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  Texas : Features : Columns : "It's All Trew"

Home remedies
would cure or kill you

by Delbert Trew
Delbert Trew
I'll bet money that every family has a few home remedies handed down from the past. The most logical reason for home remedy use is, in the old days few doctors and hospitals existed. Even if they were near and available, few could afford the services except in life-threatening illnesses.

Every age of humanity had its complements of doctors, witch doctors, medicine men, herb ladies and healers. Their wisdom and experience, like in families, was handed down from generation to generation. Here are a few to consider:

To treat a wasp sting, my grandparents placed the ever-present chaw of tobacco over the bite and immediately the pain stopped. My mother used a paste made from baking soda. A friend says dig out some ear wax and rub it on the bite. All seem to work equally well.

To cure ringworm, make a paste of water and snuff then tape a cloth patch containing the paste over the ringworm spot. They say it never fails. To make a boil come to a head, tape a piece of raw bacon over the bump. It will come to a head and will heal faster than if using other means.

For constipation, use a dose of Epsom salts, swallow some castor oil or mineral oil. For diarrhea, take two tablespoons of browned flour. For sties on the eyelid, rub a gold ring over the area and the sty will go away. Two or more treatments might be necessary.

To stop chronic coughs, mix whiskey, lemon and sugar, or whiskey and honey, or coal oil, sugar and honey or almost anything horrible tasting. My thoughts are the stuff tastes so bad the patient will probably die trying to keep from coughing and having to take another dose.

A friend, older than dirt, says in his community in the old days, when whooping cough came around, they scoured the area for a mare with a new colt. Her milk would stop the coughing. He swore it worked every time.

During the steam engine era, there were many steam burns suffered by workers. To treat a steam burn, place the victim in a cool, damp cellar and coat the burns with fresh cream taken from the separator morning and night. Two or three days were usually sufficient and the burns would heal without scarring.

Milk of magnesia makes a great underarm deodorant so I'm told. It cures stinky feet with only a few applications. However, it probably wouldn't hurt to wash the feet once in awhile also. Bacon grease cures cracked skin and helps keep frozen spots on the skin from shedding.

Once while staying at Grandma Trew's house, I cut my bare foot with a garden hoe. She stopped the bleeding by gathering spider and cobwebs from the cellar and pushing them down into the open wound. The blood clotted immediately and stopped bleeding.

The most difficult task I have ever attempted is drilling a hole through the finger or toenail of a throbbing, smashed or bruised digit to relieve the pressure. Oh yeah! Be sure to soak it in coal oil an hour twice a day to prevent blood poison.


Delbert Trew

"It's All Trew" November 1 , 2004 column

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