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Great Aunt Hattie's Asphidity Bag - Stories From My Childhood

Great Aunt Hattie in her orchard

This was taken after Uncle Elmer passed away
This was taken after Uncle Elmer passed away | Source

Asphidity bags, what are they for?

To ward off the flu virus, polio and, other diseases, people used folk medicine remedies, and medicine bags pinned to their under garments called Asphidity bags (that is what my Great Aunt Hattie called her medicine bag). Asphidity bags were filled with herbs, and concoctions worn to ward off these maladies.

As a child I wondered about the strange smells, when we would visit Great Aunt Hattie and we would hug her. When she explained she had an Asphidity bag pinned to her undergarment and what was in it and what the herbs were for, I understood why there were different smells at different times. But the one to ward off the flu sure was ripe.


My cousin on my Father's side and her three children.

You did not have to be related to Aunt Hattie for her to love you, especially the kids.
You did not have to be related to Aunt Hattie for her to love you, especially the kids. | Source

Where Did Aunt Hattie's knowledge come from?

I wondered, although I never asked where Great Aunt Hattie, (born July of 1885, Lawrence County, Alabama) learned what to put in her Asphidity bag. Was it from her grandfather, born 1828 in Taft, Tennessee?

Could Great Aunt Hattie's knowledge of herbal uses and cures come from, her great grandfather, born 1807 in Fairfield, South Caroline? Or had her great grandfather’s father brought the knowledge from his homeland?

Could great Aunt Hattie have learned what to put in her Asphidity bag from the Native Americans (ancestors on my father’s side) who lived in the area?


Uncle Elmer and Aunt Hattie

I believe this was the last picture taken of Uncle Elmer.
I believe this was the last picture taken of Uncle Elmer. | Source

Giante Fennel Plant

The Giant Fennel looked almost like dill, but bigger and the smell is different. Fennel is for strength and courage, and long life. It is said that Fennel will restore lost vision.
The Giant Fennel looked almost like dill, but bigger and the smell is different. Fennel is for strength and courage, and long life. It is said that Fennel will restore lost vision. | Source

Was Great Aunt Hattie a Medicine Woman?

Was she a Healer? If Great Aunt Hattie was a healer, why didn't she heal Uncle Elmer? As I think back now, maybe she kept him alive longer than he would have lived without her poultices and teas.

Aunt Hattie's poultice was made of ground Fenugreek seeds and made into a poultice. She placed the poultice on Uncle Elmer's swollen legs. When we asked what was wrong with him. Aunt Hattie would say he has dropsy.

I did not know what dropsy was, and I doubt that any of us kids knew and I don't think any of us kids ever asked.

Yellow Root, was one of the (herbs) Aunt Hattie kept in her kitchen for tea. So I am thinking right now, as I am writing this, Uncle Elmer must have been diabetic.


Recipe for winter flu

'Asafetida,' i.e. sap from the stems of the ‘Giant Fennel plant, which Aunt Hattie grew in her herb garden along the side of the barn. From slits in the stems of the Fennel plant the sap is drained and allowed to harden into a gummy substance.

The Fennel gum smelled bad. It was sometimes called Devil’s dung (according to an article I read,) and was supposed to ward off colds.

When I was a child I thought I would rather have the cold, at least if my nose was stuffy I couldn't smell the poo, I mean goo, in the Asphidity bag.

Sage tea

A cup of Sage tea I had a couple of nights ago. 1 Tbs. of rubbed sage leaves steeped in a cup of hot water.
A cup of Sage tea I had a couple of nights ago. 1 Tbs. of rubbed sage leaves steeped in a cup of hot water. | Source

Sassafras tea

I don't remember when Uncle Elmer quit working the land and sold the horses and cows. My grandma and grandpa supplied Aunt Hattie with milk and Sassafras roots which we kids would gather when grandpa plowed the land to plant cotton in the spring and also plowed the old cotton stalks under after harvest in the late fall.

Aunt Hattie and Grandma would make Sassafras tea. There is nothing like a cup of hot Sassafras tea or Sage tea to warm a person just before bed. To this day I still make both of these teas.

Great Aunt Hattie would send my grandma herbs and seeds, according to what was needed.

