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3 Oct 2014
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Your Cures

Local and traditional remedies, sent in by Today listeners
Cognac for Wasp Stings! And if your ears hurt while flying, the best cure is to put a hot J-cloth in a cup and place it against your ear. The steam fixes the problem straight away.
Niamh O’Shea, Cork, Ireland.

My 88 year old mother-in-law who lives in Hull, used to dose my poor husband with a glass of hot milk topped with suet, to 'cure' chest coughs. Evidently this was an old seaman's remedy. It made my husband retch and has put him off (for life) eating any food with white sauce! I don't think it cured any coughs, though!
Sarah Brockwell, North Yorkshire.

Ever since I was small, my mother has always used a very strange but effective solution to bumped heads. Rubbing butter on to the bumped area!!!! It sounds wierd but it really does work..try it for yourself!
Ian Wallace, London (mother’s from Kirkcudbrightshire ,Scotland)

For a persistent cough, cut an onion into slices and place them in a bowl with a liberal sprinkling of brown sugar between each layer. Use the resulting juices as a cough medicine.
Janet Evans, South Yorkshire (mother’s from London).

Granny's advice. Dip your feet in a babies urine to keep athlete's foot away. Also potato peeling placed on a small burn or graze proves to be very soothing.
Juliet Dyson, Cornwall.

In the 1920s a diphtheria epidemic swept through the village of Mangotsfield and surrounding areas. My grandparents made their children gargle with paraffin (yes!) and they were the only children that did not get the disease. Sadly most other families lost at least one child.
S Tarr, South Gloucestershire.

The bacon round the throat idea, in my case, was a cure for sore throat. It was placed in a piece of pink flannel. Grandmother brought this cure from Lincolnshire when she moved at the turn of the century. Liver was another cure.
Noel Arnold, Shropshire, but hailing from Surrey.

During the second world war I was brought up on a farm in Devon owned by my aunt She used to say that she and her siblings where rubbed with goose grease and sewn up in red flannel from October to March to ward off colds and chills.
Alan Reeves, Hampshire.

A wine bottle cork at the foot of the bed is supposed to cure cramp.
Nigel Jefferson, Cambridgeshire.

This is by no means at all MY favourite cure , but one of my neighbours claims that a syrup made of liquidised slugs and sugar is the best cure for bronchitis - "stirred not shaken" mmm!
Christine Last, La Creuse , France.

With regard to the old remedies for infirmities, my great grandmother bought "dog fat" from the local herbalist to apply to her bad back.
Pam Phelps-Jones.

I heard your bit on ways to soothe a cough. A favourite of mine (not for kids, this one) is to sip cherry brandy. The technique is to keep each sip in my mouth as long as possible before swallowing - to allow the vapours to clear my head - then to swallow as gently as possible - to leave the liquid in my throat. The alcohol may also have a soothing effect.
Guy Morgan.

Soothing for a cough or sore throat - slivers of raw turnip sprinkled with brown sugar and left until the juice runs out. Sip the juice from a spoon.
Gill Rusiecki, Tyne & Wear.

My Mother dealt with my brother's severe asthma attacks with extremely strong black coffee laced with a good dose of brandy and a couple of aspirin. It worked.
Marian Edgecombe, Surrey.

In the '50's I was taking my donkey, Teal, to the blacksmith when we were stopped by the parents of a child suffering from whooping cough. They passed the child three times under the donkey's stomach which they assured was a certain cure for the condition.
John Gaffikin-Cowan, Co. Down, Northern Ireland.

Just thought you'd like to hear about my mother's remedy for her arthritis - she read somewhere that holding a potato in bed at night would do wonders for her stiff and aching wrist - it didn't help much with her arthritis, but she woke up in the morning with potato blight.
Angela Samuels, Essex.

Sore lips? Gently smear some ear-wax on the sore part, immediate relief!
Angela Smith, Essex.

Click here to send us your local cure.


Listen - Dulcie Lewis, author of a new book on traditional cures. (01/11/2002)
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