Thursday, January 5, 2012

"Frontier Fixes"

I thought it would be a fun way to begin the year by looking back in time at some very silly sounding remedies of North America's pioneers.  I found these in Canadian Edition of The 2012 Old Farmer's Almanac by Robert B. Thomas.  Please do not try these at home.

Arthritis: Rub rainwater collected in a stump on the joint.
Baldness: "Fertilize" new hair growth by smearing cow manure on head.
Boils: Eat roadrunner soup.
Chicken Pox: Run around the chicken house naked 3 times.
Chills: Stand behind a dogwood tree from dawn until sunrise.
Colds: Drink a mixture of fruit juice and pounded dried frog skins.
Cuts: Have a large red ant bite the cut while its jaws on each side of the wound then pinch off the body leaving the jaws to hold the cut together.
Headaches: While leaning your head against a tree have someone on the other side drive a nail into the trunk.
Hiccups: Jump over a broom that is laying on the floor 3 times.
Pinkeye: Kill and fry a chicken snake.  Rub the grease collected in the pan onto the sore eye.
Sore Throat: After tying 9 knots into a string of black thread, soak it in turpentine, and wear it around your neck.
Toothache: Spit into a frog's mouth, and ask it to leave with the toothache.
Warts: Dip the eye of a dead cat in spunk water, and place it on the wart.

I wonder how these came about or why the settlers believed they had any power.

What olden day remedies have you heard of?


  1. Those are some crazy ideas!! I am def. not smearing manure on my head no matter how thin my hair gets! LOL

  2. Wow! These are some interesting remedies. You really do have to wonder how they came up with them.

  3. @Anonymous Spunk water is apparently rainwater collected in a stump.

  4. I think I'd actually heard of the hiccup one somewhere. LOL I have a copy of The Frugal Housewife from the 1800s (my edition is of course much newer). There is a lot of interesting & crazy stuff in there too.