Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wednesday Wives Tales~Earaches

When folks were too far from a doctor, they had to rely on the yarb women/grannies as well as their own knowledge of how to take care of any sort of ailment.
Earaches were fairly common and there were various remedies for them.

1. Vinegar poultice--soak a piece of light (white/wheat) bread in warm vinegar and apply it against your ear until it cools.

2. Blow tobacco smoke into the ear. When I was a child, I saw people do this to babies.

3. Plug the ear with a slice of warm bacon.

4. Put a few drops of warm oil in the ear.

5. Take wool from a black sheep and keep it in the ear.
6. Pierced ears were also believed to be a remedy for ear ailments.

Other than the warm oil, I'm not sure how any of these work. Do any of you know a sure cure for an earache?


  1. That was a fun post that brought back memories to me. The warm oil is what my mom used. It did work sometimes. I have also had smoke blown into my ear as a child. I don't remember if that worked or thank for the memories. connie

    I love your new blog look, so pretty.

  2. Gotta love the "yarb grannies"...

    I had an earache once and let my husband blow his cigarette smoke in the actually went through my nasal passage and felt like I had took a drag myself...poor babies!

  3. I bet the warm oil would soothe the earache! My daughter suffered from many, many ear infections and has 3 surgeries. I never tried any home remedies, but maybe I should have. She's 29 now, and thank goodness has outgrown that problem for the most part.

  4. I have heard of the smoke and warm oil remedies but NEVER the bacon in the ear, LOL, if I did that my dog would be chasing me around!!!! Have a wonderful day Rosemary:)

  5. I love the old ways, but so glad we don't have to put bacon to our ears anymore! LOL

  6. I've seen people blow smoke in childrens ears.

    Mother told us about gypsies who would come through. She said they had all sorts of remedies, but I don't remember them. As I think about it, this was in the depression and I wonder if these people were displaced wanderers. Very possible.

  7. I still use warm sweet oil in my ears when I have an earache...

  8. I have only heard of warm oil. My Grandma used to do that for me when I was little and had an earache.

  9. Those are pretty interesting, Rose Mary... especially the one about putting the black wool in your ear! I'll have to remember that one.
    I always had to have drops in the ears, then I had to hold a warm moist rag over it. I hated the feeling of those drops going into my ear! Yuck!

  10. Those are interesting. I think the only one I've heard of is the warm oil one. My kids used to have lots of ear infections when they were little, too.

  11. Like Paula, I only had the drops put in my ear when I was a kid, then used a heating pad. My mom did usually warm the drops first, but they never seemed warm enough!

    As an adult, I've used the warm sweet oil, but the rest don't sound like much help. I suppose the warm bacon might put a few drops of grease on down, but it sounds pretty messy!

    Paula, let us know if the black wool works, LOL!

  12. An old minister friend told me that when he was a little boy the country Doctor who came by making house calls ,told them to use a couple of drops of white vinegar and couple of drops of peroxide and that it worked! I have not tried it,but if i ever have a earache,I will.

  13. RM,
    Yep, My Grandpa used to blow smoke in my ear. Also the warm oil. Looking back I wonder what kind of oil that was?
    Nancy Jo

  14. When I was little-I remember Pap putting some kind of heated oil in my ear-I'll have to ask him what it was. And as a older teenager-I saw Pap try this old remedy-stick a candle in your ear-and light the end of it! Totally crazy and dangerous-and I don't remember it working either.