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Mountains Herbs & Home Remedies

Mountain folks many years ago were isolated from towns with doctors. These people relied on nature to provide what was needed to help them survive. Through my research I have tried to list some of the home remedies used by the "Old Timers" that lived in these mountain. This will give you a glance of what our ancestors did for sickness when the rugged terrain and the mode of travel made it impossible to visit a doctor when a family member became ill. Some herbs are listed with only what they may help if used.

NOTE
(These methods are not recommended or endorsed by this web site but I will add that many of these remedies were used by my family when I was growing up in the 50's.)

Thank you,
Dan Gibson, webmaster

MULLEIN LEAVES:
The leaves were seeped for tea and used for people who had a bout of asthma. If the asthma was real bad you would hold a towell over your head and bend over a pot of boiling mullenin leaves on the stove.

ONION POULTICE:
Onions were fried in grease. While they were still hot they were placed in a dry, clean cloth. This was placed on the bare chest of the sick person. This was suppose to help chest ailments such as bad colds with coughing.

GROUND IVY:
This was made into a tea for babies with the colic.

JEWEL WEED:
Squeezing the juice from the weed unto the skin area affected with poison oak is suppose to work wonders.

DANDELIONS:
In the Spring dandelions were eaten as fresh greens. The root of dandelions were also used as a substitute for coffee. Some mountain families made dandelion wine which is pale yellow in color. The root was also used as a mild laxative and good for stomach problems.

GINGER:
Bronchitis, chicken pox, circulation, colds, constipation, cough, cramps, diarrhea, digestive disorders, gas, gout, headache, indigestion, menstruation, morning sickness, mumps, nausea, pneumonia, shock, sinuses, sore throat, stamina

HOG GREASE:
Rubbing hog grease on the chest would help someone suffering from congestion in the chest and the croup.

BLOODROOT:
Rubbing the sap from a freshly broken root from the Bloodroot plant can help the affected skin with poison oak.

BLACKBERRY JUICE:
Drinking blackberry juice help's people with diarrhea.

PEACH TREE BARK:
You would soak the bark for about an hour in water. Drinking a cup or two would help someone suffering from vomiting.

GINSENG:
Ginseng grows wild in the mountains. It is used to increase energy. Some people will boil the root and make a tea. Some people will say it helps people suffering from stomach problems. Many mountain people will hunt ginseng to sell. The demand and price for ginseng is high.

SLIPPERY ELM:
This was used to bring a boil to a head.

COD & LIVER OIL:
Given to children as a tonic for their health.

IVY:
Ground ivy was used for anyone with the hives.

TANSY:
Used for upset stomachs.

WHITE OAK BARK:
This can be use for tired feet. You boil the bark in water and when cool enough place your tired feet into the pan and soak for awhile.

HOREHOUND:
Made into a candy and then soaked in whiskey, lemon and honey. Years ago many used moonshine. This mixture was used for colds and coughs.

COCKLEBURS:
These were boiled to make a cough syrup for colds.

SULFUR & MOLASSES:
This was used to cleanse the blood after people were indoors after a long winter.

GARLIC:
Arteriosclerosis, cancer, coughs, cramps, diarrhea, emphysema, expels worms, fever, gallbladder, gas, heart, high blood pressure, intestinal infection, liver, parasites, prostate gland, rheumatism, sinuses, ulcers, warts, yeast infections

SASSAFRAS:
Made into a tea and used to build the blood.

LICORICE:
Age spots, arthritis, asthma, blood cleanser, bronchitis, colds, cough, emphysema, energy, female problems, hoarseness, hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, longevity, lungs, menopause, sexual stimulant, stamina, stress, throat, ulcers, voice

TURPENTINE:
Used to break up the phlegm of a chest cold.

