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Dark, Mysterious, and Irreverent

Dark, Mysterious, and Irreverent


Medicine and Healing in 17th Century Scotland

Midwife / Healer

Midwife / Healer

Medicine and healing in 17th century Scotland

If you lived in Edinburgh and had money or stature, you could have engaged a trained physician. Healers, midwives, and bonesetters were available for common folk. This trade was passed down from mother to daughter. These women were skilled in the use of herbs and natural materials such as tar, honey, and garlic to cure disease or treat wounds.

Garlic was known to calm spasms, kill parasites, and fight infections. Honey healed stubborn wounds. Alfalfa treated digestive weakness and restored lost vitality. Burdock was good for skin eruptions; it induced sweating. Blackberry relieved diarrhea. Catnip calmed nerves and reduced fever. Dandelion root and flower stimulated digestion. Borage was good for rheumatism. An infusion of mugwort could restore a woman’s moon cycle and was good for digestive ailments, frayed nerves, and sleeplessness.

Medicinal herbs were often administered in teas or salves. To strengthen them, they were dissolved in vinegar, which had healing properties of its own. Vinegar was thought to improve skin tone, strengthen bones, and balance the four bodily humors.

Healers were called upon to reset bone fractures and adjust dislocated joints. Sometimes they used comfrey for bone setting. The plant’s roots were dug up in spring and grated to produce a sludge, which was packed around the broken limb. This hardened to a consistency similar to plaster. Comfrey leaves, boiled as a tea, brought down swelling and muted pain.

Such was the state of medicine and healing in 17th century Scotland. In my novels, I tried to make the healing and midwifery scenes authentic, given the time and place and resources available. My advice to the reader is to NOT try them at home without formal training.

By Jeanne Treat, author of the Dark Birthright Trilogy, a tale of old Scotland



Pearl Harbor – Memoirs of a Rosie the Riveter

Rosie the Riveter

HEARTLAND VERSES is a collection of WWII memoirs, stories, and poems from the heart of Clara Bastien Treat, one of America’s Rosie-the-Riveters.   About the author – Clara Treat was a wife, mother, and grandmother. She was a well-known antique dealer, inventor, and WWII Rosie-the-Riveter.   Her writing was inspired by love of family, freedom, and country. She passed away in 2010.

An excerpt from HEARTLAND VERSES:

Memoirs of a Rosie the Riveter

Chapter One

North Tonawanda, New York

December 4, 1941

A few days before the Pearl Harbor attack

            The days before Pearl Harbor were some of the happiest in my life.  The gang met at my house two or three evenings a week to play cards, listen to the player piano, talk, and eat a wonderful snack that my mother provided.  The house had been built around the turn of the century and had a long room in the front with a lovely front porch.  A gas log fireplace provided a cozy and warm place for us to meet.

Three tables were set up for pinochle and the front parlor served as a dance floor.  There were fourteen young men and four young women in our group.  Some families wouldn’t allow their daughters to participate because they thought we were too wild, but it wasn’t true.  We were as innocent and pure as the driven snow.  After a while, we would roll up the rugs and dance to the player piano or a lively tune on the radio.

Most of the guys were like brothers to us, except for a few.  I was regarded as Chester’s girl and my sister Julie, who was younger, was unattached.  She did however take the time to flirt with each and every one of them.

We were coming out of the depression, which had held us down for so long. Some of our friends joined the army and navy to get a job and joined us on furlough.  To survive tough times my widowed mother ran a boarding house, providing two meals a day, a packed lunch, and a place to sleep for seven men.  My sister and I helped out; keeping busy with laundry, ironing, and housework and my brother Jim kept the lawn and maintained the house.

On top of that, Julie and I worked as usherettes at the Riviera Theatre several evenings a week.  It was a busy life, but we enjoyed ourselves.  There was no time to get into trouble.

Then, everything changed…

Julie and Clara Bastien (top) with friends

Julie and Clara Bastien (top) with friends


Want to read more?  Today, through DEC 31st, 2016 you can download a free copy of her book by using coupon code HG85A at the checkout.

Use this link:

Clara Treat

Clara Treat

Love you always, Mom.