Weird / Quack Folk Remedies

escargot said:
And here's a good one- putting pus from cowpox sores into open scratches on people's arms to prevent smallpox!

Erm, not sure if you're being ironic here. Are you?
Yup, irony drips from my every word in that particular sentence.

Jenner is a hero of mine. What a genius. He noticed that milkmaids didn't catch smallpox, which was then a widespread and dangerous disease, and listened to their explanation of this immunity. This was that they caught cowpox from the cows which then protected them from smallpox.

He acted on this and it worked.
The method he used- of infecting a patient with a minor version of a dangerous disease to 'teach' their immune system to cope with the full infection later- is still called vaccination in honour of the original discovery, 'vaccus' meaning 'cow'.

Folk medicine is often dismissed as superstition but it was all people had for hundreds of years.

Oh yes- and does anyone have any leeches?

Don't forget that the Chinese were practising smallpox vaccination a 1000 years earlier too, though they used the actual virus on people which is a lot riskier.
Yes, I read that they used to have people snort dried smallpox scabs up their noses which worked well. Seems risky to me too.
But I'd probably risk it to avoid smallpox.

I am a great fan of vaccination/innoculation and have all the jabs I'm allowed and took all my kids for theirs.
On a lighter note, a concoction of full fat Pepsi and salt (stirred and definitely not shaken) is apparently a cure for indigestion.

N.B. Coke is not a substitute, hence NOT the real thing in this instance.
I'd say that I'd look twice or even thrice at any herbal "folk remedies" as they have proven again and again to have validity. Willow bark tea (precursor to aspirin), digitalis, St. John's Wort, and so forth.

Although I would balk at taking a remedy like the rabies cure above.

The best one I heard for contraception was holding a penny between ones knees, but it didn't work after sex. I wonder why not :confused:
a penny? that's ridiculous. i wonder what the thought process behind that was.
The penny is held tightly between the lady's knees, preventing the legs from parting! It's an old joke.

My grandmothers both treated colicky babies by feeding them water in which either the hot poker had been dipped or a glowing coal had been dropped.

I always offer expectant mothers two pieces of personal advice based on experience of my own many successful pregnancies- sound empirical knowledge!
To cure a tooth ache:
Run a needle through a woodlouse (chigger for the U.S. members?) and touch the tooth with the nice juicy needle.

Might take your mind off the pain for a while, but only until you've vomitted. :D
An unwashed sock tied round the throat to cure a sore throat :cross eye

And my mother-in-law and her sister reckon that a whole nutmeg taped to your back keeps back ache away (it would certainly cause back ache if you tried to lie down with it on)

From Tom Sawyer, remember.....?

To cure a sty, rub it with the tail of a dead cat.

Note to self: start up a thread about the uses of a dead cat.....
Quicksilver said:
Note to self: start up a thread about the uses of a dead cat.....

Hmm, may have a copyright infringement problem there :)

Not a weird remedy as such, but my mother was able to 'wish away' warts. She put her hand over them, and they disappeared in a few days. Used to freak me as a kid :eek:
Quicksilver said:
From Tom Sawyer, remember.....?

To cure a sty, rub it with the tail of a dead cat.

Note to self: start up a thread about the uses of a dead cat.....

I bet you've got a copy of that book that was out several years ago, Quicksilver: '101 Uses of a Dead Cat' ;)

Hehe, how did you guess, Carole! :)

The pencil sharpener was always my favourite. ;)
When cut by a knife or axe, make sure this is bandaged in the same way that you are ;)

As for the cobweb one - that works very well. Seen it used many a time and have used it myself on occasion.
In 'Tom Sawyer', the remedy for warts is spunk-water.

I loved that book as a kid. Glad I didn't try to start any scholarly conversations about spunk-water, though.

