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Charms, Cures, and Herbal Remedies From Ancestors of Granny Women

Physical and spiritual well being is of great importance to Phyllis. Spirituality is deeply ingrained in Phyllis' life.

Irish Woman at her Spinning Wheel

Irish woman at her spinning wheel, c. 1900

Irish woman at her spinning wheel, c. 1900

Irish Ancestors

Charms, cures, herbal healing practices and beliefs from ancestors of a Granny Woman goes far back in time.

The healers of Appalachia know their knowledge and wisdom has been passed down for generations in their family. Where and when did this wisdom and art of healing begin? It goes far back to ancient times, to peasants throuhout Ireland, and many other parts of the world. In this article we will focus mainly on Ireland. The methods of healing that Granny Women practice are thousands of years old. The use of herbs is the oldest form of healing. Herbs, roots, bark and other plant parts were (and still are) used for healing purposes.

Step Through a Doorway to the Ancient Past

Ancient door in Ireland.

Ancient door in Ireland.

Irish Doctors of Ancient Times

Irish doctors, from ancient pagan times, were well-known to be highly skilled in the treatment of diseases. Since those earliest of days the Irish, peasants as well as the adept, have had great knowledge of the power of herbs.

Their professors of medicine were so skilled they held high, influential positions in the Druid order. Always followed around by a large group of pupils, the master taught how to diagnose and treat disease then prepare the necessary curative potions. These physicians had skills that were mainly based upon their profound knowledge of the healing nature and properties of herbs.

The physicians also practiced magic with great results. They instinctively knew how strong the charms, incantations, and fairy cures effected the nerves and mind of a patient. Their methods were thus of a medico-religious character which along with ceremonial ritual helped the curative process immensely.

Through the centuries these medico-religious and magico-religious methods have come down to the Granny Women healers of Appalachia. In ancient times people lived in villages with kinfolk, or clans. Essential to survival was good health. They had to depend on the land to give them what they needed. Illness, injuries and diseases were treated with methods that stemmed from instincts, observance of nature, and traditional beliefs.

Druid of High Position

1815 illustration of an Arch Druid in His Judicial Habit

1815 illustration of an Arch Druid in His Judicial Habit

Learning From Nature

Since those early times people have learned in the same traditional and instinctive ways. The secrets and wisdom of a Granny Woman was passed down orally to her granddaughter who was taught to be aware of what messages nature sends.

When one saw an animal with an injury rub the wound against moss growing on trees in the forests, instinct told the observer that some healing properties were in the moss. Thus moss became a source for healing - it has antiseptic properties. Moss was used for bandages on wounds. Eventually moss was found to be beneficial in the diet of folks, it was also used for preserving foods.

Granny Women knew that crushed garlic rubbed on a strip of moss and placed on a wound was a protective as well as a healing bandage. It worked in ancient times, it works now in the same way. Garlic is one of nature's super food and healing products. Crushed garlic is very beneficial for fungus issues, it is a natural anti-fungal source.

Willow bark has been used for healing since ancient times. Willow bark is a natural immune boosting source. Its healing properties are also a health benefit as an analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, fever reducer, and anti-oxidant. Now, it is obvious the ancient ones did not have these names of the beneficial properties, but they did see sick or hurt animals eating the bark and watched the animal for days to see what the results were.

Herbs we use today just for flavoring foods were first found in nature by our ancestors and used for healing. Many healing methods the ancient folks learned are still helpful and in use today.

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.

— Albert Einstein

Forest Moss

Moss on trees, forest in Ireland.

Moss on trees, forest in Ireland.

Ancient Beliefs and Cures

Clay was used for treatment of diseases. It has been known for ages that Earth is the source of life. Using clay from special places named after Saints was thought to have great healing power. Clay is known to draw poisons out of the skin, such as poisons from insect bites and poisonous plants. Still today, clay is used for deep cleansing and detoxifying the skin. Clay has been used for healing since prehistoric times.

Potatoes have been used since early times to take the redness and pain out of minor burns. A slice of raw potato was immediately placed on a burn. Honey was also a quick first aid for burns, either spread directly on the burn or on a linen bandage and applied. The bandage was changed every few hours.

