267: Water

Parler, Mary Celestia – Folk Beliefs from Arkansas (FBA)
Randolph, Vance – Ozark Magic and Folklore (OMF)
Wilson, Charles Morrow – Backwoods America (BA)

Under bed for night sweats – “For night sweats some hillfolk put a pan of water under the bed; I have known the wife of an M.D. to do this in her own home, without the doctor’s knowledge. May Stafford Hilburn says that ‘if the case was persistent we sprinkled black pepper in the water. Usually in three nights an improvement could be noticed, but in some cases it might take a week. This remedy seldom failed. In fact, I do not know of a case where it did fail.’” ~Randolph OMF 146

Bowls of water used to divine a girl’s future – “Here is another way of looking into a mountain maiden’s future: take three bowls, one containing clean water, one full of dirty water, one empty. Blindfold the girl, lead her into the room, and ask her to select one of the bowls. If she picks the clean water, she’ll be happily married; if she picks the dirty water, she will soon be a widow; if she picks the empty bowl, she’ll be an old maid.” ~Randolph OMF 177

Stream water cure for rheumatism – “Water dipped out of an open stream before sunrise on Ash Wednesday is a first-rate cure for rheumatism.” ~Wilson BA 52

“One way to cure rheumatism is to take a bath every morning in a flowing stream.” ~Parler FBA III 2947

Water under bed for chills – “Catch rain water in a pan and put it under your bed, and it will stop chills and fever.” ~Parler FBA II 1761

East flowing river for sunburn – “To treat sunburn bathe in a stream which flows toward the east.” ~Parler FBA III 3364

Water under bed for night sweats – “Each night before going to bed, place a pan of water under your bed and leave it there until you get up in the morning. If you are not entirely cured after the first nite, continue through three nites.” ~Parler FBA III 3370

Graveyard water for warts – “Go to the cemetery and get some creek water, place on wart and the wart will disappear in a matter of time.” ~Parler FBA III 3672

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