(Hahaha, wonderful Mark Twain- the drugged cat jumping out of the window shrieking. Beautiful.)
Fallen Angel said:
I'd say that I'd look twice or even thrice at any herbal "folk remedies" as they have proven again and again to have validity. Willow bark tea (precursor to aspirin), digitalis, St. John's Wort, and so forth.
Ah, but remember that many traditional concoctions were just that:concoctions. It took a long time for individual herbs and their chemicals to be isolated.

The concoction of parasite species with useful herb still worked but only because it contained a true medicinal herb.

My favorite was the elizabethan ladies who would shove powdered "eyebright-Euphrasia officinalis in their eyes to make the pupils dilate. Not only is eyebright a parasitic plant but it is also host to liver flukes.

Putting insoluable powder in ones eyes is a bad move whether it contains dangerous creatures or not.
investing in Chechnya is a well known cure for excess moneys where I come from

the curative properties of licking cats bottoms is just too obvious to state in such erudite company

and as for the Cure. Well did they ever cure anyone you know? They took us for fools.
Rub toilet tissue on your nipples to promote breast enlargement.
"Will it work?" asked the wife.
"it`s done wonders for your bum" I replied.
That talk of warts earlier in the thread reminded me of something. My Dad once told me that his mother (and/or one or other of her sisters) used to charm warts.
He didn't seem to know how how she did it, but it was apparently terribly effective, and I was kinda fascinated by the idea
Anyone have any idea what wart charming involves?
Wart charming depended on the charmer. My Grandmothers version was to rub the wart with a piece of steak whilst reciting a simple prayer. The steak then had to be buried by the light of the full moon and as the moon waned and as the steak rotted the wart would gradually vannish.
Xanatic said:
It's probably true you could get it once. Only about 20 years ago you could also buy radioactive watches.

u stil can only now they dont use radium they use tritium.. which suposedly had a radiactive action of about 1/8 if an inch..(so how thin is your watch?...) theres lots of it about as it was used to "moderate" nuclear bombs...
I saw something in the pitt rivers about strapping a slug to the wart and then praying...
In the rural new england of my youth, it was believed that handling garden toads were a cause for warts, and my mom would flip every time I caught one (which was very often, and I've never had a wart in my life).

The cure for warts was to pour vinegar on them, which was believed to be effective after seeing a shooting star.

I also remember such wholesome folk remedies as a teaspoon of kerosene and sugar for cough, kerosene was also used for thrush in babies by moistening a cotton swab with it and dabbing it on the sores. Ouch.
I knew a wart charmer once.
She used to buy warts off people. A couple of pennies each kind of thing. And then they'd go away. Apparently.
I was never terribly convinced, and never had any warts myself to test her out, but she obviously believed it.
Just got this forwarded to me via e-mail today (with complete sincerity, I hasten to add, on the part of the sender). Frankly, I'm not completely sure where all of these should go on the crank-o-meter (though it smells STRONGLY of a semi-malicious e-mail chain-letter/UL, in my opinion), but it's always nice to have an excuse to bump an old thread.

