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In My Day…We Used Honey for Everything

In my day, honey was the most used product in my mothers medicine cabinet besides vinegar and the rectal thermometer. If I had muscle cramps, she made me take two teaspoons of honey with my meals and told me to stop complaining. If I had a sore throat, she gave me tea with lemon and honey, fever or not, and she told me to stop complaining.

My mother used honey instead of alcohol to sterilize cuts and open wounds because it didn’t sting. If her skin felt dry, she made up a poultice of eggs, flour and honey and used it as a hand lotion. I can still remember her shaking my teacher’s hand and both of them had to teach the rest of the class.

In the late 40’s, I had to deal with acne and momma rubbed honey on my face and covered the pimples with Band-Aids overnight and told me to quit complaining. By morning, my skin was smooth and clear. A little stiff, but smooth and clear. She told me not to smell the flowers. Why? She never explained that one.

My father had a very touchy tummy and mother made him swallow a spoonful of honey everyday to calm his intestine and stop his complaining. If one of us got a burn, she always used honey to soothe it and if we were tired, she’d give us honey to pep us up. Why? So we’d stop complaining. When my sister came home from summer camp with worms, I was delighted. I didn’t get to go to summer camp. Momma mixed honey with vinegar and made her drink it. Why? To get rid of the worms. She was fine within the week.

Ben Franklin said, “Nothing but money is sweeter than honey.” But he wasn’t Jewish. We were. That was before he wandered around with a kite and a key and gave us electricity.

All that honey stopped our complaining but not my mother’s. She complained so much that when she died, we thought we’d all gone deaf. I guess you had to be there. These days, I just take Xanax, to hell with honey. I’m Lynn Ruth Miller with another edition of In My Day.

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