My long deceased ancestor, Aggie Smeeton may possess some remarkable talents, not least the ability to speak from beyond the grave, but her knowledge of herbal lore and attempts at self medication beg the question that the cure is often worse than the affliction!
Here’s what she has to say about irregular menstruation and teenage acne!
… that ‘ole book I ‘ad from that Joe Dancer, it didn’t just ‘ave charms and such in it. Theer were cures fer nigh on owt you could think on. Good ‘uns too. Tek them snow flowers, fer instance. They be more’n the pretty maids o’ February … they be moon flowers and is powerful stuff fer treating the wayward courses o’ women.
‘course you ‘ad to know what you were adoing … mek it too strong and you’d a turn up yer toes in an eyes blink and ‘owl the ‘ouse down doin’ it!
‘an another thing, yer dinna want to bring ‘em in the ‘ouse if you could ‘elp it and certainly not afore the fust chicks hatched else you’d be ill-wished the year on.
Then there were lilac, which we ‘ad a growing in our garden both purple and white. It be blossom thar knows so you don’t ‘ev to pick it, ‘cept at dawn when it be warm and then you ‘ad to know the right words, but Joe, he done it and used to mek a tonic out on it which he’d selled fer tuppence a bottle. ‘e said it would cure face palsy, but I never saw much evidence on it. Aunt Maud took a slug or two once when she were bound up thinking it might clear ‘er out and it did that right enough! ‘ardly out o’ the privy fer two days!
It were good fer skin though and we dabbed a bit on our Georgie’s spots when he were growing into a man, but that only happened the once, said it made ‘im look a right Mary Jane! Got rid of ‘is spots fer a bit though!