Appalachian Thursday – Bloodstoppers

Ever get a cut that just won’t stop bleeding? Or a nose bleed that goes on and on? Or maybe your dog cut his paw and you can’t figure out how to get the blood to stop! I know . . . yuck.

But there are some Appalachian remedies/superstitions that could be just the ticket next time you need some first aid.

  1. Cobwebs – Yeah, double yuck! But seriously, packing a wound with spider webs was common practice. Allegedly, cobwebs have lots of vitamin K which causes blood to clot–could be some truth to this!
  2. Tea leaves – With this one, it’s thought the tannins in black tea may help with clotting. Wrap leaves in cheesecloth and apply to the cut (or just use a teabag). A good remedy if you have a cut in your mouth!
  3. Sugar or honey – Now, it’s true that sugar and honey will hinder the growth of bacteria in a wound. Not so sure about it stopping blood, though.

And then there were the bloodstoppers. These were people thought to have an ability to stop bleeding–often by reciting Ezekiel 16:6 – And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live; yea, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live.

Some bloodstoppers could recited it once. Some repeated it three times. Some added the injured person’s name. There are a few other variations as well–a woman in Missouri was said to recite, “Upon Christ’s grave three roses bloom, stop, blood, stop!” to great effect.

I think I’ll try cobwebs first. Although the notion of bloodstoppers reminds me of Francine River’s The Sin Eater. Hmmmm. Future story material?

Published by Sarah Loudin Thomas

Author, wife, child of God.

4 thoughts on “Appalachian Thursday – Bloodstoppers

  1. My grandpa could stop blood by saying Ezekiel 16:6. Mom would stop our nose bleeds by getting a dab of the blood on her finger and making a cross on our forehead with it. I also did this with my kids – it worked!

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