Everything Newfoundland & Labrador with its Culture, Cuisine and Traditions



Disclaimer: The Newfoundland & Labrador home remedies listed below were used to “cure what ails ya.” People did the best with what they had.  However, I make no claims as to their effectiveness, and suggest that in case of illness you see the advice of your family doctor.

Thanks to all of you, who have contributed to home remedies…..I know the people of NL will love them….

Newfoundland and Labrador Home Remedies

Age Spots

  • Apply daily, to these darkened areas of the skin, a solution containing 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon of onion juice. The spots should begin to fade within 2 weeks.


  • Massage the sore joints with a liniment made up of 2 egg whites, ½ cup (125 ml) apple cider vinegar, and ¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil. Also, simply taking the apple cider vinegar tonic (2 or 3 teaspoons to 8 ounces of water) before each meal has been an effective natural healing home remedy for many people.


  • Some people have found relief from mild asthma by taking the apple cider vinegar tonic along with applying a vinegar-soaked compress to the inside of the wrists.

Athlete’s Foot

  • One of the best home remedies involves soaking the feet twice a day in a 50/50 mixture of apple cider vinegar and water. Or, you can apply pure apple cider vinegar to the affected areas several times a day and before bedtime.
  • Put a small dried up potato in one of your pockets.
  • Mix molasses with water for easing pain in your joints.
  • Athlete’s foot also responds well to daily applications of kerosene.


  • Message molasses into your scalp.

Bee Sting

  • Apply black mud to the affected area. Rub aspirin, oatmeal, or baking soda paste on the sting.


  • Dip finger into a bowl of molasses and the bleeding will stop. Licking off the molasses will further sooth the cut.

Bleeding Nose

  • Soak a cotton ball in pure apple cider vinegar, have the person lay his head back and then place it in the bleeding nostril. This home remedy will help stop the bleeding quicker.

Blood Pressure

  • Take 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon of honey in a glass of water twice a day to help lower blood pressure.

Body Odour

  • Use apple cider vinegar as a natural body deodorant and eliminate the bacteria causing offensive body odour. For example, check out these two related home remedies:
  • Underarms can be kept free of odour causing bacteria by wiping them once a day with undiluted apple cider vinegar whereas foot odour can be greatly minimized by soaking the feet two or three times weekly in a pan of warm water mixed with 1/3 cup (75 ml) of vinegar.

Bone Health

  • Apple cider vinegar helps to sustain bone mass and fight against osteoporosis. The important minerals involved include manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, and silicon.
  • Take the general apple cider vinegar tonic (2 or 3 teaspoons to 8 ounces of water) to boost the body’s supply of these minerals.


  • A poultice of soap, flour and molasses on brown paper. To extract the core of a boil, put hot water in a bottle. Then empty the bottle and place its mouth on the boil; as the bottle cooled the core came out.
  • Mix soap and molasses together into a paste, spread it on a small piece of linen and apply this to a boil.  It will cause the boil to break and discharge the infected matter.
  • For treatment of boils, mix molasses with soap to form a paste and apply to boils.


  • Apply pure apple cider vinegar to the burn, whether it’s from the sun or a hot surface, to reduce the pain, to disinfect, and to supply nutrient required for healing.
  • Apply molasses to minor burns to sooth it.
  • Mix molasses with baking soda to help alleviate the pain of minor burns.

Bread poultice:

  • Soak bread and sunlight soap in water. Put this on the infected boil for a few days and it would draw the infection out of the boil.


  • Dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in ½ cup (125 ml) of warm apple cider vinegar and apply it to the bruise as a compress.

Cancer Prevention

  • Eat an apple a day and take the general apple cider vinegar tonic home remedy (2 or 3 teaspoons to 8 ounces of water) to maximize these benefits.

Cholesterol Reduction

  • Regular vinegar intake of 3 teaspoons (15 ml) or more per day can significantly lower the level of cholesterol in a person’s blood.

