What was in your medicine cabinet as a kid?

A post on THOW Face book got a response!

What did you have in your medicine cabinet when you were a kid?Not forgetting I wasn’t born till 1960, the things I remember still sound very primitive.
So I can’t wait to hear what you older people had when you were a kid.This is stuff I remember well:”Indian Brandy” My Mom swore by that stuff!
I would see her open the bottle and take a swig, she would do this for maybe one or two days then not at all for what seemed like ages, now I realise it was probably 3 weeks!

Because looking back, if us kids dared mention a stomach ache, out came the little brown bottle and a spoon. yuk

But there was a lot of things we don’t see at all now?

If you had wind and needed to burp?
In Nan’s house it was a spoon of bi-carbonate of soda mixed with water.
But in our house, Mom being a bit more modern, we had a tin of Andrews (do they still sell that?)

We also had to endure the Cod liver oil but not in tablet form .. oh no! ours came on a spoon … not nice!

We gargled with salt water when we had a sore throat, and warts were treated with a rub from Moms wedding ring.

And that red/ orange stuff they put on your cuts?
I can’t think what it was called but it didn’t hurt like the iodine did.
The Iodine was pure torture and child cruelty!
I read that this was mainly because the stuff sold for home use had an alcohol base.
(Doctors I think use a water-based iodine as an antiseptic?)

But do you remember the bottle? It used to have a skull and crossbones on the label along with the word POISON in capital letters.
Enough for any kid to know ..THAT WAS NOT GOOD!

And then there was castor oil and milk of magnesia, what on earth were those for?

And although I never remember ever having any, I do know that we had codeine long before it was restricted to prescription only.

But my favourite then, (and still is now) because I truly love the taste: “Beechams powders”
In that cute little wrap of paper (And still the same now) I always put the smallest amount of water with it so I can get the ‘real’ taste, and I always lick the glass after. mmmmm

A lot of things have changed drastically, even as early as 60’s and not just in our medicine cabinet either.
what about all those kids that had to walk around with patches taped to their glasses to correct a lazy eye … felt really sorry for them I did….. But that is another subject. 🙂

I want to hear what you had in your medicine cabinet?
But even better:
What home made medicinal concoction were you subject to, and were some of those a Black Country recipe do you think?

  • Tracy Bishop my mum used to give us goose oil and hens fat, i can still smell it now, a big jar of sick, none of us complained about being ill

    Catherine Maddox I remember all those, but I particularly remember Sloanes liniment that my Dad used to rub on our legs and melrose which was green that was for our chapped hands in the winter. Hot olive oil for our earache!
    Terry Allen Castor Oil made you ‘go’, Milk of Magnesia was supposed to have the opposite effect. I remember Double E powders, oil of cloves for toothache and camphor oil (or camphorile!) for rubbing on your chest if you’d got a snotty cold – mom rubbed a bit on your nose and your eyes streamed! Remember my grandfather once taking a Bob Martins conditioning powder (for dogs) because he thought it was a Beechams powder!

    The History Of Wednesbury I have heard about that Tracy, wasn’t it for consumption?

    Carol Ann Barker i remember my dad having dog oil dunno what he used that for, and tooth tincture when i had toothache, camphorated oil or rubbing oils i think it was also called, and a yellow powder called boric acid powder (or as my dad pronounced it ‘ brassic powder’ ) he used to tell me to dab it on my spots or cold sores to dry them up … all the bottles used to be brown with ridges down them

    The History Of Wednesbury Yes! Catherine, only a week ago when I was home, My youngest son ‘Blue’ had earache and I told him to do that! (He thought i was trying to kill him off)

    The History Of Wednesbury Wow Terry! Castor oil to make you go and Milk of Magnesia to stop you going! Brilliant if you ask me … but did they work?

    The History Of Wednesbury Oooh I just remembered one from my Nan …. for a sore throat, a dollop of Vicks vapour rub in your mouth! You had to let it trickle down your throat without swallowing! …. That sounds bad now I think about it?

    Terry Allen My grandfather was a floor moulder at Platts in Darlaston and suffered quite a bad burn to his leg. His mother put goose fat on it (standard treatment apparently) but forgot she’d salted it…..I think he said ‘Ouch’…..
  • David Denton A large bottle of green “hoss liniment”, it stank but it certainly cured your aches and pains, Dad used to rub it on my legs before I played football.Yellow Basilican ointment, used for any cuts and abrasions. A box of sulphur powder, no idea what that was used for.

    Lynne Denton Irion Kaolin and morphine. Was it really morphine? Surely not but a dose of that and your gastric problems were gone in a wink.

    Julie Abbotts My mom used to give us cod liver oil and malt. It was in a jar and was similar consistency to maybe chocolate spread. She said it was good for us! Lol

    Wendy Smith I remember cod liver oil and malt, sticky brown stuff on a spoon, loved it!

