With the large number of complaints I’ve been hearing (myself included) about colds, sore throats, and upper respiratory congestion, I thought I’d better check out my list of Granny Shipman and Grandma Goggins home remedies and give them a share around.

These ladies lived frugally and grew up in a time when  Alka Seltzer Plus, NyQuil and such were still far in the future. Granny Shipman had some ‘herbal’ medicines, I will not go into. I want to stick with things you probably have around the kitchen or can easily obtain.

First and foremost, was a pot of water simmering on the woodstove, often with a bit of vanilla, lemon juice or orange peel in it to scent the air as well as adding some humidity. This is also useful on a gas or electric stove since what ever heat we use dries the air.

We will begin with the tried and true. Tried on all of us kids, Hubby’s siblings and the assorted kids from ensuing generations.

First of all, we will deal with sore throats:

Granny Shipman would recommend “Home made “Soda Pop”, this concoction is simply a mixture of 2 parts water, one part apple cider vinegar, maybe a teaspoon of sugar and about half a teaspoon of baking soda.  This cuts the ‘crud’ in your throat and helps ease the pain.

For a persistent sore throat, she would put a tablespoon of honey, a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar in a pinch, and about sa half cup of really HOT water in a mug, you breathed the steam until it cooled enough to sip.

Granny was a big believer in ‘onion tea’ for congestion. Finely chopped onion, steeped in some hot water, sweetened if you wish,  and proceed as above.

My mother gave us gallons of ‘Hotlade”, growing up Lemonade, heated and ‘drink it as hot as you can stand it’.

Both these ladies, and many others I’m sure. would hand out the salt water gargle for sore throats too. a good size glass of water with 1/2 teaspoon of salt to swish around in your mouth and throat. try not to swallow this stuff, it has been known to make a person vomit. (Experience speaks) It is also handy for mouth sores but stings like the dickens.

Now, if you are REALLY sick, there was the hot toddy, simply a cup of tea or hotlade with a little whiskey in it.

I will add here, while I do not recommend it, my fathers “Kill you or Cure you”. As kids, most of us were afraid to cough in front of him, and if we got a dose of this, would swear we were ‘much better’ so we did not get another.  This requires one pint of white whiskey…. and 8 or 10 peppermint candy sticks. Pour out 1 inch of whiskey,  Crush the candy and add it to the bottle. Let it set for a few days shaking occasionally.  take one tablespoon at your own risk about every four to six hours.

And of course the myriad soups, full of good veggies and hot broth.

Then of course, there was Vick’s Vapo-rub, put in water to breathe the fumes, smeared on your chest or the soles of your feet, then put on heavy socks… This was usually the ‘last ditch’ before you had to actually be taken to a doctor.

We all survived, rarely was that trip to the doctor needed.

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