Chest Rub

  • Mix molasses, butter and vinegar.  Blend well.
  • Mix molasses and ginger.  Blend well.
  • Mix molasses and white liniment.  Blend well.
  • Mix molasses and kerosene.  Blend well
  • To assist in breathing, mix molasses and mustard poultice and apply to chest.

Cleanse the Blood

  • Steep the buds from elder trees in boiling water and take the liquid to cleanse the blood.
  • Give mixture of sulphur and molasses to children in the spring to purify the blood.  Give one tablespoon each morning for three days, stop for three days, then give it again for three more days.

Colds & Coughs

  • At the first sign of a cold, take 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in half a cup of water several times a day.
  • If you have a chest cold, a long-standing home remedy calls for soaking a piece of brown paper in vinegar then sprinkling one side of it with black pepper. Place the peppered side of the paper on the chest, cover with a towel, and relax for 20 minutes.
  • Drink lemon juice with sugar (sue freely while cold remains).
  • Mix honey with cooked onions for a cough syrup.
  • Mix molasses and kerosene by mouth.
  • You’ll be free of colds all winter if you catch a falling leaf in your hand in autumn.
  • Boil molasses and a few drops of kerosene oil and drink it. The most effective home remedies were extract of wild cherry and spirits of turpentine. Snake root was also steeped for a cough medicine.
  • For cure of coughs, colds, asthma, whopping cough and all diseases of the lungs: use 1 tsp of common tar, 3 tsp of honey, yolk of three eggs and half pint of wine. Beat the tar, honey and egg yolks well with a knife and bottle for use. A tsp in the morning, noon and night before eating.
  • To make cough drops, boil molasses, kerosene oil, Menard’s Liniment and ginger. Let cool on a plate and cut into candies.
  • Mix molasses, horehound, wild cherry bark and mullun.
  • A home remedy to sooth a night-time cough is to sprinkle apple cider vinegar on a cloth placed on a pillow.


  • Molasses mixed with baby formula can help infants with colic.


  • Take three tablespoons of molasses nightly to correct pale complexion.


  • A daily tonic of apple cider vinegar (2 or 3 teaspoons to 8 ounces of water) is a natural healing home remedy to combat constipation.
  • Take two teaspoons of molasses as needed.
  • A daily dosage of molasses in a cup of warm water promotes regularity.


  • The clippings of the hair and nails of a child tied up in linen and placed under their bed will cure convulsions.

Corn and Callus Treatment

  • Soak your feet for half an hour in a warm bath containing half a cup of apple cider vinegar. Use a clean pumice stone to rub the affected areas then apply pure apple cider vinegar and cover with a bandage. Reapply vinegar and bandage the following morning.

Curing Warts

  • Count your warts and tie a like number of knots in a piece of cotton and bury it.
  • Rub a potato or snail on your wart, then throw it away but don’t look where it lands.
  • Mark the like number of warts on with a piece of chalk on the back of a wood burning stove, when the marks burns off your warts will be gone as well.
  • Cut notches in a stick and hide the latter. Flub a piece of fresh meat to he wart, then bury the meat and as it decayed the warts disappeared.
  • Count the warts and make a like number of chalk marks on the back of a stove; as these burnt off the warts went also.
  • Take a garden snail and rub the snail on the wart.  Pin the snail on a fence post and do not look at it again.  When the snail decays and falls off, the wart will do the same.  This cure will not work if the patient looks at the snail.


  • Place baking soda over a cut.
  • Put turpentine on it for nine days and then take it off and it will be better.
  • To close a cut take murr or turpentine from a stick of wood and put it on the cut to close it.
  • Make poultices with home-baked bread to draw infections from sores and cuts.
  • Apply bladders or blisters from the trunk of a fir tree to cuts.  This is a very effective remedy.
  • Cut these buds from evergreen trees.  Squeeze the paste on the cut. Wrap and change the paste everyday.  It would prevent the cut from infection and also help the cut to heal.
  • Applying kerosene to a cut helps stop the bleeding and prevent infection. It promotes healing and does not burn.
  • Apply a wad of spiderweb to a fresh cut will stop the bleeding and has been used for that purpose for time immortal.


