Old folk remedies for hemorrhoids
The Old Herb Doctor, His Secrets and Treatments contains two typical folk recipes for buckeye ointments. The ointments were used for the treatment of piles (more often called hemorrhoids today). One lady wrote that an effective ointment could be made by soaking thin slices of the buckeye kernel for 24 hours in warm lard. Someone else suggested frying thinly-sliced buckeye kernels in any sort of fresh grease and saving the grease to use as a remedy for piles. This was how his grandmother had prepared a highly successful ointment.
The following recipe for a buckeye medicine to be taken internally comes from an 1874 medical book that was still being reprinted in 1913. This remedy was said by the author to be very successful in the treatment of hemorrhoids.
Take of the recent nuts, fully ripened, four ounces; bruise them thoroughly, and cover with alcohol 76 one pint; let it stand for two weeks ; strain and filter. Of this tincture add from one to two drachms to four ounces of water — the dose being one teaspoonful.
Source: Specific Diagnosis: A Study of Disease with Special Reference to the Administration of Remedies by John M. Scudder, M.D. p. 59
Buckeye was considered so effective against piles that merely carrying a buckeye in your pocket would ward them off. Here is a typical endorsement of the practice:
Cure for the Piles.—Carrying the common buckeye in the pantaloons' pocket, will cure the piles or any other inflammation about the anus. I can not give a reason for it, but it is nevertheless certain—try it.
Source: 1843 American Agriculturist
I'm just reporting these remedies, not recommending them. If you want to try one of them, please just put a buckeye in your pocket. I'm quite familiar with people carrying buckeyes to prevent rheumatism. I guess there's no way to know all the maladies a buckeye in the pocket might prevent. That probably explains why some people carry them simply for good luck.
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The common buckeye of Kentucky and much of the eastern U.S. is Aesculus glabra, the Ohio buckeye.