Snuff & Honey Poultice

by Raoul
(Old South)

My grandmother was considered to be a "healer" back in the days when rural medical care was not readily available. She, her mother, and grandmother cared for the sick during the flu pandemic of 1918, delivered babies, set fractures, and generally "cured man or beast" on a regular basis.

She often used a poultice of snuff (powdered tobacco) mixed with honey to treat bee stings, boils, carbuncles, etc. The thick paste was applied directly to the skin and covered with a gauze bandage. The snuff acted as a drawing agent while the honey was the binding vehicle.

Honey has both antiseptic and antimicrobial properties and is still used in the treatment of diabetic skin ulcers, so it would seem to have been a good choice for this poultice.

Even with all of the anti-tobacco sentiment these days, snuff is still readily available.

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