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Ozark Home Remedies
Interviewed by Sydney Yeager from October 19 to December 4, 2007
List of Remedies by Sybil Castor:
Sassafras Tea is used for blood in the spring time. (I think this thins the blood).
Turpentine and Sugar could be put on a bad cut that was bleeding badly. You would put the mixture on the wound and then wrap it with a white cloth to clot the blood.
Cod Liver Oil helps the stomach with issues of constipation.
A cure for colic my mother-in-law told me that I used on my kids was to feed the baby a mixture of Onion and Sugar juice.
For a cold you could rub Vicks Slav on the chest and put a Warm Cloth of the Vicks Slav.
A mixture of one tablespoon of Whiskey, 2 or 3 tablespoons of Water, and a tablespoon of Sugar helps with pneumonia. This cures a baby of pneumonia by clearing the lungs.
“When my son was a few days old he had a bad case of pneumonia and was dying. Granny Cox (her mom) had come up to help to help me. I never would have let her feed my baby Whiskey, but when I was out of the room she feed the mixture above to Rusty in a bottle and he got better very quickly. Whiskey saved my baby’s life.”
List of Remedies by Burton Dillard:
Gargle Salt Water to help a sore throat.
A teaspoon of Baking Soda eases acid reflux.
Putting Flour on a wound will slow the bleeding.
When your feet are tired soak them in Salt Water.
A teaspoon of Vinegar clears your blood.
List of Remedies by Ben Dyer:
Goldenseal Root can be crushed up and applied to canker sores
List of Remedies by Justine Forbus:
Whiskey cures about everything in the Ozarks, but like all medicines it cause about everything with its side effects.
Oil from the back of a chicken can be put in hair, as hair gel.
The Bud of a Sumac Tree if taken while it is still green can be boiled into a tea, but you have to remove the white broth that forms on top because that part is still poisonous. This will keep you from being allergic to poison ivy, but it needs to be repeated annually when the sumac bud is green.
Ginseng is an ole’ timers’ remedy just to keep you feeling good
Sassafras Tea should be drunk every spring for good health. It boosts the immune system.
Pot (Marijuana) prevents glaucoma and helps reduce the effects of children diagnosed with ADD and ADHD, but it should not be smoked because when you smoke it you get toxins. Instead he recommends it is cooked into food and used as seasoning. The mother of a friend of his who suffered from severe ADD added very small doses into his food and his attention, mood, and grades improved dramatically.
List of Remedies by Jordan Hall:
Whiskey, Honey, and Lemon juice served warm to help with cough
Gargle Salt Water
List of Remedies by Ed Lynch:
“Well I know a lot of remedies but people don’t listen to me much anymore. The doctors say I’m wrong about most of them.”
It took some coaxing but he agreed to tell me a few of ones he remembered.
“Dad always used Turpentine and Sugar for a stomach ache.”
Another thing that helps stomach ache is to drink Catnip Tea.
White Oak Bark Tea is good for everything; it is supposed to just help you keep good health. I had a really good older friend who I need with his cattle as he started getting older. He drank a cup of White Oak Bark Tea everyday and he lived to be 100 years old.
He also ate Polk Berries which are poisonous unless you eat them at the right time. You have to eat them after the first frost.
Also people eat Polk Salad, but it has to be cooked so that the poison is dead.
Polk Root can be boiled in water and then the liquid poured onto an itch and it kills the itch, but be prepared it’s going to burn.
List of Remedies by Megan Lynch:
Vinegar Water helps an upset stomach
Aloe Vera plant’s juice can be used for burns, this is now bottled but our family has used it for years.
Oil from the back of a chicken was used as hair grease but it can also be used as lotion for creaked hands or feet.
List of Remedies by Mary Lou Lynch:
To make a boil come to a head you put Fat Meat over the boil to get the corruption out. “Now doesn’t that sound horrible?”
Gargle Salt Water helps a sore throat.
Vicks Slav can be applied to the chest for a cold.
A Blackened Banana Peel, extremely ripe banana peel, is cut into a square and the peel is put over the wart and covered with gaze.
The Oil from the Hen’s oil bag on its backside used to be used for guys’ hair oil.
For a toothache you can apply a moistened Comfrey Tea Bag.
Also chewing on Cloves can help with tooth and gum pain.
Sun burns can be eased by rubbing thin disc of Cucumber on the burn.
“Mother used to cook Muscle Shells, ground them up into powder, and mix them into food to get rid of worms when my little brothers were young.”
Bathing in Baking Soda helps poison ivy.
