By Verdun Ball

Over two centuries ago in Ireland there were cures for almost everything. The cure for a dog bite was to place some of the hair from the dog on the bite; the cure for a cut in the hand was to place a cobweb on the cut and allow the blood to seep through the cobweb. For measles, nettles were boiled and a drop of whiskey added to the juice.

Faraban was a weed hated by farmers. If you had a bad cut you chewed a faraban leaf, then spat on the blood. This stopped the bleeding immediately. Faraban was also used to cure sores.

Ragweed was used to heal sore throats, chickenweed for sore eyes. Ivy was used to cure corns, by pulling a leaf, then putting it on the corn. It was also used for curing chillblains – by boiling it, then bathing them in water.

Soap, melted in a spoon over heat with sugar added, was used to ‘draw’ boils. Vinegar was used to kill chillblains and wasp stings.

For a bad cold, buttermilk was boiled with two teaspoons of sweet milk. The buttermilk always curdled and cured the cold. To cure corns, caster oil was put on a clean piece of cloth. Changed a couple of times a day, this was always guaranteed to ‘root out the corn’. Alternatively, you could go see a doctor.