Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing.
I’m becoming my grandmother. For weeks I have been fighting bronchitis (two rounds of antibiotics, one with steroids, an injection and still it hangs on). The cough sounds like something out of Monster Theater and rattles down to the toes.
My grandmother, Narcissa Murray, made elixir and sold it. I have a flyer with her picture on it and letters of testimonials as to its wonderful curing powers from lumbago to whatever ailed the person at the time.
My sister and I are the only surviving siblings of eight children. She is the youngest of Daddy’s first wife and I am the oldest of the second. After hearing my horrible cough these past few weeks, she called last night with a recipe for a cough syrup that my older brother had given to her (he passed away in 2015 at 90 years of age). I have to wonder if this recipe was one given to him by Daddy because Daddy had a remedy for everything under the sun. I could count on one hand the number of times I went to the doctor growing up and have a finger or two left over.
There were always lots of Watkins products in the house. There was something for burns, chest compresses, syrup of black draught when a “cleansing” was needed, and that horrible croup remedy of kerosene and sugar. For a sore throat, you put a warm sock around your throat and slept in it (previously worn preferred) and gargled with Alka-Seltzer in warm water.
I remember when my brother, Keith, fell out of an apple tree one summer and sprained his arm. Daddy made a compress of dirt dobbers’ nest and vinegar and put it on his arm to reduce the swelling. Arm was fine.
Camphophenique was best for bruises, cuts and scrapes. Keith had his bike on the porch one Sunday afternoon (can’t believe Daddy let him do that) when he made a miscalculation about the edge of that old high-off-the-ground porch. As the bike and Keith rolled off the edge into a bush, Keith said “Get the camphophenique.” He could see the pain coming on that one.
So, I made the cough syrup and it works! The ingredients are ½ C vinegar, ½ C water, 1 T. honey, 4 T. lemon juice, 1 tsp. Texas Pete. I brought it to a boil, let it cool down and poured it in a jar. Take 1 T. four or five times a day and before going to bed. No copay needed.
Jan Mills is The Enterprise’s customer service representative. Reach her at 252-478-3651 and email@example.com.