It was believed that eating carrots, when boiled down soft enough to mash, would purify the blood. Today we know carrots are rich in vitamin A and beta-carotene, an antioxidant. Studies in the medical field have shown that carrot juice extract kills leukemia cells, which is cancer of the blood.

Mint has always been helpful for upset stomachs. The ancients believed that mint tied to the wrist would ward off stomach disease and infection.

The bed of a sick person should be aligned north to south.

Ancient Druid Charms and Cures

When Christianity became more prominent the Irish embraced it - however, they still retained their unshakable faith in the Druid charms. They are still used today by descendants of village peasants. These charms are considered to be talismans of magic power when said over an ill person.

Argue if you must, but the Irish who believe in them will not let it shake their faith in the mystic formulas. To laugh at them would surely cause an evil fate to fall upon the doubter.

Some Good Charms to Know

  • Charm for Falling Sickness: By the wood of the Cross, by the Man that overcame death, be thou healed." The words are to be said in the left ear while the fit is on the patient, and he is to be signed three times with the sign of the Cross, in the name of God and the blessed Lord, when by virtue of the charm he will be cured.
  • Charm for a Sprain: As St Agnes went over the moor to the mountain of Moses, she fell with her foot turned. But sinew to sinew, and bone to bone, God makes all right to him who has faith; and be thou healed, in Jesus name. Amen
  • Charm for a wound that Bleeds: "A child was baptized in the river Jordan; and the water was dark and muddy, but the child was pure and beautiful." Say these words over the wound, placing the finger on the spot where the blood flows, adding: "In the name of God and of the Lord Christ, let the blood be stanched." And if the patient have faith, so it will be.
  • Cure for Weakness: Drink water from a river that forms a boundary of three properties for nine Sunday morning, before sunrise, fasting, and before anyone has crossed the stream. This must be done in silence, without speaking to anyone. After this has been done repeat nine Aves and the Credo.
  • Cure for Cramp and Deafness: An eel's skin tied round the knee alleviates pain, and for deafness nothing is esteemed better than constant anointing with the oil of eels, used perfectly fresh.
  • Cure for Inflammation: Nine handfuls of mountain moss, dried on a pan to powder. Nine pinches of it, and nine pinches of ashes from the hearth, to be mixed in whey and taken every Tuesday and Thursday.

Myths, Superstitions and Legends

The myths, superstitions and legends of a people are expressions of their faith. Their mythology and superstitions define their origins and natural relationships to all things.

Ancient beliefs have been handed down through generations and are so interwoven in the daily life of the people they remain fixed as part of their character. This is especially true of the people of Ireland.

Since very early times there was, and still is, an intuitive belief in mystic beings. These unseen beings influenced every action of life and the forces of nature. Early races felt that everything had a spirit. It was felt in the winds, the trees that swayed in the breeze and in all primal elements of existence. Fire was a sacred symbol of divine essence, ever reaching upwards. Water was a symbol of purification and always finding new paths and levels. The power of Earth was revered, for it produces all things that live, gives burial to that which dies, and gives life again.

Ancient Irish peasantry were not committed to book learning. Their beliefs and faith were bound to the spiritual realms, the world of the Sidhe (fairies), and the mysteries of nature. The unseen world of mystery was of vital importance which became a vivid reality to primitive races - more than any other culture in Europe, it is the Irish who held on to these beliefs. For the Irish to violate a superstition or discard ancient traditions of their ancestors is almost unheard of. The Irish have an intense faith and a strong instinct for the mystic and supernatural.

If a house is to be built over a fairy trail, or a road is to cross over an ancient meeting place of the fairy clans, the outrage of the people will put a stop to the plans and diversion has to be made so as not to cause harm and curses from the Sidhe. There have been cases where a house was unknowingly built over a path the fairies used every night. In that case the front door must open to a straight through path to the back door, no obstructions, and the doors have to be left open so the wee folk can pass through freely.

© 2016 Phyllis Doyle Burns

Comments

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on October 04, 2019:

Hi allie teto. Thank you for those very interesting words of wisdom - I appreciate your comment.

allie leto on October 04, 2019:

the bed might be best aligned north to south because most wind travels east-west and west-east. Opening the windows of the room on east and west sides would allow the wind to breeze across the body and reduce fever. The light may be too intense and heat up the bed/body when directly in the sunlight of rising and setting sun, so aligning the bed north/south would make the light and temperature more gentle throughout the day

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on July 25, 2019:

Hi Linda. Thank you for reading and commenting.

