Disclaimers & Copyright Notice
2000-2002 Treasured Memories & Alta Fay Ratliff.   The "Official" Pike Co. Ky.  genealogy page researching the Specific surnames of Ratliff, Spears, Cox, Stewart, Roberts, Childers, Cantrell, Sanders, Adkins, Tackett, Lambert & allied families.  All rights reserved. All material on this Website, including text, photographs, graphics, code and/or software, are protected by international copyright and trademark laws. Unauthorized use is not permitted. You may not modify, copy, reproduce, republish, upload, post, transmit or distribute, IN ANY MANNER, either electronic or mechanical, the material on this Web Site!
Superstitions and Ole' Tyme Cures
Please Note That This is written solely to present folklore medical remedies, and cures only.   Any remedy - from any source - should be employed with caution, common sense and the approval of your doctor/ physician.

The common cold was probably one of the most prevalent illnesses known to the people of olden days, much like today...  We can easily go out and get medicines over the counter today for the common cold, however back in the "Ole" days things were treated differently at home with household cures...   My grandparents and Great grandparents practiced Home Cures...

When stung by a bee or wasp, place a "chaw" (chew) of tobacco on the sting and it should draw out the poison and help keep down swelling.  (this works)

To get rid of garlic breath chew on parsley leaves.

The old cureall for cuts, carbolic salve.

Also a poulice of wilted beet leaves to bring a boil to a head.

For backache or rheumatism, let a child who has never seen his father walk across your back.

For COLDS, two common treatments were swallowing a mixture of sulfur and sorghum, or drinking a tea made by boiling mint leaves.

Make a mixture of turpentine, kerosene, quinine and castor oil to rub on the chest to ease a chest cold.  The castor oil keeps the rub from blistering the skin.

Black pepper and sugar mixed together in a teaspoon of water and swallowed slowly controlled a cough.

A poultice of wilted cabbage leaf will draw the pain and discoloration
from a bruise or sprain.

Tturpentine was an all purpose wonder drug guaranteed to cure
everything. It also served as a snake repellant when applied to clothing.

SORE THROATS were eased by letting a piece of crystalled alum, a pain killer, dissolve in the mouth. Alum is available in the powdered form and was also applied to wounds to stop BLEEDING.
For a BABY'S COLD, mince an onion, add two to three teaspoons of sugar and feed the extracted juice to the baby.

Bring peach tree leaves to a boil, let steam for a while, and drink the tea to calm CHILLS.

Use Warmed up Sweet Oil or camphorated  oil for earaches.  They also would light up a cigerette and blow (gently) the smoke in my ear.

A small garden of sage provides a good tea remedy for a HEADACHE from a cold or any headache.
Pour boiling water over one teaspoon crushed sage leaves, or one tablespoon green leaves, let the mixture brew off the stove and drink the strained liquid.

My own cure for the flu involves Bourbon (heated), with honey and lemon and/or Rock Candy.  To remove FOREIGN PARTICLES IN THE EYE, place a flax seed in the eye.

Use Adolph's meat tenderizer on bee stings.Make a paste with a drop or two of water and apply to the stings. Its supposed to draw the venom, and it relieves the throbbing.

Supposedly when people had mumps old timers would wrapped raw bacon strips around her neck and then tied a wool stocking around that.

A home remedy for killin' "chiggers" was to put lots of salt in bacon grease or lard and rub on the affected area.

A sedative made from one cup milk and two tablespoons honey mixed together quickly cures INSOMNIA.

A poultice made of homemade soap, sweet milk and cornbread will quickly bring a BOIL to a head.
However, because of their great iron content, eating raisins may help prevent boils.

Two or three drops of coal oil on a tablespoon of sugar for sore.

To stop BLEEDING, apply spider webs or soot to the wound.

Also effective is the powder inside puff balls found in the woods. Sprinkle the powder over the wound as you would a powder antiseptic today.

The juice obtained from the tip of an Aloe verde plant--burn plant--is good for a BURN, and other soothing properties are found in homemade soap lather or linseed oil.

Make a poultice of homemade soap and sugar and apply to a FELON--a bruise of the bone.

Two available plant remedies for POISON IVY are the juice from the jewel weed and the nightshade plants.

The jewel weed's juice is obtained from a bruised stem, while the nightshade's juice comes from the mashed leaves, which are soaked in milk before applied.

A bit of sulfur mixed with saltless lard forms a thick salve to treat poison ivy.

Drop the juice from the milkweed plant on WARTS to remove them.

Tobacco smoke blown into the ear eased the EARACHE.

For an ASTHMA ATTACK, smoke a hornet's nest in a pipe and inhale the smoke.

