My name is Claire Brown and I’m a first-person interpreter at the Ulster Folk Museum. Over the past few months, I’ve been looking through the museum’s collection of handwritten notebooks which were compiled by individuals and organisations in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
The purpose of these notebooks was to record, by county and locality, all manner of things including domestic life, schooling, local characters, customs, folklore, trade and agricultural practices. There are many reoccurring themes in the notebooks. One of the most prevalent is cures – it seems that everyone's granny had a cure for almost everything going! How many do you remember?
Cures for sprains
- Bathe the sprain alternately in cold and warm water containing Epson salts.
- Bathe a sprained ankle in spring water.
- Tie a cloth soaked in vinegar or mustard around the sprain. This will remove all swelling.
- Rub the sprain with goose oil.
- Tie the skin of an eel tightly around the sprain.
- Put the leaf of a dandelion on the sprain and wrap a tight bandage around it.