The cure for what ails ya

Frequently when Secret Agent Man travels to cities far and wide, he gives me a call to see if there is anything I need. I mean, I can get most things at the Dollar General, the T-Mart or Ron's Hardware, but sometimes you need big city kind of stuff. This time was no exception and I requested another book in the Foxfire series. I only have a few thus far, but they provide me with insight and knowledge of times past. And, occasionally, of things that still happen around smalltownland.

This time I received #9 in the series. This book covers topics from Indian pottery to haint tales. There is also a section on home cures, which is one of my favorites. Unfortunately, the flu has reared its ugly head around smalltownland. At this point I really thought we had escaped this unsavory illness. I thought we had suffered enough with ice storms and bitterly cold weather. But no!

Although we are flu free, at the moment, I decided to see if there were some old time flu treatments listed. And, the book did not disappoint me.

This excerpt is from a gentlemen named, Jud Nelson. He is discussing the use of an herbal treatment named, Asafetida.

"They'd put a little ball of that around your neck and thought you never would have the flu. It smells like a wild onion that rigor mortis had done set in. {laughter} You buy it at the drugstore. I've seen 'em wear that little ball around their neck and that ball would be just black as that coal in there and you couldn't stay around 'em! Yeah, you couldn't stay where they was at!"

Asafetida is actually an herb/spice that is often added to lentil or eggplant dishes. Most commonly used in Indian cooking. It is also noted to be useful in the treatment of children's asthma and bronchitis. It is mixed into a strong smelling paste and and hung in a bag around the child's neck.

Other uses of Asafetida, around the world, are:

  • *In Jamaica it is traditionally applied to a baby's anterior fontanel in order to prevent spirits from entering the baby through its fontanel.

  • *In the African-American Hoodoo tradition it is used in magic spells and has the power to curse.

  • *It is also used as a scent bait, mostly for catfish and pike.

It seems to me that if I put a little bag of this around my neck NO ONE will come near me, except maybe some catfish or pike. I wouldn't be in danger of catching the flu or anything else, for that matter. It might even cover up that lingering skunk smell......


  1. I think herb lore is so interesting. Do you go to Heidi's? The Milkman's wife? she posted an Amish recipe for cough syrup that really will work. I'd like to learn a lot more of the Amish remedies. I used to have some Foxfire books a long time ago. Do you ever check out Amazon? I buy titles that I know I want from them. Most of the books I usually want aren't anywhere around here.
    Hope you feel better soon. A lot of people are really getting sick be careful.

  2. I have never heard of this one but Ms. Bonnie (the saint of keeper's of all toddler's) uses oil of cetchup (sp?). It smells like peppermint and she rubs it on thier chest. Sounds kooky but it works.

  3. Karen - I do read Heidi's blog and I am interested in that cough syrup recipe.

    Dejoni - Is that some aromatherapy stuff she uses?

  4. Love love the Foxfire books! I have them-and never get tired of reading through them! Maybe I need some of that tied around my neck during my illness!


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