Appalachia Appalachian Medicine

Talking Fire Out

Have you ever heard about people who could talk the fire out of a burn? I’ve heard about the phenomenon my whole life, but never seen it done. One of my friends said her daddy’s uncle could talk fire out of a burn.

My friend said she’d often heard the story of a little girl in the family getting badly burned and then being rushed over to the uncle’s house so that he could lessen the pain. Once he got through talking the little girl’s burn was much better. The uncle was also able to remove warts.

In days gone by it was easier for folks to get burned. They used burning wood for heat, to heat water, and to cook among other things. In other words, there was ample opportunity for children and adults to get burned as they went about their daily lives.

I’ve never been badly burned and I’m glad cause it hurts! I remember getting burned on Mamaw and Papaw’s wood stove. It sat in the corner of the small living room and I liked to stand close to it to feel the warmth. No one has ever had to tell me to come warm by the fire I always make a bee line for it.

I had a pretty little coat with the hood trimmed in some sort of fake fur. I burnt the back of the coat from standing too close to the heater and I also burned my arm on it.

I remember an uncle saying the best thing for a burn was to burn it again. I’ve also heard folks talk about drawing out the heat of a burn by placing it near a hot surface. Maybe that’s what my uncle actually meant. I was too backward to ask him exactly how you was supposed to purposely burn yourself again.

“Folk Medicine in Southern Appalachia” written by Anthony Cavender has the following to offer about burns:

The folk  materia medica for skin burns was extensive, but five substances are more frequently mentioned in sources: potato, soda, vinegar, butter, and balm of Gilead. Potato scrapings, or sometimes a slice of potato, were placed on a burn to “draw the fire out.” A soda paste or vinegar was applied singularly or in combination. The buds or leaves of balm of Gilead were mixed with hog fat and cooked down in a skillet into a soothing salve. Other popular remedies were a solution of slippery elm bark, egg white, water from the first snow in March, and vanilla extract. Some people thought it beneficial to apply cold water or, curiously, to situate the burned area close to another, stronger source of heat to “pull the fire out.”

In almost every community there were individuals known as “fire” or “burn” doctors who possessed the ability to “talk the fire out of a burn.” It is not difficult to find people in the region today who will gladly provide testimonials about the effectiveness of these folk healers.

It is likely that the burn doctor in this case used a charm well known in the region, and in English folk medicine as well, to “talk the fire out,” a version of which is the following: “There came an angel from the east bringing fire and frost. In frost, out fire. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.” Another version collected in 1939 in western North Carolina substitutes “salt” for “frost”: “God sent three angels coming from the East and West. One brought fire, another salt. Go out fire, go in salt. In the name of the Father, the son, and the Holy Ghost.” Usually the burn doctor recited the charm in a murmur three times while moving his hand across and slightly above the burn, pushing his hand in a direction away form the victim, as though pushing the heat away, all the while blowing on the burn. According to tradition one can teach only three other people how to “”talk” or “blow” fire out of a burn. Some maintained that the person taught had to be of the opposite sex. No fee was charged for the service because it was deemed “the work of the Lord.”

The Deer Hunter used potato juice to heal his burned eyes back during his welding days and I’ve seen lots of folks use the soda and vinegar remedy for burns so those three home remedies are still being used. Please leave a comment if you’ve heard about talking the fire out burns.


*Source: Folk Medicine in Southern Appalachia written by Anthony Cavender

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  • Reply
    December 7, 2021 at 7:58 pm

    My Uncle was the 7th son of the 7th son. He could remove warts by rubbing them. He actually did this for me once twice, once when I was 6 and had a huge one on the top of my hand. It fell off soon afterwards!

  • Reply
    October 23, 2021 at 9:50 pm

    My grandmother had a gift to talk fire out of burn people, I seen her talk fire out of my niece on one side of her face were burned badly after this my niece face clear up pretty this were in the 70s And people will come to her house for her to talk fire out of them or they family when burn. Don’t know if she pass this down to anyone or not. She died a few years after.