Fennel Muffins

Aunt Hattie's recipe for Fennel Muffins

Sift *2 cups of flour is all you need

.......to make 12 muffins

Blend in

*2 Tablespoons of Fennel Seeds

* 1/4 cup of sugar or less

* 1 Tablespoon of baking powder

(unless you use self rising flour)

Mix this together then add

* 1 Cup of milk

*1 egg, right from the hen

*1/4 cup of melted (real) butter, right from the churn

Preheat oven to 400°

Spoon batter into (two 6 cup) muffin tins and bake for 20 to 25 minutes

Great Aunt Hattie was a great cook.

Great Aunt Hattie could make the best Southern baked biscuits that I ever tasted. I liked her biscuits better than cake. Right out of her oven with butter and honey, or when they were cold and dunked in coffee, they would melt in your mouth.

Yes Great Aunt Hattie gave us coffee. Or maybe I should say a little bit of coffee in our milk.

My grandfather gathered the honey and there would always be enough to fill so many Mason Jars, that he could and would share with many families.

Aunt Hattie made the best Fennel muffins. See her recipe to the right −>

I don't know how she knew what the temprature was on her old wood burning cook stove.


Precious Memories

Precious Memories

What made me think of Aunt Hattie?

Reminiscing with my cousin Cherokeemom she mentioned how she asked Aunt Hattie where the smell was coming from. "My Asphidity bag," Aunt Hattie had answered.

Me: "Remember when Aunt Hattie use to wake us up at 4:00 AM so we could hear the birds singing?"

Cherokeemom: "Remember how she would make us feel grown up by giving us coffee with our biscuits for breakfast?"

Aunt Hattie's coffee consisted of 3/4 cup of milk 1/4 cup of coffee. We both laughed.

Me: "Remember the feather tick?"

You never slept in such comfort until you have slept on a feather tick. The down feathers came from the ducks my grandparents raised. That is what mattresses were stuffed with and Aunt Hattie had one of the best. The snowy sheets on the feather tick smelled like fresh sunshine, with a hint of lavender to sooth the senses. Even for a child this was like Heaven on earth, like sleeping on a fluffy white cloud.

"Remember the picture box we use to look through the pictures were in 3D?"

We shared so many fond memories and both of us knew we had lost someone very special, and we would miss her for as long as our precious memories last.

We use to look at 3D pictures through this picture box.
We use to look at 3D pictures through this picture box. | Source

The Last I Saw Aunt Hattie

The Last time I saw Aunt Hattie, I believe my brothers saw her after this picture was taken of  my brothers and me with her.
The Last time I saw Aunt Hattie, I believe my brothers saw her after this picture was taken of my brothers and me with her. | Source

Asphidity Bag

Have you ever known anyone who had a medicine bag (Asphidity Bag) pinned to their underclothes?

See results

Sources

When I talked with my cousin we were confused on the correct spelling, and when I looked it up in my dictionary and could not find it, I looked it up on Bing and here is what I found.

Bing: What is Asphidity made from? 'Asafetida' (ass-uh-fuh-TYE-duh) is a soft, lumpy, brown gum resin (thickened plant sap) that is very bad-tasting and which smells awful.

My husband has an old family heirloom dictionary, about 7 inches thick, and that is where I found how to pronounce the herb that goes in the Asphidity bag: as-ä-fet’ida, as-áfæt’-i-dà, gum and fatere, to have a disagreeable smell, stink A. feted inspissated (yes, inspissate is in the heirloom dictionary) sap from Persia and the East Indies. It is the concrete juice of a large umbelliferous plant, the Fetula, or Narther, Astafatida, and is much used in medicine as an antispasmodic and a stimulant. Written also ‘Assafaetida’ [Asa, gum, and L. dulcis, sweet.] A much used drug of former times, and called also Laser, probably obtained from an umbelliferous plant of Europe and Africa. It was at one time thought to be the same as benzoin.

My Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary: asa·fet·i·da or asa·foe·ti·da, the fetid gum resin of various Oriental plants, formerly used as an anti-spasmodic and in folk medicine as a general prophylactic against disease.

