Pass (on) the mustard, please. September 29, 2009Posted by ourfriendben in homesteading, wit and wisdom.
Tags: cold remedies, home remedies, mustard plasters, old-time remedies
Silence Dogood here. I was recently reading about old-time remedies, and of course I came upon the infamous mustard plaster. Victorians apparently loved mustard plasters, which, as the name implies, is a mixture of mustard and flour stirred into a paste and then (as the name does not imply) smeared over your chest.
Say what?!! Apparently, the heat from the mustard was supposed to break up congestion in the lungs. Basically, this was the Victorian go-to remedy for the common cold and cough.
But as I see it, there were two serious drawbacks. First, who would want to smell like a giant hot dog? It’s bad enough being sick without that. And second, if someone inadvertently put in too much mustard, the mustard plaster could end up blistering the skin. Then you’d have a cold, a cough, and blisters on your chest. Not a pretty picture!
Maybe the Victorians were on to something about applying heat to relieve chest congestion, though. Next time I have a cold and cough, I just might try it—but with a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel. Hold the mustard, please!
‘Til next time,