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LaVO: Upper Bucks’ snakeroot miracle

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Of homeopathic medicine, folk remedies and the great Lenape Indian Chief Nutimus.

My first encounter with folk medicine was on a childhood vacation to Puget Sound in Washington. We stayed with my mother’s Norwegian parents on their farm near the village of Olalla. Mom was one of nine siblings, most of whom lived nearby. I was about 10 and playing with all my new-found cousins fishing in creeks and having fun in the barn.

Maybe because of the high humidity, I contracted an excruciating earache. No doctor was available. So Aunt Bernice asked me to pee into a metal cup she handed me. Say what!?

Too much in pain to debate the issue, I did what she asked in privacy. She then took the cup to the stove, heated or boiled it (I didn’t see her), cooled it a bit, then brought it back to me. With an eye dropper she proceeded to drip the fluid into my ear. Wow! Earache vanished in minutes. And I still can hear.

Years later a member of my family contracted thrush. A variety of prescription drugs made no headway. So I reached into the folk medicine archives and discovered an ancient treatment that looked promising: unfiltered apple cider vinegar. The illness vanished within 24 hours.

Pharmaceuticals certainly have their place these days. But not so much in olden times.

Which brings me to the........

© The Intelligencer