Words that my computer does not recognize as being spelled correctly

Dulcis: dulcify, meaning: 1. To make sweet, 2. To make agreeable, MOLLIFY

Inspissate: in·spis·sate, to make thick or thicker

Umbelliferous: of or relating to the carrot family (i.e. the giant Fennel plant)


Have you ever?

Known anyone special that you miss so much you heart aches when you think of them?

© 2014 Shyron E Shenko

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65 comments

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas

This is so interesting! I'm wondering if possibly that 'brown gum resin' you mentioned in sources is similar to what is used in T-Gel shampoo nowadays. That shampoo is brown and smells rather unpleasant too, though in recent years the manufacturer seems to have tried to cover that smell with something more pleasant.

Enjoyed reading all about your Aunt Hattie and her asphidity bag. What an interesting family you have. No wonder you have so many good stories from when you grew up.

Voted up, BAUI. pinned to my Fun & Interesting board, and will share if I can get the share button to work.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago Author

Au fait, I am surprised to see you up so late, I do hope everything is okay. I think it is very possible that the 'brown gum resin' is in in T-Gel shampoo, I never gave it a thought before you mentioned it. I kind of mix up my own shampoo and I do put T-Gel in the concoction.

I am glad you found my stories of my childhood interesting.

Thank you for the up votes and pinning and sharing.

I truly appreciate you my dear, dear friend.


DDE profile image

DDE 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

It always an interesting thought to write about family and great experiences. You certainly showed that here.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

I love the old stories and knowledge passed down to us, and yes, I have heard of asphidity bags.....but there aren't that many of us left who have. :)


The Examiner-1 profile image

The Examiner-1 2 years ago

That was very compassionate Shyron, you must really miss her. Those sounded like good memories to have of her. At least you have ones to make you feel good instead of ones which make you you feel bad.

Kevin


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

Your Aunt Hattie sounds like a wonderful woman. I'm afraid i've never heard of an asphidity bag. Your story reminds me of the more gentle days of old. Probably her herbs worked. The pharmaceutical companies use many natural grown herbs, they just know how to make them smell good. I love your story, hoping for more. Tweeted


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago Author

Devika, thank you for your comment, I am glad you found it interesting.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago Author

Bill, I love the old stories too, and the easier way of life, the younger generations miss out on a lot of interesting things. I wish I could share with my grandkids all the things that we did for fun and entertainment.

Thank you Bill for you comment. I really appreciate you my friend.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago Author

Kevin, thank you for the compliment and comment. All memories of Aunt Hattie were good and yes she is greatly missed, by everyone who knew her. I hope that you had good memories of your childhood.

Have a wonderful weekend my friend


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago Author

Ruby, yes Aunt Hattie was a (U-NEE-QUE) unique person, I wish you could have known her.

Thank you dear Ruby for the comments and tweet, I am so glad you liked my story. I really appreciate you.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Aw, Dear Shyron, what a lovely write here about your dear Great Aunt Hattie! Thank you for sharing some wonderful family stories and photos here. Sounds like she was a woman ahead of her time with her knowledge of healing and remedies.

Voted up ++++

Beautiful, just like you.

Blessings for a lovely weekend filled with even more precious memories.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago Author

Fear Faith, you are beautiful! Thank you for the comments and vote and for being you.

Blessings for a wonderful weekend also.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

I've never heard of an asphidity bag but enjoyed hearing about your dear Aunt Hattie and her marvelous knowledge and healing. She may have kept your uncle alive as long as possible. We all seem to have our time to pass. Loved the family photos.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago Author

Thank you Flourish, I always appreciate you, and thank you for the comments.

Yes, maybe Aunt Hattie did keep Uncle Elmer alive longer than he would have lived had it not been for her folk medicines.

I am glad you liked the pictures.

Blessings and hugs to you my friend.


Aunt Jimi profile image

Aunt Jimi 2 years ago from The reddest of the Red states!

Looks like you've been pretty busy while I was away. Probably gonna disappear again I'm afraid, but thought I'd pop in and read this as it looks very interesting. Think one of my great aunts of someone had one of these from your description. I love stories like this that give a taste of history from someone who was there. I know you aren't that old, but you still remember your Great Aunt Hattie and her use of one of these bags and that's cool.

