This section is from the book "Ancient Legends, Mystic Charms, And Superstitions Of Ireland", by Jane Francesca Wilde. Also available from Amazon: Ancient Legends, Mystic Charms, And Superstitions Of Ireland.
Take a hank of grey yarn, a lock of the patient's hair, some parings of his nails, and bury them deep in the earth, repeating, in Irish, as a burial service, " Let the great sickness lie there for ever. By the power of Mary and the soul of Paul, let the great sickness lie buried in the clay, and never more rise out of the ground. Amen."
If the patient, on awaking from sleep, calls out the name of the person who uttered these words, his recovery is certain.
If a person crosses over the patient while he is in the fit, or stands between him and the fire, then the sickness will cleave to him and depart from the other that was afflicted.
A griddle cake made of meal, to be given, not bought or made ; but a cake given of love or of charity, not for begging; a cake given freely, with a prayer and a blessing ; and from the breakfast of a man and his wife who had the same name before marriage ; this is the cure.
The touch of a piebald horse. Even a piebald horse pawing before the door helps the cure.
The child to be passed seven times under and over an ass, while a red string is tied on the throat of the patient.
Nine hairs from the tail of a black cat, chopped up and soaked in water, which is then swallowed, and the cough will be relieved.
" One day when out snipe shooting," a gentleman writes,
" I saw a horrid-looking insect staring up at me. I called to a man close by, and asked him the name of it He told one it was called the Thordall, and was reckoned a great cure for the chin-cough ; for if any one got it safe in a bottle and kept it prisoner till it died, the disease would go away from the patient. It was just the time to try the cure, for my child was laid up with the epidemic. So I bottled my friend and daily examined the state of his health. It lasted for a fortnight, and at the end of that time the child had quite recovered, and the horrible-looking insect creature lay dead.
The operator makes passes, like the mesmerist, over the member affected by the rheumatic pain, never touching the part, but moving his hand slowly over it at some distance, while he mutters a form of words in a low voice.
On meeting a funeral, take some of the clay from under the feet of the men who bear the coffin and apply it to the wart, wishing strongly at the same time that it may disappear ; and so it will be.
Rub the part affected with unsalted butter, and make the sign of the cross seven times over the place.
A decoction of the flowers of daisies boiled down is an excellent wash, to be used constantly.
Point a gooseberry-thorn at it nine times, saying, " Away, away, away 1 " and the stye will vanish presently and disappear.