John McCullagh June 24, 2004

I promised you more cures.  The first I remember being applied to myself as a young boy!

 
Chest Infection and Colds:  Apply camphor oil to brown paper resting on the chest beneath one’s clothes.
 
Chin-Cough:  ‘To cure this it is necessary to find a man and his wife who had the same name before marriage.  Affected children are then sent to them for some griddle-bread which must not be paid for and must be given with a blessing.  No expression of thanks must be given’.
 
Toothache:  ‘Procure a nail from a blacksmith in God’s name and bury it at the roots of a hawthorn bush.’
 
Stye:  This can be cured by a married woman who has now the same surname as her maiden name.  The cure is affected by pricking the stye with a thorn from a gooseberry bush’.    We called the fruit, goosegams.
 
Warts:  ‘If washed in water used to cool blacksmith’s irons they will perish.’
 
Sprains:  ‘An eel skin bracelet prevents such happening.  There is a charm as well’.
 
Arthritis of hands:  Wear a copper bracelet.
 
To stop bleeding:  Take a cobweb and place it on the cut.
 
Whooping Cough:  Again, a house where the married woman has the same name as her maiden name.  Ask for bread, butter and sugar.
 
Burns:  Find a mankeeper and lick its belly three times in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.  After that the person doing the licking will be able to cure a burn by licking it.
 
Mumps:  Sufferers were led to a drinking place of farm horses.  They were paraded wearing horses’ winkers.  There they swallowed three mouthfuls in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.  It was essential to remain silent on the way to the water-hole and back.

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