Long ago before chemical cures were invented the old Irish folk cured various diseases themselves. When whooping cough spread among the children the old people caught a hedgehog, boiled it and gave the soup to the children to drink. If they did not succeed in capturing a hedgehog, they gave them milk that a ferret left after him. Another cure for whooping cough was to walk under a white horse or to ask a cure from a man who owned a white horse. If a person was afflicted by “thrush” he went to a man who had never seen his father. If the wan breathed into his mouth he was sure to be cured. There was a very peculiar cure for warts. If the person having such got a snail and rubbed the wart with it, then put a needle through the snail and left it in a wall. By the time the snail was decayed the wart also vanished. If a person suffering from ring-worm went to the seventh son of the family and asked him to breathe over it he was instantly cured. Those who had “leitne” got flagger leaves and put them on in the shape of a cross. This was supposed to cure the disease.
Collector: Nora Kilkelly, Ballydavid South, Co. Galway
Informant: Mrs Kilkelly, Ballydavid South, Co. Galway
Place: Athenry, Co. Galway
Footnote: Duchas, http://www.duchas.ie