Try a Madstone

Credit: Courtesy of the National Museum of Health and Medicine, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, D.C.
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Have you ever heard of a mad stone? This home remedy was used for centuries to heal though it's not a common practice today.

A mad stone (sometimes called a 'bezoar stone') is used to draw poison out of bites and wounds. It works by absorbing the poison bit by bit, curing the bites by detoxifying them completely.

  • Mad stones can be found in the stomach or intestines of cud-chewing animals.
  • Depending on the animal, the stone may be more potent and valuable; for example, the stone of a brown deer is said to be inferior to that of a white deer.
  • Mad stones are not to be bought or sold; such interaction may negate their healing powers.

Naturally, the effectiveness of mad stones has long been in dispute. Can cosmic healing powers really reside in the intestine of a cow? There is only one way to know for sure. . .

Please Pass the Stone

Want to try a mad stone? The challenge is getting hold of one—since they can't be purchased for money. We advise traveling to the home of a stone's owner.

If you have experience with mad stones, please share your story or your stone in the box below. To learn more about mad stones, please see the 2010 edition of The Old Farmer's Almanac.

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Comments

I have one which has been in

By Granny cee

I have one which has been in my dads family for about four generations. He gave it to me to give to my granson when he gets older. I have never tried it. I am going to ask my dad more questions about whether he has seen or heard of this particular stone being used, and write it all down for my grandson. Will try it on a sting or bite next time one happens.

My Grandmother, the late

By Kenny Cook64

My Grandmother, the late Hazel Cook, talks briefly about Mad Stones in a journal she kept. She talks about them being used to "cure several illnesses, including mad dog bites." This was during the 1920s in Missouri. She didn't mention ever using it though.

Landmark,The,Sept 4, 1885

By Anon Grace

Landmark,The,Sept 4, 1885 Iredell Co NC: "A supposed mad dog gave a part of Davie and North Iredell a lively shaking up last Sunday and Monday. He is supposed to have hailed from the neighborhood of Cross Roads. He was very large and lean; a white dog with black ears. At Frank Frost's, in Davie, he bit a calf, at Patrick Cain's, a dog, at Gus Shaw's, two dogs and two lambs, and at Shields Marler's, a dog. He then crossed over into Iredell, bit a dog belonging to E E Smith, Jr., Wes. Leagan's dog, John Ellis's dog, and Alfred Gaither;s dog and two children, one of the children on the arm and the other in the face. At Mrs. Caroline Hayes's he bit a dog and two hogs. He tore LaFayette Revis's dog all up and bit a dog and four or five hogs for old man Jimmy Andrews. He accomplished all this Sunday and in part of Monday, and Monday afternoon was seen by the mail carrier lying in the public road between Sheriff Allison's house and Turnersburg. His carriyings on created a big excitement in the neighborhoods through which he passed, and though some persons followed him it was in a half-hearted way. Nobody really wanted to find him, and a great many people were actually afraid to leave their houses. Several of the dogs which were bitten by the stranger have since been killed by their owners. Mr Gaither carried his children to Rev. John Paris's mad-stone, but it would not "stick".

These made-stone tails

By Almanac Staff

These made-stone tails continue to surprise us. Thank you all for sharing them.

mad stonIt's crazy madstone,

By golammolla

mad stonIt's crazy madstone, this stone What is the 1st in a tin pot of water mean the water inside the stone at her, then she buda buda limited then the snake bites the tesata is going to win in this stone from us have a stone in the light to see the glossy black phone nam 08652029038

The "Celebrated St. Francis

By dibs8100

The "Celebrated St. Francis County Madstone," was owned by Mr. William Pittman of Ripley, Tennessee. The madstone, a calcified hairball from the stomach of a deer supposedly had the power to daw out toxins and fevers, was found in a St. Francis County indian mound. A madstone from a white deer was allegedly more effective than a brown deer madstone. To be effective, madstone had to be found; they could never be purchased or given if they were to work. The May 2, 1913, "Forrest City Times" reports that the five year old niece of Mrs.Maud Nance was badly bitten by a dog, Mr. H. Boulton saved the child from the dog but was also bitten. Mr. Pittman and his madstone were called for and after giving treatment to the dog bite victims, they were reported healed. In a story in a 1920 edition of the paper, the"Celebrated St. Francis Madstone" had been applied by Mr. Pittman but the victim died of hydrophobia nonetheless. Madstone reistant rabies?

I possess a Mad Stone, it was

By Daniel LeVan

I possess a Mad Stone, it was handed down by my father (Robert Lee LeVan), through his mother (Ethel Clanton LeVan), her father (Robert Lee Clanton)before her and his father (William Lawson Clanton) before him and his father (Rufus K Clanton)before him.
My grandmother was well known for the Clanton Mad Stone, many Doctors in the area referred her stone over their methods. It works great after all these years. I use it mainly for bee stings and spider bites.

