Grandpa was known as a miracle worker in the Ozarks. He lived down in a holler in Shannon County Missouri. He was a sort of doctor without any learn’in’ people would say. He didn’t go to school much, he went to about fifth grade and knew more than most teachers back then. Anyway that was the story handed down in my family. He made a good living selling Mason jars full of face creams, bath soaks, medicines for colds, constipation remedies, headaches, and gas. No one ever got sick from his recipes except that one time.
Grandpa was taught to make concoctions, healing remedies and the like from his Cherokee mother. I never met my grandma or grandma, they passed away before I was born. I am somewhat fascinated with the recipes grandpa handed down. He got a nickel for his mason jar of special ingredients. I wonder if some of them are on the market today and sell for $40 OR $50.00 for a small jar at a department store..The following is one of his recipes for his healing bath remedies.
I mason jar large
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon pepper
one have cup salt
one half cup of vinegar
secret roots,(I don’t know what this is.)
Mix together and fill the rest of the jar with water. I do know the pepper was to clean out your pores.
This is a soothing bath soak. First wash with lye soap and put the concoction in the bath water. Soak for an hour to heal anything that ales you, old age bones, constipation(there is another concoction he made with prunes that you drink for constipation you take with this bath soak.)
People swore by grandpas bath soak in Winona, Birch Tree, Missouri and even as far away as Mountain View and West Plains in Howell County. Doesn’t sound like something I want to try.
He sold jars of of face cream like hotcakes. It was made with lard and some plant from the woods. He would give away the first jar to every new customer. All the women claimed to look ten years younger after using the miracle cream. People also used it on baby’s bottoms and it healed the worst diaper rash.
Grandpa couldn’t see as he once did and when he was 92 he put some kind of ivy in a jar of cream. So grandma had to be his eyes after that. It wasn’t a big deal, it only effected five women. They broke out in a terrible rash, sort of like smallpox. None of them had any scars. They all forgave grandpa because he gave them free face cream for life. After that.,Grandma promised to check all his recipes carefully.
Grandpa had a successful business in his old age. Grandma helped him and they both lived to be 93.
When grandpa died that spring in 1923, he was 93, grandma went to be with the good Lord 5 years later, she was also 93. Neither of them were sick much. A few colds here and there. People attribute it to Grandpas concoctions.