Country Folk Medicine: Tales of Skunk Oil, Sassafras Tea and Other Old-Time Remedies
How did people deal with ordinary illnesses and injuries in the days when doctors were too far away or too expensive to summon? After interviewing more than 1,400 senior citizens throughout New England and New York State, Elisabeth Janos compiled a wealth of information for this one-of-a-kind compendium. The vivid first-hand accounts describe how people used to make do with healing substances they kept on pantry shelves at home or gathered outdoors.
Included are old-time remedies such as
*a tablespoon of skunk oil to cure laryngitis
*a bandage of bruised plantain leaves to ease the itch of poison ivy
*a salt pork poultice for infection
*a barefoot walk through fresh cow manure to cure athlete's foot
*a potato compress for a migraine
*ginger tea for a fever
*a paste of night crawlers and heavy cream rubbed onto the skin to mend broken bones
Learn why the typical "medicine chest" contained milk, salt, sugar, molasses, onions, and potatoes, curing everything from eye, ear, nose, and throat problems to nervous conditions to infant and childhood ailments. Depicting an intimate portrait of Northeast America at the turn of the century, this distinctive, spirited treasury preserves the many homespun cures that offered relief to an earlier generation.
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