Linda Wiebe on July 25, 2019:

My Grandpa taught me that it was best to sleep aligned to the magnificent field of Our Mother.

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on August 27, 2018:

Hi Mary. I am sure the forays were real to him. Many people have similar experiences beyond the veil. I have journeyed there myself a few times. Thank you for reading and commenting.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on August 25, 2018:

I used to listen to an old guy who told us stories of his forays in the fairy world and he described where they lived and what they eat and his interactions with them. I don't know if they were just imagined thoughts or real experiences. I don't know what to believe.

Gerardo Mejia on November 17, 2017:

is it all you have ??? .where is the rest ??. YHANK YOU ANYWAY !!!

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on July 11, 2017:

Hi Sharon. My mother was very superstitious, too. Many people from that area were. My dad's family were of Irish descent. Thank you for reading and commenting. I appreciate it.

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on July 11, 2017:

Hi Verlena. You are most welcome. Thank you for reading and commenting.

Verlena on July 11, 2017:

Thank you so much for sharing this information! I hope to learn more!

Sharon -Correll-Schwartz on July 11, 2017:

My mother's family were Scotch Irish and German and migrated out of N. Carolina and Tenn. area to S. Illinois. I found them very superstitious. Even my mom was somewhat that way at times.

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on July 06, 2017:

Hi Lori. Thank you for reading and commenting. My father always slapped mud on our bee stings, so I know it works well. I still use that method. Equal amounts of sugar and baking soda made into a paste with a little water also works quite well on bee stings and other insect bites. The realm of the fae is real and the veil has lifted for those who believe. I am glad you found my article interesting and highly informative - I so appreciate that. Thanks again.

Lori Mortensen on July 05, 2017:

I have several books on herbs/plants concerning natural healing methods. They are quite interesting to read. I have depended on a mud pack for not only insect bites but also bee stings. My oldest son is highly allergic to them. It draws out the stinger and the poison also. I am of Irish descent on my mom's side. One of many other nationalities. I have found this article to be not only interesting but highly informative. I believe in the fae realm and also believe that all things have a life. I am a Christian.

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on July 03, 2017:

Hi Doris. Thank you for the compliment. I have been thinking of writing an article on healing herbs. I will make that a priority. I appreciate your suggestion on that. Thanks.

Doris LeVasseur on July 03, 2017:

Very good story although would have liked to hear more on healing herbs.

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on July 02, 2017:

Hi Mamabeardora. You are correct. Folks of the Appalachians and the Cherokee got along well and traded their wisdom of herbs, remedies and methods of healing. Thank you for reading and commenting.

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on July 02, 2017:

Hi Nicole. Good to hear from you. I am glad you like the article, thank you for the compliment. I recommend any book by Scott Cunningham. His books have a wealth of information. Edain McCoy has an excellent book: Mountain Magic Folk Wisdom From the Heart of Appalachia that you will enjoy, I'm sure. I have her books: The Healing Power of Faerie and Faerie Folk which I enjoy. Hope that helps. Oh! The Way of Herbs by Michael Tierra is wonderful. I make a lot of remedies using his recipes - excellent book. Thanks again.

Nicole on July 01, 2017:

Hi Phyllis, great article! I really enjoyed reading it! Do you have any book recommendations about healing (from the Irish or any other ancestors)?

Thank you and Blessed be!

Mamabeardora@yahoo.com on June 30, 2017:

A lot of those Appalachian Grannies were also native... hidden in the mountains during the "trail of tears"

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on June 29, 2017:

Hi Peg. Thank you for reading and commenting.

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on June 29, 2017:

Hi Mary. Glad you enjoyed the article. Thank you.

Mary Molloy on June 28, 2017:

This is a very interesting article. I want to save it on my computer for future reference.

Peg Jaynes on June 28, 2017:

Slippery elm poultices will draw "the weed" out of inflamed breasts. Baking soda or tobacco poultices will draw the poison out of insect bites.

