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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Mareda Sigmon Cobb and Carrie Sigmon Yelton, June 16 and 18, 1979. Interview H-0115. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Home remedies

Yelton and Cobb's mother used her own home remedies rather than taking her children to the doctor, but the daughters preferred to take advantage of medical advances.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Mareda Sigmon Cobb and Carrie Sigmon Yelton, June 16 and 18, 1979. Interview H-0115. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

JACQUELYN HALL:
When you were growing up, did your mother treat you for childhood diseases?
CARRIE SIGMON YELTON:
Oh, yes. [Laughter]
JACQUELYN HALL:
Did she have her own remedies?
CARRIE SIGMON YELTON:
Yes. Used to have to wear asafetida around your neck. Said that would ward off diseases. And when I'd get the earache, she'd make little salt poultices, make a little cloth and put salt in it. And make me lay down in front of the fireplace and put my ear on it. And give me castor oil. [Laughter] No, I don't ever remember when I was small, hardly, going to a doctor. And when you'd get a cough, they'd just plaster Vick's salve, and then mustard plasters. They'd make mustard plasters and put on if you had a deep cold or bronchial trouble or something like that.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Did you use any of those same remedies with your children?
CARRIE SIGMON YELTON:
No. [Laughter]
JACQUELYN HALL:
Not any of them?
CARRIE SIGMON YELTON:
No.
JACQUELYN HALL:
How come?
CARRIE SIGMON YELTON:
Sometimes I would put the Vick's, but they came out with Musterole. It was mild for children and strong for adults, and I'd use Musterole some and grease them with it. And I'd give them Castoria, but I didn't give them no castor oil. [Laughter] I never could stand it. [Laughter]
JACQUELYN HALL:
So you went to the doctor's.
CARRIE SIGMON YELTON:
I generally took them to the doctor's if they got real sick. But you know, it's lots of these old ladies yet that's eighty and ninety years old believes in the old remedies.
JACQUELYN HALL:
You don't believe in them?
CARRIE SIGMON YELTON:
Well, they might help, but since the modern world's come along, has doctors and things... But I'm telling you, it looks like we're going to have to go back to some of them, as high as doctors are and medicine.
JACQUELYN HALL:
That's the thing.
CARRIE SIGMON YELTON:
I'm telling you, it's going out of this world. [Whistles]
PATTY DILLEY:
Did your mother ever treat anybody else in the neighborhood?
CARRIE SIGMON YELTON:
Not as I know of. She may have before I was born; I don't know.