made from boiling catnip leaves, would cure hives on a baby. Babies have a rash today, but they used to have hives.

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Sore Eyes - Dried tobacco leaves, crushed and wet, or wet chewing tobacco made poultice, even for sore eyes. You covered the eye with a clean cloth, placed the poultice over it, then bound it to the eye. I don't think you were supposed to open your eye while it was in place.

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Croup - For croup, they dipped a broom straw in turpentine and stirred the straw into a spoonful of caster oil and swallowed the oil. Croup is a kind of choking cough common to babies and children in winter. A spoonful of sugar wet with a few drops of coal oil was also given for croup.

           A little bedtime prayer. . .

 Now I lay me down to sleep.
 I pray the Lord my shape to keep.
 Please no wrinkles. Please no bags.
 Please lift my butt before it sags.
 Please no age spots. Please no gray,
And as for my belly, please take it away.
 Please keep me healthy. Please keep me young,
 And thank you Dear Lord for all that you've done.
Amen

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