Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Preventing winter ailments in our childhood

I remember having to take a large spoonful of cod liver oil, on its own, nothing added or anything given afterwards to take away the dreadful taste. I would fight against it but never won!

Another once or twice a winter ingredient, we had for years, was a very large spoonful of "Brimstone and Treacle' (or in our case, golden syrup instead of the treacle). It had a strong paste like consistency and taste, was quite yellow and the syrup was needed not only to bind it but help it go down. An interesting article on sulphur can be found here.

On very cold days, before heading off to school, we were given a Victory V lozenga, something I still love to this day but do wish it was in a better shape to help with the sucking. I don't think it did anything to help but was enjoyable nonetheless.

On occasions, we were given an iodine tablet to suck, it was horrible and stained your tongue for hours.

I am sure there must have been more things but can't remember. Do you remember being given anything to ward off winter ills?

36 comments:

  1. Yes, we had the cod liver oil and Victory Vs, which I hated (still do!). Never heard of the brimstone & treacle or iodine tablets though...thankfully! At the first sign of a sniffle we had liberal amounts of Vicks spread on our chests before bed, and had to sit over a bowl of hot water with a spoonful of the Vicks in and a towel over our head during the day. Hated that too, it made your eyes stream.

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    1. Vick on our feet as well when we had a cold.

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    2. Vick on feet is positively odd!

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    3. The belief was that your cold would be drawn out through your feet!

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  2. I remember the cod liver oil but we had ours with the concentrated orange juice given out by the local clinic after the war. We were regularly dosed with Syrup of Figs too for an entirely different reason. Vic was used whenever we had the sniffles. Brimstone and Treacle sounds foul.

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    1. I loved syrup of figs but obviously you couldn’t have too much!

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  3. Oh my goodness! I remember the cod liver oil but in malt form! Just as disgusting - but it wasn't at home, it was at boarding school. And it didn't ward off anything as the place was so damned cold we were always ill with something or other - and let's not mention the chilblains. Fun days.

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    1. Ah chilblains. My mates suffered with those.

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  4. Blackberry vinegar in hot water....oh it was disgusting...and I loathe blackberries to this day.
    Hugs-x-

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  5. We had a spoon of codliver oil and malt every morning. We loved it as it was like toffee. We never mentioned constipation or we were given ex-lax which I hated. I'm sure that's why I don't like dark chocolate even now.

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    1. Probably. Our walking buddy also loved cod liver oil with malt extract.

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  6. Replies
    1. Hadn’t heard about that. An interesting article about it here
      https://stmargarets.london/archives/2016/11/virol-the-food-for-health.html

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  7. Really all I can remember is cough syrup, baby aspirin and a multivitamin that was given to those who worked in the far north of Canada for the company my Dad worked for.

    God bless.

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  8. I remember the cod liver oil and copious amounts of vicks lathered on our chests.

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  9. When I am taking to younger people about life in the 50s, I always tell them I was a codliver oil and orage juice baby born in 1950. My father just held our nose and down they went-no fuss. Chilblains were the blight of my life in childhood-that weird hot/cold sensation with the stinging. We used to stroke a stick of something on them to try and soothe them. There was then a craze for rosehip syrup which must have ruined many teeth! The overiding memory of my childhood is being cold!!

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    1. I don’t remember suffering from those though I believe my mum did.

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  10. Cod liver oil and syrup of figs here too. We were also given the ' cabbage water' to drink after the cabbage had been cooked though I have no idea why.Brewer's yeast tablets featured at some point too, and Vick was rubbed on our chests and smeared on tissues to put inside our pillow cases. I also remember Panadol elixir when I had one of my numerous bouts of tonsillitis.

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    1. I have heard about cabbage water drinks but wasn’t sure why.

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  11. I loved the concentrated orange juice that we had in the early 50s always mixed with sugar and hot water and remember cod liver oil which I didn't mind. We had something called Parishes food which I think was some sort of iron flavoured liquid to boost us up and delicious cough syrup called Galloways I think - I could happily drink it all day!

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    1. Yes it was to increase appetite and give an iron boost. A similar product is available today but only for pigeons called Parrishes Food.

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  12. A hot breakfast which in my family was a must from Sept. to April. I longed to have cold cereal or toast and jelly/jam like many of my friends but "a hot breakfast keeps you strong" No Vicks but camphorated oil on your chest at the first sign of a stuffy nose and on the soles of our feet with white cotton socks worn to bed. Gargling with warm salt water if it was even suspected you had or would get a sore throat. Sassafras tea(1 small cup hot with sugar) as a tonic in spring along with the first greens.
    It was all non-negotiable.

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    1. No hot breakfasts for us except porridge every now and then.

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  13. Cod liver oil, Maltlivol syrup, and mustard plasters on the chest.

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  14. Warm camphorated oil on your chest and a warm flannel rag pinned to the inside of pajama top would keep you warm and medicated all night.
    And, I still gargle with warm salt water for sore throat. It still works!

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    1. Yes, we use salt water for all kinds of things.

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  15. I remember the cod liver oil, vicks on the chest and the concentrated orange juice and we had a spoonful of malt extract every day (loved it)!! We also got to have a mug of hot ribena at bedtime.

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    1. Obviously many people had and enjoyed malt extract.

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  16. I was given Radio M alt or Virol. I had goose fat rubbed into my chest. If the road was being tarmaced I was rushed off to stand an inhale the fumes of the hot tar. Another thing I remember was some sort of impregnated wadding being strapped on my chest but all these weird things left me feeling cherished.

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    1. Not heard about tarmac but used to stand and inhale the lovely smell.

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  17. We had three salt shakers on the table - salt, pepper & garlic. Mom sprinkled a little garlic powder on everything we ate, even the babies got it in their mashed potatoes. When we took in foster kids, they always came with runny noses & rashes but she fed them garlic powder in their food & everything cleared up in a very short time. We also got cod liver oil, milk with every meal & lots of stewed fruit!! I don't ever remember going to the hospital or doctor for anything but stitches. And I'm also a kid of the 50s.

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    1. Very interesting about the garlic, thanks for that.

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