A friend of a friend is a hale and hearty 92-year-old woman who spoke recently about her longevity and good health. She knows that modern medicine and the good genes she inherited from her parents have played a major part in her well being but she is also a great believer in old cures as passed down from her grandparents.
The nonagenarian is a firm advocate of apple cider vinegar, especially that made from Irish apples. A few teaspoons mixed with hot water and honey works wonders for chest infections and helps to bring up phlegm. It is also good for stings and mild abrasions, she advises. Apple cider vinegar is a good blood purifier and also very effective for cleaning the scalp and hair, she says.
When it came to boils and infected cuts, carbolic soap mixed with sugar made an excellent poultice. Sometimes, for good measure, a little white bread was added to the mix, she says.
Our acquaintance is also a big fan of wild nettles as a nutrient and as a cure for iron deficiency. Fresh, young nettles picked in March were best and the old people used to simmer them in water with bacon and a handful of oatmeal. A few feeds of nettles over a short period of time set you up for months, she said.
The old cures were great and added greatly to her healthy life. But the wonders of modern medicines and surgery were the main reasons for people living longer, she said firmly. Hopefully, she will have more wisdom to impart when she is 102.