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on February 22, 2017:

Thank you very much, Witch of Stitches.

Witch of Stitches on February 19, 2017:

Interesting article. Thanks.

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on February 06, 2017:

Oh, no problem, Randy. I am part Irish, my Dad Irish to the bone like your Great-grandmother. So glad you enjoyed this article. Thanks, my friend.

Randy Godwin from Southern Georgia on January 31, 2017:

So sorry Phyllis, I was so pleased to have a place to comment about my great-grandmother's wisdom I forgot to tell you how much I enjoyed this read. She was an Irish gal to the bone. :)

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on January 31, 2017:

Oh my gosh! Randy, I have so missed you - my own fault, for I have been so busy on our new site. Your great-grandmother was a very wise woman. Your story made me laugh out loud. Witch women always knew the best cure. Thank you so much for commenting and for sharing your great-grandmother with me. I love it.

Randy Godwin from Southern Georgia on January 31, 2017:

My great-grandmother on my father's side of the family was a well known witch woman, Phyllis. When my uncle was a child he started missing a lot of school for feeling poorly. She told my grandmother one morning that "Abbey, I'm tard of thet young'un bein' sick. I'm gonna go out tuh thuh chicken house an' fetch some fresh chicken manure tuh make some chicken house tea for thet chile."

Apparently it was a miracle cure because when she returned from the chicken house my uncle had already left for school. True story! :)

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on January 31, 2017:

Hi Chris. Thank you so much for your very kind words. You are right, the ancients spent so much time in nature and learned by observation and experience. I am so glad you enjoyed the article. Thanks again.

Chris Mills from Traverse City, MI on January 29, 2017:

The ancients spent so much time in nature, it was inevitable they would discover the dangers and the cures offered there. This is a very fine article and good information. Thanks for sharing.

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on January 29, 2017:

Hi Unagme. Thank you very much. I really appreciate your kind comment.

Unagme on January 19, 2017:

What a great read and wealth of knowledge!

Very interesting information, and after reading this article I want to read everything you've written. So much to learn...

Thanks for sharing.

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on November 04, 2016:

Hi Betty. I never heard that a bed must be placed the way a river runs, but it sure makes sense. Thank you for reading and commenting.

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on November 04, 2016:

Hi Nancy. Thank you for reading and commenting on my article, glad you like it so much. That is wonderful you are writing on this wisdom from the past.

Nancy on November 04, 2016:

I so loved this article. I am writing a series of short stories honoring our Wisdom Keepers of the past...how they used herbs and foods to heal. Love this...I am glad to know someone else who honors these past practices :)

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on September 26, 2016:

Hi vespawoolf, nice to hear from you. Natural cures are usually the best. It is interesting that this practice is active in Peru. Thanks for sharing that. And thanks for reading and commenting on my article.

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on September 26, 2016:

I enjoy reading about past civilizations. Natural cures have always interested me, as well. Potatoes and other plants are often used to cure ills in Peru, especially in country areas where medicine isn't widely available. Very interesting. Thank you for sharing.

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on June 06, 2016:

Hi caretakerray. Thank you, I am glad you liked the article. I have Irish ancestry, too, so had a great time researching and writing this hub. Thanks again.

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on June 06, 2016:

Hi caretakerray. So glad you liked the article. Thank you for reading and commenting. I also have Irish in my ancestry, so had a great time researching and writing this. Thanks again.

Ray Van Hoff from Michigan U.S.A. on June 05, 2016:

Having Irish in my ancestry, I really liked the Celtic stories of folk medicine! Great hub! I'll be reading more of these

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on May 30, 2016:

Hi Cynthia. Yes, more and more people are turning back to home remedies and the bounty of Nature. Thanks for reading and commenting, I appreciate it.

Cynthia Haltom from Diamondhead on May 16, 2016:

I appreciate you in depth knowledge. Many ancient remedies and treatments are being recognized as useful. The movement to use natural substances to treat illness is a sensible option. Big Pharma has a monopoly over the public and a movement to return to natural foods and medicines are slowing coming as alternatives.

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on May 09, 2016:

Hi Alison Thyne. You are most welcome. Glad you enjoyed my article.

