Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Desperate Home Remedy That Worked

Today a Facebook exchange triggered a faint memory and I'm hoping some other Yoders can help fill in the details.

Recently, you may recall, I posted this happy news:
It is now the 11th of December and I have not had any head-cold-turning-to-chest-cold-turning-to-bronchitis-and-please-let-me-die-now-asthma this fall like I had four times last fall/winter/spring.
Was it the flu shot?  More vitamin D?  More exercise?  God in his mercy deciding I'd suffered enough?
I don't know, but it is really nice, and I am grateful.

So, guess what.  A week later I got sick with the cold and flu that Jenny was just getting over.

I posted this on Facebook:
The battle is on. My cold vs. echinacea, Vitamin C, Goldenseal, Advair, Vitamin D, garlic, beclomethasone hypropionate, NyQuil, Albuterol, and ibuprofen. This is war.

Lots of folks cheered me on in the fight.  Some added remedies of their own: apple cider vinegar with blackstrap molasses.  1 teaspoon honey mixed with 1 teaspoon cinnamon.  I tried this, since I had both on hand.  The two don't combine well.  Jenny took one look and said, "That looks like when I spit at the warehouse."

Yes.  Well.

Of course we had one person who linked a story saying that studies have shown that most of my remedies don't work for the common cold.

This person is studying to be a nurse, so he will someday be the professional who tells moms that no, there is no way that teething can cause fevers.

Not that I carry grudges or anything.

Our friend Hans posted this: "I hope you survive the cures."

Later he added: "I would suggest also taking boiled extract of squirrel dung. It's all-natural, so it's good for you. And I heard it cures everything from Cancer to the Common Cold."

And suddenly, there was that little memory ringing dimly in the back of my head.

Dad told us the story many years ago.  It happened, I'm guessing, when he was a young teenager.  They lived on a farm in Oklahoma, and one of his brothers--I don't recall which one--got the measles.  He was very ill, and the family was desperate to help him.  Someone told Grandma that a cure for measles is "schof-gnuddla tae," or, God have mercy, tea from sheep turds.

Well.  Desperate times call for desperate measures.  A neighbor had a flock of sheep.  After dark, Dad saddled the horse, rode to the neighbors, snuck out in the pasture, and gathered a supply of "gnuddla."

Grandma brewed the tea.  The sick boy drank it.  He recovered and obviously lived to a ripe old age, since all those uncles did.

As I recall, this remained a secret between Dad and his mom until he told us.

And now I've told the whole world.

Do any other siblings or cousins remember this tale?

And no, I am not yet desperate enough to try this myself.

Quote of the Day:
(text from Emily:
"There is for real grass growing on the floor of dad's car" 


  1. oh my WORD. Well, if you can survive whatever's in dung, I suppose you can survive anything. I recall a National Geographic study that said farm kids have very few allergies because of all their contact with manure.

    I'm not sure this helps your present cold. The only thing that helps my colds is lots of reading and watching movies :)

  2. "schof-gnuddla tae", Oh. My.

    Maybe the reason this worked is because it was so awful. When it was ingested it triggered the immune system to fight this awful stuff that in the process it cured whatever ailed you.

    About farm children having fewer allergies...I would guess that is right. I shudder how I used to walk through and in the stuff with no compunction when I was a child. But I have been a healthy woman all these years...Actually, experts are saying now the reason so many children have allergies is because mom is too clean!

    Now go figure!

  3. I laughed out loud! And I'm still laughing inside!

  4. My boss claims that going to bed with onions on the bottom of your feet cooks the onions overnight and cures a fever. No, I have not been desperate enough to try this! I hope you win this war.

  5. Emily, I bet he spilled tea on the car floor. :-D

  6. I remember the story well. One of those spellbinding ones, rating up there with The Biggest Bear.

  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.