Lady Wilde (Oscar Wilde’s mother) reports on old Irish cures for toothache

From Lady Wilde’s fascinating book, Ancient Legends, Mystic Charms, and Superstitions of Ireland (Dublin: Ticknor, 1887).

Go to a graveyard ; kneel upon any grave ; say three paters and three aves for the soul of the dead lying beneath. Then take a handful of grass from the grave, chew it well, casting forth each bite without swallowing any portion. After this process the sufferer, were he to live a hundred years, will never have toothache any more. 


The patient must vow a vow to God, the Virgin, and the new moon, never to comb his hair on a Friday, in remembrance of relief should he be cured ; and whenever or wherever he first sees the new moon, he must fall on his knees and say five prayers in gratitude for the cure, even if crossing a river at the time. 


Carry in your pocket the two jaw-bones of a haddock; tor ever since the miracle of the loaves and fishes, these bones are an infallible remedy against toothache, and the older they are the better, as nearer the time of the miracle. 


Also this charm is to be sewn on the clothes — 

‘* As Peter sat on a marble stone, 

The Lord came to him ail alone, 

‘ Peter, Peter, what makes you shake ? * 

‘ O Lord and Master, it is the toothache.’ 

Then Christ said, ‘ Take these for My sake. 

And never more youll have toothache,’ ” 


To avoid toothache never shave on a Sunday.

One thought on “Lady Wilde (Oscar Wilde’s mother) reports on old Irish cures for toothache

  1. In these Corona times I have been known to lose track of what day of the week it is, so I would have trouble remembering not to comb my hair on Fridays.

    Liked by 1 person

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