To cure diphtheria – “A pinch of gunpowder, washed down with a glass of warm water or sour milk, was regarded as a sure cure for diphtheria in the Ozark country, long before we ever heard of vaccines or antitoxin.” ~Randolph OMF 94

“A good cure for diphtheria years ago was to take a little gunpowder in a glass of sour milk.” ~Parler FBA II 2069

Used for an itch – “Others treat itch with a paste made of gunpowder and wood ashes mixed with sweet cream, applied at frequent intervals.” ~Randolph OMF 109

With lice for jaundice – “A cure for yellow jaundice is 1 teaspoon of gunpowder and three head lice. Swallow quickly.” ~Parler FBA III 2584

Salve for warts – “Make a salve from gun powder and hogs lard to make warts disappear.” ~Parler FBA III 3525


Parler, Mary Celestia Folk Beliefs from Arkansas (FBA)

Randolph, Vance Ozark Magic and Folklore (OMF)