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My grandmother has always given us advice on how to cure illnesses, colds, and medical problems, that just seemed odd and strange to me. Even to this day. As a small child, I though the things she said were just for fun or that she was just joking around with us because we were children. In time, I have come to realize there was a great deal of knowledge not only in the sayings she would say, but in the remedies she would suggest we did to cure illnesses. I was shocked when I found out my grandmother was only 16 years old when her mother Elizabeth who taught her all the sayings she knows died. It must be the truest testament to motherhood to impact your childrens lives in such a powerful and everlasting way. I hope to have such an impact on my daughter.

After researching the customs and traditions of the Indians of the Alabama area, I have grown to understand where some of those remedies and even customs may have been derived. Not all customs and remedies of Afro-Americans born in the south can be solely attributed to those of the Indians. Many are from our Southern Afro-American heritage and upbringing. However, I'm sure you'll find a great similarity in them. I will also include many southern verses and sayings my grandmother learned from her parents.


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Colds and Pneumonia
Cow Manure Put in a bag, boil it, add sugar or flavoring if desired and drink it
Tallan (hamburger meat greast cooked and strained Let harden in a jr and rub on your chest and neck
Flushing out one's system (Diahrea remedies)
Fever Grass A yellow root that grows in a wet spot in the woods. Wash it, boil it, strain it and drink a cup full
Black Draw or Syrup Wash it, boil it, strain it and drink a cup full
May Apple Root Wash it, boil it, strain it and drink a cup full
Bone Set Wash it, boil it, strain it and drink a cup full
Female Problems
Buzzard Root (weed) A purple blossomed flower Cook in 1/2 gallon of water and 1 tsp. of Allen. Boil to a quart and drink
Female Cramps after having a Baby
Go outside one's house, walk backwards around the house 3 times carrying a thimble of water. Once done, give the water to the baby and this should stop your body cramps caused from exposure to the outside air
Remedies for infants and children
Frequent Urinating Place a baby by the door and step over them. This will keep the baby from urinating frequently while you are away from home.
Colic in Babies Take a teaspoon of baby's milk, blow smoke from a cigarette over the teaspoon of milk, and feed this to the baby. Also blow the smoke in the baby's face and in the mold of their head. This stops the cramping feeling infant's experience during this time.
Rashes (Diaper) Take A&D Ointment and rub this on the baby's rash. Then blow your hot breath on it. This tends to eliminate the existing rash.
Navels Tape a half-dollar coin to the infant's navel or belly button. This will prevent the navel from protruding
Thrush (white cakey tongue) Catch the infant's urine on a cloth diaper and wipe the infant's tongue with the diaper. Because their urine is purer at this age, this will eliminate the thrush your baby has.
Cataracts / Pink Eye
Honey Put honey on your eye to cure cataracts and pink eye
Sage Tea Use 2-3 teaspoons of ground sage to 2 quarts of water. Boil them then strain it. Drink the mixture to help prevent vision problems.
Star or Styes in one's eye
Go to the fork in the road, make a cross, spit in it, turn around, spit on your finger and cross the star in your eye. Then say "Star, Star, get off my eye and get on the 1st one past". Turn around, don't look back leave.
Flour Water Mix a 1/2 teaspoon of flour to 1 cup of water. Drink at least 1/2 a glass. This will concentrate your loose stool.
Long periods of Bleeding or Nose Bleeds
Bible Scripture Read Verse Ezekial 6:16, 3 times backwards to the person experiencing the bleed. By the time you have read this verse the 3rd time, the bleed should stop or ast least have slowed down.
Wet Paper Bag Wet a small piece of paper bag. Ball it up and place this small piece under your lip (just under your nose). This is a pressure point and should stop the nose bleed.
Copper Bracelets Wearing of copper as in bracelets or anklets helps to eliminate arthritis
High Blood Pressure
Epsom Salt Take a pinch of Epsom Salt
Pepper Mix water and pepper together and drink this to lower one's high blood pressure
Burns and Abrasions
Aloe Plant Brake a piece of an aloe plant and saturate the burned area with it
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Your Right Eye Twitches You'll hear good news or you'll be happy about something
Your Left Eye Twitches You're going to get upset or mad about something. Remedy: Lick your right hand, wipe it, beat your eye and .............
Your Right Palm Itches You'll receive unexpected money soon.......
