Tuesday, May 10, 2022

May Misery

 Well, here I am. It's Mother's Day and my daughter, Michele and her husband Harry, invited me over for a lovely meal. My granddaughter Leah drove up for Denver. I was presented with a lovely Pendleton bag. My problems commenced when I joined the family outside on the patio. Literally everyone else was in sandals and lightweight clothing. I was wearing two sweaters (One is a turtleneck) and a jacket.

I cannot believe that my non-allergic rhinitis is stronger than ever. Springtime brings a special kind of misery. Everyone else was enjoying the sunshine and I was chilly and bundled up. The worst side effect is fatigue and a special kind of brain fog unless I'm dosed up with an antihistamine/decongestant. Then I do quite well. But I didn't have it on hand, and it was Sunday. 

I have a number of historical medicals books on my shelves. From time to time I wonder what folks did about illnesses year ago. When I was a little girl my mother's remedy was lemon juice with aspirin for practically anything--coupled with bed rest. 

Folk medicine played a huge role in my most recent book, The Healer's Daughter (Five Star/Gale Cengage) which was set in the 1800s, a central character, Queen Bess, used maggots to cleanse a mother's wound from a Caesarian incision. If that sounds gross and primitive maggots are still being used today in some of the best hospitals because they work more quickly than other methods and don't spread the infection. Still. I would rather not have this done to me. I'm a rather queasy woman.

In another book, Hidden Heritage, (Poisoned Pen Press) an old Spanish woman combines all kinds of spells with her herbs, and her knowledge of plants is profound and very ancient. Since I mentioned a madstone in this book, a reader wrote to tell me about one in a museum in Missouri. A madstone was used to cure a person of rabies. The stone is actually a hairball from a deer's stomach. A madstone from a white albino deer will also take care of rattlesnake venom. 

My all-time favorite recommendation for wound treatment was whiskey and opium. Taken as requested. It came from a Tennessee hill doctor.  


Tom Burns said...

I'm suffering from a terrible allergy as we speak. If you've got any folk med recommendations, please let me know.

Charlotte Hinger said...

Tom, I haven't found any magic formula. After the trees settle down I have several months of peace until Ragweed season