Voting this up and the works, except funny. Gonna share too. Hope you've been well dear friend.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago Author

Aunt Jimi, I am so happy to hear from you, I am hoping all is well with you. I wish that a lot of things from long ago were remembered and used today. Aunt Hattie was one in a million.

Thank you for the thumb up, and for sharing.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas

This asphidity bag was sort of a fad at the time. Even though technology had not come nearly as far back then as now, people still had their ideas about things just as they do now. Back then a lot of people put their trust and faith in the asphidity bag. Today it's cinnamon or apple cider vinegar, or something else that is unproven.

Lots of people that take part in studies and who end up in the blind that receives the placebo improve their health, because they believe they are receiving the real new medicine. Along with whatever else researchers are studying, they have found that this happens in practically every study -- a few people have improved health even though they are receiving the placebo.

Sometimes participants only think their health is improving and sometimes it really is -- the mind is an amazing thing. It can make us sick or it can make us well.

Just as I have told you how I have made dice and cards come up to my liking, so we can control our health and so many things with our minds if we just have the faith Christ talked about when he said with faith we can move mountains.

So anyway, just as many people today have their faith in unproven miracle treatments like apple cider vinegar and the like, so they did back in your Aunt Hattie's day too.

I still vaguely remember my grandmother talking about this asphidity bag and she was a school teacher in her younger years. I wouldn't call it a superstition, but for some reason some people need to have faith in things like this. Whether it really makes a difference is anyone's guess. If the mind believes, amazing things can be accomplished.

The potion, asphidity bag, or home remedy, gives people something to focus their mind's energy on and who can say for a certainty that it never works? If the mind can make a person well, or at least improve their health by taking placebos, then why not similar results with alphalpha tablets, apple cider vinegar, or something else?

Voting this up and BAI, pinning to AH, and sharing.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago Author

Au fait, thank you for the comments, vote, pinning and sharing.

I personally think that the stinch from the Asphidity bag kept people with the germs away from the person wearing the bag. I also believe that many of the herbs that my Great Aunt Hattie used had healing properties and somehow she knew which ones to use for what.

Great Aunt Hattie expired when I was in my teens. The picture with my brothers and I was the last time I saw her, and she took her knowledge with her.

I hope you have a blessed and rainy day

Shyron


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA

Hi, Shyron - I enjoyed this tribute to your Aunt Hattie and its references to her folk medicines. I recall my grandmother telling me that as a child she was forced to wear those 'asphidity' bags beneath her clothing to school and how much she hated them. (I'll bet she didn't have many school friends unless they were wearing the stinky things too.)

Grandma told me I was very lucky that the stinkiest remedy I had to contend with was a soft cloth with Vicks VapoRub salve heated and placed on my chest under my pajamas when I had a cold. Actually, the fumes weren't bad, and the salve seemed to loosen congestion. Of course, Grandma's homemade chicken soup had the best 'medicinal' powers!

You must have gotten the rain that's finally left our area today. Of course, it's forecast to return tomorrow. This has been the wettest July of my recent memory. It's making my grass grow too fast!

Voted Up++

Jaye


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA

I also love the photo of your Aunt Hattie standing outside wearing her housedress and apron. When I was a kid, all older women and younger ones who worked at home (the homemaker) during the daytime all wore aprons, either short ones or those with a bib to protect the clothing. Older women all wore cotton housedresses. Younger ones might wear tops and skirts instead of the 'housedress.' At least, no woman I knew as a child ever wore slacks or denim jeans!

Of course, by the time I was a teenager, women of all ages discovered polyester slacks with elasticized waists for daytime comfort, and that was the end of the housedress. The really 'daring' ones (usually the younger) started wearing jeans with rolled-up cuffs or shorts. Gosh, Shyron, you've got me reminiscing about the 'olden days' of my childhood. Jaye


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago Author

Jaye, I am so happy that you like my tribute to Great Aunt Hattie.

Mom use to wear an apron with a hugh pocket so that when Little Bit (Toy Chihuahua) got underfoot she would pick him up and put him in her pocket.

Yes we got a good bit of rain yesterday. You are right it does tend to make the grass grow.

Thank you for the comment, up votes and for being my friend.

