A post on ‘weird’ remedies and the problems in talking about ‘folklore’.
“For a child that wets the bed, roast a mouse and give him the gravy to drink, and it will cure certainly”.
“For whooping cough, take a large hazel nut, bore a small hole in one end and take out the kernel; then place in the hollow a living spider, close up the hole and place to the child’s neck. When the spider dies, the child will be cured”.
“to discern the king’s evil, hold an earthworm to the aggriev’d place. If it dies it be king’s evil, otherwise not”
These are just a few examples of what might be, and indeed often are, termed ‘folkloric’ remedies. They are taken from various Welsh sources and are typical of the sorts of animal/ritual healing receipts that commonly occur in recipe collections and through recorded oral testimony. My own academic work on Welsh medical history has tended to move away from ‘folklore’…
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