ALOE VERA:
Abrasions, athlete's foot, burns, eczema, fever blisters, hemorrhoids, poison ivy and oak, promotes hair growth, psoriasis, sores, ulcers

THYME:
Asthma, colic, cramps, diarrhea, fever, gas, headache, heartburn, lungs, migraines, nightmares, shingles, tumors

SAGE:
Bites, bleeding, bronchitis, circulation, dandruff, diarrhea, expels worms, fever, gas, headache, hoarseness, kidneys, lactation, liver, lungs, menstruation, morning sickness, nausea, night sweat, pneumonia, sore throat, tonsillitis, voice loss

ST. JOHNSWORT:
Afterbirth pains, anemia, bedwetting, boils, cough, diarrhea, dysentery, gout, heart, hemorrhage, lungs, palsy, sciatica, tumors, urination, wounds, yellow jaundice

BAYBERRY:
Bleeding, bronchitis, canker sores, colon, congested sinuses, cramps, cuts, diarhhea, dysentery, fever, flu, gangrenous sores, gargle, headaches, infection, lumbago, lungs, menstruation supressant, miscarriage, sore throat, ulcers, varicose veins

CHAMOMILE:
Appetite stimulant, asthma, bladder, bronchitis, callouses, colds, corns, cramps, dandruff ,drug withdrawal, expels worms, gas, headaches, hemorrhage, indigestion, kidneys, muscle pain, measles, regulates menstruation, smoking, spleen, swelling, toothaches, stomach, yellow jaundice

WITCH HAZEL:
Circulation, diarrhea, eyes, gums, hemorrhage, inflammation, nose bleed, sinuses, sores, sore throat, varicose veins, venereal disease, wounds

PARSLEY:
Allergies, appetite stimulant, arthritis, asthma, bedwetting, bruises, cancer, cough, eyes, female problems, fever, gallbladder, gallstones, gout, hay fever, insect bites, kidney stones, liver, low blood pressure, menstruation, pituitary, prostate gland, spleen, thyroid, tumors, venereal disease, yellow jaundice

PEPPERMINT:
Appetite stimulant, boils, chills, cholera, colds, colic, cough, diarrhea, digestion, dizziness, fever, flu, gallbladder, gas, headache, insomnia, itching, liver, measles, menstruation, migraines, morning sickness, nausea, nerves, nightmares, rheumatism, shingles, smoking, stimulant, vomiting

FENNEL:
Acid stomach, appetite supressant, bedwetting, bronchitis, colic, cough, cramps, digestion, emphysema, food poisoning, gallbladder, gas gout, hoarsenss, indigestion, insect bites, liver, menstruation, migraines, rheumatism, sinuses, snake bites, spleen, yellow jaundice

GOLDEN SEAL:
Allergies, antibiotic, asthma, bladder, bronchitis, burns, canker sore, chicken pox, colds, constipation, diabetes, diptheria, eczema, gallbladder, general cleanser, gum disease, hay fever, hemorrhage, hemorrhoids, hoarseness, infections, inflammation, itching, kidneys, liver, measles, menstruation, morning sickness, mouth odor, nausea, pancreas, prostate gland, psoriasis, ringworm, sinuses, spleen, syphilis, thyroid, tonsillitis, ulcers, urethra, wounds

JUNIPER:
An infusion made by boiling an ounce of the bruised berries in a pint of water is frequently used to stimulate the action of the kidneys. Hence this remedy is used in dropsy and in some diseases of the kidney. It is usually combined with cream of tartar.

CAMPHOR:
This is obtained from a tree in the East Indies. Camphor is a sedative for the nervous system in many disorders. It is often useful in quieting the restlessness of fevers.

PEONY:
An infusion is made by boiling an ounce of the powdered root in a pint of water. Half a teacupful may be given four times a day. It was formerly considered a nerve tonic, and was used in epilepsy and St. Vitus' dance.

SAFFRON:
This is a familiar garden flower of a deep orange color. It is used as a decoction; an ounce of the leaves is boiled in a pint of water. This is used as a gargle for sore throat and as a remedy for fevers. It is suppposed to favor the eruption in scarlet fever, measles, etc.

TOBACCO:
Many people chewed tobacco years ago and used it to treat bee and wasp stings. After the stinger was pulled out they would take a small "wad" of tobacco out of their mouth and place it over the place of the sting. They would then tie a rag around the area. The tobacco would pull the posion out. In a short time the sting would stop hurting and there would be very little swelling.

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