Blessings.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago Author

Jaye, I am so glad you liked the picture of Aunt Hattie.

Mom word housedresses most of her life but stopped wearing the apron after Little Bit (toy Chihuahua) was gone.

I wore dresses even when picking cotton. I did not wear pants till my teen years.

Thank you Jaye for stopping back by.

Blessings

Shyron


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA

Your remark about wearing a dress while picking cotton makes me see you as almost a 'supergirl.' Picking cotton is certainly not for wimps, and a dress would seem quite a hindrance to movement.

This brought another remembrance of my childhood to the surface. My grandfather (who died when I was ten years old, breaking my heart) had a farm with an assortment of crops and livestock. This was in the days when small farms in Mississippi could flourish, and some of his acreage was very rich 'bottom land' surrounding a small river that ran through the property.

He had several acres not far from their house planted in cotton for which he hired pickers after the bolls were ready, picked himself, as did my strong and energetic grandmother (both in their fifties at the time).

I kept begging them to let me pick some cotton rather than just be the 'water carrier' when I visited them, so my granddad finally put the strap of a cotton sack around my neck and shoulders, told me how and what to pick, stepped back and said, "Okay--go to it!" (I think he also laughed or at least smiled broadly.)

It's funny now, but at that age I was embarrassed that I could pick such a tiny amount of cotton. My soft hands got blisters, and I stumbled frequently. After an hour of 'picking cotton', the bottom of the sack was barely covered, I was sweating buckets, red in the face and felt as though I were dying. My grandparents took pity on me, removed the sack and dumped my pitiful hour's work in with my grandmother's nearly full sack, and then sent me to rest under a tree before picking up my duty as water carrier. Although I loved visiting them on the farm, I was definitely not 'farm girl' material!

I love thinking back on the times I spent with my grandparents when I was a child. I may 'dig out' some of my own remembrances and put them into a hub. I will need to look for some old family photos to illustrate it.

Have a great day.

Jaye

P.S. The rain started here again last night and doesn't seem likely to stop for a week. It is quite a challenge getting down my back steps and taking my blind dog on a leash to potty while holding a large umbrella over both of us! Haha.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago Author

Jaye, I hope this brought good memories. I have many wonderful memories of my childhood and some not so wonderful. We, my cousin and I had small cotton sacks and when one was full it would be empted into a bigger one. You can see a picture of me Mama and the Prowler, when we were hoeing cotton in the cotton patch. and I and my cousin were wearing dresses.

I was not farm girl material, but everyone had to help out, even the little ones.

We lived with my grandparents, 3 cousins and 2 brothers and me.

I do hope you will be careful going up and down the steps.

Thank you for your comment and you have a blessed night.

Shyron


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

Both of my grandmothers wore house dresses and aprons but one grandmother lived long enough to graduate into wearing pants. My great aunts always wore house dresses similar to the photos here. I had heard of asphidity bags but never knew anyone who used them. Very interesting post! Happy to share and I am going to try that fennel muffin recipe sometime soon. I love the flavor of fennel and it sounds good. Thanks for sharing your great aunt's recipe with us.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago Author

Thank you Peggy for your comments and visiting my hub. You are welcome, I hope your fennel muffins turn out wonderful. You make my mouth water, I could go for one right now with some sassafras tea. If you like sassafras tea, Kroger selles it in liquid and I have a bottle, maybe.


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 2 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

Shyron, this is such a wonderful hub -- I so enjoyed getting to know you Great Aunt Hattie, I can tell by looking at her pictures and readin your words about her that a dear and much loved lady she was. Thank you for sharing your memories. I do know people who wear medicine bags, I make beaded medicine bags and I have one of my own, but I do not know anyone who wore an Asphidity bag. I recall my Grandma, Mother and Aunts mentioning Asphidity, they probably knew someone who wore one. This is very interesting and I voted as so, along with Up, Awesome and Useful -- plus sharing. Thank you for such a delightful hub, Shyron.

PS: I love seeing older photos back in the days when they always wore house dresses and aprons, like my Grandmother did. Thanks also for bringing back some loving memories to me.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago Author

Thank you so much Phyllis, I really appreciate you.

