Cures and Healing
Anyeta claimed to cure many people of rheumatism. She always said that if celery was cooked in milk and eaten with the milk it would neutralize uric acid, lactic acid and other excess acids in the body. Cleansing muscular tissues and so curing rheumatism. She brought this cure with her when she came over to England from Romania.
Certainly celery is a soldier in the fight against rheumatism, it contains many nourishing salts and a great deal of organic sulfur. Sometimes people find they cannot take it, but these are few and far between. Stewed celery was a frequent dish on the Romany table, and the seeds have an even greater therapeutic action than the plant itself. Place a teaspoonful of the seeds in a cup of boiling water. Allow to infuse and drink a cupful of this two or three times a day- it can be sweetened with a little honey.
Horseradish is also good for rheumatism, whether taken internally or externally. For external use, grate a little on a plate, cover with boiling milk and apply to the affected part while still warm. You can also try an embrocation made of bladderwrack which you can obtain from a good herbalist.
One of the best gypsy remedies for rheumatism is made with dandelion root. You boil 1 oz of the root in one and a half pints of water for 20 minutes. Strain and take a wineglassful twice daily. Another simple remedy is to paint peppermint oil on the affected part.
Much of the gypsy`s strength and health came from the abundance of wayside plants which they understood and knew how to use to keep them healthy. Many of these wayside herbs are recognized by herbalists and can be obtained from them in a dried form. Others are so readily available that they grow unasked in any garden and are angrily rooted up and thrown away even destroyed by weedkiller in ignorance of the goodness that is so carelessly discarded.
The children of the gypsies were often sent out to gather sack loads of herbs, particularly dandelions and stinging nettles. These were sent to chemists and herbalists to be made up into remedies. It makes you wonder if farmers as they plow through their fields realize how much value they are destroying as they plow in all the herbs and `weeds`. To cultivate and sell them for use in medicine might well pay more than selling cabbages!
Where there is much damp and water, there grows the willow, with its bark to cure aches and pains. The names of many herbs and roots point to the complaints they can cure- for instance, chestnut leaves for chest complaints, gravel root for stone and gravel in the kidneys, Liver Wort for the liver, Lung Wort for the lungs and Hearts Ease for weak hearts.
Where there is a nettle to sting you,always close at hand you will find a dock leaf to rub on the sting and reduce the pain. But besides this practical use of the leaf, the Romanies also know that the seeds of the dock form part of a charm against pain. They should be gathered when fully ripe, placed in a little muslin bag and tied round a patients left arm. This old gypsy charm will cure many pains and it is particularly useful to any woman or girl who suffers pain with her periods.
The gypsies often wore herbs- for instance, balm,which gives out a wonderful lemony scent when the leaf is picked and rubbed between the fingers. The Romanies believed that wearing the leaves and roots in a sachet next to the heart made one beautiful, healthy and happy. Bees love it and for this reason it is often called Bee Balm. If you grow it in your garden you will know how swiftly it spreads. The best time to harvest it is in July in the early morning.
Burdock grows wild on waste ground, in hedges and by the wayside. Its leaves are large and heart- shaped and its purple flowers bloom in July and August. It is said that wearing burdock seeds in a muslin bad, around your neck, keeps rheumatism at bay.
Here is the secret of the most health- giving drink.
Mix a chopped carrot, celery and spinach in equal proportions and add a teaspoonful of chopped parsley. Put into the blender and mix to make a drink that is rich in potassium – in fact it contains practically the whole range of organic minerals and salts necessary for good health!
Legend has it that the early Gypsies formulated Queen of Hungary’s Water, and claimed it to be a cure-all. It is an excellent astringent for the face and a great rinse for dark hair. It combines gentle, common herbs in a masterful way, it’s easy and inexpensive to make, and it’s very versatile. The Gypsies claimed it was good as a hair rinse, mouthwash, headache remedy, aftershave, foot bath, and who knows what else!
To make it, combine:
- 6 parts lemon balm
- 4 parts chamomile
- 1 part rosemary
- 3 parts calendula
- 4 parts roses
- 1 part lemon peel
- 1 part sage
- 3 parts comfrey leaf
Chop herbs finely. Fresh herbs work best but high-quality dried herbs are next best. Place them in a clean, dry jar. If using dried herbs, fill the jar only half way to allow for expansion.
Heat raw organic apple cider vinegar to a warm (not hot) temperature. Pour in enough to completely cover the herbs with a margin of 2 or 3 inches. Seal the lid. Leave the jar in a warm spot and let the herbs soak for 4 to 6 weeks – the longer, the better. Shake the bottle daily.
Strain the liquid through a stainless steel strainer lined with cheesecloth or muslin. Place in dark cobalt or amber glass bottles, label, and store away from heat and light.
After aging and straining, add 1/2 to 1 cup rose water or witch hazel to each cup of herbal vinegar. Store in dropper or spray bottles. This product does not need refrigeration and will stay fresh indefinitely.
Because it stains, this blend is not recommended for light or white hair.
