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Thread: Kerosene as an antiseptic?

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    Resident Wildman Wildthang's Avatar
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    Default Kerosene as an antiseptic?

    When I was a kid, every time my dad or me got a cut, he would pour aome kerosene on the wound. And please do not try this just because I posted this. But the funny thing is it never made us sick, and the wound never got infected.
    Has anybody ever heard of this?


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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Well,...... for me it was tobacco juice.....LOL.
    Not a recommendation.
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    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    Being a bit older than you WT, I remember many of the old standards.

    kerosene was a universal proudct, used for cleaning, disinfecting cuts and all manner of uses. One remedy I remember was if you stepped on a nail you soaked a biscuit in kero and bandaged it to the puncture. Rattle-snakebite was treated the same way. By the time I came along the yankees had invaded with tetnus shots so my information is from two uncles that experienced this treatment. Both lived.

    Kero was rubbed freely on the shoe tops and pants cuffs to keep down chigger bites and was used on the bites if you got them. It was espically effective if mixed with powdered sulphur.

    A mush of kero and powdered sulphur, with a kero soaked cloth wick, was used as a fumigating fog to get rid of insects (usually fleas, coaches or bedbugs) in the house. It would kill every living thing inside those walls including cats, dogs, goldfish or parakeets as well as the bugs. You could substitute black powder (gunpowder) if you had no sulpur.

    Another old standby was Listerine. It was a universal antiseptic and it did work! Still does but has fallen into disuse. I could take the place of alcahol and did a good job of cleansing instruments for minor splinter-pulling, blister piercing and the like. It was one of the first sterilizing agents accepted by the medical community and was used to sterilize the operating theatre when Queen Victoria gave birth to her children.

    We also had what we refered too as "Blue Salve". I can not find it on the internet and do not remember the brand name. I suspect it was little more than petrolium jelly with camphors and a blue tint, but we thought it worked miricles. We used it on ourselves and on any of the animals that were injured.

    Then there was Vicks Vapo-rub. If you did not like that stuff you'd better not tell any of my kinfolk you were not feeling well!

    There was also a codine based yellow cough medicine that was standard in many homes. Tasted terrible but did the job! That was a perscription med but the doctors never hesitated to write the script. Things were not as tight as they are today. You could still buy paregoric over the counter.

    And the final and most thoroughly efficient southern home remedy, Black Draugh. They were the main sponsor for Porter Wagoner on the Grand Old Opery fo 100 years and he had a catchy jingle he sang for the product. The lyrics went: "Black Draugh helps you feel fresh and clean inside".
    Come to the dark side, we have pudding.

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    It is amazing we did not die as kids Our stand by on the farm for cuts, nail punctures, etc was a sort of paste,,,kerosene mixed with sugar. Stung like all get out but must have worked, we all have our limbs
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    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    Yep, and any kind of sting was treated with baking soda.

    My granny once crushed asprin tablets and made a paste when I stuck my hand in a yellow jacket nest. They say you forget pain, but I still remember that incident and it was nearly 55 years ago!
    Come to the dark side, we have pudding.

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    Yep, stepped on a nail and mamaw soaked my foot in it.
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    Here on the coast it has been used Never heard of it making anyone sick. I am 58 and as far back as I can remember it has been used

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    Quote Originally Posted by kyratshooter View Post
    Being a bit older than you WT, I remember many of the old standards.

    kerosene was a universal proudct, used for cleaning, disinfecting cuts and all manner of uses. One remedy I remember was if you stepped on a nail you soaked a biscuit in kero and bandaged it to the puncture. Rattle-snakebite was treated the same way. By the time I came along the yankees had invaded with tetnus shots so my information is from two uncles that experienced this treatment. Both lived.

    Kero was rubbed freely on the shoe tops and pants cuffs to keep down chigger bites and was used on the bites if you got them. It was espically effective if mixed with powdered sulphur.

    A mush of kero and powdered sulphur, with a kero soaked cloth wick, was used as a fumigating fog to get rid of insects (usually fleas, coaches or bedbugs) in the house. It would kill every living thing inside those walls including cats, dogs, goldfish or parakeets as well as the bugs. You could substitute black powder (gunpowder) if you had no sulpur.

    Another old standby was Listerine. It was a universal antiseptic and it did work! Still does but has fallen into disuse. I could take the place of alcahol and did a good job of cleansing instruments for minor splinter-pulling, blister piercing and the like. It was one of the first sterilizing agents accepted by the medical community and was used to sterilize the operating theatre when Queen Victoria gave birth to her children.

    We also had what we refered too as "Blue Salve". I can not find it on the internet and do not remember the brand name. I suspect it was little more than petrolium jelly with camphors and a blue tint, but we thought it worked miricles. We used it on ourselves and on any of the animals that were injured.

