have been used for centuries to aid the sick.
Though many advancements have been made
in the medical world,folk medicines have
survived time and are still being used around
While something as simple as chicken soup
drew controversy among many medical doctors,
some have finally come to agree that it has
medical benefits. But they're not sure why.
Like many of the old cures used during the
early years,the old folks didn't know why or
how their cures worked,but only that they did.
Many cultures such as Indian,African,
Appalachian, Japanese, Mexican,and many
others, were deeply rooted in folk medicines,
folklore,voodoo or old folktales. They didn't
know anything about test tubes or pills, but
there was the boiling of the roots and leaves;
some were even smoked. This form of healing
has laid the foundation for what is, and what
will be,in the medical Future.
My study of Old medical documents;one being
an old home medical book dated 1926 by
William Evans M D.,shows a close relationship
between traditional healing and folk healing.
This old book is truly an antique and covers a
wide range of old cures like: home remedy for
ringworm, pink eye, sore throat, tooth ache,
how to get rid of pimples, hives, the history of
small pox, scarlet fever, scurvy,malaria
symptoms,rickets disease,eczema, and many
other interesting subjects.
Many ingredients that were contained in old
home remedies are used in todays prescription
Drugs. Though these ingredients may be listed
under some fancy scientific name, the end
result is the same. The Old folk,as they were
sometimes called! Would probably change
some of these names to something simple like
vinegar, corn meal, pine tar, onions, baking
soda, salt, peppers, tree bark, roots, corn silk,
sassafras,dew berry roof, aspirin; Why aspirin?
Because it has been long used as a pain killer,
and though mostly synthetically made today,it
was originally made from salicin, the active
ingredient in willow tree bark, (acetylsalicylic
acid,) and was a primary ingredient in folk
medicines. The same can be found in
strawberries, almonds and tomatoes. So It's
plain to see that by consuming the right
combination of fruit, herbs and vegetables,
some bodily ailments would not exist or the
limiting effect of the aliment would be greatly
Did you know that store bought cloves are good
for a tooth ache? Nearly all medical benefits
and cures have come from simple nature. Even
One of the most deadliest human diseases,
malaria, was first treated with the extract from
the bark of a South American willow tree.
The old folks knew a great deal about healing
herbs but seldom spoke of what they knew,
unless with a family member or close friend. For
this reason unfortunately, many old remedies
have been lost forever and the rest remains a
secret. My ancestors were a great example of
this; they could be called the keepers of old
cures. They did a lot of healing but revealed
very little of how it was done. However, before
my mother's death, (Martha Marr- Fitzgerald)
revealed some of what she knew about folk
healing to a local newspaper.
And I would like to give thanks to Frances
Hallam Hurt, that took the time to investigate
and publish this article which was printed in
"The Bee." A newspaper located in Danville,
mounds of dirt along with the people that
possessed them. I am dedicating this page to
early pioneers of all cultures for their
contribution to the healing of the sick. For they
were true pioneers,that paved a path through
history,that lead us to what we call the present.