Back in the Olden Days, Country Ways, Redneck Ways Jff

Updated on March 26, 2011
D.S. asks from Katy, TX
21 answers

back in the olden days or country moms or redneck moms use old style medicine for their kids. back before medical help was so prevelant. i know some country moms and redneck moms still use it due to being so far from a hospital. we were talking about this at work tonight and it got me curious. what did you do for medical problems when medicine wasnt as abundant as it is today. ex one example we were talking about vinegar and clear nail polish for insect bites. baking soda paste for wasp stings or bee stings ( pulls the poison out) butter for burns in her case mine was mustard for burns takes the sting out.yougurt straight on the babies hiney for yeast infections. super glue for cuts. stuff like this. bleach for poison ivy was another one. so what did you use for stuff if you were to far from a doc or before this stuff nowdays existed? no i dont condone or condemn using this its just a curiousity thing. she was a nurse raised in the country and there were 8 kids so they used alot of stuff i had never heard of. yes i do realize doctors are better. we were also talking about what vitamins help with what. whiskey for abcess and she said ginger root for a tooth ache. so what did you use and for what

edit yes i know butter on burns is very outdated but so are most of these remedies i named. my grandma swore by butter on burns but i have never used it.

2 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

  • Add your own comment
  • Ask your own question
  • Join the Mamapedia community
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

i by no way meant offense when i put redneck in the title. i know alot of these remedies were used during the depression era and alot of country people use them cause they are so far away from a hospital. my grandma taught me a few of these and she was not redneck at all. depression era yes redneck no way. some of these i have heard and some i have used but not many like the chicken soup. i have actually used the whiskey for an abcess. it does work. these are seldom used anymore. i learned a few i havent heard of. seems chewing tabacoo seems to cure alot. i have heard other uses for it like stink bait but alot of people use it for various reasons. wierd nasty stuff. but thanks for the input and i learned alot i do need to check into the windex though. and since you all said that i do believe windex has vinegar in it. i know mustard does and vinegar is actually what takes the sting out of burns. but they use mustard to get it to stay put. and yes i have used this alot whcn cooking in resturants. it does work.

Featured Answers


answers from Seattle on

Crisco for dry skin/ecsema(sp). I am using it for my daughter now on her forhead and it works great and is much much cheaper than Aquaphore.
(my girlfriend has a son who is now 9. When he was a baby he had horrible ecsema and his grandmother on the dad's side told her about the Crisco. She said that back in the day (40's) black folks had a hard time being seen by medical doctors so they had to come up with their own remedies.)

Edit My Answer
2 moms found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Detroit on

This reminds me of that movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding", where the father treats every skin condition with Windex.

There is some truth to some of it - baking soda is great for bee stings and aloe is good for sunburns. But some of it is bunk - bleach for poison ivy? Really?

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Modesto on

I never rushed my kids to the doc like people do these days. I always put a clean fresh sheet on the couch with a clean fresh pillow case on their pillow and let them lay on the couch until they felt better. It was special to have the couch to yourself. I'd sit at the end and rub their feet.
We used merchurachrome for bites and cuts (kids love that red stuff, my hubby still likes to use it and I have some in the medicine cabinet, lol).
I remember getting bit by a red aunt on my toe when I was about 5, it hurt like Hell. My grandmother slathered it in blue ink. I think the blue ink just made you think it was better. Toe stayed blue for days, haha. Who has an ink bottle in their house now? I doubt hardly anyone. That was in the days when you filled your own pens and ink pads... who uses ink pads nowadays?
cute post.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Meat tenderizer on bee stings
Raw egg on burns
Teaspoon of sugar for hiccups
Chicken soup for everything ;-)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

