As a child growing up, my mother used turpentine as a remedy for just about every ailment you could imagine. She would give it to me in a teaspoon with sugar. Once she put some on a rag and wrapped it around my neck believing she had fixed me once again. But not so fast--my neck started burning. After a few agonizing minutes of pacing back and forth, I finally interrupted mama's conversation with a neighbor. "Go and sit down," she said, believing I was not appreciative of her makeshift handiwork. Finally, I couldn't take the pain any longer and I ripped the rag from my neck. Mama looked at my neck and her eyes sprang from their sockets. What did she see? My small fingers reached for my neck and brushed against the large welts that had been unleashed and spreading like a red hot wild fire. I naively patted at my neck thinking I could put the fire out. Mama now understood my dilemma and I didn't have to put the rag back on.
I am not sure if mama used the commercial grade turpentine you clean paint brushes with, or the pharmaceutical grade. However, my little turpentine story seems a bit watered down after a friend told me that her mother gave her kerosene and sugar.
Mama also put pine sol on my arms when I had bouts of eczema. However, when I had a brief bout of eczema during my first pregnancy, it made the situation worse. I would not suggest you try it.
I'd love to hear about your mothers’ and grandmas’ remedies. I smile at what I am about to say, "Those remedies that will do us no harm or kill us."