Pioneer Cures


Old west remedies developed on the western frontier, because the closest "Sawbones" could be over 100 miles away. Therefore, by necessity the term "Dr.Mom" took on a much greater meaning. Along with cooking, sewing, and washing our pioneer great-great grandmothers had to have a vast knowledge of old west hand me down cures and homes remedies.

Take a look at this collection, taken word for word out of a circa 1845 manual.

Old West Remedy for:---DYSENTERY---

Dissolve as much table salt in pure vinegar as will ferment and work clear. When the foam is discharged cork it up in a bottle, and put it away for use. A large spoonful of this in a gill of boiling water is efficacious in cases of dysentery and cholic.

Old West Remedy for:---CHILLS---

The plant, commonly called hoarhound, is said to afford a certain cure. Boil it in water, and drink freely of the tea.


Mix in a common size cup of fresh milk two teaspoonfuls of pulverized charcoal and ten drops of spirits of turpentine. Soften the charcoal with a few drops of milk before putting into the cup. Gargle frequently, according to the violence of the symptoms.

Old West Remedy for:---ASTHMA RELIEF---

Take the leaves of the stramonium (or Jamestown weed,) dried in the shade, saturated with a pretty strong solution of salt petre, and smoke it so as to inhale the fumes. It may strangle at first if taken too freely, but it will loosen the phlegm in the lungs. The leaves should be gathered before frost.

Old West Remedy for:---CROUP---

If a child is taken with croup apply cold water suddenly and freely to the neck and chest with a sponge or towel. The breathing will instantly be relieved, then wipe it dry, cover it up warm, and soon a quiet slumber will relieve the parent's anxiety.

Old West Remedy for:---A TROUBLESOME COUGH---

Take of treacle and the best white wine vinegar six tablespoonfuls each, add forty drops of laudanum, mix it well, and put into a bottle. A teaspoonful to be taken occasionally when the cough is troublesome. The mixture will be found efficacious without the laudanum in many cases.

Old West Remedy for:---A SICK HEADACHE---

One teaspoonful of pulverized charcoal and one-third of a teaspoonful of soda mixed in very warm water.

Old West Remedy for:--A TOOTHACHE--

Powdered alum will not only relieve the toothache, but prevent the decay of the tooth. Salt may advantageously be mixed with the alum.

Old West Remedy for:---A BURN---

Wheat flour and cold water, mixed to the consistency of soft paste, is an almost instantaneous cure for a burn. Renew before the first gets dry so as to stick.

Old West Remedy for:---CAMP ITCH---

Take iodide of potassium, sixty grains, lard, two ounces, mix well, and after washing the body well with warm soap suds rub the ointment over the person three times a week. In seven or eight days the acarus or itch insect will be destroyed. In this recipe the horrible effects of the old sulphur ointment are obviated.

Old West Remedy for:---A FELON---

The Selma Reporter says: A poultice of onions, applied morning, noon and night for three or four days, will cure a felon. No matter how bad the case, splitting the finger will be unnecessary, if this poultice be used. We have seen it tried several times, and know that the remedy is a sure, safe and speedy one.

Old West Remedy for:---CORNS---

The cause of corns, and likewise the pain they occasion, is simply friction, and to lessen the friction you have only to use your toe as you do in like circumstances a coach wheel--lubricate it with some oily substance. The best thing to use is a little sweet oil rubbed on the affected part (after the corn is carefully pared) with the tip of the finger, which should be done on getting up in the morning, and just before stepping into bed at night. In a few days the pain will diminish, and in a few days more it will cease, when the nightly application may be discontinued.

Old West Remedy for:---WARTS---

Dissolve as much common washing soda as the water will take up, wash the warts with this for a minute or two, and let them dry without wiping. Keep the water in a bottle and repeat the washing often, and it will take away the largest of warts.

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Grandma's Recipes = $$$