Gransnet forums


Old remedies from grandma

(40 Posts)
biglouis Fri 02-Jun-23 00:38:17

My grandmother used to recommend ones own spit for getting rid of boils, abcesses, nasty spots, and a whole range of skin complaints. In particuar she said to use your "fasting" spit from early morning.

I have found this a very effective remedy. A few days ago I developed a swelling in the lymph node behind one ear. It was so painful that even chewing was agony. It was also causing headaches and felt swollen and tender. I spat on it for 3 days - rather than take antibiotics - and now it has entirely gone.

Apparently human saliva contains important enzymes with are part of the immune system and can have healing properties.

Do any of you know of old fashioned remedies that work?

Nonnanue Fri 02-Jun-23 02:41:25

Chilblains- as a sufferer of chilblains I was told by my aunt to put my feet in my own urine-it certainly cleared them up and took away the itchy burning sensation.

NanKate Fri 02-Jun-23 07:48:22

I still gargle with warm salt water when I have a sore/itchy throat.

Greenfinch Fri 02-Jun-23 09:36:28

Vinegar for wasp stings.

LRavenscroft Fri 02-Jun-23 09:54:41

A bread poultice for boils.

Lovetopaint037 Fri 02-Jun-23 10:37:09

biglois that is fascinating. Will definitely remember that.
Remember my old gran (think Victorian) was always first port of call in the family when we were young. Trying to remember the many things she advocated but at the moment I can only remember advice such as lavender toilet water to make a sick person feel better. I remember as a child buying her lavender in solid form which she would put on her wrist. Also the answer to how she had such lovely skin was “Ponds cold cream” and green soap (available in jars from Boots) was best for hair. I certainly used the latter dissolved in a little water. The result was the softest hair I had ever had.

Bella23 Fri 02-Jun-23 10:58:47

My gran used salt as an anti-septic as well, if you had a mouth ulcer she just poured it in. She also advocated a swim in the sea for grazes and bruises, the water must have been cleaner.
Spit and a dock leaf rubbed into nettle stings and spit to get blood out of the cloth you were sewing.
She always used green soap and had lovely skin.
Sore throats were wrapped in brown paper and I seem to remember it being put down my vest with Vick on it for a bad cough and was "Chesty',
The worst was if you hinted you were constipated she made you drink cod liver oil with dire consequences.
My other gran lived in the country and she had her own still room under the stairs, I can't remember ever taking any of her remedies except Goose fat on chilblains. But my father swore by them. Poltices were bread soaked in some distilled herbs.

Bella23 Fri 02-Jun-23 11:02:48

One of them told me an infusion of Borax rinsed through my hair would keep it blonde. My mum must have got the wrong kind as I could not rinse the bits out and had to go to school looking as if I had very bad dandruff.grin

Lona Fri 02-Jun-23 11:18:08

I had a nasty infection around my fingernail which was spreading up my finger, couldn’t get to see a doctor and chemist wouldn’t help, so I kept soaking my finger in a glass of hot salt water, several times a day. Cleared up after 3 days.

Dee1012 Fri 02-Jun-23 11:20:12

Pink Germolene in a round tin....the slightest hint of any wound and out it came!

I can still smell it...

loopyloo Fri 02-Jun-23 11:24:51

A tin of Zambuk. Herbal ointment.

dragonfly46 Fri 02-Jun-23 11:25:30

Wish I had known this a couple of weeks ago Biglouis I too had a painful lymph gland in my neck and it took two weeks to go down. No idea what caused it!

biglouis Fri 02-Jun-23 11:52:09

Yes I can remember dock leaves for nettle stings and gargling with salt water for sore throats.

Also drinking peppermint for period pains (it never really worked on me). My mother also had this odd idea that you should never wash your hair when you were having a period!

I still find that some of the old fashioned remedies have never been bettered.

Kaolin and Morphine is wonderful for upset stomachs but is difficult to get now without prescription. I buy it online.

