By Jan Mills
I am becoming my grandmother. For weeks, I have been fighting bronchitis (two rounds of antibiotics, one with steroids, an injection and it still remains). The cough sounds like something out of Monster Theater and hits even the toes.
My grandmother, Narcissa Murray, did elixir and sold it. I have a flyer with his photo and letters of testimonies about his wonderful healing powers, from lumbago to anything that afflicts the person at that time.
My sister and I are the only surviving brothers of eight children. She is the youngest of Dad's first wife and I am the oldest of the second. After hearing my horrible cough in recent weeks, she called last night with a recipe for a cough syrup that my older brother had given her (died in 2015 at 90 years of age). I have to wonder if this recipe was given to him by Dad because Dad had a remedy for everything under the sun. I could count on one hand the number of times I went to the doctor while growing up and I had a finger or two left over.
There were always many Watkins products in the house. There was something for burns, chest pads, black barrel syrup when "cleaning" was needed, and that horrible kerosene and sugar group remedy. For a sore throat, you put a warm sock around your throat and sleep in it (it is preferred to use it previously) and gargle with Alka-Seltzer in warm water.
I remember when my brother, Keith, fell off an apple tree one summer and twisted his arm. Dad made a nest compress and dobbers vinegar and put it on his arm to reduce swelling. The arm was fine.
Camphophenique was better for bruises, cuts and scratches. Keith had his bike on the porch on a Sunday afternoon (I can't believe Dad would let him do that) when he made a miscalculation on the edge of that old raised porch. While the bicycle and Keith were rolling along the edge of a bush, Keith said: "Get the camphophenique." I could see the approaching pain.
So I made the cough syrup and it works! The ingredients are ½ C of vinegar, ½ C of water, 1 T. of honey, 4 T. of lemon juice, 1 teaspoon. Texas Pete. I boiled it, let it cool and poured it into a jar. Take 1 T. four or five times a day and before bedtime. No copayment is needed.
Jan Mills is the customer service representative of The Enterprise. Contact her at 252-478-3651 and [email protected]