The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Saturday 1 March 2008


I’m sure that we all have our various ways of dealing with blisters if they strike. Personally I try to avoid them, but if they do strike then I’m a fan of Compeed Plisters*. Other people think that Compeed are the work of the devil and swear by other remedies, be they simple or proprietary.

What was the common remedy before plasters though?

In the recent exercise of clearing out my late Mother’s house, we came across a book that gave an insight into the 19th century cure for the malady. It was a book that neither I nor my sister had previously seen, entitled ‘Wesley’s Primative Physic’ (published in London in 1848).

According to the inscription in the front it was given to my Father and belonged to his Great-Grandfather.

The first half of the book is dedicated to giving remedies for various ailments, both common and otherwise. The one that caught our eye was that for blisters (although there are plenty of other gems in there too).

The advice given in this 1848 work was thus:

On the feet, occasioned by walking, are cured by drawing a needle full of worsted through them; clip it off at both ends and leave it till the skin peels off.’

I’m sure that it’s sound advice, but all the same I think that I’ll stick with the Compeed rather than seeking out some good old worsted…

(*Most people would probably call them 'Blister Plasters', but to me they're 'Plisters')

1 comment:

  1. I think there might be something in this advice, Gayle!

    I reckon the worsted acts as a wick to drain the blister so that it does not retain the fluid. Perhaps by using a more hygenic thread this could be improved. I also think that the length of thread need only be a few milimetres - it just needs an 'in and out' route to anchor it in place to act as the wick.

    Any Doctors in the house?

    It sounds good to me!