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Folk Medicine In The Kentucky Hills by ROMER COOL Why The Home Remedy Is Used Would you pour fresh, warm urine in your ear for earache? Would you walk barefoot through fresh cow manure? You might if no other cure was available. The fresh cow manure is for athlete's foot . . . Today Kentucky is far different from what it was as recently as thirty years ago. Now most people have more money, sanitary homes, and modern conveniences. When you leave the main highways and travel up the dead-end roads leading to the "head of the holler", conditions are very much as they were in the past. Many people living there have substantial incomes earned in the coal mines. A large number of these people cannot spend their income wisely. Lack of sanitation and ignorance of modern medicine causes many worthless home cures to be in use. The roads in Kentucky thirty or forty years ago were hardly worthy of the name. From many communities it was a day's journey to the nearest doctor. The roads at best twisted and turned, and were extremely rough. During winter they became alternately holes of mire and frozen deep ruts. Many roads didn't really exist. The creek bed became the road, and during high water was impassable. Such conditions fostered a dependence on home cures. When there is sickness in a family and a doctor cannot be reached, it helps if a person is doing something about it. Even though home cures will many times have no medicinal value, the psychological value could be of some assistance. It relieves some of the worry if the sick can be "doctored". The home cures included in this book are in regular use in the hills today. I have not collected them for use, but as a part of the culture of the hills of eastern Kentucky. I would like to caution against their use and advise that everyone should see a physician when ill. The remedies included here are but a small portion of those I have collected. Many people swear they are effective. I think it is easy to conclude many are not effective, and some could possibly do harm. It will be noted that the remedies most often consist of that which is readily available around the farm or community. Some remedies are certain to strike you as being repulsive. Warts And Worms The fact that some warts are caused by bacteria, would make it seem likely that communities in which sanitation is an unknown factor would find the wart most common. This is borne out by more concern for a cure for warts than for a serious illness. I collected far more cures for warts than anything else. Some of these cures are listed and are most amazing. 1. Hide a pin and forget where it is. 2. Get 9 rocks (small) and rub them 9 times over the wart. Throw the rocks over your shoulder and don't watch where they go. 3. Get a rooster's foot and rub it over 51 should be killed and the foot removed first. ) 4. Rub a bone over the wart and throw it away. 5. Use cabbage leaves as a poultice. 6. Tie a greasy rag over the wart, or rub it with it. 7. Try on it. ( By this it is meant a person , with the gift, can rub it, say a few words, and shortly it will disappear . ) 8. Tie as many knots in a white cloth as you have warts. Let somebody hide it under a rock. When it rots the warts go away. 9. Have somebody buy it (usually for one cent). 10. Take 9 grains of com, rub them on the wart and then feed them to a chicken. 11. Kill a black chicken and put the blood on your warts. I should think eleven cures should be enough to remove any stubborn wart. Warts seem to be repulsive enough to cause great concern over their removal. Worms, like warts, wouldn't be as common if sanitation was practiced. If the chickens, dogs, cats, and other animals live in the house or on the porch, worms...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1940-5081
Print ISSN
0363-2318
Pages
pp. 51-56
Launched on MUSE
2014-01-08
Open Access
No
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