Long ago few people visited doctors, but they were cured by animals and by various other things. The seventh son born in succession without an intermission of a female is a called a Doctor and the female is known as a Lady Doctor. It is said if they breathe upon a person who is suffering from ring worms and boils they are cured instantly. If the whooping cough should break out in the neighbourhood a few men would go about in search of the hedgehog. After getting it they must take its rough thorny coat off while still alive. Next it is cooked and put into bottles. It is left in the bottle for 3 or 4 days then it is given to the person who has the cough and after the second drop taken the cough is banished. Another cure for the whooping cough is the leavings of the ferrets. A basin of milk is given to the ferret and whatever is left in the basin after he has taken his amount is given to the person. After the person has drank the milk they are cured. If a person got a very bad cut, they would be cured by first rubbing a piece of grease over the cut and next getting a collie dog to lick it. After the second rub of the dogs tongue the sore is cured. If a chip of wood should get into the skin it is said if a fox would be killed and its tongue pulled out and put on to where the sore is that the tongue would suck out the chip, however far it would be stuck into the skin after two days. A person who would be suffering from sore eyes could be cured long ago by getting a jet black-cat and rubbing cream on its tail and then rubbing the cats tail three times round the sore and repeating may I be cured. After the third time the sore is cured.
Collector: Mary King, Rahard, Co. Galway
Informant: Mrs King, Rahard, Co. Galway
Place: Athenry, Co. Galway
Footnote: Duchas, http://www.duchas.ie
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