My dad swears by three part 7up one part water to ease a babies nausea. Once, when I was 8, I got bit by a spider. At least we thought so, because it got really bad, leaking brown fluid and the area around was swollen and red. My mom thought it was a brown recluse. My mom had just decided to take me to the doc. first thing Monday. The Sunday before my appt we went to my Great Grandmothers house and my mom mentioned it to her. My grandma asked to see it, we showed her and she said, "I have just the thing." She went to the kitchen and came back out with a spoon. Mom thought she was going to give me something, but really ggma had heated one of her pure silver spoons on the oven and she put it against my leg! Well of course I cried out and my mom just stood there is disbelief, but you know what? All that brown yucky stuff came out, and by the next morning the swelling was gone. Granted I do have a scar now, and I would never do it to a child but it did work!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

the best natural thing i do is steam for colds, a little peppermint or eucalyptis oil in there helps too. and of course moms chicken soup. and netty pot works great. oh, and im pretty sure i was told that the pee on the jellyfish sting works because of the ammonia. one time when i was stung badly by jellyfish (awful) and they brought me to the first aid station and they sprayed my legs with ammonia (i assume diluted) and it helped immediately.
just for fun - my father in law swears that if you have a wart, you need to put a split pea in a paper bag and throw it out on the back lawn on a night when there is a full moon. i swear. :)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

well i was born in the 80s so i cant recall too many home remedies, but i like aloe vera cut strait from the yard for burns, i heard onion was good for bites. Warm baths are great for fevers, whiskey rubbed on the gums of a teething baby really does help. And ear candles are awesome!

I really like the yogurt/diaper rash idea ...totally gonna try that

@jennifer,,,,i hope to one day be with a friend that gets stung by a jellyfish.....hahahaha, what a great conversation

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Butter is NOT good for burns.

We use Listerine (or any mouth wash) on B. bites, to help with the itching.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I just want to point out that home remedies were not just used by "country" moms. My family is from New England and they used many of the things you mentioned, I don't think it has anything to do with the country but the times they grew up in.

Butter should never be used on burns, the reason it was used is because it was cold, it may have worked then but because of the fat can actually make the burn worse.

I searched fro home remedies and found a bunch of sites that may interest you:

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Louisville on

A piece of raw potato will draw the pus out of a boil. A small piece with a bandaid over it. Our family has always used Noxema for sunburn, and it feels so good, and my mother would put a solution of half bleach and have water on poison ivy. Vinegar will also take the burn out of a sunburn and make the skin turn it into a tan faster. Ammonia will work on Portuguese Man of War stings.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

A long time ago I was given a book called The Doctors Book of Home Remedies. I have used it a lot over the years. I love that it also tells you when to see a doctor. I just realized it has a section on cellulite. Better read that one.
Personally I love to use vinegar for lots of things like skin rash, dry hands, itchy scalp, and build up on my hair. If you Google uses for vinegar you will get lots of ideas.
We have also used creamy toothpaste for minor burns. Crest worked the best.
Added: for hiccups we always hold our noses while we drink some water. A sip won't. You have to swallow several times without letting go of your nose. We also used to eat a teaspoon of sugar for hiccups but the nose thing works better.
We also drink gingerale for nausea. Worked great for morning sickness.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Augusta on

chewing tobacco on jelly fish sting helps calm the sting.
wet Tea bag on a tooth ache or stitches in the mouth will help with the pain and help stop bleeding.

butter on a burn actually makes it worse because it's oil based.

A little offended about the"redneck" comment
You don't have to be any of those to use home remedies.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from College Station on

We gargled with salt and hot water for sore throats.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

Aloe for burns.

Baking soda for itchies.

Garlic for vaginal yeast infections - just shove it in like a tampon. Using a needle to run a thread through it first makes it easier to remove.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

Its funny you mention yogurt for yeast infection diaper rash! I actually just did that with my 23 month old, who had a NASTY yeast rash, and it worked way better than the rash creams and antifungals I tried! It is the probiotics in the yogurt that work so well! Anyhoo, my grandma used to use vaseline for EVERYTHING, from bug bites, bee stings, burns, dry skin...

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

--I keep a jar of pickle juice in the fridge for burns. Either dip the burn area in the pickle juice or dip a cotton ball in the juice and squeeze over the burn. It immediately stops the pain, prevents a blister from forming, and will reduce a blister that already formed.

--Baking soda paste on bee stings. I got stung under my eye last summer and the baking soda helped soooo much.
--Super glue cuts closed. It burns like crazy, but only for a minute.
--Clear nail polish on chigger bites
--Soap lather on bug bites and let it dry. The soap takes away the itch.
--As soon as a sore throat starts we gargle with warm salt water.
--Eucalyptus oil on skin irritations and boils.
--For head congestion I fill a pot with water and when it starts to steam, stand over it with a towel covering your head to catch the steam and breath deep. Congestion clears right up.
--When I'm working outside and get into that stinging grass (not sure what it's called but that stuff that is sticky and makes the skin sting and itch) I put dirt on it. The stinging feeling is gone almost immediately.