  • Reply
    Rita Knox
    October 9, 2021 at 2:19 am

    I am glad I found this post. My grandmother could talk fire out and her father could stop bleeding. I have seen and experienced both. When I was about 4 years old I slid down a bank into a ditch where we were playing and got a nasty scrape on my thigh. It wasn’t bleeding but kind of oozing and wouldn’t stop. We went to visit my grandparents and my great grandpa was there. He took one look at my leg and told my mama to take me to the dr that the cut was deep. While I was sitting in his lap he said something and was looking at my leg when the oozing stopped. At the doctors office they scrubbed and scrubbed my leg for what seemed like forever. The cut was down through the muscle and filled with red dirt making it look like a scrape. It took 8 stitches to close and I still have the scar. Unfortunately I don’t know who he passed his gift down to but my Granny told one of my older male cousins. In a strange turn of events as a young man he was cleaning a floor with a solvent not knowing the pilot light for the furnace was on. It started a fire and he died from his burns. I know people who can talk out fire but my great grandpa was the only person I have ever known that could stop bleeding. I would love to find someone now that has that gift. I have a friend who is in desperate need of someone with that ability

  • Reply
    October 4, 2021 at 10:52 am

    I remember a fire talker in the church I was raised in she was an old lady everyone called Mamaw and once I had burned my hand while cooking at a church social and Mamaw talked the fire out the burn was instantly gone she could also stop bleeding with a prayer.

  • Reply
    Tammye Ritter
    September 2, 2021 at 8:05 pm

    My daddy’s mama could talk the fire out of you ( my mama always said she could in more ways than one ) she died before I came along but everyone in the family said she could. My mama’s daddy could take warts and as a small child I had some on my right hand and all I can remember is him talking to me about just stuff and holding my hand and he asked if those warts bothered me and I said yes and he just said well just try to forget about them and don’t worry about them. And I just remember one day not long after that they were gone. I don’t know, but it seemed to work for me. Love Celebrating Appalachia!

    • Reply
      September 3, 2021 at 11:28 am

      Tammye-so glad you enjoy what I do 🙂

  • Reply
    chris arthur
    August 1, 2021 at 9:24 pm

    as a child l was burned from head to toe with boiling water that came from a five gallon pot that fell off my grand mothers coal heater.l was taken to the house next door.the old lady took me into a room where my cousin laid me on a table .i will make this long story she began healing me,i i looked down upon her from above,she just kept chanting in a language not of this world.eventually i went back into my body.she told me to get up.i did and i was completely healed.she warned me of many supernatural side effects and events that i would experience through out my life,many of which have come to pass.

  • Reply
    Fire Talker
    June 24, 2020 at 10:25 am

    I can talk the fire out. It was successfully passed down to me. The line that possessed this gift came from Germany, to North Carolina, to Kentucky and then to Indiana. It is amazing to witness. Even of the person I am helping doesn’t believe in it, they do as soon as I am done. It isn’t anything that I advertise because people’s understanding and stereotypes. Folks think it is witchcraft or occult.

    In 1998, a man was lowering an awning that was lit up. A light bulb made contact with his shoulder and burned him. I offered to blow out the fire (that is was I call it, though I do talk to it). He was a big skeptic. Huge. When I was done, his eyes widened and he screamed “You’re a witch” LOL he was a bit terrified at first because he couldn’t explain why his pain suddenly went away.

    A friend of mine had burned her leg on the exhaust of a motorcycle (in 2005). It was instantly blistering. I pulled her aside and offered to blow out the fire. I was met with much skepticism. First she thought I was weird offering to blow on her leg and then… weird for saying I could take the pain away. But, she let me do it and the pain went away. The redness and blistering went away. She couldn’t believe it and skipped to our friends to show them.

    I was told the rules of our family for passing it down. I’m in my 40s and learned this as a teen. I still haven’t passed it down. I’m the last one of our branch of the family tree who can talk the fire out.

    It was so great to find this article because sometimes, I just feel as if I’m a bit crazy to think it even exists. People look at me as though I say I talk to bigfoot.

    We are still out there in the world. We can still help.

    • Reply
      July 30, 2020 at 6:49 pm

      I was told my grandfather and two neighbors (brother and sister) could talk fire out. I do know that one of my above neighbors said she could also remove warts. When in my 20’s I had about 20 warts on my hand, she told me to count them and tell her how many. I did this but laughed about it telling her I did not believe her. About a week later they were gone. I have not had anymore in 40 years. I still am not fully convinced she removed them.

      • Reply
        Cookie street
        July 21, 2021 at 10:13 am

        God does the healing, not man!!!! GOD uses whomever lives the life for him, and whomever he will.

