Grandma Used Folk Medicine for Natural Cures

Grandmother’s old-fashioned natural treatments cured many ailments.
Heart of the Home
Appeared in March/April 2013 Issue of GRIT Magazine
Add to My MSN

A mixture of vinegar and honey is said to soothe a cough.
Photo By Fotolia/Catherine Murray

Content Tools

Related Content

Meet Our Organic/Certified Naturally Grown CSA Farmer Reuben DeMaster

This is an initial post introducing some of our local farmers and the great, creative ways they are ...

My Field Trip to Spring

Weather predictions - when is spring going to be here?

Dealing With Mosquitoes Naturally

How to repel mosquitoes without using harsh chemicals.

Garlic Salve For Coughs And Colds

A natural alternative for drawing out toxins and boosting your immune system during cough and cold s...

My grandmother was born in 1899 and grew up on a farm in southeast Iowa. Her family rarely went to the doctor unless someone was seriously ill. Instead, they relied upon folk medicine to treat more minor ailments.

Grandma had us gargle with saltwater for a sore throat or if we had a sore in our mouth. She'd mix up a solution of baking soda and water for indigestion. If we had a cough, she created a solution of vinegar and honey, which was surprisingly soothing. For congestion, we had to hover with a towel draped over our head and a boiling pan of water. Painting your tonsils with a mixture of sugar and turpentine was supposed to cure tonsillitis, but it was a treatment we all tried to avoid. Another of her natural cures was for boils and splinters. It involved wrapping the affected site with a piece of bacon fat and a bandage. After a day or so, it would bring the sore to a head.

Back in the day, we teased Grandma about her home remedies and thought they were terribly old-fashioned. We never dreamed that we might be using some of them again now, with herbal medicines popular once again.

Loveland, Colorado

Read about more interesting homemade remedies in Stories of Natural Cures for Common Ailments.  

Post a comment below.


Linda Dicks
5/26/2013 1:51:33 AM
We used the bacon to draw out rust and dirt when I had stepped on a nail. It worked wonders. Dad had many cures I preferred not to indulge in but was a master at grabbing the bacon and wrapping up my own foot. Sometimes I had to have help pulling my shoe off with the nail up through the shoe and foot. Vicks, Turpentine, cod liver oil were all a part of Dad's medicine supplies!

Subscribe today
First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Want to rediscover what made grandma’s house the fun place we all remember? Capper’s Farmer — the newly restored publication from the rural know-how experts at — updates the tried-and-true methods your grandparents used for cooking, crafting, gardening and so much more. Subscribe today and discover the joys of homemade living and homesteading insight — with a dash of modern living — that makes up the new Capper’s Farmer.

Save Even More Money with our automatic renewal savings plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Capper's Farmer for only $19.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and I'll pay just $19.95 for a one year subscription!