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Old School

Posted by Tammy Chapman on

I was thinking the other day about some of the "cures" my Mom used on me.  I was shocked after a little research how many are still used today!  Some of the formulas have changed, but most are still being used to some extent.  Here is a list of some of the things I remember.  I would LOVE to get some feedback on what you remember, or still use!

Paregoric:  Does anyone else remember this?  I remember taking it as a kid for diarrhea and upset stomach/stomach aches.  I was shocked to discover that it was made with opium!  There were different formulas over the years and most you did not need a prescription.  It was given out behind the counter by pharmacists, you just had to sign for it.  The picture of the bottle here is exactly the bottle I remember my Mom having.  It was also used for coughs, but I don't ever remember taking it for a cough.  It was listed in 1970 as a controlled substance, but still available by a pharmacist for amounts under 2 oz.  It was "by prescription only" by 1993. It was taken off the market in 2012.  The only place it is still legal is Brazil!  What do I remember about it?  It smelled worse than it tasted, and my Mom always had me take it in water or drink a glass of water after taking it, and it worked!

Mercurochrome:   Always a skinned knee favorite!  This stuff was a good reason to listen to your Mom when it came to stuff you shouldn't do.  "Don't jump-rope off the top steps", "wear shoes if you aren't in the yard", "don't jump off of the swing in mid-air"...You know!  If the scrape didn't make you cry, this stuff did!  

Mercury Thermometers:  We had one.  I wish sometimes I still had it.  Very accurate!  I remember my Mom saying, "hold it with your lips & tongue, NOT your teeth"  It took 3 minutes to get a reading, and yes...I learned to count it out!  Now you are lucky if it takes a few seconds.  When did we get so busy you can't wait to see how sick your child is?  Thermometers today are ok, and yes they work.  But not like the Mercury Thermometers did!  For the record, my research says that there was not enough mercury in the thermometers to harm you even if they did break!  First invented in 1714 by Mr. Fahrenheit himself.  Again, taken off the market in 2012.  Meteorologists and Industrial use are the only places they are found anymore.

Goose Grease:  I know this comes from my Irish Hillbilly mother!  This started in Ireland when people were so poor everything was used!  They ate goose grease on bread (not butter).  They used it to waterproof and break-in leather boots.  It protected horse harnesses and made it softer for the hard-working animals.  What I remember is this:  It was for an earache!  My Mom kept a small jar of goose grease in the fridge.  When I had an earache she would set the jar in a small pot of water and gently warm it.  Just enough to melt it.  Not hot, just warm!  She used an eye dropper to put 1-2 drops in the sore ear and put a warm towel over the ear.  After awhile she had me turn over and lay my ear on another warm towel.  I have to say, it felt good.  I never had many ear problems, but I actually loved the warm goose grease.  No one I knew ever had tubes in their ears.  Weird...yes!  But again, it worked!

Cloves:  My Mom had bad teeth.  When they would bother her (or I was teething) she used clove oil.  She made her own.  Boiled real cloves down till it was almost a paste.  She would put her finger in some lard/oil and dip it in the clove and rub it on her gums.  If she had an infected tooth, she would use a teabag in with the cloves while boiling and put the teabag on the area.  I remember I had a "dry socket" after having all my wisdom teeth pulled.  A clove teabag worked!  No infection, no antibiotics, just relief.  

Salt Water:  Who hasn't done a warm salt water gargle for a sore throat?  

Tea Tree Oil:  I have done a warm water gargle with this for strep throat.  Taste is terrible, but it works.  Also good for removing ticks.  Never done it on a human, but have used it to remove ticks from dogs.  Just a drop on the body of the tick and it will back itself out of the fur baby and you can grab it and dispose of it.  

Peppermint oil for headaches:  My Mom used this and I still do.  A little peppermint oil on your temples or/and the back of your neck.  Relieves tension, relaxes nerves.  My Mom would soak a washcloth in warm peppermint water and lay it on the back of her neck.  Oh...and it smells so good!

HONEY:  Honey is great for coughs/colds.  Still used today in cough drops!  Hot tea with raw honey & a little cinnamon...great for coughs & colds!  Use a little peppermint with this mixture and open up those sinuses! (or make it easy and use our Cold Formula)

Chicken soup:  This is real people!  Homemade chicken soup helps open up and clear phlegm and nasal passages.  My Mom (and me) make it with lots of garlic!  A great healer and tastes wonderful too!  Serve hot and helps a scratchy throat.

There are many others: Epson Salts for sore muscles in your bath, Baking Soda in water for heartburn/indigestion, Petroleum Jelly for blisters/skin protection, Cranberry Juice for UTI's, and don't forget Vick's Vapor Rub!  You can use Vapor Rub for just about anything!!! 

Of course my Dad had the best one to end with:  My Dad worked 22 years and never had a sick day.  Here is his secret...when he would come home feeling bad, he would skip dinner and take a measured shot of whiskey and a real aspirin and go straight to bed!  I think he invented NyQuil!  He would always get up and go to work the next day!  He was tough..and here is how tough...his help for heartburn or an upset tummy was to go downstairs and grab a red hot pepper hanging up dry in the basement and eat it!  YES!  He would eat a hot pepper!  I read on it and they say it works, but who can do that?  Not I!  Baking Soda for this girl!

Any additions/comments?  I would love to hear from you!

Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay Sane!



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