Tobacco Spit

I was doing some research regarding Appalachian old wives tales.  That is no surprise as I am always working on my “Appalachian education” on a daily basis, learning as much as I can about my roots.  As I was reading, however, I was reminded of something my dad used to do to me when I would get a bee sting.  I think I blocked it out because it was super gross, in my humble opinion.

I’m not sure if this is properly categorized as an “old wives tale” or a “natural remedy” so I will put it under both sections.  At any rate, when I would get a bee sting when I was little, my dad would put tobacco in his mouth and get it wet and put the wet tobacco on the sting after he removed the stinger.  He said it would “draw the poison out”.  I don’t know if it felt better afterward because it was a “mental pill” and I just trusted him, or if it actually worked.  At any rate, it seemed to do the trick.

From what I have read, the tobacco does not actually “draw the poison out”, but it is possible that it does act as a pain reliever.

2 thoughts on “Tobacco Spit

  • June 17, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    I’ve been ‘spit’ on more than once as a child. The tobacco did indeed seem to work. My husband has a funny story from his childhood-he got into a nest of bees and got stung to many times to count. His papaw chased him all over the farm telling him he was going to put the tobacco juice on every bee sting-which would have pretty much been his entire body : )

  • September 4, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    Growing up, this was also very commonly used for stings I received as a child. The tobacco was directly applied to the sting instead of the juice/spit. I agree it did seem to work. I have also used this on my daughter with just wetting the tobacco with water and putting it on the sting under a band-aid. Still seems to work!!

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