Alison Thyne on May 08, 2016:

wow .. thank you so much for that wonderful world of knowledge.. Just proves to me again that one never gets to old to stop learning ... even in death, something new is learned .. Alison Thyne.. South Africa..

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on May 06, 2016:

Thanks, colbaltblu.

colbaltblu on May 06, 2016:

North and South are representations of polaraties and elemental properties

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on May 06, 2016:

Hi Sandy. Thank you for reading and commenting. So glad you find the article interesting. I appreciate your visit.

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on May 06, 2016:

Of course, Ruby Jean. I will be happy to help you. I will contact you on TCE. Thank you.

sandy on May 05, 2016:

I am from Appalachia. I found this really interesting.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on May 05, 2016:

Phillis, I replied to your email twice and both times it was returned. I do not know what's going on with email. I told you not to worry about my feelings with the site. I want to write there. I think it will be fun. I am having difficulty putting a picture on the site. Could you please help me with this. Thank you so much....

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on May 05, 2016:

Thank you, Sheilajean.

Sheilajean Whitefield on May 05, 2016:

The North-South alignment has to do with the electro-magnetic "ley" lines of the Earth Mother. The patients` head should be pointing towards the South in the Northern Hemisphere.

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on April 28, 2016:

Thanks.

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on April 27, 2016:

How interesting, Joan. The mention of potatoes in my article is noted as a remedy of "early times". It seems to confuse readers as to the origins of the potato and when it first appeared in Ireland. There are controversial legends / histories on that subject. What I meant by "early times' is in the since the early days of Granny Women in Appalachia. Maybe I should make that clear in the article? Thanks for commenting.

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on April 27, 2016:

Thanks, cfin. What an interesting history you provide here. It really is quite important as to how to make references to Ireland and its counties, histories, etc. Thank you for helping me to understand that - I really appreciate your support and valuable lesson.

Joan Rea on April 27, 2016:

since potatoes were native to the Americas and were unknown in Europe until after the European invasion, the use of potatoes on burns and cuts could have gone east with the potatoes from south America. potatoes here were used to draw the inflammation out of festering wounds.

cfin from The World we live in on April 27, 2016:

Phyllis, that's ok. The article is beautiful. It's a common mistake. It's quite upsetting to visit something like the giants causeway and see the British government "embracing" our legends, while at the same time, they tried for quite a while to wipe out our culture. The province of Ulster might be a better focus for the north of the island rather than the actual state of NI. Ulster dates way back, and some of its counties remain part of the country of Ireland. It's interesting to research.

Individuals from Northern Ireland can claim to be "Irish" and a minority do, but the actual state of NI is representative of a state created as a result of a refusal to be Irish. Instead the Northern Irish government even embrace anti Irish parades. They renamed cities such as Derry to Londonderry to demoralise the Irish cultural population during plantations. All in all, when referring to history, it's best to say Ireland, or if making a regional reference, mention one of the 32 counties I.e Co.Meath, Co.Tyrone etc or on a larger scale, one of the 4 (4 currently but there used to be more) provinces such as Connacht, Ulster, Munster or Leinster.

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on April 26, 2016:

How interesting, Gregory Vic. I have not seen that show. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Greg de la Cruz on April 26, 2016:

Very informative hub. It reminds me the Man VS Wild show which takes a lot of its survival techniques from old natives, and the knowledge of special herbs are very important in survival training.

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on April 26, 2016:

Thanks again, Linda, this is very kind of you. You inspire me to write more - so I am gathering notes. LOL.

Linda Robinson from Cicero, New York on April 26, 2016:

You are so very welcome Phyllis and I will be sure to look for them. :) You are an exceptional writer. Linda

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on April 26, 2016:

Hi cfin. Thanks for reading my article. Also, thanks for pointing something out to me that I had missed. I had begun this article focusing on Northern Ireland then spread out to all of Ireland, which is so rich in the history of healing. I neglected to go back and remove the reference to "Northern Ireland" - I have just made those corrections.. My apologies for not catching it sooner.. If had known it would upset anyone, I would have been more alert to my error. Thanks again, cfin.

