Granny Women: healing and magic


Irish woman at her spinning wheel, c. 1900

Since those early times people have learned in the same traditional and instinctive ways. The secrets and wisdom of a Granny Woman was passed down orally to her granddaughter who was taught to be aware of what messages nature sends.

Fin dall’antichità le donne anziane istruirono le nipoti sull’importanza dei messaggi della natura e tramandarono la loro saggezza oralmente.

When one saw an animal with an injury rub the wound against moss growing on trees in the forests, instinct told the observer that some healing properties were in the moss. Thus moss became a source for healing – it has antiseptic properties. Moss was used for bandages on wounds. Eventually moss was found to be beneficial in the diet of folks, it was also used for preserving foods.

Notarono che quando un animale era ferito si strofinava sul muschio che cresceva sugli alberi. Quindi, iniziarono ad usarlo nelle fasciature e a inserirlo nella dieta. Infatti il muschio ha proprietà antisettiche.

Granny Women knew that crushed garlic rubbed on a strip of moss and placed on a wound was a protective as well as a healing bandage. It worked in ancient times, it works now in the same way. Garlic is one of nature’s super food and healing products. Crushed garlic is very beneficial for fungus issues, it is a natural anti-fungal source.

L’aglio pestato sul muschio e posto sulla ferita aveva proprietà benefiche, in particolare antibatteriche e antimicotiche.

Willow bark has been used for healing since ancient times. Willow bark is a natural immune boosting source. Its healing properties are also a health benefit as an analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, fever reducer, and anti-oxidant. Now, it is obvious the ancient ones did not have these names of the beneficial properties, but they did see sick or hurt animals eating the bark and watched the animal for days to see what the results were.

Anche la corteccia di salice era usata nell’antichità come rimedio naturale per rafforzare il sistema immunitario, come analgesico, antinfiammatorio, antisettico e per ridurre la febbre.

Herbs we use today just for flavoring foods were first found in nature by our ancestors and used for healing. Many healing methods the ancient folks learned are still helpful and in use today.

Clay was used for treatment of diseases. It has been known for ages that Earth is the source of life. Clay is known to draw poisons out of the skin, such as poisons from insect bites and poisonous plants. Still today, clay is used for deep cleansing and detoxifying the skin. Clay has been used for healing since prehistoric times.

L’argilla fu utilizzata al fine di preservare il benessere della pelle: assorbiva il veleno causato dalle punture d’insetti o piante velenose. Ancora oggi si usa per purificare e disintossicare la pelle del viso. Era raccolta in luoghi sacri, scelti dai Druidi.

Potatoes have been used since early times to take the redness and pain out of minor burns. A slice of raw potato was immediately placed on a burn. Honey was also a quick first aid for burns, either spread directly on the burn or on a linen bandage and applied. The bandage was changed every few hours.

Le patate ed il miele erano utilizzati per lenire le scottature: le prime venivano applicate direttamente sulla ferita, il miele si metteva sopra  bende di lino.

It was believed that eating carrots, when boiled down soft enough to mash, would purify the blood. Today we know carrots are rich in vitamin A and beta-carotene, an antioxidant. Studies in the medical field have shown that carrot juice extract kills leukemia cells, which is cancer of the blood.

Si credeva che mangiare carote bollite, purificasse il sangue. Oggi sappiamo che le carote sono ricche di vitamina A e beta-carotene, un antiossidante. Inoltre, studi medici dimostrano che il succo di carota uccide le cellule della leucemia, il cancro del sangue.

Mint has always been helpful for upset stomachs. The ancients believed that mint tied to the wrist would ward off stomach disease and infection.

La menta era il rimedio che gli antichi utilizzavano contro le infezioni e i problemi dello stomaco.

The bed of a sick person should be aligned north to south.

Il letto di una persona malata doveva essere allineato da nord a sud. La febbre sarebbe scesa più facilmente.

When Christianity became more prominent the Irish embraced it – however, they still retained their unshakable faith in the Druid charms. They are still used today by descendants of village peasants.

Nonostante l’avvento del Cristianesimo la gente nei villaggi, continuò a prestare fede agli incantesimi dei Druidi specie per favorire la guarigione di una persona ammalata.

Argue if you must, but the Irish who believe in them will not let it shake their faith in the mystic formulas. To laugh at them would surely cause an evil fate to fall upon the doubter.

Ridere di queste formule, avrebbe portato una grande dose di sfortuna all’incauto di turno.

Charms must be said with fervent faith or the mystic words will not work. The charms have the best effect when said on Tuesday or on Thursday while fasting and before sunrise.

Per funzionare dovevano essere recitati con grande fervore il martedì e il giovedì, durante il tramonto e prima dell’alba. Eccone alcuni:

  • Charm for Falling Sickness: By the wood of the Cross, by the Man that overcame death, be thou healed.” The words are to be said in the left ear while the fit is on the patient, and he is to be signed three times with the sign of the Cross, in the name of God and the blessed Lord, when by virtue of the charm he will be cured.
  • Charm for a Sprain: As St Agnes went over the moor to the mountain of Moses, she fell with her foot turned. But sinew to sinew, and bone to bone, God makes all right to him who has faith; and be thou healed, in Jesus name. Amen
  • Charm for a wound that Bleeds: “A child was baptized in the river Jordan; and the water was dark and muddy, but the child was pure and beautiful.” Say these words over the wound, placing the finger on the spot where the blood flows, adding: “In the name of God and of the Lord Christ, let the blood be stanched.” And if the patient have faith, so it will be.
  • Cure for Weakness: Drink water from a river that forms a boundary of three properties for nine Sunday morning, before sunrise, fasting, and before anyone has crossed the stream. This must be done in silence, without speaking to anyone. After this has been done repeat nine Aves and the Credo.
  • Cure for Cramp and Deafness: An eel’s skin tied round the knee alleviates pain, and for deafness nothing is esteemed better than constant anointing with the oil of eels, used perfectly fresh.
  • Cure for Inflammation: Nine handfuls of mountain moss, dried on a pan to powder. Nine pinches of it, and nine pinches of ashes from the hearth, to be mixed in whey and taken every Tuesday and Thursday.

    Phyllis Doyle Burns

    Source: here

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