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Last week's XO Insight introduced the folklore and local history behind some common Cures and Remedies. It seems to be a popular topic as we have been inundated with emails about your cure stories. 

Medicine Bag

What's Your Cure?

We've discovered that Ireland's Diaspora have many of their own cures and old remedies. We received so many emails telling us about them that we wanted to share them with you!  These cures were part of everyday life. It was both practical and inevitable that those leaving the country carried the traditional cures with them. In making them part of their new lives in their adopted country they were bringing part of Ireland with them too. Here are a selection of those received in the past week.

Wart and Verucca cures

It seems there are many cures for a wart or verucca. Usually the cure was passed from one mother to another and the most common and effective remedies included

"Rubbing or soaking a wart or verucca in milk of a crushed dandellion daily for 10 days, followed by filing the wart or verucca and covering with a plaster."

A stye on the eye

A common home cure for a stye on your eye was to rub a wedding ring on the lid of the eye: 

"A married Man or Lady would take off their wedding ring and make the sign of the cross (3 times) over the affected eye - it always worked."

Medicine Bottles Ireland

Picture: Old medicine bottles

A cure for a cough/ cold or a fever

Today some people may use cough medicine, nasal spray or some painkillers to kick and cure a cough, cold or fever. Home medicine remedies passed down through Irish generations sound more like a recipe for a soup, stew or cocktail:

To cure a cough, cold or sore throat "a jigger of whiskey, mixed with hot water, honey and lemon".

For a fever: "Chopped onion or potato wrapped in a piece of an old sheet and held in both hands". 

Another way to cure a fever "Place thick slices of onions on the soles of the sick persons feet and this will draw out the heat and bring down the fever".

Warm salt water has a cure for ailments

Feedback from our cures and remedies newsletter has shed light on the use of warm water and salts as part of many cures including festered cuts, splinters, calming arthritis pain.

"Add a 1/2 cup of sea salt into a bath of warm water." to soften and losen the skin if you have splinters or a festered cut.

This is also said to be a great help in the relief from the pain of arthritis. 


We hope you have found the information we have shared helpful. While you are here, we have a small favour to ask. Ireland Reaching Out is a non-profit organisation that relies on public funding and donations to ensure a completely free family history advisory service to anyone of Irish heritage who needs help connecting with their Irish place of origin. If you would like to support our mission, please click on the donate button and make a contribution. Any amount, big or small, is appreciated and makes a difference. 

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