I will have to try to get one

By Farmerboy

I will have to try to get one if i shoot a deer this year.

Hi, T: The thing about a mad

By Janice Stillman

Hi, T: The thing about a mad stone is that it is not supposed to be bought or sold. Doing so would negate its powers. So, what is a mad stone worth? It is priceless.
Best wishes—

Hey I seen your post and was

By T.Moeder

Hey I seen your post and was wondering what might a Madstone be worth?? My grandma has one, I belive the size of a golf ball,I know its a Madstone for sure and it has a journal of the people that it was used on and the dates. It was bought by my Grandpa at an auction several years back. He has passed now for 6 years and now my grandma is the owner. A person knows she has it and called today asking to buy it. do you know what it is worth??

I own a mad stone with

By John K

I own a mad stone with documentation and original instructions that my great, great, great grandfather aquired while working on a river boat in Tenn in 1900. It has not been used since the 40's, but before her death my grandmother clained she had seen it cure snake bites. It is dark brown, about 1.5 in by 1 in. by 1/4 in (cut on 4 of six sides) rough in texture and came in a pen nib box wrapped in linen. It does have the original instructions for use, a letter from my great grandmother describing the chain of custody and a news paper article from (I believe) 1953 describing the stone, its use and my grandmothers ownership of it.

HAVE ONE YOU WANT TO PASS

By Lynn Walters

HAVE ONE YOU WANT TO PASS ALONG ???
------------------------------------
REMEMBER PLEASE...THEY CANNOT BE SOLD....
EMAIL ME, WRITE ME CALL ME .WHATEVER YOU DECIDE..WILL COME SEE YOU TO PICK IT UP.

I would really like to know

By Lynn Walters

I would really like to know how comments under MY name got this far.They are true but NOT sent by me.

I have a Mad Stone The stone

By vmeek07

I have a Mad Stone
The stone I have has been passed down 3 generations. Mother told me stories of it being used for a snake bite on my uncle and also for a rabies bite on a great great uncle. It's about the size of a nickel wrapped in very old newspaper in a small round container.

We have a madstone. It was

By cncamp

We have a madstone. It was passed to me from my parents. My grandmother used the stone several times. The stone was broken sometime in the 1940s and she quit using it.

i have a madstone in my

By woodswalker

i have a madstone in my possession that my youngest son found in the woods. although i don't have any idea what species it came from i would assume a whitetailed deer as those are plentiful in the area. i've had the stone about 15 years and have never had opportunity (thankfully) to use it. it's a very nice example, smooth and greyish-white, very round. it looks like a small golf ball.

My friends , my name is

By corsario

My friends , my name is Henrique , I am from Europe and regarding your statement about “Mad Stone” if I had not have a “mad stone” in my hand and if I haven’t seen its “works” I also would not believe .
I never new what was the stone until a read this internet statement , this stone was given to me from my father, and he also receive the stone through is father…
I never read anything about the stone, but the way of working was passed by my fathers and its just like you described . The one I have, was used in times…to remove scorpion poison , in times were people worked in fields. Its aspect is rounded ,the colour is brown and glassy ,polished and in the center it as white lightning ,shaped spider.
If you know more about this subject or any one that owns one, please mail me.
ct1fsg@gmail.com
Best regards,

We have a madstone in our

By sandshark327

We have a madstone in our family one of the stories from my grandfather is that a woman got bite by a spider behind the ear and back in those days the doctors had to come to the house she didn't want to use the madstone so my grandfather made a deal with her to put the madstone on while he went for the doctor and by the time the doctor got there, there was nothing wrong so she invited him for supper since he was already there.There's more stories than just this one. Joey Gilbert

THERE IS MUCH AVAILABLE ON

By Lynn Walters

THERE IS MUCH AVAILABLE ON THE WWW... DO A GOOGLE ENTER MADSTONE AND MANY,MANY STORIES WILL APPEAR. I HAVE HEARD OF THIS FROM MY GRANDMOTHER (NOW PASSED)
READ MUCH OF IT, AND BELIEVE IT TO BE ONE OF THOSE THINGS , IF YOU WISH TO BELIEVE IT , HAVE FAITH,THEN IT WILL BE SO...

You never know,I have heard

By Ladonna Sanders

You never know,I have heard of a lot of things like this growing up in the hills of WV.I am going to have my brother look for one if he kills a deer this year.

It may sound silly that an

By Angela Baxter

It may sound silly that an animal has a rock in it's stomach but I happen to know that the carp fish has rocks in it's head. I did have to carry them around for show and tell after it was proven to me. It was also told to me that the reason they were in the carp's head was for communication with other carp or fish.

I hope this isn't related to

By twshelton

I hope this isn't related to stone soup. I don't think I could stomach that. Pun intended.

Good one!! LOL

By Haylane

Good one!! LOL

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