For: Michelle 🙂
Recently Michelle & I were chatting when I mentioned a product that I had been using to draw the infection out of the spider bite called Petro-carbo by Watkins. My husband and his sisters always call it “petro-carb” like the ‘o’ is silent. Michelle had never heard of it which amused me because before moving to the midwest I hadn’t heard of lots of thing that is used and known about here. It’s kind of like Utz & Kitchen Cooked potato chips. On the East Coast it’s UTZ all the way – that’s what I grew up eating… here it’s Kitchen Cooked. It really comes down to a cultural difference what is labeled as okay and what sells here vs. there. Also I noticed that there’s a difference between manual laborers vs. the working class of office people and pencil pushers. (I’m not saying one is better than the other – I’ve been on both sides of that fence and I know the pros & cons of both.) However, people who work with their bodies more tend to find products that they need are very different and vice-versa, for example a pack of black pens vs. a muscle rub.
The mid-west has grown immensely since the 1st wagons rolled out – something I still find cosmical since my ‘wagon’ consisted of a budget truck and my little foreign car… LOL! People here really rely on the things their parents told them & what they used when they were little. That old adage why fix it if it ain’t broke. I often explain how sometimes when I would first visit it was as though I was stepping back in time. Sure all the modern conveniences but stores close by supper time and family supper actually means something. With that being said most people here are farmers & like us we live ‘off the beaten path’ or ‘where the black top ends’. Consulting a doctor is not always as easy especially when there are crops to be planted or harvested. So the men in this area rely on things their Daddy’s used which sometimes cross over from things used in the barn for the animals or they simply self medicate because they live off the land. As a matter of fact we have a ‘home remedy’ self help type book. It’s pretty much on the shelf right next to the family bible. There are a lot of things I don’t recommend but there are lots of other things that I can’t believe how well they do work. For example – using products around the house for parents of little kids & little boys that are always on the move, I got a great home remedy for you! Bacon it’s good to eat right?! I have 3 yr old that refuses to wear shoes and we live on a farm, so he sometimes gets splinters in his feet & if you know my 3 yr old getting him to sit still is like trying to stop the tide… not happening. So, I wait till he’s sound asleep at night and cut a small piece of raw bacon and place it over the splinter and put band ain over it and put a sock on it and let him sleep all night with it on. In the morning the splinter will be in the bacon. Works every time!! I can’t believe how well it works but its one of those things Daddy’s have passed down and passed down and truly, it works!
So, back to the Petro-carb, I had never heard of Watkins before moving here but after doing some research realized they had been making products since 1868. The owner was a pioneer in natural living & making products that are all natural. They have so many great products like the Petro-Carbo & the other one Michelle and I talked about specifically was the Liniment. While Patro-carbo is a brown salve that can draw infection & help heal amongst other things the liniment I use a lot when I have sore achy muscles. You just rub it on and usually I go to bed and in the morning there’s no more ache. I love that these products are natural and that they work. There are many other things that we use from this company and they sell it locally here at most of the farm stores. Go figure?!
One of the first things I was introduced to was ‘bag balm’, it was accidentally actually I was wrestling with one of my siblings and ended up stepping in a big plastic container of it. I was immediately freaking out, it looked terrible and it smelled funky. I couldn’t figure out for the life of me what it was. My husband said “well that foot won’t be dry or callused for some time now…LOL” I was confused and I said “is it vaseline?” and then he told me it was ‘Bag Balm’ and I did the typical “excuse me, bag… what??”. Bag Balm is yet another company the I had never heard of before. Their products started out being used for cow udders. When a cow’s udders become hard and cracked they can cause the cow a lot of pain so they created this ‘bag balm’ to put on them to almost over night fix the problem. A lot of the old cowboys use them on there sore callused hands… or in my case the bottoms of my feet in the summer when I’ve been barefoot & the bottoms of my feet are dry and cracking. After researching more or their website I fond they have MANY uses listed for it, things I would have never thought of before. Other products that are used for the same but have different consistencies, which are more like lotions or butters that I’ve used are ‘Udder Butter’ , which is made by Udderly Smooth & ‘Better Balm’ by Udder Essence which I have a tube of currently. I recently gave to a friend after she had been drywalling to help ease the pain and clear up some dry skin she had on her hands. She gave it back to me in just a few days said it cleared it up right away.
I’m sure most of you would LOVE to get rid of those achy muscles after a hard workout and most of what you will find would be Absorbine Jr. This is great product and it works well but before I learned of this product I was introduced to this Absorbine for Horses. When I 1st moved here I was living with my birth Mom and my sisters whom are horse owners & my sister played basketball in high school. She came home from a game one night with a pretty sore knee and her Dad rubbed this all over her leg and wrapped in plastic wrap and had her put it up for a bit. I was curious what it was. It was an absorbine that is used for horses when they strain muscle & you wrap it to create heat much like using a heating pad. After a bit she unwrapped it and placed a bag of ice on it and little later went to bed. Much to my surprise she was like new in the morning. Absorbine makes a similar product now that is a gel & we use it often, just like the Watkins Liniment.
Who knew there were all these great products around!? Not me!! We use so many of these great products and some that I haven’t listed like Tiger Balm & Watkins Menthol Camphor Vapor Rub. There are so many other great products like something as simple as Lye Soap, which ironically is sold at novelty stores like Cracker Barrel anymore. However, I buy mine at the little hardware store in town. It’s the best poison ivy deterrent I’ve ever seen, before I moved here, I didn’t get poison ivy but if I thought I might I would always used Tecnu soap which works well also but who knew that just regular Lye Soap will do the very same thing. I’ve become SO allergic since having my children that I actually use both on a regular basis during the summer.
Not to mention I love all the great little old-fashioned tins/packaging that some of the products come in, it will be something my kids will grow up seeing and remember from their childhood & pass onto their children.
So… Here’s to all those old timers, farmers & cowboys and their great medicinal products!
P.S. I totally forgot to mention bug spray. I know bugs are an issue in the summer time & spraying things on young children can make you worry what kind of chemical you may be putting into their system. I make a homemade bug spray made from real vanilla (made by Watkins) Listerine and water – 3 parts in a spray bottle. It works really well. I have also found that Buggins, product is very similar and natural as well. Happy Bug Repelling 🙂