Crisco and Lard can be used as a moisturizer for dry skin.
(Mary Lou 2007)
List of Remedies by Lisa Kilpatrick
Gargle Salt Water for a sore throat.
Vicks Slav on the chest helps open stuff up when you are congested or have a cold.
“Granny ate Vicks Slav to help with colds too.”
Sassafras Tea is supposed to be drunk in the spring to help freshen you up from the winter and it’s supposed to help the blood.
Whiskey, Lemon, and Honey help with a cold.
A drink of Red Wine before bed helps you fall asleep if you are having problems with insomnia.
List of Remedies by Gina Rootenberry:
Gargle Salt Water
Vicks Slav for congestion
Vicks Slav can also be placed on the bottom of a foot to stop foot ache.
Butter can be rubbed on burns
Raisins left to soak in Vodka for a few days can be taken with a spoon full of Sugar.
Elderly Berry Wine lowers cholesterol
Bar of Lye Soap under the sheets at the bottom of the bed relieves body aches and pains (Kelly said this did not work for her)
Aloe Vera juice from the plant can be rubbed on burns
Cucumbers can be cut into disc and placed on puffy eyes
Desitine (dipper rash cream) can be used to clear up the earlobe
Campho-Phenique (Husband’s family used this) Mike says his mom used Campho-Phenique to cure just about everything.
Orajel (over the counter teething medicine) can be place on skin surrounding a splinter before pulling the splinter out of kid so that it is numbed.
Whiskey can be rubbed to the gums of a teething toddler with finger; this prevents excess alcohol from getting into the toddler’s mouth.
List of Remedies by Kelly Shempert:
Gargle Salt Water
Peppermint for cough and/or sore throat
Tape a Tea Bag to the bottom of your foot to detoxify your body.
Rub Toothpaste or Baking Soda on your acne, it will dry it out. **
Sugar with just a little bit of water to make into paste for facial exfoliate
List of Remedies by Dorethea Dillard Shipman:
Sassafras Root Tea to purify the blood after the winter
Lilly Robinson always recommended Ginseng to me.
Three sixes was used as a cure for Malaria (“The only spanking I can remember getting as a kid was because I wouldn’t drink this stuff.”)
Black Drought can be used as a laxative
Castor Oil for upset stomach
Yellow Pacunne was used for the eyes.
Mullen Tea can help ease cold symptoms
Vinegar and Honey will prevent and fight infection
Milk and Honey helps head colds
“Daddy always used Sorghum Molasses and water can be added to soda for gas problems”
Soda by its self was also used for gas
Vicks Slav could be applied to a rash
Vicks Slav can also be used to help a cold
A Croup Tent can be made by in closing yourself so that you inhale Steam to help with the croup.
Cod Liver Oil
Camphor can be inhaled to help with shortness of breath and fainting (“I saw mother and other ladies use this when I was a little girl but I never have needed it.”)
Kerosene, pure coal oil not the stuff you can buy in the store these days, could be put on sores.
Turpentine can be taken with a spoonful of Sugar for a cold.
Snake Oil helps aches and pains of the joints
Fennel was taken for pain before Tylenol
Sulfur was taken for persistent colds
Sulfur and Grease are the cure to the seven year itch (I am not completely sure what she meant by this, but it seemed impolite to press further since she implied she had to used it herself.)
Melted Butter or Lard can be mixed with Sugar to loosen the throat up when suffering from the croup.
Menthol or Vicks Slavs can be placed on the chest to help with a cold or congestion.
The Vicks Slav can also be put on a cloth and rapped about the neck to help with a sore throat.
Lemon Juice, Sugar, and Honey are mixed and drank to help with colds and congestion as well.
Mustard Poultice was used by the Ole’ Timers.
Beef Tailor could be added to the Mustard Poultice.
A thick slice of Potato can be placed on a boil to draw it out.
The juice from a Cactus Root also helps on boils or a risen.
Aloe Vera Plant Juice can be applied to burns.
Peppermint Plant which can be found growing around springs helps relieve indigestion.
“Grandpa Davenport used to chew Pine Resin to keep off colds.”
“When the kids got the flu, he would also heat up Fresh Onions and wave the fumes around the room to kill the flu germ.”
Garlic helps reduce blood pressure.
Epson Salt baths help with arthritis and sprains.
Willow Bark Tea was used as a pain reliever, “I think this is what they use to make Tylenol.”
Cold Water and Ice Packs applied to the surface for pain, pulled muscles, aches, and pains.