I am glad you enjoyed meeting my Great Aunt Hattie, yes she was dearly loved. Thank you for the votes and for sharing.

I too love seeing old photos. I am glad they brought back memories for you and you are welcome.

Blessings

Shyron


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

Really enjoyed this; made me think of my grandmother who died when I was ten. Maybe the herb was absorbed through the skin somehow? My mom use he make the sassafras tea when I was young; have heard since then many have been killed out from people digging them up for root; maybe just a portion of root could be taken and not kill the tree?


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago Author

Thank you Jackie, I am glad you enjoyed my hub. I don't think that cutting the roots kill the trees unless they are cut to close to the taproot. I know that when my grandfather plowed the fields hundreds of feet from the sassafras tree it did not harm the tree and his plow would cut the roots in pieces and we gathered the pieces.


ologsinquito profile image

ologsinquito 2 years ago from USA

Your great aunt sounds like a fascinating woman. I bet she was very skilled at healing colds and the flu.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago Author

Ologsinquito, thank you for your visit and comments. Yes Great Aunt Hattie was fascinating and she had many cures, at least she made you feel that way. I am sorry I did not tell her how much I for one appreciated her and love her.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

Hi Shyron,

I just wanted to come back and let you know that I made your Great Aunt Hattie's Fennel Muffins today and we really liked them! They are definite keepers and I just shared a few with a good neighbor of ours. Thank you so much for including them in this interesting article. Thumbs up on the muffin recipe!!!


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago Author

Peggy, I am so happy that you liked Great Aunt Hattie's Fennel Muffins, I would bet she is smiling. Thanks for the Thumbs up.

I really appreciate you.

Shyron


crazyhorsesghost profile image

crazyhorsesghost 2 years ago from East Coast , United States

Shyron I just loved this Hub Page of yours which I just ran across. My Grandmother who was my Mom's mother was named

Hattie,Mary, Ida,Elizabeth,Jane,Self,Propst

She was named for her mother who's name was Mary and for her four living grandmothers and great grandmothers who were living when she was born.

I called her Grandma Hattie and loved her as much or more than anyone else I ever knew. I think of her often and still miss her. Sadly her and my Mom have both passed on.

My Grandmother Hattie was a mid wife and she delivered over 3800 babies over a 50 year span of time. She was also a medicine woman and she knew everything about herbs that there was to know.

I have her bible and journals and I get them out and read them often. She was born in 1893 just outside of Dublin and her and her family came to the United States and North Carolina in 1903 on a ship called the White Squirrel. I think she only went to school briefly but she learned much of her medical knowledge from her Mom and aunts. She was a very smart woman though and she taught herself something new every day. When she died in 1984 she had over 20,000 books in her house and most of them were dog eared with hand written notes and markers she had added to the books. I have them packed away and I often open a box and just read my way through it careful to put her markers back where she had them. I think she would be really surprised if she could have lived to see the world of today. Thanks Shyron. You have the ability to lift my spirits just at the right time. Thanks for being a great online friend. I appreciate you.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago Author

Tom (Crazyhorsesghost/He Who Talks With Crows) I am so happy to see you, we are not only online friends, but also spirit friends, and I appreciate you also.

Thank you for sharing your family's interesting history with us. I do love hearing about your ancestors, especially the Native American part.

Also thank you for being a great friend, online and in spirit.


grand old lady profile image

grand old lady 2 years ago from Philippines

Very interesting. I never heard of an asphidity bag, and although I'd heard of dropsy, it is only now, through this hub, that I know what it is. Wonderful hub.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago Author

Grand old lady, thank you for reading my hub and leaving a comment. I really appreciate you.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

Hi Shyron,

My neighbor did not only enjoy the muffins but I had sent her a link to this article as well which she said that she really enjoyed reading. Your great aunt Hattie is probably smiling down at you for sharing this. I'll be making those muffins again! Pinning this to my sweet breads board even though they are more savory than sweet.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago Author

Peggy W, I am so glad you shared the link with you neighbor and I am sure Great Aunt Hattie is smiling. You have me wanting to make these again. I will probably make them as soon as things settle down.

