My earliest memory of herbal medicine, what is yours?

VickiP Posts: 586 ✭✭✭✭

In the early 1960s, when I was a small child of 7 or 8 my Mom would go with the other ladies to play Bridge she would get a neighborhood teenager, named Gloria to come sit with us. When Gloria's grandmother was in town she would come along. Gloria's grandmother was Apache and she spent part of the year on the reservation and part of it in town, she had a deep understanding of the native plants and would take us on long rambles in the desert. She taught how to harvest and prepare prickly pear, both fruits and the pads she told us stories of her childhood, she was fascinating. She did have one peculiarity we weren't to happy about though, she was convinced that white kids had worms! She would take us out to where a plant grew that she said would get rid of the worms, showed us how to harvest it then we took it home and she made a tea out of it and we had to drink it. It was YUK!! When Mom came home we indignantly told her about it and she laughed and laughed. You think that's bad she said you should have to drink what my grandma gave us! I never knew the name of that plant but I now think it was Chaparral? I have been interested in "what is that plant good for?" ever since.


  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,816 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I remember when I was very young, in the 1950s, I had to take a teaspoonful of castor oil every day. I also ate horehound drops for a sore throat. We didn't do much of that when the family got bigger though.

    I guess that makes me a "mid century" model.

  • VickiP
    VickiP Posts: 586 ✭✭✭✭

    I remember horehound drops, I never had to take caster oil. Mom said one of her grandma's remedies was turpentine! Sometimes I wonder how they survived.

    [email protected] Posts: 49 ✭✭✭

    I just have very fond memories as a kid... picking blackberries and eating them as soon as they were plucked. Cannot forget the jewel weed for poison ivy and just one little sweet drop from the honeysuckle sparks nostalgia. Neat post thanks made me think back on why I enjoy learning about plants.

  • merlin44
    merlin44 Posts: 426 ✭✭✭✭

    I was visiting a neighborhood friend, her grandmother spoke to her in a language I couldn't understand, afterwards my friend and I went to nearby woods. She told me we were looking for a certain plant, when she found it, she dug the root up. After collecting a few, we took them back to her grandmother. That day was almost 55 years ago and remembered clearly, it awoke in me a lifelong quest to learn and understand the magic of our green brothers and sisters.

  • silvertipgrizz
    silvertipgrizz Posts: 1,990 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Red wasp sting to an index finger joint.. wow red hot pain like I never knew.

    sage and mint leaves, briefly chew to release saliva to potentiate the herbal properties.....I just wish I had known about cabbage leaves back then.

    Cabbage leaves to recluse bite a few months ago with red and swelling moving from bite at wrist to just above elbow in less than 2 days..

    application of cabbage leaves wilted in very hot water, leaves chewed, again for potentiation of salivary enzymes and cabbage leaves. 3 applications later no sign of red or swelling, pain gone and absolutely no sign of bite or have ever been bitten. In less than 2 days too! When I consider that I was headed for sepsis/blood poisoning wow how miraculous the cabbage leaf, and so blessed to have learned about the healing benefits of the mighty cabbage leaf from Marjory!!! I can not say thank you enough.

    I hope everyone's day is the best!

  • Obiora E
    Obiora E Posts: 517 ✭✭✭✭

    I had received a dog from my teacher while I was in a Montessori school--I started at age 3--but I think that I was a little older when I got him from a litter her dogs had but I don't recall. I was probably about 8 or 9, possibly a little older, when my dog had possibly gotten hit by a car and it damaged one of his legs. The veterinarian gave us three options: 1) Cut off the damaged leg. 2) Put him to sleep. 3) I don't recall the third option. We as a family could not afford any of those options and we opted to get my dog some pills (still can't believe that humans give non-animal humans things we shouldn't be taking let alone them but that's another story) I think to assist with the pain.

    My father went out into our yard and used three plants, I think one was Comfrey but not sure about the other two and he made a poultice for my dog that we applied several times per day for a couple of weeks or more. By the next time my dog went to the veterinarian was shocked and surprised to see my dog running in there and not limping anymore...he thought that we had gotten a new dog but no my father helped me and my siblings to heal my dog from his wounds!

  • Amy
    Amy Posts: 35 ✭✭✭

    Back in the early 70s my grandmother would harvest an herb growing wild which she had a German name for. It sounded like Wormwood. She would make an infusion once per week which was probably good idea since it was the most putrid smell! I would never try it! She would drink a half juice glass full everyday. Yuk. Not sure what she used it for but my mother said it was for her diabetes. Hmm? I think it was for her stomach.

  • Leslie Carl
    Leslie Carl Posts: 255 ✭✭✭✭

    My mother got on a health food kick when I was 10 yr. old. She had been bed-ridden by her doctor because her varicose veins kept breaking every time she stood up. A neighbor brought over some health books for her to read and the first one she picked up was "Folk Medicine". In it she read that if you put 1/4 c. of vinegar and honey into 1 c. of hot water (stir to dissolve the honey) and drink it several times a day, that it will get rid of varicose veins. She tried it and it worked! A week later, she was up and doing regular house chores with no more broken veins.

    So, she kept reading and the first thing I remember doing on a regular basis for my health was drinking a teaspoon of cayenne pepper mixed into a glass of tomato juice. My dad bought the 95.000 btu powder and it was firey hot!

  • ines871
    ines871 Posts: 1,283 ✭✭✭✭✭

    (after school-Forced vaccines), some (unbeknownst to me) 4 drops of Magic... that grandma put on a 1 cm sugar-cube on my tongue, during grade school. - Other than the Mint-flavor, don't know the other ingredients. Suffice it to say, grandma's Herbal cures always empowered my Immune system to get back in the saddle & ride...

  • VickiP
    VickiP Posts: 586 ✭✭✭✭

    Grandmas are the best!

  • ines871
    ines871 Posts: 1,283 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi @angelaclay509 - Nostalgia is great, Agreed. And the best times help 1 easily forget that this thing called 'time' doesn't really exist. As we can just do more of the same, recreating our enjoyments... over & over.

    Only when I allow the world to derail me as I do too often, that I then return to healthy Fun. - I too enjoy your Positive posts Angela 🙂 Enjoy a Happy week !

  • hmsadmin
    hmsadmin Posts: 123 admin

    My mom planted the seed of seeking out alternatives as I was growing up. We still did see Dr.'s for bad infections, and I had some pretty serious hospital stays when I was super young, but for any cold, bruise, splinter, bite... Mom always had some herb tincture or salve or something at the ready for those things.

  • VickiP
    VickiP Posts: 586 ✭✭✭✭

    There seems to be a common thread, a warm memory linked to alternative healing/nature. I hope I can pass that same feeling and desire for knowledge on to younger ones in my life.