Flaxseed was smooth and soft and could be used to get things out of your eye.
Flaxseed can also be ingested to help with constipation.
Mineral Oil helps the bowels.
Mineral Oil can also be used to help an earache.
Smoke can be blown into the ears to help with an earache.
Thick slices of Raw Potatoes should be wrapped into material and placed on the forehead to help a headache.
Also a Cold Rag helps relieve some of the pain of a headache.
Vinegar can be used instead of water on the rag.
Burdock Leafs can both be ingested and held on the head with the cold rag for better results with the headache.
Chamomile Tea is a relaxant and helps with headaches and insomnia.
Catnip Tea was given to babies as soon as possible after birth to prevent and help with colic and other baby problems. “Granny Dillard always said that you couldn’t have a baby without catnip.”
List of Remedies by Crystal Yeager
Gargle Salt Water for a sore throat.
Potato Soup helps with a cold.
A Cold Rag or Ice Pack on the forehead eases pain from a headache.
When you are having problems breathing, it helps to inhaling Steam directly like from running really hot water and breathing directly above it.
“Granny used to always put a pan of water on the wood stove so that the Steam would get around the house when people were sick. This works basically the same way as a humidifier. I still do this at my house when the kids get sick I boil water on the stove top.”
“My other granny used Whiskey to help with colds. She actually saved my little brother’s life by feeding him Whiskey in his bottle when he was about to die from pneumonia.”
Campbell, Brain C. “Ozark Agriculture.” Regional Anthropology: Ozarks. University of Central Arkansas. November 1, 2007.
Castor, Sybil. Interview by Sydney Yeager. Unstructured In Person Interview. Greenbrier, AR 28 November 2007. Attached “Ozark Home Remedies.”
Dillard, Burton. Interview by Sydney Yeager. Unstructured Phone Interview. Greenbrier, AR 28 November 2007. Attached “Ozark Home Remedies.”
Dyer, Ben. Interview by Sydney Yeager. Unstructured In Person Interview. Conway, AR 4 December 2007. Attached “Ozark Home Remedies.”
Flanders, Robert. Health and Healing in the Ozarks. Vol. VIII, No. 1, 1995. http://webct.uca.edu:8900/SCRIPT/ANTH3300/scripts/student/serve_page.pl?288460064 4+health%20and%20healing%20in%20the%20ozarks.pdf+OFF+health%20and%20heali ng%20in%20the%20ozarks.pdf (Accessed December 13, 2007)
Forbus, Justine. Interview by Sydney Yeager. Unstructured In Person Interview. Yellville, AR 1 December 2007. Attached “Ozark Home Remedies.”
Hall, Jordan. Interview by Sydney Yeager. Unstructured Instant Messenger Interview. Conway, AR to Jonesboro, AR 28 November 2007. Attached “Ozark Home Remedies.”
Hall, Tracy. Interview by Sydney Yeager. Unstructured Instant Messenger Interview. Conway, AR 28 November 2007. Attached “Ozark Home Remedies.”
Lynch, Ed. Interview by Sydney Yeager. Unstructured In Person Interview. Yellville, AR 1 December 2007. Attached “Ozark Home Remedies.”
Lynch, Megan. Interview by Sydney Yeager. Unstructured Phone Interview. Conway, AR 4 December 2007. Attached “Ozark Home Remedies.”
Lynch, Mary Lou. Interview by Sydney Yeager. Unstructured In Person Interview. Yellville, AR 1 December 2007. Attached “Ozark Home Remedies.”
Kilpatrick, Lisa L. Interview by Sydney Yeager. Unstructured In Person Interview. Smackover, AR 22 November 2007. Attached “Ozark Home Remedies.”
MedlinePlus Medical Encylopedia. A.D.A.M., Inc. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002606.htm (Accessed December 13, 2007).
Rootenberry, Gina. Interview by Sydney Yeager. Unstructured In Person Interview. Yellville, AR 1 December 2007. Attached “Ozark Home Remedies.”
Shempert, Kelly. Interview by Sydney Yeager. Unstructured Phone Interview. Conway, AR to Marion, AR 28 November 2007. Attached “Ozark Home Remedies.”
Shipman, Dorethea Dillard. Interview by Sydney Yeager. Unstructured Phone Interview. Conway, AR to Yellville, Ar. 4 December 2007. Attached “Ozark Home Remedies.”
Yeager, Crystal. Interview by Sydney Yeager. Unstructured In Person Interview. Smackover, AR 19 October 2007. Attached “Ozark Home Remedies.”
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