    • Reply
      Fire Student
      October 7, 2020 at 6:56 pm

      My grandmother had this ability in North Carolina! She passed away before teaching anyone, and I’m so sad- I have always wanted to learn

      • Reply
        J Tripp
        March 15, 2021 at 10:02 pm

        My grandmother also had this ability and passed away before handing it down. I remember asking her to pass it to me, after she had “talked the fire”, out of my son hands and face after he picked some hot peppers out of a friends garden. She explained that she could only pass it to a male. I saw her do this twice in my lifetime! It was real! I am now 77, and grandma has been gone a long time, but I still remember.

    • Reply
      David Thornton
      December 1, 2020 at 10:56 pm

      I am the grand-son in law of a fire talker. My wife may have the gift. Her grandmother, the fire talker, would blow on a burn — even through the telephone — and bring relief. There was a prayer, a chant, that involved the words “mother’s milk” and more, but more is not remembered. Is there a particular necessary incantation? My wife, granddaughter of the fire talker, has unusual calming powers with her breath. The grandmother has passed, and with her death have gone the secrets she carried. She believed it was passed in alternate generations to the alternate gender, so she received it from her grandfather, and she planned to pass it to a first-born grandson…but the grandson rejected it.

      • Reply
        David Thornton
        December 1, 2020 at 10:56 pm

        If you can share more, please do –

    • Reply
      Deborah Patterson
      January 22, 2021 at 2:47 pm

      My mother had someone to talk fire out when her face was severely burned. There was no scarring. Redness was gone by the next day.

    • Reply
      November 12, 2021 at 11:22 am

      I want to learn this please connect me with someone that can pass it on.

    • Reply
      December 20, 2021 at 11:55 am

      I too had the gift passed to me from my Grandmother. The only rule I know of is male to female and female to male. Were you told atything about relatives or number of times it can be passed?

  • Reply
    April 23, 2020 at 10:09 pm

    Hello, this gift was recently passed down to me from my grandfather. I would love to learn more of its origins or hear from other fire talkers. I’m excited to see others have experience with it!

  • Reply
    Norma Fuquay
    January 13, 2020 at 4:17 pm

    When I was about 7 or 8 years old, I fell at church on a floor heating grate. My “backside” was burned pretty bad. My dad called a lady in our church who “talked the fire out”. I remember her as a God fearing Christian woman, very quiet and kind. I never had any pain, blistering or scarring from the burn. Several years later my own daughter fell and burned her hands & fingers really bad on a kerosene heater. My dad, again, called this lady and she “talked the fire out” for my little girl who never suffered after the burns. I believe that God gives us all gifts to use for His glory and this just happens to be one of those gifts.

  • Reply
    Jennifer Edwards
    December 31, 2019 at 7:00 am

    I had a grandmother who could talk out fire she helped me when I was a teenager at a festival where my mother accidentally got hot cooking oil on my hand. My grandmother showed up talked the fire out of it it quite hurting immediately and had no blistering no scars nothing. My babysitters mom also had the ability which she had passed down to my brother but he passed away before he could teach anyone else. I’ve always been told it had to be passed down from male to female or female to male preferably non family. I know by having it practiced on me that it’s a real thing. And there was the question if I believed in God and there was the blowing on the burn also. Wish I knew the technique. I would surely put it to use.

  • Reply
    Timothy Emmons
    November 15, 2019 at 10:15 am

    I was severely burned from my face to my waist with steam and boiling water from an overheated Cars radiator. The skin was literally hanging off with huge blisters. The hospital bandaged me up and gave me a big shot of morphine. They also gave my father a huge bottle of strong pain pills. They said I would not be able to sleep for several days. My step grandfather came over and I remember him running his hands over my face, chest, and arms. After the morphine wore off after taking a nap. I woke up and I felt no pain at all. I never needed or took a single pain pill. Two people in Monroe City Indiana had that ability neither were able to pass it on.

    • Reply
      December 16, 2019 at 6:09 pm

      Why were they unable to pass it on? They tried and failed or never passed it on. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      December 27, 2019 at 10:49 pm

      My grandfather could talk fire out. In highschool I burned my hand badly in chemistry class, mostly 2nd degree burns. Instead of going to the hospital, I was taken to my grandfather. To this day I’m a firm believer and have no scars to show of my burns.

  • Reply
    Chas T Farmer
    October 4, 2019 at 7:41 pm

    I use to work at a restaurant while in high school. Not paying attention, I placed my left hand face down on the grill, while on. It burned like crazy. I went home, and returned to work the next afternoon.

