On the travel board where I hang out, there was a discussion of first aid for wounds when you are in the middle of nowhere. One person posted, quite seriously, that the best treatment was to rub the wound with soil, as local dirt would be full of bacteria & fungi that produce antibiotics against local bad germs.Some of this should go in the Grossout thread, but, well, here it goes:
My MIL, farmgirl in northern Indiana in the early 20th century, said the best treatment for bee stings or horsefly bites was fresh cow manure
. Born a preemie and kept in a breadpan on the stove for a bit, thought she had a chest cold when in high school & walked the 3 miles to school and back daily. In the 1930s, she found out she had TB scars on her lungs. She was the only one to graduate from college and teach, so supported her 5 siblings and families during the Great Depression along with the food the farms provided. She put up with me for nearly 40 years. She live to 96 and passed away, 'cause, well she was old and everything was giving out.
Who can survive all of that? Some did, but I wouldn't recommend it.
Re women's sanitary care: I had Kotex, but disposable diapers were only for traveling when my kids were born. If I could slosh diapers in the toilet for 5 years, I guess it wouldn't be that hard to wash sanitary rags if we had to.
I am so glad I live now!