  • To help prevent the recurrence of cramps, take a regular tonic of apple cider vinegar (2 or 3 teaspoons to 8 ounces of water) along with 1 teaspoon of honey.


  • Apply pure apple cider vinegar to the scalp and work it into the roots of the hair; allow the vinegar to stand for a half hour or a full hour before washing your hair.


  • A daily tonic of apple cider vinegar (2 or 3 teaspoons to 8 ounces of water) supplies dietary fiber and other ingredients, which are beneficial in controlling blood glucose levels. As well, the acids and enzymes promote better digestion and nutrient absorption, which is impaired in many diabetes sufferers.

Diaper Rash

  • Use a 50/50 mixture of apple cider vinegar and water to eliminate the bacteria and fungus that cause diaper rash.


  • Take the natural healing apple cider vinegar tonic (2 or 3 teaspoons to 8 ounces of water) to help eliminate diarrhea.


  • Taking the apple cider vinegar tonic home remedy (2 or 3 teaspoons to 8 ounces of water) before a meal will enhance the action of your stomach’s acid and digestive enzymes.


  • Nettles gathered in a churchyard and boiled down for a drink have the power to cure dropsy.


  • Blowing cigarette smoke in your ear was used to relive an earache.
  • Mix molasses and vinegar to help alleviate earache.

Ear Infections

  • Use an ear syringe (found at drug stores) to squirt a vinegar solution into the ear and let it sit for a minute or so, then turn your head and let the liquid drain out.


  • Take two teaspoons of molasses in milk twice daily.
  • To help relieve the itching and dryness of eczema, apply a 50/50 mixture of apple cider vinegar and water to the affected areas.


  • Some  believe that the addition of 1 or 2 teaspoons of raw honey to the vinegar tonic will also help.


  • To cure a fever, place the person on the shore when the tide is coming in. When the tide begins to go back out, the retreating waves will carry away the disease and the fever.


  • This gas is a result of incomplete digestion and can be minimized by soaking the beans in apple cider vinegar prior to cooking them.

Flu or sore throat

  • Pick Juniper from the top of a hill and dry it. Then u would boil it and drink it to get rid of your flu.
  • Mix whisky, sugar and hot water together.  Drink this with signs of the common flu. This would help you sleep like a baby and feel much better in the morning.

Foot Care

  • Try this home remedy for sore and tired feet which sometimes ache at the end of a long day: Add a cup of apple cider vinegar to a basin of warm water and allow your feet to soak for 15 minutes.


  • May snow was gathered and bottled for a remedy to get rid of freckles.

Gas Pain

  • 1 tsp of bread soda, 1 tbsp of vinegar, and ½ glass of water all mixed together.


  • Many people have found that gout home remedies using apple cider vinegar are very effective.
  • The procedure involves either ingesting an apple cider vinegar tonic or applying it to the affected area.


  • Rinse a cloth in vinegar, then place the cloth on your head to cure the headache.
  • Walk backwards, around in circle preferably.
  • Inhaling the vapors from a small bottle of apple cider vinegar can also help or if you have a vaporizer, add about 2 tablespoons cider vinegar to the water and inhale the vapors for five minutes.

Head Lice

  • Kerosene (coal oil) was the “drug of choice” for many situations in years past. It was used to treat head lice. The person’s head would be rinsed with kerosene which then would be left in for a period of time. The kerosene would be washed out and the treatment repeated when necessary. The treatment worked, but kerosene (although generally non-irritating to the skin as other petroleum distillates are) does have a strong, offensive odour that lingers everywhere.

Heart Burn

  • Drink some carnation milk or eat potatoes.
  • To relieve occasional heartburn, try drinking the general apple cider vinegar tonic (2 or 3 teaspoons to 8 ounces of water) before each meal.


  • Pine tar applied to the affected part produced relief.
  • For mild cases, apply the natural healing abilities of pure apple cider vinegar directly to hemorrhoids to help reduce stinging and promote shrinking. Use a cotton ball to apply the vinegar every few hours until symptoms are relieved.
  • Kerosene has also been used for hemorrhoids. Using a rectal compress saturated with kerosene still can afford many people relief, especially for extremely irritated, external hemorrhoids occurring after childbirth.


