REBECCA COOPER: How often did you go to the doctor in Mossville, or did the doctor come to you? How did that work?
AUDREY SIMS GUILLORY: We had to go to a little place in Mossville was called The Clinic. The nurse would come and they would . . . That's when I found out I was anemic. Because we didn't have no money to go to no doctor, We did home remedies. Earache, toothache, cut foot. We did home remedies.
COOPER: Where was The Clinic in Mossville?
GUILLORY: Old Spanish Trail.
COOPER: What home remedies do you remember using?
GUILLORY: [laughs] If you cut your foot real bad, you would use fat meat, put it on the cut, tie it up, and for whatever reason it would heal. If you had a toothache, you would use clover. It would ease the pain. I'm doing it right now because my mouth is sore . . . rinsing it out. Earache? Olive oil. Mom would blow smoke from her cigarette in my ear and somehow or another it would ease the pain. That's the degree of my sickness. I was sickly with the sore throat, I always had a sore throat. Gargle with salt and water and something they call alum. You don't swallow it, but it draws everything out. I mean, you can feel the tightness, bitter. Winter medicine for worms and disease? Castor oil. Worst time of your life. It was a taste you could never get rid of, but they said you take the castor oil and you suck the lemon, or you take the castor oil and you drink the orange juice. We never had orange juice [laughs]. We only had the lemon. [laughs] That was a time we dreaded.
COOPER: And what was castor oil used to prevent?
GUILLORY: To clean your body out for the winter [laughs].
COOPER: Oh. [laughing] And you would drink the castor oil? Oh.
GUILLORY: A tablespoon. To the day I don't use . . . I don't even like . . . You know, lipstick is made with castor oil. I smell mine before I buy it, [laughs] because if it smells like it, I don't want it because it makes me nauseous. [laughing]
COOPER: And so you mentioned you still use the clover for a toothache. Are there other home remedies that your mother taught you that you still use today?
GUILLORY: I still have an earache, olive oil. What else do I use? We're diagnosed with high blood pressure, my mom and whatever. A dash of cayenne pepper and water kept in the refrigerator, drink it every morning.