Blessings to you dear friend.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas

Glad to see you have lots of good comments on here. This is an excellent story and it helps bring a bit of our history alive. I always prefer to read about history from the people who lived it or who had direct contact with the people and lifestyle they're writing about. Posted this on FB, pinned to AH (worked this time), and shared with followers.


word55 profile image

word55 2 years ago from Chicago

Um good Shyron. My mom's name was Hattie so when I saw the title I knew it was all good and it was better than i thought. My mom was similar to your great aunt. She was raised in the far south. My mom likewise, had remedies for any type of illness. Great hub of love. Yes, I miss my mom.I vote this one way up. Thanks to Au fait for re-sharing


Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 2 years ago from USA

I had to check what dropsy meant. The term was used for swelling of the tissues from excess water buildup, what we would call edema today. Of course, the edema is caused by something also.

You have such rich memories. Thanks for sharing them with us in your writing.


techygran profile image

techygran 2 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

I love this tribute to your Aunt Hattie and all the lovely associations that it brought up around your family and other "precious memories". I can't think of a better youtube to go along with this hub, either-- perfect! And I am also thinking of trying the fennel muffin recipe, but alas, no butter straight from the churn nor egg straight from the hen (although my neighbour does have hens that come into our yard on a regular basis lol). Thank you for posting this! Voted up and shared!


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago Author

Au fait, thank you as always for all that you do and especially for being my friend. Thand you for the comments, share, pin and post.

Have a blessed day, hope all is well with you.


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Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago Author

Al (word55) Hattie(s) raised in the south are wise women, at least my Great Aunt Hattie and her twin (Addie), they are sages.

Forgive the delay in thanking you for the comment and up votes, got stuff going on that interferes with my time on the computer.

Blessing.


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Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago Author

Thank you Barbara, for your comment, which I appreciate.

You are welcome. There are so many memories that half are forgotten.

I also have to make the Fennel muffins and to go with them the sage tea.

Blessings to you Barbara.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 23 months ago from North Texas

Such an interesting article! My own grandmother talked about this thing when I was little and now I wish I'd paid more attention. Sharing with followers again and voting this up.

Very chilly las' night and that wind made it hard to get and keep warm. Going to keep getting colder at night for a while. Hope you and John stay in where it's warm. Blessings and hugs for you, 2 things one can never have too many of.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 23 months ago from sunny Florida

O how wonderful it is that you have this knowledge. Too often our loved ones get away from us and their stories never get told. And who knows really how well they worked??

We had a pup who died from dropsy? I wonder if herb therapy would have helped..this was back in the late fifties and the vet could do nothing to help him.

And the stereoscope is so cool I have one that has been in our family for ever!!!

Angels are on the way to you this evening ps


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Shyron E Shenko 23 months ago Author

Au fait, I am glad you found my article about my great aunt interesting. Thank you for the comments, sharing and the up-votes.

I hope you are staying warm, and the cold wind dies down. John and I are staying in where it is warm. You are right we can never have enough blessings and hugs, and I am wishing you many, many blessings and hugs.


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Shyron E Shenko 23 months ago Author

Patricia, I am sure the herbs must have been beneficial Great Aunt Hattie lived well into her nineties and my grandmother was 95. I am sure the herbs would have helped your pup also.

Thank you for the comments and reading my story from my childhood.

And the stereoscope you grandson will love, I am sure.

Angels with blessings and hugs on the way to you.


Marion 21 months ago

Hi I was reading your article on your aunt, and her use of asphidity. As a child my mother had myself and each one of my siblings wearing a bag of it around our necks. I would hide mine inside my shirt. We also drank sassafrase tea, and a tea called Horehound onething about these home remedies is I can't recall ever having to go to hospital for a cold. Lots of garlic and onion in food. Hot tardy mad with tea a little whiskey honey lemon, and an onion cutup and boiled in a pot with sugar and water it makes a syrup add to hot tardy. Thank you so much for telling about the asphidity,Your aunt new what she was during. My mother has passed on. But I remember her using home remedies to keep us well. Oh yeah also glovers mane mixed with petroleum gelly in our hair, we might have been a smelly something lol, but at least we well Thank you again


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Shyron E Shenko 21 months ago Author

Marion, thank you for the visit and comment. I did not have the Asphidity bag, But Aunt Hattie use to make all kinds of rubs for us when we got the sniffles. The Hot Toddy, we had those also. I love the sassafras tea and have even now.

