The Changing Times

First published in Out and About 2001

Nora Williams, late of Clogherboy

Old Cures

In the times past, we did not have much transport to get to the doctor, so we had to rely on old cures. We went on our bare feet for the summer months so we got many cuts and sores.The infected parts were washed with coarse salt and water and then a cobweb was placed on the cut to stop the bleeding. It was left to heal by itself without any stitches. Scailtin was a great cure for the common cold, this was made by boiling buttermilk and oatmeal, adding a knob of home-made butter, and this was drank very  hot, three times a day. If a person got pneumonia, there was a poultice made of loaf bread and linseed oil, it was placed on the chest of the person, and that sweated out the infection and it always worked.  Coarse salt was brought to a very high temperature in a metal pan, and put into a woollen sock, and placed round the neck for a sore throat.

Warts were cured by going out on a wet morning and finding a black snail, then rubbing the warts with it, in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit (three times).The warts would disappear within a week.  There were many more cures, goose oil for sprains, hot milk and pepper for a good night’s sleep, bread soda for burns, raw potatoes for sunburn and sulphur was drank for rashes.

Washing our hair

We washed our faces with buttermilk at night and washed our hair with soft bog water and rinsed it with the white of an egg giving it a lovely shine.  How times have changed!



This page was added on 27/09/2018.

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