    Lynne Denton Irion I loved cod liver oil and malt. Tried it as an adult and gagged LOL

    Tracy Bishop yes it was, but my mums mum used to make it up, and my mum used to use it for anything yuk, it was dissgusting

    Michele Robinson Indian brandy x

    Ann Garrity TCP my nan used it for all ailments, gargle for sore throat my dad told us it stood for Tom Cat Piddle (cos that’s what it smelt like)

    The History Of Wednesbury OMG yeah Lynne! I forgot about the Kaoline & Morphine … although we called it Kayline & morphin!

    The History Of Wednesbury My nan always recommended a glass of Guinness too …. “get some iron into your blood” she used to say. …. And I have always followed my Nan’s advice!

    Ann Garrity Fennings little healers

    Carol Cutler Ne Rogers Gargle with tcp for sore throats, germoline ointment for cuts, butter to bring a bruise out if you had a fall. Some green liquid in a tiny bottle for toothache, my dad swore by it but cant remember its name. I remember my dad and grandad having some ointment and poltices? When they had pneumonia.cod liver oil on a spoon.gargle with salt water for sore throats. Vic rubbed on your back and chest for a cold. An old remedy for drawing out poison is vaseline put on open cut cover it overnight and draws poison to surface, used for eg if a finger was going what they used to say bad ways. Oh and my favourite lucozade loved the wrapper, used to undo it and look through it, oh happy days !

    Jean Whitehouse junior aspirin… loved em!

    Ann Garrity Dequadine lozenges, Ellimans Horse Liniment, Anglers (junior aspirin) butter rolled in sugar for a sore throat, calamine lotion, fill a bottle with steam and put it over a boil to draw it out!!! Bicarbonate of soda mixed to a paste to put on a sting

    The History Of Wednesbury Lucozade in the crinkly orange wrapper! Oh my word, the memories. When Lucozade was only ever seen on the hospital bedside .. beside the bowl of grapes! Why aren’t things as simple now? I believed in all those crazy remedies and I always felt better? (placebo affect maybe?) … I don’t trust a diagnosis off my local GP anymore, They haven’t got a clue! … hence the name ‘practicing physician’ …. they are still practicing!

    The History Of Wednesbury Ooooh the junior aspirin ‘Orange flavour’ … the best ever! We wanted to be poorly so we could have one!

    Steve Nightingale Scotts Emulsion, Deqadine throat lozenges,Syrup of Figs,

    Ann Mobley Golden eye ointment .

    The History Of Wednesbury Ohh … >>DISGUSTING ALERT! >> Do you remember those black head tools that came out in the early 70’s? Ann, its your fault I remembered those, talking about drawing out a boil! … ooh I feel ill now!

    Ann Mobley Andrews liver salts nothing else in our house !!!!

    The History Of Wednesbury I wonder why they call it Liver salts?

    Susan Chance Ashton and parsons powders for babies.

    Heather Donaldson Witch hazel for bruises. I still have some today in my first aid box But does anybody remember Zambuk?? A little tin of menthylated green goo to put on cuts! Mum used to smear it on plasters. It’s also made me remember “Smith’s Cremola”. Not medicinal as such, but it was a white skin softening agent that came in a jar. It had a really distinctive smell like nothing else. My Mum used to use it as hand cream and she always smelled of it when she tucked us in as babbies

    Ann Garrity My grandad used to clean his teeth with soot n salt mixed together, and if you had a splinter that you couldn’t gouge out you put a bit of bacon fat on it and covered it up and it would draw it out,.

    Barbara Wearing we hadn’t got a medicine cabinet.I used to clean my teeth with soot, still got me own teeth. I remember The jar malt, still to this day I don’t know wether I liked it or not, it had such a funny taste.

    Karen Melia Hubble Germaline , I have to stock up when in Wednesbury , don’t sell it here

    The History Of Wednesbury Ann, so did my Mom and she had the most perfect teeth with not one filling! …. but I don’t know about the bacon lol

    Jayne Osbourn Indian Brandy for tummy ache, lucozade whe nI was poorly, Andrews liver salts for….. pretty much everything to do with your stomach, or for refreshment on a hot day lol! Angers junior aspirin (aspirin is banned for kids now!), kaolin and morphine… I so loved this, maybe because of the morphine?!? x

    The History Of Wednesbury Germaline is the best cream for cleansing your face! But only once a month though (A little tip from THOW)

    Karen Melia Hubble Really ??!!!

    The History Of Wednesbury You can’t get Junior aspirin now? … Well that is stupid because there really was hardly any aspirin in it, it just made us feel better!

    Jayne Osbourn Kids aren’t allowed to have aspirin now… they’ve found out it’s harmful in kids,and I had tons of it!!! lol!

    The History Of Wednesbury Yep Karen REALLY! It draws out all those little mucky filled pores, leave it on for about 10 mins, then gently scrape it off (when i say scrape, use your nails … it exfoliates too if you do this) When you wash it off, just look at the glow of your skin … it is amazing!

    Sue Whitehouse How about Indian Cereate and Fennings Fever Cure??

    The History Of Wednesbury Sue, I want to pretend i know everything … but sometimes I just have to say: “Whaaaaaa?” Honestly I have never heard of them … what were they?