To make a good business deal, sprinkle powdered yeast around your door, under a new moon, while facing Atlanta.

To cure chills, cut off your toenails, put them in a sack and tie the sack to the hind leg of a frog.

To get more money, keep a silver coin or silver-certificate dollar, along with a picture of Ed McMahon, in your left shoe.

Drink a misture of honey, vinegar, and whiskey.
Make a tea from either the seeds or leaves of alfalfa.

Suck salty water up your nose.
Smoke or sniff rabbit tobacco.
Swallow a handful of spider webs rolled into a ball.


Place a spider web across the wound A weak solution of cider vinegar applied to cuts and wounds should stop bleeding. Apply a poultice of spirit turpentine and brown sugar to the wound. Use a mixture of soot from the chimney and lard. Use pine resin.

Put hot coals on the burned place and pour water over them. The steam will draw the fire out. Power hot coals and put this warm powder on the burn. The scapings of a raw potato will draw the fire. Put axel grease on the burned area. Use lard and flour.


Drink whiskey and honey mixed. Make a tea from powdered ginger, or ground up ginger roots. Do not boil the tea, but add the powdered root to a cup of hot water and drink. Add honey and whiskey, if desired. Boil pine needles to make a strong tea. Take as much powdered quinine as will stay on the blade of a knife, add to water, and drink. Eat onions roasted in ashes ( good for children ) Drink tea made from wintergreen fern.


Gather the roots of mayapple, cut out the joints, and dry the middle of the root. Place in a cloth and beat to a powder. Add a few drops of castor oil and roll into pills. They keep very well. You can also put a pinch of powder in food, or put in some syrup.


Mix one teaspoon of whiskey with a pinch of sugar, heat over a fire, and drink. Eat a mixture of honey and vinegar. Put some ground ginger from the store in a saucer and add a little sugar. Put it on the tongue just before bedtime. It burns the throat and most of the time will stop coughs. Take some rock candy with tea. Take a teacup of roots and stems of red horsemint, boil in a pint of water for two or three minutes, strain, and drink. Dissolve four sticks of horehound candy in a pint of whiskey and take a couple of spoonfuls a day. Boil one cup of wild cherry bark in a pint of water. add some syrup and cook until it gets thick.


To cure cramps in the feet, turn your shoes upside down before going to bed.

squeeze the juice out of a rosted onion and drink. Add a little vinegar, limon, or onion to honey and eat. Put a drop of turpentine in a spoonful of sugar and eat. Drink a thick syrup made of onion juice and honey. Boil an onion, some turpentine, and some lard together. Pour the juice on a cloth and put it on the chest.

Take a tea of red oak bark. Drink some blackberry juice.


Pour drops of juice from the buddie blooms (sweet shrub) into ear. Dissolve table salt in lukewarm and pour this into ear. This dissolves the wax which is causing the pain. Put either wet ashes wrapped in a cloth, or hot ashes in a sack on ear and hold there. Save the liquid that boils out of the ends of hickory and persimmon wood when burned, and pour this liquid into ear. Pour castor oil, or sweet oil into ear. Break apart a Betty bug at the neck, and squeeze one or two drops of blood into ear. Warm a spoonful of urine and put a few drops in ear. Put a few ashes in an old rag. Dampen it with hot water and sleep with your head on it.


Snakeroot tea will bring it down Boil two roots of wild ginger in a cup of water. strain, and drink. Boil a cup of pennyroyal leaves in a pint of water and drink.

Gather some boneset, put the leaves in a sack, and put it in the sun to dry. Make sure it has air or it will mold. Then cook the leaves in some water, strain, and drink. Chew rabbit tobacco.

Gall Bladder Trouble
Take a spoonful of pure corn whiskey and Black Draught


Bind wilted beet leaves on the forehead. Tie a flour sack around your head. Put several ginseng roots in a piece of broun papeer and tie to your head. Put turpentine and beef tallow in a bandage and tie it tightly around your head. Smear brow with crushed onions. Rub camphor and whiskey on head.

Take a teaspoon of peanut butter. (this always works for me) Put half a teacup of dried apples in a teacup of water in a pot. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Strain out the remains of the apples, and drink the juice while hot.

Pain Killer

Roast some poke roots by the fire. Scrape them clean with a knife and grind up. Make a poultice out of the powder and apply to the bottom of the foot. It will draw pain out of anywhere in the body.


Put drops of vanilla straight from the bottle on the tooth. Use burned alum. Hold whiskey or turpentine on the tooth. Put a few ashes in an old rag and dampen it with hot water. Sleep with your head on it.

Suck on a lemon to cure car sickness!
Hosting by WebRing.