Home Remedies Were Necessary

A woman shares two home remedies for an earache.

| Appeared in March/April 2013 Issue of GRIT Magazine

Vintage Pipe

Way back when, blowing pipe smoke into a child’s ear was said to ease the pain of an earache.

Photo By Fotolia/Acrogame

Growing up on a farm, our family wasn’t familiar with doctors and hospitals. When there was a health problem, we had home remedies.

One remedy I remember was for earaches. Dad made them go away using his pipe. He would light it, inhale a mouthful of smoke, and then blow the warm smoke in our ear. It definitely eased the pain.

Years ago, my mother related what my grandmother did for earache relief. Mom said Grandma would grab a stick from the backyard, shave it clean of bark, and then taper it just enough at one end so it would fit into the ear. She would then take a cloth, an inch wide by a yard long, dip it in hot wax and wrap it around the stick. Then she would set the stick aside and let the wax cool. Once it was cool, she slipped the stick out, leaving a cylinder shape at one end of the wax-covered cloth. The cylinder-shaped end of the cloth was placed in the sore ear, and the other end of the cloth was lit with a match. As the wax slowly melted, it would run down into the ear, and in my mother’s words, “Oh, it felt so good!”

St. Joseph, Missouri

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

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