Ozark Encyclopedia – C – Copper

Importance of copper wire – “Dr. Hershel Shockey, an osteopath who practiced in Stone County, Missouri, during the Second World War, told me that he saw a young man with some rare skin disease brought into an osteopathic clinic in Kansas City. This patient was a hillbilly from southwest Missouri. Told to strip, he took off every- thing but a piece of copper wire wound about his arm. Jokingly one of the physicians tried to remove this wire, but the patient wouldn’t have it offered to fight the whole hospital staff rather than take off that little twist of wire.” ~Randolph OMF 151

Against rheumatism and venereal disease – “A copper ring, or a piece of sheet copper carried next the skin, is believed to ward off attacks of rheumatism as well as venereal infection. I have seen old men in Arkansas with long pieces of copper wire wound round their ankles, under their socks.” ~Randolph OMF 151-152

Worn for rheumatism – “The best thing to for arthritis is to wear a copper bracelet or carry a buckeye in your pocket.” ~Carter and Krause HRIO 21

“Wear a copper wire around the wrists and ankles. Sometimes people just wear a wire around the arm or leg that is affected; sometimes they wear one on all four just as a precaution.” ~Parler FBA III 3005

“…bend a copper pipe around the part of the body that aches, and wear the pipe like a bracelet.” ~Parler FBA III 3006

Worn to conserve strength – “When doing hard labor wear a copper band around the wrist to save strength.” ~Parler FBA II 1202

Worn for a goiter – “Many people used to think if you wore a copper necklace it would cure an inward goiter.” ~Parler FBA II 2297


Carter, Kay & Bonnie Krause Home Remedies of the Illinois Ozarks (HRIO)

Parler, Mary Celestia Folk Beliefs from Arkansas (FBA)

Randolph, Vance Ozark Magic and Folklore (OMF)

Source: Ozark Encyclopedia – C – Copper

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