The stories told on these pages are from  a collection of folklore compiled by schoolchildren in Ireland in the 1930s. 
The children recorded (over&nbsp740,000 handwritten pages) of this material from their parents, grandparents and neighbours.

These are their stories in their own words.

Leigheasanna (Cures)

SCHOOL: Béal Cláir (B) | ADDRESS: Belclare, Co. Galway

Old Cures from Ireland - Tradition and wife tales.
Old Cures

There are many people who have cures for diseases.

It is said that if there are seven boys born after another in a family that the seventh has a cure for boils, if he measures the boil with a ring three times and the boil will be cured.

The person who was born after the death of his father has a cure in his mouth. For a sore mouth he blows three times in the mouth and cures it.

When people have toothache to put a frog in their mouth and lick it the toothache will be cured.

If a person had warts on his hand and if he rubs a snail on the warts and if he puts a thorn through the snail and then hangs the snail on a bush. While the snail is withering away the warts will wither off the hand.

There is a cure in a dog’s tongue for a sore on the foot or the hand.

If a cat scraped a child’s hand or foot a few hairs are pulled of the cats back and left on the sore hand until the blood is all soaked and in a short time the sore is cured.

There is another cure in goat’s milk for the chin-cough.
It is said that if a man with a pure white horse was met on the road and if he was asked for a cure for the chin-cough and no matter what cure he would give the chin-cough would be cured.

If a person had warts and put a grey horse’s hair to them they would be cured.
Sometimes people used to put the juice of a raw potato to them or leave a snail on them to cure them.

If a person had Rheumatism he would be cured if he carried a raw potato in his two pockets for three days and three nights.

Toothache: Go to a blacksmith and ask him to make a nail for you in the honour of God.
Drive the nail into a tree that no branch has ever broken off and you will never get toothache again.

Warts: Pull a rib out of a grey horse and leave it across the warts.
Take a piece of meat and bury it in the earth and as the meat is getting rotten, the warts will be getting rotten too.
If you meet a stone which holds water, spill the water on the warts and say “It isin’t looking for you i came but to take these warts away.”

Boils: In a house where there would be seven sons the seventh son can cure boils by rubbing his hand three times on them saying ” In the name of Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.

Wild-fire: A person who never saw his father can cure wild-fire.
Go to him two Fridays and a Monday between them and he will breathe three times into your mouth saying: “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.”

Rheumatism Old people say that a dandelion is a cure for Rheumatism to boil it and drink the substance.

Gland. If a person has a gland in his face, and to drink goat’s milk it would be cured.

Chincough The soup of a hedge hog is a cure for chin cough
Delicatness There is a cure in ass’s milk for delicate people
Cuts If a person got a cut from a rusty nail throw the nail in the fire the cut would be cured.


The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0027, Page 0401” by Dúchas © National Folklore Collection, UCD is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0.

Proud Irish Heritage Certificates