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on April 26, 2016:

Hi Julie. Thanks for stopping by. Who did not have potatoes before Columbus? No where in my article did I say anything about Columbus. I did say, "Potatoes have been used since early times to take the redness and pain out of minor burns. A slice of raw potato was immediately placed on a burn."

Thanks again for the visit.

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on April 26, 2016:

Hi Linda Robinson. Thank you for such a wonderful comment. I am so glad you loved the article. I will be writing more on this and similar topics. Thanks again and have a wonderful day.

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on April 26, 2016:

Hi Jennifer Cabbage. I am so happy to read you are getting in closer touch with your ancestors and finding your path in life. You have a great family heritage to back you up. Thank you so much, Jennifer. Peace and blessings to you.

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on April 26, 2016:

Hi Colleen. Looks like everyone is in agreement on the north to south alignment. Thank you for reading and commenting.

Linda Robinson from Cicero, New York on April 26, 2016:

Wow Phyllis and what an astounding, informative hub, just amazing, I absolutely loved it, You are a very talented writing and so much outstanding detail and descriptions. I like you write about a very diverse topics. So very nice meeting you. I look forward to reading all your hubs. :)

Jennifer Cabbage on April 26, 2016:

I love ur writing!!! Hope to read many more! Thanks to u, I feel I know my place now. I live in the Apps n have a long line of mountain people behind me. I hear them speaking to me thru u! Thank u my friend n please keep them coming! Sending u much love, peace, n happiness!

cfin from The World we live in on April 26, 2016:

This article is strange. Northern Ireland? Why Northern Ireland when it didn't exist until 100 years ago? Why not Ireland? Especially seeing as everything you mention within this article is from all over Ireland, it seems extremely odd to keep mentioning just Northern Ireland. Your summary even says Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Since Northern Ireland only exists due to their rejection of the Irish culture, it seems offensive for you to hand that state our history and culture on a platter as if it belongs to them, or their ancestors. It is in fact offensive and an extremely confusing misrepresentation for readers.

Julie on April 26, 2016:

They didn't have potatoes before Columbus.....

Colleen on April 25, 2016:

North to south orientation-aligning with magnetic north-healing with magnetic fieds

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on April 25, 2016:

Hi Marie. You are most welcome. Thank you.

MarieXxZxcanary on April 25, 2016:

Thank you for posting this, it is beautiful and very thoughtful.

Trellie on April 25, 2016:

The gravitational pull is why

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on April 25, 2016:

Hi juliannehenry. I must say I agree with you. Thanks for stopping by.

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on April 25, 2016:

Hi Dave. Thank you for that explanation. It makes sense.

Julie Henry from London on April 25, 2016:

Bring back Grannies advice I say!

Dave on April 25, 2016:

The reason, that I'm aware of, to sleep with one's head in the north, is to do which side of the equator you are. If you are north of the equator you should sleep with your head in the north.

Some of the reasons, it is suppose to put less strain on the cardiovascular system in the body, also suppose to promote better pressure in the head. Promotes a better nights sleep. Your body is also placed in the correct magnetic orientation inline with the earths.

Dave

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on April 25, 2016:

Hi tebo. I am glad you enjoy such articles. I found it so interesting researching several sources and stories about those early times. It is so amazing how people learned so much without the technology we have now. Thank you very much for reading and commenting, I appreciate it.

tebo from New Zealand on April 25, 2016:

Lovely article Phyllis. I really enjoy reading how people in earlier times treated various ailments. It makes sense to use what nature has to offer and it certainly made good sense that they watched the animals eating bark and observed the outcomes. Very informative and interesting hub.

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on April 24, 2016:

Thanks.

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on March 23, 2016:

Well, I must say I agree wiith you, Vicki. Thanks for the visit and commenting.

Vicki on March 23, 2016:

The natural world holds the knowledge to everything as the ancient ones always instinctively knew.I am a firm believer that every illness has a cure through all of nature,and the old ones knew that if they respected,honered and cared about nature and the natural world it would take care of and nurture them.It is a shame too many people today have lost that

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on March 21, 2016:

Hi Patricia Henry. Thank you, I am glad you love the article. I appreciate your sharing of your remarkable family history. And I really appreciate your explanation of aligning the bed north to south. I have always had to have my bed aligned north to south and it does correct my energy flow. I agree: "Nature knows best!" Thanks again, for reading and commenting.

