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Granny's Remedies

Updated on April 22, 2013

Granny Knew Best (maybe?)

When I moved house a year ago I had a major clear-out and threw lots of things away as I was downsizing. I was sorting though old recipe books and I happened upon Grandma's old notebook. My Gran died in 1954 and I never met her but I'd like to share some of her home remedies with you. I suspect that some of these were passed down from her mother and grandmother.

*A note of caution: I have no idea how safe these recipes are so unless you are absolutely certain the ingredients will not harm you I wouldn't try them.


Frost Cream

  • 6oz Glycerine
  • 3oz Bergamot
  • 3oz *Gum Dragon in powder

Dissolve in 3 gills of boiling water ( a gill is equivalent to 1/4 pint). Stir well and bottle when cold.

*Gum Dragon is better known as Gum Tragacanth and can be obtained from cake decorating suppliers. This is not to be confused with gum dragon's blood powder which is also a resin but is bright red in colour


Healing Cream

  • 8 fluid oz of Calendula (Marigold) oil
  • 8 fluid oz of Comfrey Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons of Vitamin E oil
  • 20 drops Vitamin A Oil
  • 2 oz Beeswax

Grate the Beeswax and put in a pan. Heat and add the oils. Once everything is melted and amalgamated add the vitamins. Pour into small containers and allow to harden. This cream can be used for blemishes and sore dry areas. Because of the Marigold and Comfrey it will also bring down swelling.

Petulengro Ointment

  • 8oz Pork Fat or Lard
  • 1oz Elderberry Leaves
  • 1/2oz Pure Almond Oil

Put the fat into an oven-proof jar and melt in the oven. Add the elder leaves when the fat is boiling taking great care not to splash yourself. Press them down well. Cook for an hour then strain through muslin into another wide necked jar. Do not use a metal sieve. When still liquid but cool add the almond oil and mix well. Stand aside to cool fully. Grandma didn't specify what this ointment was for but after some research, I discovered that Gypsy (Xavier) Petulengro wrote several books on the subject of herbal remedies. I suspect this is one of his recipes, which was reputed to heal burns, bruises, sprains, rashes, haemorrhoids, sunburn, wrinkles and even skin cancer.



Pick Me Up

  • 1/2 Pint of best Brandy
  • 12-14 Eggs
  • 4 Lemons (squeezed)
  • 1/2 Jar of Clear Honey
  • 2lb of Demerara Sugar

Gently heat the lemon juice, honey and sugar in a pan until the sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool, beat eggs, strain through a fine sieve and add to the brandy. Mix all the ingredients together, bottle and keep in the fridge.


Raspberry Vinegar

  • Add 1 pint of white wine vinegar to every quart of raspberries (approx 1kg)
  • Place in a large container and cover with muslin cloth
  • Stand in a cool place for 9 days
  • Strain through a fine non-metal sieve or muslin
  • Put in preserving pan with 3/4lb of loaf sugar per pint of liquid
  • Stand over a low heat and gently bring to the boil, skimming off any scum that rises
  • When sugar has dissolved allow to cool and bottle

Thyme Tea

  • Handful of thyme or 1 tsp of dried thyme
  • Hot water
  • Honey to sweeten if desired

Pour the hot water onto the thyme. Cover for 5 minutes to keep the oils in, strain and drink. Thyme tea is good for the digestion, menstrual problems, colds, flu and angina.

Rubbing Bottle

  • 1oz Oil of Spike
  • 1oz Aqua Ammonia
  • 1oz Oil of Amber
  • 1oz Linseed Oil
  • 1/2 oz Oil of Urigonum

Mix all ingredients together. Bottle and shake before each use. Rub into affected part. For Rheumatism, Arthritis and Neuritis



  • 1lb Jar of Malt Extract
  • 4oz rendered beef marrow
  • 1lb Demarara Sugar
  • Yolks of 2 Eggs
  • Juice of 2 Lemons

Dissolve sugar in a pan with lemon juice, add the bone marrow and malt extract. Bring slowly to the boil. Take off the heat and beat in egg yholds when cooled slightly. Put in a jar when cold and keep in a cool place.

Virol was sold commercially when I was a child in the 1950's. It was traditionally given to underweight children and those who were picky eaters to fortify them

Cough Mixture

Equal Parts of:

  • Raspberry Vinegar
  • Antimonial Wine (fortified wine mixed with antimony oxide)
  • Chloradine

Mix together and bottle. Dosage:- Adults1 tbsp 3 times daily. Children under 14 1 tsp 3 times daily. Children under 5 years 1/2 tsp 3 times daily.

I can't believe that people actually gave this stuff to children in years gone by. I'd stick to Buttercup Syrup myself.

© Susan Bailey 2013 All Rights Reserved


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