The Old Farmer’s Almanac, 2011 edition, printed several headache remedies from the 18th and 19th centuries. See how many sound familiar to you.
- Gargle with mustard
- Tie a red bandana around your head.
- Apply cobwebs across the bridge of your nose.
- Mash an even number of earthworms and rub them into your temples and forehead.
- Stick leaves from a cottonwood tree to your temples and let them stay until they fall off, taking the skin with them.
- Tightly wrap rattlesnake skin around your head.
- Stick tobacco leaves to your temples.
- Boil cottonweed in lye, then smoke.
- With the point of a knife make the sign of the cross in the air in front of your face and throw the knife to the floor.
- Tell someone to blow smoke in your ear.
- Prepare a heat-producing poultice and apply to head.
- Rub your forehead with a lodestone.
- Drill a small hole in your skull to release demons and other ailments. 😯
- Soak a paper bag in vinegar and apply to head.
- On your forehead place sliced raw potatoes.
- Scrape moss from a skull, pound into a powder, then sniff.
- Weave a match into your hair.
- Apply collard greens to your head.
- Shape into a pill a mixture of beaver gland, olive oil and beeswax, then swallow.
- Tie a salt herring around your neck.
Now tell me, have you heard of any of these?
I knew someone years ago that tied a bandana around her head when she got “the headaches”. Other than that, I have not heard of any of these.
Makes me wonder why people would try such crazy things. Was their headaches so bad that they would “try anything” to find relief?
My active imagination seems to take over when I read such things. I see a very confused beaver running from a person with leaves and potato slices stuck to their head, smoke coming out of their ears, a fish dangling from a piece of twine and holding an open burlap sack, saying, “Come here you little varmint!” See I told you I have an active imagination!
Tell me you didn’t imagine everything I just described. 😆
Seriously, I do not recommend trying any of these remedies and I don’t think The Old Farmer’s Almanac would either.
But it sure was fun just thinking about them.
Disclaimer: The publishers of the Old Farmer’s Almanac have no idea who I am. I only share these articles with you because I love the Old Farmer’s Almanac.