Long ago people had no use for doctors. They had some healing powers of their own, and these are some of them.
Garlic is an old cure for weak lungs. They boil it and drink the juice of it. It grows in the fields.
There is a holy well about two miles from Skerries at Balcunnin. The water in it is a cure for sore throats.
Carron oil is a cure for burns or scalds.
An old cure for the toothache is a horseshoe nail. Prod the nail into your tooth and after that bunk it into the wall and as long as it stays there, you will never have the toothache.
The old cure for styes is a gooseberry thorn. Point the thorn into the sty every morning and make the sign of the cross with it. The person has to be a Mary.
An old cure for warts is a Dandelion Stalk; rub the juice on the wart.
There is an old saying; if you are the third Mary in the family, when you grow up, you are supposed to have healing powers.
If seven sons or daughters are born, one after the other, the seventh is supposed to have healing powers.
There was a man in Loughshinney whose name was Ryan. He was called the bone settler and people used to go to him when they broke their leg or arm, and he would settle them.
There is an old cure for coughs; get a Spanish onion and slice it, put brown sugar on a slice and put another slice over it and make it like a sandwich, and leave it till morning and it will change into syrup and take a spoonful every morning.
Essie Fanning; 23rd. November 1937- ’37 GNS
Collected from her grandmother, who died two yrs. ago – aged 78