You are welcome. I hope you still use some of these old remedies.

Take Care and have a blessed day.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 7 months ago from North Texas

Some of the things people used to do to fend off disease and illness is quite interesting don't you think? Superstition is a funny thing. Sharing this again. My own grandmother told me about this asphidity bag long ago and I think it's interesting that we have learned so much about preventing and dealing with disease just in our own lifetimes.

Hope all is well with you and John. Take care dear friend . . .


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Shyron E Shenko 7 months ago Author

Au fait, thank you for the comment, reading this again and for sharing. I really appreciate you.

Hope all is well with you also.

Blessings and hugs always my dear friend


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 months ago from North Texas

Giving this interesting article another share. I don't think I've ever read about this subject anywhere else. I think it's good that you wrote it so this means of curing sickness won't be lost. Not because it works or is worthwhile, but because it's a part of our history. :)

Do hope you're taking serious care if you're out in the heat.


Nadine May profile image

Nadine May 4 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

What great childhood memories. Many thanks for sharing. Today we live in a world where natural medication with herbs is coming back. Partly due to the Social Medea where one can learn a great deal about healing remedies that older generations have passed on. Great hub.


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Shyron E Shenko 4 months ago Author

Nadine, my beautiful friend thank you for the comment, and compliments, those were the "Good-Ole-days" sometimes I wish I could go back, but there is too much in between that I would not want to go through a second time.

Blessings and hugs dear friend.


Robert Sacchi profile image

Robert Sacchi 4 months ago

An interesting Hub about your great Aunt Hattie. The recipe was a good addition to your Hub.


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Shyron E Shenko 4 months ago Author

Thank you Robert for the comment. The recipe was one of Aunt Hattie's, she made Fennel Muffins often so she would have them for her nieces and nephews when they came to visit her, which was often. She also made the most fantastic biscuits ever.


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Shyron E Shenko 4 months ago Author

Au fait, thank you for the comment, compliment, I truly appreciate you.

Yesterday was a day from hell. I had a major migraine, took my strongest meds and went to bed.

Hope all is well with you and you are staying cool.

Blessings and hugs dear friend.


Anita Hasch profile image

Anita Hasch 3 months ago from Port Elizabeth

Hi Shyron, I enjoyed reading about your Aunt Hattie. What an

interesting lady. Although I've never heard of a asphidity bag, I have

heard about garlic being carried in a pocket to ward off viruses. The Bible actually have a lot to say about plants, diet and herbs, from Genesis to Revelation plants are mentioned as a blessing from God for medicine and food. Genesis 1-29.

If you think that nearly a million sailors died from scurvy after the navy had been told that taking lemons could prevent and cure scurvy.

Thousands of people have been healed by alternative medicine.

I enjoy reading your interesting hubs.


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Shyron E Shenko 3 months ago Author

Anita, thank you so much for reading about Aunt Hattie and commenting, I really appreciate you.

Yes Scurvy can be prevented/cured by citrus fruits.

Blessings and Hugs my new friend.


SAMMY BRITT 2 months ago

From Beech Bluff Tennessee I remember very well the Asphidity bag in the 1940,s my dad would mix Asphidity with something else and in the wintertime every morning before he went out side to work he would touch the bottle of Asphidity to his tounge to keep from getting a bad cold and my sister and I would have to do the same thing before we HHattiewent to school .My dad and my uncle always wore cotton denium overalls and acotton denium jumper in the winter , my grand mother and my mother and all of my aunts all wore cotton dresses year round and an apron always when in the kitchen Those were the years that bring back memories much like your aunt Hattie .


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Shyron E Shenko 2 months ago Author

Thank you Sammy, I appreciate you taking the time to read my hub and tell me about your family. I am glad if this brought back fond memories for you.

Tennessee is a beautiful state.

Blessings to you and your family

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    Shyron E Shenko293 Followers
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    Shyron is a retired Customer Service Rep. for Verizon. Colleges attended: Triton, Melrose Park, Illinois and Elgin, in Elgin, Illinois.



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