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