  • In order to cure a child of hernia was to split a green witch hazel tree and pass the child through it.


  • Distract the attention of the sufferer momentarily.
  • Place a saucer upside down and stare at it.
  • Swallow a tsp of fresh onion juice.
  • Gently inhale a little pepper, just enough to make you sneeze.
  • Place an ice cube right below the Adams apple and count to 100.
  • Breathe in to a brown paper bag.
  • Splash some cold water on the back of you neck.
  • Eat a tsp of peanut butter.
  • Mix 1 tsp of sugar with 1 tsp of vinegar. Take as needed.
  • Mix molasses and ginger together.
  • To stop hiccups, try sipping a glass of warm water in which one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar has been mixed in. This is a lot simpler than many other home remedies for hiccups


  • Burnt ash of tobacco, powdered resin. Still used and approved by Newfoundland fisher folk.

Infected Sores:

  • Many people of Newfoundland recall some old resident of their community who was regarded as remarkable in healing festered sores. It was generally some motherly old lady who did the doctoring. Scorched linen, burnt cream, white of an egg, powdered dust of sea shells, dried and powdered seaweed, goose grease, mouldy bread these are some of the ingredients of a good poultice.


  • Place plaster with soap and molasses on your infected area.
  • If a body part was infected soak it in salt water as hot as you could bare.
  • A bunch of mint tied around the wrist is believed to ward off infection and disease.
  • Make a compress using molasses to draw out infections.

Ingrown Nails:

  • Drop hot tallow from a lighted candle into the part affected, and instant relief was afforded.
  • Soak toe in salt water for in grown toenail.

Insect Bites and Stings

  • Bee and wasp stings, as well as itchy mosquito bites can be soothed by applying undiluted apple cider vinegar to the affected area.


  • Mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in one cup of honey and take two teaspoons of this mixture just before going to bed. Repeat after an hour if required. (You can sleep on that one!).
  • Some people find that simply taking one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in 8 ounces of water just before bedtime, helps them to get to sleep quicker and sleep much longer.

Jellyfish Stings

  • By dousing the sting area with regular vinegar (5% acetic acid content), the further release of poison will be rapidly and completely stopped.


  • To help laryngitis mix molasses, vinegar and lemon juice.

Leg Cramps

  • Take the apple cider vinegar tonic regularly (2 or 3 teaspoons to 8 ounces of water) to help the body’s absorption of calcium and magnesium and thus protect against painful leg cramps.


  • Molasses was once use to ease the discomfort of menstruation.
  • A glass of apple cider tonic (2 or 3 teaspoons to 8 ounces of water) in the morning has been reported to help reduce the flow of a heavy period.

Morning Sickness

  • Many women experience nausea and vomiting, often in the morning, during the first three months of pregnancy. A home remedy reported to help keep morning sickness at bay involves simply drinking, as soon as you get up, a glass of water containing a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar.

Muscle Soreness

  • Apply a cloth dampened with apple cider vinegar and a dash of cayenne pepper directly to the sore muscle for 5 minutes and reapply as needed.
  • For ore muscles all-over, try soaking in a warm water bath into which you have added 2 to 3 cups of apple cider vinegar.

Night Sweats and Hot Flashes

  • Apple cider vinegar has helped reduce hot flashes and night sweats for some menopausal women who for various reasons can’t take hormones. Use the apple cider vinegar tonic regularly (2 or 3 teaspoons to 8 ounces of water).


  • Locally known as the ‘old hag.” Call the person’s name backwards.

Nose Bleed

  • To stop a nose bleed, tie a green ribbon around your neck.

Pain in the Side

  • Put a pebble under the tongue.

Poison Ivy and Poison Oak

  • Spray a solution of equal parts apple cider vinegar and distilled water on to the affected areas to stop the pain, itching and ease the swelling. Cooling the spray in the refrigerator will provide even more relief.