    Then there was Vicks Vapo-rub. If you did not like that stuff you'd better not tell any of my kinfolk you were not feeling well!

    There was also a codine based yellow cough medicine that was standard in many homes. Tasted terrible but did the job! That was a perscription med but the doctors never hesitated to write the script. Things were not as tight as they are today. You could still buy paregoric over the counter.

    And the final and most thoroughly efficient southern home remedy, Black Draugh. They were the main sponsor for Porter Wagoner on the Grand Old Opery fo 100 years and he had a catchy jingle he sang for the product. The lyrics went: "Black Draugh helps you feel fresh and clean inside".
    Now you have brought back another old memory, well maybe a nightmare. I remember dad watching Porter Wagoner and the Grand Ole Opry and I think he would have had a breakdown if he missed those shows every week. I was just a little kid and those shows bored me to tears. I even remember that ole dude that talked on the phone to somebody named Sadie.............who was that guy?
    And my mom always worried about us kids being constipated and if she even thought we were, out came the Black Drought or Milk of Magnesia! How we kept form pooping the bed I really dont't know. Either one of those majic formulas would fairly set you free and it felt anything but clean when we exploded like a water baloon

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    Calomine lotion for sunburns and my mom still insists Jagermeister is a medicine for stomach ailments. We didn't use kerosene but we did use gas to clean stuff like carburetors and greasy hands, wait, carburetor whats that now? lol

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    Alaska, The Madness! 1stimestar's Avatar
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    Oh yea, Calamine lotion for mosquito bites. Pink dotted childhood memories.
    Why do I live in Alaska? Because I can.

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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Lots of products are still made with "pine tar" as a major ingredient...still have a little tin of 'drawing salve" for slivers and "risin's" pimples and boils...
    Geezer Squad....Charter Member #1
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    I've got Campho Phenique (sp?) in my med kit; I still think it is superior in teating any insect bite/sting.
    I recently stumbled on brokronian chloride, known when I was a kid as merthiolate. I had forgotten all about it. It is antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal. So, it will treat a cold sore, athlelete's foot and keep a wound clean.
    It was actually hard to find; I bought a dozen towlettes and a 120 ml bottle on e-bay.
    KF7ZJR I always carry a pocket knife, just in Case.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jfeatherjohn View Post
    I've got Campho Phenique (sp?) in my med kit; I still think it is superior in teating any insect bite/sting.
    I recently stumbled on brokronian chloride, known when I was a kid as merthiolate. I had forgotten all about it. It is antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal. So, it will treat a cold sore, athlelete's foot and keep a wound clean.
    It was actually hard to find; I bought a dozen towlettes and a 120 ml bottle on e-bay.
    Merthiolate doesn't sting near as bad as Iodine!

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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    The merthiolate (and mercurachrome) that you are getting today are not the same products that you got when growing up. Those both contained mercury and have been discontinued/reformulated. Not sure if the new stuff is better/worse, but it is different. I guess the good thing is that you won't get mercury poisoning from it.
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    Senior Member jfeatherjohn's Avatar
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    I did look that up, Crash, and the brokronium is now just that. The post-mercuy reports seem very good.
    KF7ZJR I always carry a pocket knife, just in Case.

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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    That stuff was invented to allow you to just put up with the pain of a small cut, and not make a big deal out of it....as the cure was worst than the injury in a lot of cases....
    If it don't hurt ya, it isn't doing any good.
    Geezer Squad....Charter Member #1
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    First 50 years...worried about the small stuff...second 50 years....Not so much
    Member Wahoo Killer knives club....#27

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    Senior Member BENESSE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hunter63 View Post
    That stuff was invented to allow you to just put up with the pain of a small cut, and not make a big deal out of it....as the cure was worst than the injury in a lot of cases....
    If it don't hurt ya, it isn't doing any good.
    That brings spanking to mind.

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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    It's truely a wonder I survived childhood......at least the first part of it....DW keeps asking when I'm gonna grow up.....LOL
    Geezer Squad....Charter Member #1
    Evoking the 50 year old rule...
    First 50 years...worried about the small stuff...second 50 years....Not so much
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  19. #19

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    When I was a little kid, we had Tajo (sp) oil. It smelled like a bottle of kerosine

  20. #20
    Senior Member Bushman's Avatar
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    back in NZ we used kero on damn near everything, cut, bites, scratches.....drawing out splinters.

    Used it on wire rope sprags in the bush felling timber

    when a kid the Uncle used to dose the cows and any nearby kids with a mix of molasses and sulphur, poured down your throat from a beer bottle, whether you wanted it or not
    "use enough gun......"

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