You might think this to be a bit strange, but my family are Scots, and the family remedy for fever is to cut an onion in half and place both pieces under the bed of the sick person. Stranger still, I have known it to work! My great grandmother (91) still burns sulphur when anyone has "the grip."
Actually, it isn’t that strange. :) I’ve come across several advice books that recommended onions be placed in the sickroom. They were believed to absorb germs and some books advised that they should be hung in the nursery to keep the baby healthy. And some medical advisers also recommended burning sulphur to disinfect a room after someone has been sick.
That’s why I love vintage advice - it was meant to be practical and people used it and still use it today. Would your grandmother consider writing down her advice and recipes?
Your blog is fascinating. It excellently illustrates the truth that the past is a foreign country. Are you familiar with James Lileks? He collects lots of retro stuff and posts it on his website.
Thanks for writing, I always enjoy it when people take the time to get in touch. And I’m really glad you’re enjoying Questionable Advice.
James Lileks is one of my heroes! I don’t know how many times I’ve laughed myself sick reading his book "Gallery of Regrettable Foods". Anyone out there who likes their vintage ads & advice mixed with snarky comments shouldn’t miss his site.