  • This was made from bread and water. First the bread was soaked in water, and then the water was squeezed out of the bread and placed into a clean cloth and covered over the wound.

Prostate Cancer

  • A tablespoon of molasses daily was once said to prevent prostate cancer.

Removing a Sty:

  • Rub your eye with a gold wedding band nine times.
  • Uses tea leaves make a good poultice for a sty on the eye.  This will also cure snow blindness.

Removing Warts:

  • Rub your warts with fat pork, put it in a matchbox and throw the box over your left shoulder.
  • Cut notches in a stick and hide the latter. Flub a piece of fresh meat to the wart, then bury the meat and as it decayed the warts disappeared. Count the warts and make a like number of chalk marks on the back of a stove; as these burnt off the warts went also.


  • Just caring a potato in your pocket can cure rheumatism.
  • The great brown jellyfish was bottled, and when dissolved into fluid was rubbed to the affected parts and acted as a counter irritant. One objection to this cure was the offensive odour. The magician came to the rescue with an amulet of haddock fin which, worn on the neck, was a charm against rheumatic tendencies.
  • An iron ring wore on the fourth finger will ward off rheumatism.

7th Son or Daughter:

  • This is a child that’s born to parents that had seven same sex children without interruption of the opposite sex.  This seventh child can put away toothaches, warts and back pain by just touching the ill person.
  • The touch from the hand of a seventh son is said to cure the bite of a mad dog.


  • To help relieve the pain of sinusitis, drink a glass of water with 1 or 2 teaspoons of vinegar added, every hour for 6 to 8 hours.
  • For sinus headache, add an eight of a cup of ACV to a cool-air vaporizer and inhaling the infused-air directly for 5 minutes. After that lie down for 20 minutes and wait for your respiratory passages to clear.
  • For excess mucus in the nose, throat, or sinus cavities (post nasal drip), try a solution of warm water and 1 to 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Place a small amount in the palm of your hand, block one nostril, then place the other nostril into the vinegar solution and sniff hard. You’ll experience the disinfecting and mucus-cutting benefits of apple cider vinegar deep into your sinus cavities. Let the solution run down the back of your throat then spit it out. After that, repeat with the other nostril.

Sore Eyes

  • Snow was one time gathered and bottled as a cure for sore eyes.

Sore Throat

  • Take a dirty sock and wrap it around your neck, this should make you throat fell better within hours. The dirtier, the better.
  • Gargle salt water for a sore throat.
  • Drink Honey.
  • To treat a sore throat, split a herring lengthwise through the back and place it on the patient’s neck.  Hold the herring in place with a cloth.
  • One of many natural healing home remedies for a sore throat involves gargling with a mixture of 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to half a cup of water, using 3 mouthfuls of mixture each hour.

Sprained Wrist

  • Wrap red wool around it nine times and put nine knots in it and keep it there until it gets better.

Sun Burn

  • If the sunburn is localized, apply full strength apple cider vinegar on the affected skin to obtain relief. Do this by soaking a thin towel in apple cider vinegar and placing it over the burn. Leave it on to help prevent peeling and itching.
  • If the sunburn covers a large part of the body take a cool bath in which one cup of apple cider vinegar has been added. After soaking in the bath, gently dry the body and pat vinegar directly onto the needed areas. Wait 5 minutes, then pat on aloe vera gel.

Sunlight Soak

  • Mix a quarter cup sunlight dish detergent with one litre of warm water.  Soak your in-growing toenail for 20 minutes for five straight days and it would cure the infection.

Sulphur Mix:

  • Mix one teaspoon of yellow sulphur powder with a quarter cup of molasses.  You would eat this to prevent one from getting scabies (itch).

Stomach Trouble

  • The ground juniper boiled was supposed to be a panacea for stomach ills. Dogberry extract was also favourably regarded. Alder buds were also boiled and the extract used to good effect.
  • Alder buds boiled and the extract used to good effect.
  • A bunch of mint tied around the wrist is a sure remedy for disorders of the stomach.
  • Grow peppermint and spearmint in your garden.  They make fine teas to soothe the upset stomach and to help babies with colic.
  • Boil the bark of a cherry tree and take the liquid to restore lost appetite.
  • Mix molasses and ginger to ease stomach upsets.
  • Eat ginger spice or root.