> > Drinking two glasses of Gatorade can relieve
> > headache pain almost immediately -- without the
> > unpleasant side effects caused by traditional
> > "pain relievers."
> >
> > Did you know that Colgate Toothpaste makes an
> > excellent salve for burns?
> >
> > Before you head to the drugstore for a
> > high-priced inhaler filled with mysterious
> > chemicals, try chewing on a couple of curiously
> > strong
> > Altoid Peppermints. They'll clear up your
> > stuffed nose.
> >
> > Achy muscles from a bout of the flu? Mix 1
> > Tablespoon of Horseradish in a cup of Olive Oil. Let
> > the mixture sit for 30 minutes, then apply it as a
> > massage oil, for instant relief for aching muscles.
> >
> > Sore Throat? Just mix 1/4 cup of vinegar with
> > 1/4 cup of honey and take 1 tablespoon six times a
> > day. The vinegar kills the bacteria.
> >
> > Cure urinary tract infections with
> > Alka-Seltzer. Just dissolve two tablets in a glass
> > of water and drink it at the onset of the symptoms.
> > Alka-Seltzer begins eliminating urinary tract
> > infections almost instantly -- even though the
> > product was never been advertised for this use.
> >
> > Eliminate puffiness under your eyes..... All
> > you need is a dab of Preparation H, Carefully rubbed
> > into the skin, avoiding the eyes. The
> > Hemorrhoid ointment acts as a vasoconstrictor,
> > relieving the swelling instantly.
> >
> > Honey remedy for skin blemishes... Cover the
> > blemish with a dab of honey and place a Band-Aid
> > over it. Honey kills the bacteria, keeps the skin
> > sterile, and speeds healing. Works overnight.
> >
> > Listerine therapy for toenail fungus... Get
> > rid of unsightly toenail fungus by soaking your toes
> > in Listerine mouthwash. The powerful antiseptic
> > leaves your toenails looking healthy again.
> >
> > Easy eyeglass protection. To prevent the
> > screws in eyeglasses from loosening, apply a small
> > drop of Maybelline Crystal Clear Nail Polish to the
> > threads of the screws before tightening them.
> >
> > Coca-Cola Cure for rust... Forget those
> > expensive rust removers. Just saturate an abrasive
> > sponge with Coca Cola and scrub the rust stain. The
> > phosphoric acid in the coke is what gets the job
> > done.
> >
> > Cleaning liquid that doubles as bug killer...
> > If menacing bees, wasps, hornets, or yellow jackets
> > get in your home and you can't find the
> > insecticide, try a spray of Formula 409.
> > Insects drop to the ground instantly.
> >
> > Smart splinter remover... just pour a drop of
> > Elmer's Glue all over the splinter, let dry, and
> > peel the dried glue off the skin. The splinter
> > sticks to the dried glue.
> >
> > Hunt's Tomato Paste boil cure... cover the
> > boil with Hunt's tomato paste as a compress. The
> > acids from the tomatoes soothes the pain and brings
> > the boil to a head.
> >
> > Balm for broken blisters... To disinfect a
> > broken blister, dab on a few drops of Listerine... a
> > powerful antiseptic.
> >
> > Heinz Vinegar To heal bruises... Soak a cotton
> > ball in white vinegar and apply it to the bruise for
> > 1 hour. The vinegar reduces the blueness and speeds
> > up the healing process.
> >
> > Kills fleas instantly. Dawn Dish Washing
> > Liquid does the trick. Add a few drops to your dog's
> > bath and shampoo the animal thoroughly. Rinse well
> > to avoid skin irritations. Good-bye fleas.
> >
> > Rainy day cure for dog odor. Next time your
> > dog comes in from the rain, simply wipe down the
> > animal with Bounce or any dryer sheet, instantly
> > making your dog smell springtime fresh.
> >
> > Eliminate ear mites... All it takes is a few
> > drops of Wesson Corn Oil in your cat's ear. Massage
> > it in, then clean with a cotton ball. Repeat daily
> > for 3 days. The oil soothes the cat's skin, smothers
> > the mites, and accelerates healing.
> >
> > Vaseline cure for hair balls..... To prevent
> > troublesome hair balls, apply a dollop of Vaseline
> > petroleum jelly to your cat's nose. The cat will
> > lick off the jelly, lubricating any hair in its
> > stomach so it can pass easily through the digestive
> > system.
> >
> > Quaker Oats for fast pain relief.... It's not
> > for breakfast anymore! Mix 2 cups of Quaker Oats and
> > 1 cup of water in a bowl and warm in the microwave
> > for 1 minute, cool slightly, and apply the mixture
> > to your hands for soothing relief from arthritis
> > pain.
> > Listerine therapy for toenail fungus... Get
> > rid of unsightly toenail fungus by soaking your toes
> > in Listerine mouthwash. The powerful antiseptic
> > leaves your toenails looking healthy again.

Dr. Gott, an online medical columnist, recommends Vick Vapo-Rub.