Search billions of records on

Home Remedies In Pioneer Days


Lori Bakken

Call a doctor! A doctor? What doctor? Along the prairiesthere were no doctors in pioneer days, so when you became sick, people hadto think of a cure for that certain disease.

Let's say you had been working all day long. Well, thiswasn't strange! Of course, your eyes would become sore. Did you want toget rid of those sore eyes? This remedy may seem unusual, but it was veryeffective. People would put a few drops of fresh, sweet cow's milk in theireyes.

Everybody had a cold occasionally and it was very distressing. For a cold, pioneers just mixed up some mustard plaster, which was a mixtureof mustard and water. This mixture was placed between two pieces of cleancloth and put on the chest for a chest cold. It may not seem like muchof a cure, but it was very effective.

Rickets was caused by lack of Vitamin D. The cure forthis wasn't very tasty. The remedy was to eat raw, fresh, clean snails. It doesn't sound very appetizing, but it did get rid of the rickets!

Tuberculosis could become lung cancer. The remedy forthis disease was very simple. It was the "clean, fresh air of Minnesota."

Rheumatism is something like arthritis. It is inflammationof the joints. A piece of dried potato in your pocket was a common remedyfor this ailment.

Lice are small bugs that sometimes infected the hair. Theremedy for this was to blow tobacco smoke in your hair. It would kill thelittle irritating bugs.

Bronchitis is a disease that caused trouble in breathing. And the remedy for this was to tie the dirtiest, stinkiest wool sock youcould find around the neck. Phew! A very uncomfortable experience.

For a poison, snake bite, or burn you could apply: rawfresh pork, red clay, insides of a dead chicken, or whiskey to relieve thediscomfort.

If you happen to get skin cancer, you would hard boil anegg. Take the yoke and mash it. Stir it in with vinegar to make a paste,then rub it wherever the skin cancer was.

Ringworm was an irritating growth on your skin spread byanimals. To get rid of ringworm, you would let a penny sit in vinegar forabout two hours until it became green. This solution was poured over theringworm and soon the ringworm was gone.

Often pioneers had ear aches. The cure for this painfulproblem was to pour urine in the ear.

Boils were about as painful as an ear ache. A dirty diaperpoultice was used if the diseased person could tolerate the awful odor.

These home remedies were good in pioneer days, but takemy advice. When you get sick, go see your doctor.

advice. When you get sick, go see your doctor.