Olbas oil is great for making infusions to clear that stuffed up feeling from your head when you have a cold/flu.

Vicks rub is smelly but does relieve a congested chest.

And I still swear by Senocott for conspitation but dont try the max strengh version unless you really want to "get things moving".

margauxbordeaux Fri 02-Jun-23 11:58:01

Eucalyptus for nasal difficulties.

Use in a humidifier with 1 drop of Eucalyptus.

Truly clears up the nasal passages. Do not abuse.

Purpledaffodil Fri 02-Jun-23 12:20:56

Stroking a sty on the eye with a wedding ring. I have used that one many times, especially when I was teaching and it always worked. Pupils must have thought I was a witch!😀
Cannot see any medical reason for it to work, but it does!

grandMattie Fri 02-Jun-23 12:24:34

Root ginger to clean wounds. It also helps to draw out splinters and rose thorns.

Primrose53 Fri 02-Jun-23 14:22:24

My late Dad swore by TCP!! It’s a strong smell and our bathroom always had that odour. He rubbed it on cuts, bruises etc, used to gargle with it for a sore throat and dabbed it on aching teeth.

eddiecat78 Fri 02-Jun-23 15:01:22

I see a lot. If I prick my finger and get blood on the fabric saliva removes the stain completely and much better than anything else. I've been told that the blood and saliva has to come from the same person but don't know if that is true

eddiecat78 Fri 02-Jun-23 15:01:56

Sew a lot not see a lot!

crazyH Fri 02-Jun-23 15:08:46

Yes biglouis - spit on ‘styes’

Juliet27 Fri 02-Jun-23 15:20:14

Alum for mouth ulcers

Grandma70s Fri 02-Jun-23 15:23:05

I suspect in many cases the problems would have got better anyway, but people think the folk remedies cured them.

Bella23 Fri 02-Jun-23 15:32:03


My late Dad swore by TCP!! It’s a strong smell and our bathroom always had that odour. He rubbed it on cuts, bruises etc, used to gargle with it for a sore throat and dabbed it on aching teeth.

My late Dad used TCP a LOT but it was not known by that name in the house as we laughed at him it was Tom Cat Pi....
I also remember the wedding ring trick for styes, maybe it burst something on the inside because the other remedy was to pull out all the eyelashes in the infection which was extremely painful.
They also burst bursers{cysts] on the wrist or elbow by banging with the family bible as we didn't have one so it was the big dictionary.

Georgesgran Fri 02-Jun-23 15:40:35

Yes - my Dad called it Tom Cat Pi** as well! Odd really, as he didn’t use bad language, so it quite shocked me.
Germolene was and is still just called Magic Cream.

Franbern Sat 03-Jun-23 08:41:27

Soaking any minor wound in warm salt water two or three times daily is great for helping speedy recovery and also very soothing. Salt water baths daily after childbirth recommended. An infection in the eye, caught earlt can often be treated successfully by bathing every few hours with warm salt water (remember to wipe from nose outwards and throw away each item used for wiping after just once use. I used this successfully to treat eye infections on pet cats and dogs.

Salt ater gargles, for sore throats.

My Dad used to cut up an onion, put in a dish and cover with brown sugar and leave this to infuse for24 hours. Disgusting smell, but then the infused liquid was to be drunk as a measure against chesty coughs. Think the smell of it cured mine almost immediately.

When I was a small child and a cough kept me awake he would spoon feed me with warm milk in which butter was melting. The TLC was as much part of this cure as anything, but of course, we now understand how that fatty drink would have soothed.

Childblains were covered in a foul smelling yellow stuff, cannot remember the name - it worked. Warts were tied off with cotton to make them fall off.

When I suffered from teenage acne, he told me to get me long hair cut (or else tied back), and cut out sugar and fat in my diet. Doctors had just supplied topical cream to which i turnede out allergic.