Friday, 25 September 2015

Syrup of Figs and Deadly Night Shade

The Social Club at the Farming Life Centre is constantly humming with conversation, accompanied with scones, tea and lemon cake. The theme this week for 'Stitching the Wars', moved from luxury and opulence, to home cures and remedies, to evacuees, Irish Travellers, tramps, prisoners of war and gypsies, as ever to much to put in one blog, so today it's home remedies...

'A Bomber's Moon', quilt detail. 


Mostly it were ringworm, you went to the herbalist first, if they couldn't fix you, you went to the doctor.

Comfrey, they call it knitbone, you pick it and let it dry, use is as a poultice or soak your wrist or ankle in it. Pick the comfrey, let it dry, bind it up. Use it for rheumatism.
Goose fat on your chest.
Slippery elm when dad was poorly with sugar on.
Some kids had camphor round your neck to school. (or in balls for your clothes)
Sal Volatile in a little bottle, it took your breath
Epsom salts were a cure all
Foxgloves digitalis, for heart complaints, it can be lethal
All the girls with ponies would bring them for worming but walnut leaves and tobacco were just as good.  A bread poultice.
Didn’t tell ghost stories on the toilet to get you going…
Syrup of Figs or Cod Liver Oil.
Fennings Fever Cure, WD40 replaced all that.
And Deadly Night Shade to get rid of customers that didn’t pay!

Days and sons in Crewe, they had a box with a cow on the front. You rubbed their knees with the white oil

Remedies for animals

Half a bottle of Whisky
Cover the cow, or horse with hay and make it sweat then give it half a bottle of whisky
Oat meal gruel warm up the beer and dose the cows
Walnut leaves for working a horse
Turpentine and milk if they were ‘blown’.
Out in the wild they wouldn't have this problem there were herbs in the grassland that would cure anything.
Jays fluid, mint had arsenic in it they had to be dipped before they were washed
Policeman used to come and check we did it for long enough

If you were cut if could wrap it up tight enough you could carry on
Or the doctor had whisky or brandy around, he would reach a bottle from the top and told us to drink it.
My finger was hanging on by the skin, the local GP stitched it back on, took us home in the car afterwards.
Sometimes vets acted as doctors

Cobweb would stop them bleeding, dehorned with secateurs,
Horrible blood everywhere
A vet cost a Guinea a visit and a doctor cost ten bob, 1930s
He were a dab hand at putting a cows womb back in.
These old cows can spit one out and not even know it

I have had broken ribs, toes trodden on cows and horses
I was put into hospital by a cow, dragged a chain with a hook into my hand
It went rotten, they could smell it
So unpredictable, never trust a bull, Rams are as bad

The vet used to come and put a rubber Mac on.

Thanks again to The Farming Life Centre for hosting us with The Social Group and to Helen who took the challenge on of keeping up with the conversation and writing such fantastic notes. 

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