which consists of the villages of Crich, Fritchley and Whatstandwell

Old fashioned remedies

Memories of Tony Lester

Old Cures

The first one was the 'Blue Bag' used in washing, which came out for insect and nettle stings.

For styes in the eyes, they were rubbed with a wedding ring and cold tea was used for rinsing the eyes.

Butter was used for bumps, while lard was very good for the removal of tar from skin and clothes.

For sore throats, a 'sweaty sock' was fastened around the neck when going to bed. It made you sweat if nothing else!!

Camomile lotion was used for sunburn and stings.

Raspberry or Blackberry vinegar made in the summer, with hot water added was very soothing for throats, chests and coughs.

My mother used to make a concoction of sliced onions, brown sugar and vinegar. It was left in a basin for two days, and then taken by the spoonful. It sounds terrible, but was in fact a sweet syrupy taste with no trace of onion, talking of which, half an onion was put under the bed – for what reason?!!

For colds, my late mother-in-law (Mrs Iydia Mortley) used to mix butter, sugar and vinegar, which didn't taste too bad.

Also for colds, mustard baths were used.

Bread poultices were used to draw the 'core' out of boils.

The late Frank Ashman, who I worked with for many years in the joinery trade, used to put a piece of bacon fat around his finger and put a bandage round it for a day or so, for the removal of splinters of wood, which seemed to work. Teak was the worst type of wood to get a splinter from as the finger soon went septic.

Olive Oil (warmed) was used for earache and softening wax.

Senna Pods were used for constipation.

Quassia wood chips, soaked in hot water were used for head lice. Apparently they came from an evergreen tree (Quassia Amara) from South America. The wood, bark or roots made a bitter tonic and insecticide. Named after a slave 'G. Quassi' who discovered it.

Salt in a small bag, warmed up and held to the cheek was used to soothe tooth-ache.

There were also countless amounts of patent cures:
Keybells Cough Mixture,
Wintergreen and Witch-Hazel for bruises.
Snowfire and Vaseline for abrasions.
Ellimans Embrocation for aches and pains (as used by professional sportsmen) had a very 'keen' smell that stayed with you for a while.
Tablets such as Iodized Throat Lozenges and Potters Catarrh Pastilles were used for sore throats.
'Sloans Liniment kills pain at the back of the brain'.
Carters Little Liver Pills and Doans Pills were also used.

These are just a few of the remedies used. I have no doubt there were many more.



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