Book Review

Rub Onions and Skunk Oil on My Chest, and Call Me Well: A Collection of East Texas Home Remedies and Folk Medicines

Bob Bowman
Best of East Texas Publishers, Subsidiary of Bob Bowman & Associates, Inc.

For those who like a good laugh, this 157-page book is unusual, comical and witty.

I must say that this is the most unusual book that I’ve been asked to review. This book is definitely a “Texas thing” and is actually quite humorous. If you are not into humor, you could put it in your waiting area for customers who need a laugh. It is a collection of home remedies and folk medicines; some are real and rooted in science and some are just plain folklore. Most of the contributions came from senior citizens who used the folk remedies themselves or remembered parents or grandparents who found the home medicines essential as a part of rural life in East Texas. Some chapter titles are:

  • “It’s No Sin, Dear Friend, To Use Cucumbers on the Skin”;
  • “When the Doc Was Far Away, Home Remedies Saved the Day”;
  • “The Good Old Days Had Some Special Ways”;
  • “Treasures From the Dirt, Plants That Ease the Hurt”; and
  • “Hangovers and Skunk Sprays…We’ve Had Better Days.”
You can look up solutions to common ailments such as constipation, acne, baldness, colic and even freckles. Bowman is the author of some other unusual books, such as He’s Wetting On My Leg, But It’s Warm and It Feels Good and Plant Watermelons on My Grave and Let the Juice Ooze Down.
Reviewed By:  Dana Reed-Kane, PharmD, FIACP, FACA, FCP, NFPPhC
In:  Sep/Oct 2003