Your Left Palm Itches Unexpected Bills or financial debt is coming your way
Your Nose itches Someone unexpected will come to visit or come to see you
New Years Day 1. No washing is done on this day. If so, death will come to you or your family in the new year
2. Black Eye Peas are cooked on this day symbolizing financial riches and good luck in the new year
Parting your hair A woman should never part her hair on the left. Only "Fools" part their hair on the left
For Pregnant Women 1. Don't drink out of bottles: Your baby will come out slobbering.......
2. Don't feed the baby fish: Your baby will be stuttering.......
3. Dont' cross your legs while pregnant: Your baby will be "funny".........
4. Don't eat a lot of hotsauce: Your baby will have "red hair"......
5. Heartburn means your baby will have a head full of hair
Relationships Never point your finger at a graveyard; it will rot off
1. Always remember: A new broom sweeps clean
2. 1st Month Sugar, 2nd Month Pie, 3rd Month go to hell, Damn you or Die!
3. Never buy your mate a pair of shoes: They'll be what they'll be wearing then they walk out on you!!
4. The 1st 3 Months you do well, the next 3 months you begin to swell, and the next 6 months you be catchin Hell!!!
When passing a graveyard Never point your finger at a graveyard. it will rot off.......
Nicknames for people she don't like Hammer Knocker, someone who is hard headed or stubborn
Southern Terms
Tick A mattress stuffed with cloth, cotton and other material that was padded down to smoothen the bed surface
Croaker Sack A burlap Bag
Rack or Clothes Rack A clothes hanger
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1 "What's on your mind excusing robbin and stealing"?
2 "There's more than one way to kill a dog without choking him on a bone"
3 "If you see a pig in a tree, painch his tail and think of me!"
4 for Tithing in Church "Peace at home, spread abroad, love your child then serve the Lord"
5 "I went in on a tap, and came out before it sound"
6 " A tit for a tat, butter for a rat, you kill my dog, I'll kill your cat!"
7 When your slip is showing: "The price of cotton is low" or "You're slipping in the south"
8 "You still my nigga if you don't get no bigga"
9 "Don't cut off your nose to spite your face"
10 "It's too late to twitch your ass after you done farted"
11 "I got the fever @ the lurk, 3 to eat and none to work"
12 "When you marry and own a Ford, just save me a seat on the run-in-board"
13 "If I live and don't get killed, I'ma make my home in Jacksonville"
14 "If I live and don't get hurt, I think I'll join a Methodist Church"
15 "I do my less, to do my best or to put my head in a harness nest"
16 "I like to skin my hog while the water's still hot"
17 "I'll jump down yo thout and run off yo bowels like castor oil"
18 "I'll jump down yo thout and break out around yo ass like poison oak"
19 "Whatcha lookin at which yo nose all snotty, if you don't know whatcha doin you betta ask somebody"
20 "If you put that nigga's sense in a Jay Buzzard's ass, he'd fly backwards
21 "You got a good line, but yo hood is rusty"
22 I's drive fo the rich and I's drive fo the po, I's drives the man that drives along slow"
23 "Talk fast, consider slow, time is passin and I gotta go" (means hurry up)
24 It's tight in the country, it's tight in the town, it's tight from my head to my heals own down"
25 "The cat done shit in my sugar bucket" - (means she's out of whatever she needs)
26 "You sharpen than a rat turd on each end" (mean you look great)
27 "A niggah ain't shit and a white man ain't hockey"
28 "You don't keep a dog down while he's down"
29 "A cow will need his tail again in fly time to fan the flies from his ass" (you'll need somebody oneday)
30 "Missed the cow and caught the blind"
31 "A white man eat and run, a niggah sit and make room for more"
32 "Done or raw, do to chaw"
33 "If you want to make a preacher cuss, eat the custard and give him the crust"
34 "Wanna make a preacher moan, eat the chicken and give him the bone"
35 "I'm talking about the cat and you going around peepin up his ass"
36 "You talkin bout 1 thing and they talkin about another"
37 "If you get bit by a snake, get some allum and lard and give it to the dog"
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ASK HER: How you got there? I had em, but they got aloose
ASK HER: What you doing? Sittin on a box, trying to make a dime
SAY: "Hello" Hello back and put your head in a Croaker Sack!
Offer a piece of something If I can't be the cake, damn the crumbs!
Ask to her for something I wouldn't give you hay if you was an ox, I would ply you all day and feed you rocks
How old are You? Eleventeen
You don't want to be left behind Well, I'ma pass you up and call you Lucky
She wants to know what's on your mind How's your fat?
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