The Druid’s cure

The bug had well and truly taken me by the throat; if speaking was bad, swallowing was well-nigh impossible. Still, sitting around wasn’t going to help. “What about the Druid?” As good an idea as any under the circumstances.

We drove through the hills, heading farther and farther away from the towns. Passing through the picturesque village of Stanton and skirting the moor where we knew there were stone circles, neolithic cairns, and legends of druids, we drove on to the near-deserted village that was our destination.

We were too early, so wandered up the silent main street and explored the forest pathway for a while until my companion checked the time. We headed back, under the baleful gaze of a black-feathered watcher, searching for the entrance; the Druid wasn’t making it easy.

Image result for Andrey Shishkin

Painting by Andrey Shishkin

Once inside, we found ourselves in a small, low ceilinged room redolent of woodsmoke. The place looked as if it had seen better days centuries ago. Still, the Druid Inn was our kind of pub. A bit quirky, with buildings of nameless age huddled together and tacked onto each other. The menu wasΒ  somewhat unusual and written with both mystery and humour, but as it was only lunchtime, we just went for a couple of sandwiches. Mine was ham and mustard. I might, I thought, at least be able to taste the mustard.

Proper English mustard is something of an institution and, along with Karashi, is one of the hottest mustards in the world. Its brilliant yellow colour should be enough of a warning. You treat it with care…and respect. With ham, you need no more than a discrete smear; anything more is pretty much guaranteed to bring tears to your eyes.

Apparently, no-one had told that to the chef.

I bit… the roll oozed and dripped mustard. There was enough on there to repoint the masonry of a small cathedral. I was right…I could certainly taste it. I couldn’t feel my mouth for very long, but I could definitely taste the mustard. I persevered, eyes watering, while it did its worst, magically unblocking every airway and effectively numbing my entire sensory nerve network from the neck up.

I have vague memories of my great-grandmother making mustard poultices and mustard baths for the feet. I would not have given such remedies credence had I not been on the receiving-end of her chillblain remedy…a paste made from Bay Rum and soap-flakes… that actually seemed to work.

Apparently, mustard is a good old-fashioned cure for colds, flu and especially for sore and swollen throats… probably because it strips them of any flesh and burns away every nerve ending with the devil’s own fire. Whatever the cause, by the time I had eaten the thing, the Druid had, at least temporarily, cured my throat of all ills and we were ready for an afternoon of adventures…


About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
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20 Responses to The Druid’s cure

  1. It works. It hurts and works. Hot sauce, horseradish … it clears everything and cauterizes everything else.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I must remember this for winter is approaching and it brings sore throats. I am sorry you were tortured by mustard though when you were not feeling well :)))) Jen


  3. TamrahJo says:

    πŸ™‚ I rather love some of the (at least here) ‘outdated’ remedies: Mustard, horseradish garnish, onion plasters, mulled cider with spices, chili based sauces, Grandpa’s Hot Toddy Recipe (with variations for onset, oops! didn’t catch it early!, and so far gone, you’d best do ginger tea with lemon and honey for a time until the tummy willing to keep it down…:) etc., etc., Done with care, they either hold the line late in the game until more evolved/educated forces are available for assistance , bring comfort for some rest, until it get’s better OR, often, take care of whatever ails one – πŸ™‚


    • Sue Vincent says:

      A lot of the old remedies work nicely on their own πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • TamrahJo says:

        πŸ™‚ – Yes, I’ve found, here, that, sadly, many are kept by sharing the knowledge, due to regulation, laws – unless with a disclaimer or in a way that supports, in the end, the loss of such knowledge in lieu of giving a ‘charter’ to favored current folks/ways – sigh – Fortunately for me, I’m not an expert – don’t have my shingle hung out to charge folks for my crazy advice and freely say, “Why listen to me? You realize I know nothing, right?” LOL – Sigh – frustrated on so very, very many levels, on so many facets, over – what is lauded/trending, what is supported/suppressed, what is regulated etc., in so many ways from so many angles, in so many regions – globally – I do take heart in social media – figure, like always, the Truth and What Really Works – Will Out – sooner or later – Realize, I may not live to see it all – but love watching it all unfold, transform, etc., etc., all the same – πŸ™‚ even when I’m frustrated! πŸ™‚ Or new information to be tested before being proven sound and the great who came up with it is so convinced, they decide they will spend time in the ‘dog house’ and wait it out – until they are disproven or revamp their hypothesis – even after waiting for 500+ years – – πŸ™‚


        • Sue Vincent says:

          I have a feeling that, like other animals, we sort of know what is right for us if we could only learn how to lsiten to our bodies. Folk knowledge is based on that lost ability, I believe…even though a lot of it has been debased by superstition. It tickles me that we rely on the big pharmaceuticals to synthesise so many drugs that occur naturally and don’t realise that’s what we are doing. The most important thing they do in that respect is make predictable, optimised and reliable dosages.

          Liked by 1 person

          • TamrahJo says:

            Alas, I started to blog about it, but already morphed in 1500+ words and..well…I confess – I’m sorely stuck in the in-between world, just now (and quite for some time) of either/or vs. both/and – but your comment does remind me of my acupuncturist, years ago, who saw me after hours, (so I wouldn’t infect others – and I, in my illness, didn’t think about her health…sigh) when I thought I had a particular nasty version of flu – couldn’t bear to make the trip.spend a day, to be told, “viral, go home, rest, drink plenty of fluids…” at ‘conventional Dr office’- πŸ™‚

            I begged her for a needle or 400 and meal instructions to get a few hours of sleep, so my body could do what it needed to – she informed me I must go, to Dr. or ER, NOW and she recommended whatever was fastest and when I whined (for I was on my ‘bandwagon of eschewing modern medicine after years of failures on their part, that she had fixed and made better – not as fast, but more permanently, when it did occur…without the side effects or other problems cropping up – – )

            She waved me off, “Stop! Western Medicine good for keeping you alive – Eastern Medicine good for helping the body to be supported, heal, grow stronger – one fast, one slow – and you do not come here with broken bones or gun shot wound – Go to Dr/ER, call me when you get back home. Go, now.” – πŸ™‚ and I did.. barely escaped getting forced into hospital admission – turns out, I didn’t have Swine Flue like others around us – I had full blown case of pneumonia and had to beg and go into coughing fit and tearfully promise to be very good and demonstrate evidence of in-home family support to escape being admitted to hospital (I never get any rest in such places – ) πŸ™‚ so yes, I see, I understand – and have spent so many years out of the past 15, trying to find lil ways to head off disaster early, (like afforementioned food, condiments, beverages) or keep myself strong enough to avoid EVER, having such a reminder conversation, Again! – doing fairly well, I think – Next up? Working on not being so clumsy – cuz ya know, that’s how broken bones happen – – LOL πŸ˜€


  4. Widdershins says:

    The ‘kill-you-or-cure-you’ mustard of champions! πŸ˜€


  5. Eliza Waters says:

    The old cures are so of the best!


  6. Helen Jones says:

    Oh no! I’m glad the mustard worked though, how funny! πŸ™‚


  7. PHS says:

    Reblogged this on Archer's Aim and commented:
    I got a good chuckle from this. It’s well-written and I also suggest that mustard you get at Chinese restaurants.


  8. Haha. How do you spell relief? Yes it clears you out good and proper. At least you could breath better. How long did it last? o_O


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