Homemade cures from Ireland 1940s-1960s

The following cures are from a first hand account of treatments commonly used in Ireland during the 1940s-60s . The treatments with an * are treatments that were used on the person who I spoke to. The treatments with an ^ are treatments that were commonly used but she never used.

  • Teething/ Tooth aches (child)*: Rub a little whiskey, rum, what ever the hell ya have on the gums of the child, don’t give them a lot, then that should shut ’em up.”
  • Tooth aches (adult)*: “Swish whiskey around in your mouth and then swallow it, never spit it out that’s good liquor ya know. If the pain is still there take a few swigs of the whiskey, no need to swish it, that should dull the pain. If by some reason that doesn’t work go see a doctor.”
-Chilblain infection of the foot

  • Chilblains*- an inflammation of the toes usually occurs when a person goes from a cold temperature to a sudden warm temperature, causes itching. “The chilblains hurt like hell. The only thing that helped me was me father melting Vaseline and adding milk into it then apply it to the feet. Itching went away in minutes.”
  • Arthritis^- “The only thing that seemed to work for me Aunt Ronny was eating raw celery, she swares it takes the pain away.”
  • Flu/Cold***- “Their is only one thing that will cure the flu, ya don’t need that medicine the fecking doctors give ya all ya need is a good old hot toddy. Their are two different ways to make a hot toddy ya know. The Scottish way is to boil rum and add sugar, whole cloves and some water do dilute it a bit. Then serve it hot. The Irish way, works a hell of a lot better and quicker. What ya do is ya take whiskey and boil it, but not too long you want a lot of the alcohol to stay, next you mix in sugar, honey and lemon juice and stir it all up. Then take two aspirins and swallow them down with the hot toddy and get into bed and get ready to sleep. Side effects were uncontrollably sweating and coming in an out of sleeping a lot. Possibly throwing up but that’s probably from the aspirin just take two more and some more of the hot toddy.”

If you want to know an Irish cure just text it in the comments below and I’ll see if my person knows a trick or two.

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3 Responses to Homemade cures from Ireland 1940s-1960s

  1. Angela says:

    Any headache or stress relief remedies? Those may be good to know for the next few weeks with finals coming up!

    • Dean says:

      Sure, this is what the person told me:

      Head Ache- “Take a silk sock soak it in vinegar and wrap it around your head”
      Stress Relief- “I don’t know….go get drunk.”

      And just some extras I was told.

      Arthritis- “Take some WHITE grapes and soak them in some Gin over night. The next day eat about 5-10 of them and as the day goes on and the pain comes back just eat some more. If the pain isn’t going away fast enough drink some of the gin the grapes were soaking in.”
      Warts- “Go out and pick some dandelions. When you cut it open inside is the milk of the dandelions. Rub the white milk on the wart and let it dry. Do this as often as possible for 3-5 days. After the time has passed take some sowing string and tie it around the wart then pull to high hell and slice the fucker off. I swear to Jesus, Mary and Holy Saint Joseph above, it doesn’t hurt and doesn’t bleed.”
      Weight loss- “Drink some apple vinegar. It’ll kill the bacteria inside ya and keep ya thin.”

  2. wcturgeon says:

    I think my daughter drinks cider vinegar to keep thin. Yuck.

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