Source: The Whole Dog Journal
The Romany philosophy is that depression attracts depression like a vibration. To ward it off play happy music or mix with happy people. Alternatively, walk to a hilltop to literally rise above your problem. Looking down on roads, cars, houses, and people makes them appear in better perspective.
Romanies always try to look on the bright side of any situation. However, if that is not so easy, try this Romany antidote to the blues.
Peel several cloves of garlic and place them in a saucer. Pour white vinegar over the cloves until they are partly immersed in it. Place the saucer beside your bed while you sleep. The garlic is said to turn pink because of the negative energy it absorbs.
The cloves should be buried in the morning and replaced by fresh cloves at night.
Here are a few old Gypsy cures for a headache:
- Rub your forehead with a stone and then cover the stone with soil.
The ache is said to be absorbed by the soil.
- Alternatively, you can rub a headache away by rubbing a horseshoe on your forehead.
(A piece of iron is said to work just as well.)
- Yet another method is to lie down and place a quartz crystal on your pillow. If you can’t lie down, try holding a quartz to your head for a few minutes to relieve the discomfort.
- Rosemary oil dabbed on the temples and third eye will end most headaches.
To cure toothache the Transylvanian gypsies wind a barley-straw round a stone, which is thrown into a running stream, while saying:
“Oh dukh ándre m’re dándá,
Tu ná báres cingerá!
Ná ává kiyá mánge,
Mire muy ná hin kere!
Tut ñikáná me kámáv,
Ac tu mánge pál pácá;
Káná e pçus yárpakri
Avel tele páñori!”
“Oh, pain in my teeth,
Trouble me not so greatly!
Do not come to me,
My mouth is not thy house.
I love thee not all,
Stay thou away from me;
When this straw is in the brook
Go away into the water!”
Thyme is another herb the Romanies made good use of. It’s very good for the nerves! Also it has antiseptic properties. Did those of you who have gargled with a thymol preparation realize that it was made from thyme? It is good, too. as a general tonic.
Thyme, especially wild thyme, is known by the gypsies as Mother`s thyme, because a tea made from it gives relief to the cough that sometimes troubles expectant mothers. Make it with fresh or dried thyme – for each ounce of fresh herb, substitute just one teaspoonful of the dried.
Thyme tea helps any chest complaint that causes any difficulty with breathing- asthma sufferers would find it useful. In fact, thyme tea mixed with linseed and honey is a wonderful medicament for coughs and catarrh. It`s also good for headaches and giddiness – particularly if the headache is one of those that grips you on the morning after the night before!
And if nightmares are your trouble, try drinking it before you go to sleep because it soothes the nerves and induces peaceful rest..
Thyme is one of the handiest herbs you can keep in your kitchen because it can be used as part of a bouquet garni, in soups, with baked eggs, egg salad, with roast chicken, mussels, scallops, lamb stew, roast veal and in creamed cheese dishes. Try sprinkling a little thyme over a cabbage salad or in a plate of potato or tomato soup. Thyme is also very good in pancakes.
The Romany culture was rich in cures for coughs and cold. Some suited one, and some suited another. Here are some authentic Gypsy cures for the common cold. (As always, use common sense when trying the remedies, and consult your doctor if you are seriously ill. Remember these cures are from times long past.)
First, some of the simplest remedies which are easy to try. Did you know, for instance, that the vinegar from a jar of pickled walnuts is a very good gargle for sore throats? Do not throw it away, keep it in an airtight jar until it is needed. If you have a hard cough, beat the white of an egg to a froth, then add a tablespoonful each of vinegar and sugar. Drink this at bedtime, and the cough will not trouble you during the night.
If you have a dry cold, drink peppermint tea and it will almost immediately ease your symptoms. And if your friends are scared of catching it from you, or you wish to keep your family free from infection, tell them to rub a little peppermint oil under the nose and round the throat, and to take a small dose as well, it is an antiseptic and a strong preventative of disease.
Try drinking a glass of hot milk at night with a crushed clove of garlic in it. This is very good for both coughs and colds, and will give some relief asthma sufferers.
Horseradish is another good remedy for sore throats and coughs-even whooping cough. Scrape a half a teacupful of horseradish, add a little vinegar to thoroughly soak it. Keep pressing it down so that the horseradish is always just covered by the vinegar. Leave for the day. Then add one tablespoonful of glycerin and mix. take a half of a teaspoonful in a wineglass of hot water. Incidentally, horseradish will also help to alleviate that annoying catarrhal deafness that can come with a cold. Take one ounce of the grated root, pour one pint of boiling water over it and let it stand for 15 minutes. Strain, and take 4 tablespoonfuls twice a day. If you don`t like the flavor, mix it with syrup of ginger or caraway.
If you want to stop a cold in the early stages, make an infusion of the herb basil in the proportion of 1 teaspoonful of the dried herb to 1 cupful of boiling water. This will promote perspiration and drive out the cold.
If you have access to an elderberry tree, its berries and flowers will quickly help to dispel your discomfort. Store elderflowers after drying them out in the sun, and you can make a healing beverage at any time by pouring boiling water over them and adding a little sugar. The Romanies claim that it puts paid to a head cold if taken immediately the first signs are noticed. This infusion is also soothing and will help to give a good night`s sleep. It will also calm the nerves.