Stop Bleeding

  • The application of cobwebs, also turpentine of fir. Nose bleed could be stopped by certain persons who recited a secret prayer or rite to achieve the desired effect.


  • Wrap up a warm plate with a towel and put it on your jaw and your toothache will go away.
  • Take a pebble from a new made grave and while touching the afflicted area, invoking the Trinity.
  • Place a tea spoon of whiskey around the soar tooth to stop it from aching.
  • Place a raisin on the tooth.
  • Vinegar left in the mouth gave relief. Pebbles from the grave of a pious person provided a faith cure. The magician charmed away the toothache. One way to do this was to write some words
  • on a scrap of paper and have the afflicted one carry the script on his person, but was forbidden to read it as the pain returned in punishment of such curiosity.
  • Take a small piece of cotton saturated with ammonia and place next to the bad tooth, in a lot of cases will cure toothache.
  • Apply bruised or grated horseradish to the wrist.
  • To cure a toothache, drive a nail into an oak tree.
  • Place ice on the web of the skin between thumb and index finger on the same side of the body as the toothache. This should help relieve pain.
  • Heat a birch piece of wood or brick or rock, in the oven. Then wrap it up in a towel and lie down on your bad tooth or ear.


  • A weak vinegar solution can give over 95% protection from alcohol-induced ulcers.

Urinary Tract Infections

  • Drink a daily tonic of apple cider vinegar to help you keep the right pH balance in the urinary tract since the proper acidity creates an inhospitable environment for bacteria and yeasts that cause these infections.
  • Cranberry juice is also a well known home remedy for urinary tract infections. It prevents bacteria from attaching to the walls of the urinary tract. For a tasty drink, try adding 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to an eight ounce glass of cranberry juice and benefit from both home remedies at the same time.

Varicose Veins

  • Apply undiluted apple cider vinegar to the varicose veins at night and in the morning, and take two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar  in a glass of water twice a day. Shrinking of the veins will be noticed after one month.


  • Apply cider vinegar soaked gauze bandage to the wart overnight and in the morning replace it with a castor oil soaked gauze bandage. At night alternate the apple cider vinegar with crushed fresh garlic and vitamin E (prick open capsule).

Weight Loss

  • Take 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water at each meal. No change in the daily food intake is required except to avoid high fat containing foods.

Whopping Cough:

  • Find a woman married to a man with the same surname as herself.  Get her to give you a piece of buttered bread and the cough will be cured.

Worm Medicine

  • Mix molasses and gunpowder together.
  • Mix molasses and cabbage together.
  • Mix molasses and flaxseed oil.

Yeast Infection

  • Relief can be obtained by the use of a vinegar douche, consisting of 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar mixed in one quart of warm water, applied twice a day until the burning and itching symptoms of the infection have stopped.
  • A vinegar bath, prepared by adding one cup of apple cider vinegar to the bath water, can help provide external relief.


  • A sick person’s bed must be placed north and south not cross ways.
  • The seed of docks tied to the left hand of a woman will prevent her from being barren.
  • Drinking boiled down carrot juice will purify the blood.
  • To make your skin beautiful, wash your face with May dew on May morning (May Day) at sunrise.
  • To aid healing put molasses and myrrh on a bandage and place on sore area.

see also, Newfoundland Weather Lore 



To the people of NL who have contributed their beautiful colorful language to the world
Devine’s Folk Lore of Newfoundland (September, 1937)
Clarissa Smith (Broken Wings)
Historic Newfoundland and Labrador (Published by Dept Of Development  and Tourism of NL)
Fat-Back & Molasses (by the Family of the Rev. Ivan F. Jesperson, St. John’s, Newfoundland)
Our Province Newfoundland and Labrador (Frank Cramm/Garfield Fizzard) Pilot Edition
Crosby Molasses Company
Share Button