Local Cures

Certain local people have interited cures which were in­termittently handed down from male to female. One such cure was that of Hydrophobia or the bite of the mad dog. It was in the McGovern family for thousands of years. The late Phil John McGovern of Legnagrow used to grind his stuff on little querns. People from as far away as Russia were brought to him and were cured. Some were brought to him in iron or wooden crates because they were mad. They were often kept for six weeks. People say that this cure was passed on and that Louis Pasteur got this cure from Glan, and that was how pasteurisation was introduced. Some of the patients stayed and married in Glan.

Burns, Scalds, Eczema and Whittle.

A special ointment made from lard or unsalted butter mixed with certain herbs was applied to the affected parts. Soap or bread soda was applied immediately to burns or scalds to prevent blistering.


The old cure is still maintained. Give the patient “Punch” to bring out the spots. Nettle water was also given to the patient to drink.

Common Cold.

Drink “whey” sweetened with sugar. (Whey – Boil buttlermilk, strain and drink the water). Other cures; Black­currant “Punch” or warm milk with a drop of “Poteen”.


Put the sign of the cross on the eye with a widow’s wedding ring three times. Another cure – Point nirie gooseberries thorns at the eye.


The cure for this is to tie a thread around the injured part “by the person who has the cure.”


The patient wearing a bridle is led around a pig’s sty three times saying certain prayers.

Whooping Cough.

Procure a lock of hair from a person who was born after the father’s death and sew it to the patient’s clothes.


Get a blacksnail before sunrise, rub the warts and hang it on a bush. As the snail decays the warts disappear. Another cure – is to wash the warts with water from a forge.

Another cure: This one is performed by the person who has the cure. He or she gets ten straw knots, cuts the sign of the cross on each wart with each knot. He or she throws away the tenth knot. The other nine are given to the patient to bury in the manure pit. As the knots decay the warts disappear.

The Heart.

This cure is performed with oatmeal. A patient takes oatmeal to the person “who has the cure.” The oatmeal is put into a glass and covered and given to the patient who has certain prayers to say while the person who is making the cure says certain prayers and walks around the patient three times. If the oatmeal sinks in the glass then the patient has a heart condition. The oatmeal is taken home and made into a cake with water and baked. The patient has to eat some of it and the remainder is burned. The patient has to make two other visits and during the last trip the person is cured if the glass remains full. If not, the patient makes nine other visits on Mondays and Thursdays.


Ringworm is cured by the seventh son or daughter who encircles each spot with his or her fingers and says certain prayers.


Certain herbs are chewed by the patient and then spat out on a dish. These are rubbed into the muscles of the arms, the back and the stomach while certain prayers are said. If the patient is not able to chew the herbs somebody else can do so. Mondays and Thursdays are classified as days for performing cures. These cures must be executed before sunset. Three visits are made in the case of Ringworm, Jaundice, Whittle and Mumps.


Cover the cut with a cobweb. Another cure – was the recitation of an old poem:

Longenus ainm an fhir

a bhain an taobh Chriost amach

Ba mhaith an ni a thainig as –

fuil agus fior – uisge.

In ainm an Athar agus an mhic

agus an Spioraid Naoimh. Amen.

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