For colds and flu’s zinc was specifically used. It made the sick person sweat profusely. Steel droplets helps to stop serious bleeding from a wound. Friar’s Balsam was put on painful places to dry it out and to steam a bad chest. Balsem kopiva was all that was used for pain at times.
In the case of toothache, you could use a clove or brandy.
Down in the canyon a certain Mr Jordaan lived, who knew a lot about traditional cures. When Willempie’s (4 years old) bronchitis transformed into lung infection, mr Jordaan was summoned, because the nearest doctor was away in Vanrhynsdorp. He cut a cat’s head off and slaughtered it.
Then the cat was put on Willempie’s shoulder blades to see if the lung infection would be cured. But as we know today, the only thing that would have helped, are antibiotics. During this September month it rained so much that the small corpse had to stay a full week at grandpa Theunis and grandma Miemie before it could be taken for the funeral in town. It was an incredibly traumatising time for everyone on the farm.
The reason why Willempie wasn’t buried on Willemsrivier was because the family was already in the process of losing the land the family church yard was located in.