Patricia Henry on March 21, 2016:

Great article, love it! I Love the picture of the lady spinning, I learned to card wool and spin and weave on my great uncle and aunt's sheep farm in north Yorkshire, also grew up learning a lot of theirs and my grandmother's herbal cures etc. I later became an RN, and nurse practitioner before retiring. but still use a lot of their old recipes for myself and my children. I am 74 now but have passed a lot of this down to my children and grandchildren... Nature knows best! I still collect and dry herbs, make elderberry and rosehip syrup, and much more, by the way, Aligning the sick bed north to south corrects the subtle energy flow...could go into much more detail on that, but enough for now... keep up the good work.

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on March 17, 2016:

Ah! Thank you, Frank. I appreciate that.

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on March 17, 2016:

Phyllis, what a fascinating hub.. interesting

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on March 16, 2016:

Hi nofixedstars. What a wonderful heritage and wisdom you have to pass down to your daughter. Thank you for stopping by to read and comment.

nofixedstars on March 16, 2016:

north to south head to foot alignment to bring down fever: because the sun moves thru the sky (east to west, disappearing in the north overnight); thus moving fever down from the head to the feet by aligning the body with the course of the sun...

my granny was a wisewoman too. her beliefs were often dismissed as superstition and "debased religion", which some of it most definitely was, but she has been proven right about preventing and curing illnesses many times over my life. i believe her loving care pulled me thru a number of illnesses that conventional medicine was failing to heal, and i have honored her memory by using it to care for my own child and by passing her wisdom to my daughter...

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on March 15, 2016:

Hi again, roob. Glad to see you here. I found a lot of ancient Irish folk medicine sites and had a great time researching and reading, but the one by Lady Wilde (Oscar Wilde's mother) was my favorite. Thanks again.

Ruby from United States on March 15, 2016:

Interesting I was just wondering where you heard about these charms being used as I have never heard of them before.

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on March 15, 2016:

Hi roob. Thanks for stopping by. I think you are taking some of the words in my article out of context. I never said the charms are used in Christianity, nor did I imply that the Bible would approve.

My only mention of Christianity is:

"When Christianity became more prominent the Irish embraced it - however, they still retained their unshakable faith in the Druid charms."

source:

'Ancient cures, charms, and usages of Ireland; contributions to Irish lore' - by Lady Wilde.

Thank you for the visit and comment.

Ruby from United States on March 14, 2016:

I don't think the Bible would approve of these charms, where is your source that these are used in Christianity?

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on March 14, 2016:

Hi chaz5621. I do not personally know any healers who teach others outside their family. You might want to read the article by Jonathan Self at http://irishamerica.com/2013/08/irish-herbal-medic... You can comment at the end of the article. Thank you for reading and commenting.

chaz5621 on March 14, 2016:

would love to spend time with a healer..are there any that do teachings that you could recommend ..thanks so much

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on March 03, 2016:

Hi phoenix. Thank you very much. The old ways are still alive in parts of Appalachia, maybe even more so than we realize. So glad you enjoyed reading the article. Take care and thanks again.

Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon from United Kingdom on March 03, 2016:

Wonderful hub. I enjoy reading about the old ways. Why have so many turned their backs on this knowledge? I'm glad it still lives on in the Granny Women of today.

Phyllis Doyle Burns (author) from High desert of Nevada. on February 25, 2016:

Thank you, Alastar - glad you enjoyed the article. Black licorice always helps me when I have a bad cough. Bragg's undiluted vinegar sounds familiar, I will look for that. I bet there are a whole lot of Granny-isms back in your area, how fun it would be to write them all down. Thanks again. Now you can tell others the new things you learned here. Have a peaceful evening.

alastar packer on February 25, 2016:

Thanks for your recommendation on the cough, Phyllis. Black Licorice! Have you heard of Bragg's undiluted vinegar? A Granny wise-like lady told me to mix two capfuls of it with a teaspoon of honey. This was a super read. You know I'd heard of the charm for bleeds and the moss, but not the others. Living near the mountains here in NC Granny Women sayings are more or less well-known by many long term residents, but you've added some info, history and sayings that are fun to know!

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