I know there are more, but I cannot remember them right now.

We use a lot of "home remedies" because 1. doctors are expensive 2. Medicine these days seems to have more synthetic ingredients than natural ones 3. So called home remedies or folk medicine actually works.
I think for simple things there is no reason to see a doctor. We only go if it is a true emergency: broken bones, deep cuts needing stitches, and things like that.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Ok, I am pretty young, but my dad had a million of these things.
He swore by super glue, canphophenique (the smell stll reminds me of him, and he would use it for everything), we would pack mud onto bee stings, cauterization (even if it didn't call for it), , vinegar baths for sunburns (that one was my moms), egg yolk on the face will clear up acne (mom's too)...there was another liquid I remember my parents pouring on us when we got cuts and burned like (bleep) and my mom also used it to mop with! I forget what it's called though, but it was an amber liquid.
I am sure there are more I am forgetting about. I know if they were both alive when I had my baby then more would have came to light too.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Actually it's been my experience that butter on burns actually holds the burn in. Cool water is best as it cools the skin. Other hints I'm aware of is using corn starch in place of baby powder & amonia for stings, baking soda for indigestion & for toothpaste, a piece of fresh yeast bread for a poultice (for cuts), boiling rusty nails & drinking the water from it for low iron issues, boiling the bark of an aspin tree for 'aspirin'/headache remedy, chewed tobacco for stings, swish w/salt water for cuts or abrasions inside the mouth. That's about all I can think of, hope this helps.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Provo on

Have you seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding? The windex? Seriously, that stuff is amazing!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Super glue !!! as long as it is not a gaping head wound. I do all sorts of homeopathic i guess''redneck back of the woods business'' . I have only been as far east as Nebraska.. I know that most the natural stuff and back country living kind of meet nicely hand in hand...the one i would always refuse was the whiskey on the gums for teething. I could never bring myself to do it. Everyone recommended it but couldnt do it. I use ginger as the magic herb/ root whatever it is amazing.. from tummy issues to the runners out the rear end. I cant ingest peppermint because it actually has the oppst. effect on me it doesnt settle it hurts my tum. so I went out and got peppermint extracted to rub and my tummy and ab. it works amazingly. usually with in fifteen twenty minutes things settle.

yeast infection in girls young or old...yogurt...and can break probiotic capsule cause they are a powder vit. so you can open and shake.

TMI....... I eat yogurt and insert probiotic caps when i am not feeling so hot down there. it is way way safer then the stuff they sell in the stores.

Good question!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I was born in 1963, but thanks to my Depression era dad and mom, my brother and I were subject to some basic first aid:

Insect stings and large scrapes; we'd have large gobs of shaving cream sprayed onto us.
Stuffed up noses; gobs of Vicks Vapo-rub shoved up our nostrils, and sitting with our faces over pots of steaming water with towels over our heads.
Tooth ache/sore in mouth; a shot of gin or vodka sitting in our mouths until our tongues grew numb.
Sore throats; gargle with vodka.
Rashes/sunburns; soaking in a warm bathtub with dissolved Tide detergent.
Chiggers; washing with Colgate's Octagon soap.
Dandruff/itchy scalp; use Listerine as a rub-in after shampooing - rinse it out so you don't stink.
Jellyfish stings; ocean water rinse - not pee.
Small burns/sunburns/insect bites; aloe vera gel - we always had a plant around to trim.
Yeast infections/diaper rash; yogurt with live cultures - eat and rub respectively (use plain for the rubbing). And also for diaper rash, put the baby on a pee-proof sheet (out in the back yard if possible) and let them air out. I had a great tan on my butt when I was an infant according to my mother, and no rash.
Urinary tract infection; drinking lots of cranberry and lemon juice.

These are the ones that actually worked and that I still use (well, except for the toothache and sore throat ones). And reading the previous posts, I LOVED mecurdichrome (sp?). It was so much fun to have your knees painted that lovely shade of orangey-pink.

Great and fun question.

1 mom found this helpful

Next question: Allergic Reaction to Wasp Sting HELP!!