    Alison Powell Lyons Kaoline and morphine, TCP and when we had a cough Nan used to mix together butter and sugar and give us a table spoon full, and not forgetting vicks to rub on your chest.

    The History Of Wednesbury By the way Barbara, we didn’t have a medicine cabinet either, ..all our stuff was kept under the sink (With the bleach etc) So this post started as: “What did you keep under your sink” But ….. I had mad ideas of people saying …. What? .. you didn’t have a medicine cabinet? lol

    Karen Melia Hubble It must stink the house out, having said that it has just brought back a child hood memory at my Gran’s house it always smelt of Germoline lol xx

    The History Of Wednesbury I like the smell though …. But I do!

    Karen Melia Hubble ha ha me too, really , as i go and have a sniff of the tube !!! (no not really )

    The History Of Wednesbury Junky! lol

    Karen Melia Hubble HA ha , Now you don’t know me at all , im the goodie of the family

    The History Of Wednesbury I’m only pulling ya plonker! …. As I watch you sniff the Gemoline!

    Lynne Denton Irion I have TCP in my home, triple bagged and it till smells. I only keep it as a ‘memory smell’. OK I’m weird, I never said I wasn’t. What’s your point? LOL

    Pete Hicken The thick malt extract that came in a big brown jar with a green label and fed to us on a spoon was called Virol. Made my tongue stick to the top of my mouth.

    Pete Hicken ps, I liked the smell of Beechams powders too. Cinnamon, which is supposed to have antiseptic healing properties.

    Mark Bowen Gripe water! We used to use it for “trapped wind”. It tasted fantastic and I craved it as a kid. To the extent that I faked tummy ache to get it. Sadly, I cried wolf too often and was denied it when I genuinely had stomach cramps. I can still smell and taste the stuff. Years later, I discovered that it was about 4% alcohol.

    Jilly Price I remember Fennings Fever Cure, YUK it was evil stuff. Looked just like water in the bottle but the tatste was indescribable. Malt & Cod Liver Oil which i loved! I remember Indian Brandy as well. Happy Days!

    Wayne Bedford I remember junior aspirin a small orange tablet which you could chew or dissolve in water either way they tasted lovely and my mom would give me distalgesic tablets if i had a headache or football injury. My grandparents for their aches and pains applied sloans lotion for pulled muscles and bad backs and a bella donna plaster. Salt water for sore throats or an old sweaty sock wrapped around your neck ? The kids today eh?

    Catherine Maddox Good old Vick! Pulmo Bailey I think it was called was disgusting!

    Estelle Mzz Calamine for all those spots..a kid got something and you were sent to get it all together. Imagine that now.

    Estelle Mzz Venos cough mixture and olive oil warmed on spoon over candle and poured in your ear. Boracic powder for cold sores. Looked like a kid had yellow kayleye all over the face. Rosehip syrup.

    Richard Morris You forgot the germalene also calamine lotion and horse linament very painful if applied to the wrong areas

    Arthur Roberts Bread poultice, goose fat, warts rubbed with half a potato which was buried at the top of the garden, cold tea for sore eyes and what was that purple stuff they put on everything at the clinic. Speaking of clinics, we collected from there orange juice and malt that was like treacle to build us kids up in the post war years.

    Sharon Highfield Hartill I was also given the daily teaspoon of malt was so nice,also remember Owbridges cough medicine(think that’s the correct spelling) loved that too,Its a wonder I didn’t turn out a druggy lol.

    Sharon Highfield Hartill Vinegar and brown paper many a time on the knee.

    Sharon Highfield Hartill Buttercup syrup,hated the stuff.

    Wendy Bennington Virol, lovely stuff, it was like liquid toffee (or that’s what we were told it was,lol) we had it as an extra vitamin for the winter. Permangenate of potash, a few grains in water turned purple and we gargled it when we had sore throats.

    Sharon Highfield Hartill Good old beechams powders…

    Hilda Ceney Fennings Fever Cure Loved It very bitter..

    Carol Jardine Olive Oil and Raspberry Vinegar…….Oh, the joy of trying to get the two to mix when I shock the bottle. It was lovely to look at with the two colours one on top of the other.

    Carol Jardine Anyone remember the men that would come around trying to sell the householder a first aid kit? It was a metal tin with just a few rolls of sticky tape and bandages and a stick that you would put over cuts. Bet it cost a fortune in those days.

    Jane Robinson liquid parafin for a good clear out.

    Valerie Lewis Liquafruita the most vile cough mixture you ever tasted, Thermagene which was put on chest and back of adults when they had pleurisy and chest infections.I loved Cod Liver Oil and Malt which you can still buy.

    Jean Taylor Tiny, tiny tablets, called little healers. Not sure what they were for, but I can remember taking them at some time. Bitter aloes to stop me biting my nails.

    Ray Fletcher We had a black tar looking stuff they used to call drawing ointment we used if we had a deep splinter

    The History Of Wednesbury Oh I just haven’t lived have I? Most of those sound blooming awful!
    So … What did you have in YOUR medicine cabinet as a kid?

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