The Changing Times

Old Cures

Nora Williams, late of Clogherboy

Old Cures

In 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.  This had to be drunk while still very hot, three times a day. If a person got pneumonia, a poultice was made of loaf bread and linseed oil which was placed on the chest of the person.  This sweated out the infection and never failed to work.  For a sore throat, coarse salt was brought to a very high temperature in a metal pan, and put into a woolen sock.  This was placed round the neck for a sore throat.

Warts were cured by going out on a wet morning and finding a black snail which was then used to rub the warts with, while blessing yourself and saying ‘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 such as 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.

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






This page was added on 25/07/2017.

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