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Flashback Friday: Favorite Ways to Ease the Pain of a Toothache

June 14, 2013

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Have a toothache? We would suggest that you go to the dentist, but to help pass the time while you wait for your appointment, consider this (not-so-practical) advice from 1991’s The Best of The Old Farmer’s Almanac compilation book. 

Toothache Remedies to be Taken with a Grain of Salt


The Simple but Disgusting Methods

  • Eat grasshopper eggs.
  • Place fresh cow manure on the side of the face where the ache occurs.
  • Hold a live frog against the aching cheek.
  • Apply a crushed ladybug to the aching tooth.
  • Never wash on a Tuesday.

The Weird and Complicated Methods

  • Take the tooth of a murdered man or, better still, an executed criminal and apply it to the aching tooth in a graveyard at midnight under a full Moon.
  • On Good Friday, comb your hair and collect the hair that falls out. Burn it and inhale the fumes.
  • Pick your teeth with the nail of the middle toe of an owl.

Better to Have the Toothache

  • Eat the eyes of a vulture.
  • Bite off the head of a live mouse, put it in a bag, and suspend it from your neck. The ribbon or thread must not have a knot in it.
  • Press the finger of a corpse against the aching tooth.
  • If all else fails, an ancient Chinese physician recommended a pill of arsenic, which the patient should “put close to aching tooth, then sleep. Cure certain.” And final. 

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Ginger Vaughan has worked for The Old Farmer's Almanac for over a decade and, every spring, thinks about starting a garden. When she isn't enjoying the outdoors (and pondering just where to plant that garden), she can often be found in the kitchen testing out new recipes. She lives in a Pacific Northwest forest on the Puget Sound with Thor and Olive, two English bulldogs who would like to taste test her cooking creations far more often than they are allowed. 


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