Country Folk Medicine: Tales of Skunk Oil, Sassafras Tea & Other Old-Time Remedies

Janos, Elisabeth

Published by Lyons Press
ISBN 10: 1592281788 / ISBN 13: 9781592281787
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A copy that has been read, but remains in clean condition. All pages are intact, and the cover is intact (including dust cover, if applicable). The spine and cover may show signs of wear. Pages can include limited notes and highlighting, and the copy can This item was a donation to Goodwill of Greater Washington. Thanks for your order from Goodwill of Greater Washington. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: How did people deal with ordinary illnesses and injuries in the days when doctors were too far away or too expensive to summon? After interviewing more than 1,400 senior citizens throughout New England and New York State, Elisabeth Janos compiled a wealth of information for this one-of-a-kind compendium. The vivid first-hand accounts describe how people used to make do with healing substances they kept on pantry shelves at home or gathered outdoors.

Included are old-time remedies such as

*a tablespoon of skunk oil to cure laryngitis
*a bandage of bruised plantain leaves to ease the itch of poison ivy
*a salt pork poultice for infection
*a barefoot walk through fresh cow manure to cure athlete's foot
*a potato compress for a migraine
*ginger tea for a fever
*a paste of night crawlers and heavy cream rubbed onto the skin to mend broken bones

Learn why the typical "medicine chest" contained milk, salt, sugar, molasses, onions, and potatoes, curing everything from eye, ear, nose, and throat problems to nervous conditions to infant and childhood ailments. Depicting an intimate portrait of Northeast America at the turn of the century, this distinctive, spirited treasury preserves the many homespun cures that offered relief to an earlier generation.

Review: While even the most dedicated fans of alternative medicine aren't likely to run out and sip a tea made of hog manure these days, Country Folk Medicine still offers up plenty of useful suggestions--and charm. Collected by interviews with more than 1400 senior citizens, remedies are related in story form. Who knew that skunk hunting was considered a romantic date at one time? Author Elizabeth Janus has arranged the tales by type of complaint, which, along with keeping the wide-ranging antidotes well organized, also makes it actually usable as a reference guide for specific illnesses. Some, like sipping kerosene or substituting a pork fat poultice for a needed tetanus shot, are best used for historical value only. Others--like ginger tea for a cold or a dab of clove oil to sooth a sore tooth before your next dentist visit--are still recommended by many modern herbalists. The last few pages include an index that list specific pages for particular remedies. For sheer historical delight, it's hard to beat the charm of this compilation, with a minor caveat: these are all medical stories, and quite a few begin with very unfortunate accidents around the house. --Jill Lightner

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Title: Country Folk Medicine: Tales of Skunk Oil, ...
Publisher: Lyons Press
Book Condition: Good

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