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?