For more Elderberry remedies for colds and flu check out the following at Folk Medicine Remedies and Cures:
The Romanies also found Borage a very good plant for medicinal purposes. An infusion helps coughs, a poultice of Borage leaves is good for inflammation, and if you are suffering from the slight fever that sometimes accompanies a cold or flu germ, put a sliced lemon and about six sprigs of the herb in a jug and cover with boiling water. Drink when cold, it will reduce the feverish symptoms.
Another cold preventative is feverfew. Make the leaves into a tea and it will not only guard against colds, but also flatulence and hysteria.
If you stew barberry berries with a little water until they are soft, then squeeze them through a strainer, pressing out all the juice with a wooden spoon and add three pints of water to one of juice, you will have an excellent drink which, if taken hot at night, will induce the perspiration that drives out a cold
If you are not sure whether it`s a cold or flu coming on, don`t hesitate, infuse 1 oz of fresh or dried balm with a pint of boiling water and take it very hot, last thing at night. It will drive out a cold and arrest an attack of influenza – but you should take it in good time when you feel the first symptoms coming.
Red clover is one of Nature`s best remedies for sore throats and chest troubles. It will also help a bad cough that sometimes accompanies a cold. It grows in fields and by waysides up to a foot in height, and even larger when cultivated. As an infusion it is good for sufferers with bronchitis and asthma. For a bad cough, prepare this syrup. Make a syrup of loaf sugar and water, add fresh red clover leaves in the proportion of an ounce to a pint of syrup. Boil and strain, Bottle and cork the bottle tightly, and take a teaspoonful twice or three times a day.
Ground ivy is a plant that grows on waste ground and in hedgerows everywhere, the leaves are dark and kidney shaped and the flowers bright dark blue. The Romanies made a tea from ground ivy flowers and wood sage as a cure for fevers and colds. The herb is used by herbalists in the treatment of blood and kidney disorders.
In Victorian times, children ate horehound candy as a cure for sore throats and coughs. The plant has a vine-like scent. It is a good remedy for diseases of the chest and lungs and has the added advantage of being a good tonic. If your cold brings on bronchitis, make a brew of horehound tea and you will find that a wine glassful three times a day is a great relief. If you mix it with a little honey, it is more pleasant to take. Black horehound is not used much in herbal practice, but it was once used as a tonic tea by country workers. Horehound, in fact, is often used by herbalists as a remedy when combined with hyssop.
Oil of hyssop is sweet scented and used in the making of some eau de colognes. It was also used by the monks when they made Chartreuse Liqueur.The plant originated in Italy, but can easily be grown in English gardens and it is a very useful plant to have handy as it is a good remedy for coughs and lung complaints. Make an infusion of 1 oz of leaves to 1 pint of water and take frequently.
Comfrey is a well known remedy for lung disorders. Put half an ounce of the crushed root in a saucepan with a pint and a half of milk and water mixed in equal parts and simmer for 20 minutes. A wine glassful will quickly ease an irritating cough. If you use only one pint of milk and water mixture the remedy will form into a jelly which also eases coughs. Grow comfrey in your garden, the root can be boiled as a vegetable and the young shoots blanched and cooked like celery.
The coltsfoot is another wonderful remedy for coughs and colds, whooping cough and shortness of breath. It has a little yellow flower that smells of honey and blooms in February, long before the leaves which grow to enormous size. Coltsfoot grows nearly everywhere, on rubble heaps, by the side of newly-made roads, on railway banks and on coal mine tips. In fact there is a very old gypsy saying that wherever coltsfoot grows freely, coal will be found. Once it was so revered in France that a painting of a coltsfoot flower appeared on the doors of all doctors as a sign that the art of healing was practiced there. The Romanies praise this herb very highly.
A decoction of the leaves of the herb coltsfoot to a pint of boiling water is very good for colds, coughs and asthma. If you haven`t time to make a decoction when a cough is bad, use an infusion of coltsfoot and take in teacupful dose.It can be sweetened to taste with honey.
Another old Romany recipe to soothe any cough is made with liquorice root, coltsfoot and lemon. Simmer 1 oz of liquorice root in 3 pints of water till it is reduced to 1 pint. Put 1 oz of coltsfoot and a sliced lemon into a jug and add the decoction. Stir well, sweeten with honey,allow to get cold, then drink as required.
If you have the hacking cough of a heavy smoker this remedy will disguise your weakness. Put two ounces of sunflower seeds into a saucepan with a quart of water, and an inch or so of whole ginger. Simmer until reduced to a pint and a half. Add sugar or honey to taste. When cold, strain. A tablespoon of whisky will help the drink to stay fresh; if it is not added, it should be made fresh every two or three days. This is an excellent decoction to relieve bronchitis or a hacking cough.
Disclaimer: The author of this site is not Doctor or medical certified professional, the information presented here is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice.
- 2 handful valerian roots
- 1 clove
- 1 orange rind
- 1 rosemary twig
- 1 liter of dry white wine
Drink 1 liqueur glass three times daily. Also good for fainting.