Care of the feet was important to our ancestors and they knew how to create a herb ointment to cure sores.
The care of the feet
People in this locality started to wear boots at eleven or twelve years old. Children at present do not go barefoot all the year round, they only go barefoot from the first of April to the end of September, but people long ago used to go barefoot all the year round with the frost and snow on the ground in Winter.
The water used for washing the feet or any dirty water should not be thrown out at night and if you have to throw it out it should be thrown out easily. While you are throwing it out these are the words you should day “cuga, cuga, an uisce salac.”
You should always have spring water in the house at night also the old proverb is “do not throw out the dirty water until the clean comes in.”
There was a woman one time in this locality and she forgot to bring in spring water so she went to bed and she heard a knock at the door so she got up and opened the door and here was a man standing out aside and he asked for a drink and she said she had no water in the house so he disappeared.
Clogs used to be worn in this locality long ago and still are.
Collected from Moneyduff NS, Dromahair by Maureen McSharry, Mullagh, Dromahair. Story told by Mrs Hugh McSharry (Age 48)
Long ago herbs were used for many cures both for people and cattle. In some places the herbs are still used.
There is a green herb like the fern but not as wild, out of this herb ointment can be made which is very good for a burn. Before making the ointment, fresh butter must be got and a lot of herbs. The herbs must be broken up small and boiled in the butter. When it is well boiled it is taken out and left to cool. When it is left some time it stiffens and is then green ointment.
This ointment has proved to be a very good healing ointment. The dandelion is used for a cough. The farbawn is used for swelling.
Collected from Scoil Uragh, Rossinver by Gretta Gallagher, Uragh.
Leitrim School’s folklore archive (1937 -1938) is available in Leitrim County Library and is the property of the Department of Irish Folklore UCD.