Believed Cures and Old Wife's Tales

Homemade remidies, Old Cures, Etc.

Gerry Costello

Kidney Infection

Boil barley in water for a few hours. Strain the liquid and drink it. (It can be kept in the fridge). A glass of rum diluted with 2/ 3rds 7 Up drunk three times a day is also good.

Nappy Rash

Apply dry Robinson’s starch to the rash. Within a day or two the rash will be gone. Also, you can use the white of an egg. Apply to the nappy rash.

Thrush, Diarrhoea and Ringworm

A child whose father died before they were born will have the cure for thrush, diarrhoea and ringworm.

Wasp Sting

Rub a ball of blue into the sting to draw it out, then put the juice of a raw potatoe on the sting.


Get clay from a relatives’ grave and rub it into the warts or get a black snail, a piece of bacon fat and a piece of carbolic soap. Tie them together with thread and hang from a thorny bush. When this has rotted the wart will fall off or else rub the milk from steamed dandelion flowers into the wart until it falls off. Another cure is to get a piece of cloth and make a purse of it, then get nine pebbles. Bless the wart with each pebble and put it into the purse. Go to a crossroads and leave the purse there, (but don’t let anyone see you do this).

Whooping Cough

Get a pint of milk and give some to a ferret to drink. Keep some of the milk and give this to the child to drink. Within a couple of days the cough will be gone. Also, if you see a man with a white horse, go to him and say: “Kind sir with the white horse give me a cure for the Whooping Cough”. Whatever he will say to you will cure the cough!!

Water Retention

Nettles gathered and boiled down were believed to cure water retention when boiled into a drink.

Ancient Irish Feng Shui

The Irish believed that a sick person’s bed should face north to south and never east to west.

A Sty in the Eye

Bathe the eye in hot water by using a desert spoon with tea bags placed on it. The acids of the tea have a soothing effect and cause the sty to get better quickly.


It was widely believed that the potent home-made poteen was a great cure-all, particularly for ague and rheumatism. It was said that if only the customs officers would leave these illicit stills alone “sure there wouldn’t be a bit of sickness anywhere in Ireland”.



















This page was added on 05/06/2015.