Old Time Cures & Remedies

Note: These are just for fun! While these were actually published in old books, we do not recommend that you try them! They actually could be dangerous!

The Doctor, 1919

The Doctor, 1919. Click for prints, downloads and products.


  • To one quart of water, add one ounce of sulphur.  Shake very well very two hours and saturate the head every morning with the liquid.  Dandruff will disappear, leaving hair bright and glossy.


  • Eat several coconut cookies (some say this really works.)


  • Have someone blow tobacco smoke into the ear five times while saying, “Hurt, hurt, go away; go into a bale of hay.”


  • Gather a supply of rabbit dung and make a strong tea of the dung in hot water.  Strain and drink the tea every half hour until the sweating stops.


  • To cure the flu, put sulphur in your shoes.

Foot Gone to Sleep

  • Wet your finger with spit and put the sign of the cross on the sole of your foot.


  • To get rid of freckles, get up at five-thirty on Sunday morning and go outside.  If there is a lot of dew get your hands real wet in the grass.  Rub the dew on your face and turn around nine times, saying, “Dew, dew, do, do, take my freckles; wear ‘em on you; dew, dew, thank you.”  Say this nine times while turning around.  Do not wash the dew off and do not wash your face until the next day.
  • To remove freckles or skin spots — take a small flatfish fresh from the sea and hold it firmly against the skin until the fish dies.  This will also cure the whooping cough


  • Sleep with a pair of scissors under your pillow.  The next morning the headache will be gone.


  • Hold your arms above your head and pant like a dog.
  • Take a drink of water while standing on your head.
  • Stick your head under water and count to twenty-five.
  • Put your head between your legs and look at the sun

Ingrown Toenail

  • Tie a lizard’s liver to a leather string.  Take the leather string and tie it around your left ankle.  The ingrown toenail will disappear in nine days.


  • First, put your clothes on an anthill.  Then wash your head in kerosene.  Spring your head with sea salt and then, parting the hair, pour raw whisky on your scalp.  Let it stay for 48 hours.  Do not smoke or go near the fire.
Liver Liniment 1886

Liver Liniment, 1886 advertisement. Click for prints, downloads and products.

Liver Trouble

  • Take one-half of a white turnip and one-half of a purple turnip and tie together with a white string.  Urinate on it.  Hang this on the bedpost of the bed on the first night, then on the foot post the second night until you circle the bed.


  • Put burned cornmeal in a tobacco bag and hang it around the neck.


  • Tie a black sock around your neck.  To keep mumps from going down on a boy, tie a red cloth around his waist.


  • Every night pour a bucket of cold water over your head.  Keep this up for fourteen days and you will be cured.
  • Take a piece of string and make nine knots in it


  • Find a rock that is partly covered with dirt.  Remove the rock from its resting place and spit on the bottom or covered side. Replace the rock in the same hole exactly as you found it.


  • People who perspire a lot should use a teaspoonful of ammonia in bathwater. Alum, borax or ammonia added to bathwater is also effective.

Poison Ivy (oak, sumac, etc)

  • Make a paste from fels naptha soap and apply. Do not cover. Let it dry and flake off by itself. One application usually does the job. This from the 1930’s.

Poor Eyesight

  • Pierced ears help cure poor eyesight
  • The first snow to fall in May is good for sore eyes


  • Tansey is a yellow flower that blooms on a leafy stem about two feet tall.  It usually grew wild in the local gardens.  The stem, flowers and all were gathered, deposited in some kind of bag, and hung up to dry.  Then when needed they were crushed and made into hop poultices for application to the chest and/or back of a person suffering from pneumonia


  • Sear the bite with a hot iron to keep from going crazy.


  • Apply the juice of the Aloe Vera leaf to the rash.  If it is a bull nettle rash, all you have to do is urinate on it.


  • Find a black-headed girl between the ages of twelve and sixteen and have her remove her right shoe.  Now rub her big toe well over the ringworm for about one minute.  Within a week the ringworm will have disappeared.
  • Take the best Cuba cigars; smoke one a sufficient length of time to accumulate about an inch of ash upon the end of the cigar.  Wet the whole surface of the ringworm with saliva then rub the ashes from the cigar thoroughly into and over the sore.
  • Circling ringworm with one’s wedding ring and crossing it three times will surely cure it.


Note: These are just for fun! While these were actually published in old books, we do not recommend that you try them! They actually could be dangerous!

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5 thoughts on “Old Time Cures & Remedies”

  1. Grizzly salve was used on my boils to bring to a head. What was the salve made of It came in a thick round stick & was melted in drops onto RisonGranny(boil)

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