    The burning in my hand was real, but there was no obvious sign that I was burnt. My skin was intact and I had no blisters. The pain was unbearable.
    The owner heard and came to see me. When she saw the agony on my face, she left and said she was calling her mother to help.
    When her mother arrived, she asked me a few questions, I can’t recall exactly. Honestly, the pain was clouding my judgment. But I do recall being asked if I believed in GOD. Of course I do…
    This lady placed her hand over mine and began a prayer or mantra.

    As she removed her hand from mine, the fire aka burning sensation in my hand eased away with her hand.

    Never knew it was possible, until that day.

  • Reply
    Nadine Crum
    August 1, 2019 at 9:48 pm

    My father in law was able to do this and stop blood. He had told us he was taught by a female. Not sure if he ever taught anyone. He said if the person he taught did it wrong he would no longer be able to do it. I had burned my hand pretty bad on a plastic measuring cup and actually had plastic stuck to my hand
    Went to see him. It never got infected… I wish I could of had him teach me. Sadly, he past away in September 2018

    • Reply
      Melody Veshell Thomas
      July 5, 2020 at 3:29 pm

      My mother could talk fire out and also stop bleeding. I saw her talk fire out of my 2 year old nephew that walk into the wood heater. She stopped my bleeding when I almost cut off my big toe. She stopped a woman that was bleeding over the phone. She said this. It skips a generation and goes back and forth from female to male. Her grandfather on my Papa’s side told her. She would have to tell her oldest grandson.

      • Reply
        David Thornton
        December 4, 2020 at 4:27 pm

        Melody, could you tell me more? My wife’s grandmother had the gift, and would only pass it to her eldest grandson; it followed the same generation-skipping and male-female transfer. My email is [email protected].

  • Reply
    July 8, 2019 at 2:06 am

    Fire talker here. My great grandmother from Kentucky passed it along to my grandfather, who then passed it on to me. I grew up in the mountains of western Pennsylvania and it’s very much not a thing here. Her family was from Durham and Somerset Counties in England as well as Wales.

    • Reply
      July 27, 2019 at 9:07 pm

      So intrigued. I had the fire “blown” out of my burned hand as a child. I do it on myself, never thought about having the ability to help others.

    • Reply
      October 24, 2019 at 11:33 am

      I’d love to learn how to do this! My great grandmother wouldn’t share with her family.

    • Reply
      Melody Veshell Thomas
      July 5, 2020 at 3:36 pm

      This is an addition to my earlier comment. My Mama did notģet the chance to tell her oldest grandson. She ďied at 37 years old from a brain aneurysm and Robby was only 4 years old.

  • Reply
    Deanna Smith
    May 28, 2019 at 3:31 am

    When I was a young child I had a couple of warts on my ankle and my great-grandmother “Took them from me” She took a sharp blade and cut an x in them..Just enough to draw a little blood and she got a handful of feed corn and smeared the blood on the corn and threw the corn out to the old chickens and told me to go home and they will be gone in a couple of days..In two days they were gone…You couldn’t even tell where they had been.

  • Reply
    May 23, 2019 at 10:33 pm

    My grandmother was able to talk fire out, I remember as a child many people coming to her to have burns healed and as a teenager I spilled boiling gravy down my legs which was sure to leave scars and she healed my burns…I also as a child had nosebleeds often and she was able to stop them by dropping a skeleton key that she kept in the freezer down my back 3 times while whispering something to the key…

  • Reply
    Michael T. Slaughter
    April 2, 2019 at 3:49 pm

    I believe Daniel 3:27 is the verse for talking the fire out of a burn.

    My great-grandmother had the gift, and she got it from a man near Maysville, NC. She could only pass it to a male, but I was only 9 when she died.

  • Reply
    February 16, 2019 at 5:27 pm

    My brother and I are both in our 30s. My brother was telling a story to my mom and cousin and i about our excentric great aunt last night. Now my family is from rural Illinois. As rural and back woods as it gets. My brother received a strange voicemail his phone a few years ago that went something like, “Roger, its Thelma. I was wondering if we could come on by, Gene has the warts.” It took my brother a little while to understand the message then realized my Aunt Thelma had the wrong number. She was trying to get in touch with my grandparents neighbor Roger. My brother called my grandma as she said she had his number and Roger’s written next to each other on a piece of paper and gave her the wrong number. This just always came up as a funny story until last night.
    My mom was telling us about my great grandfather who could ‘blow out the fire’. She got burned as a little girl and my grandma rushed her to his house. He muttered some words and put his hand above the burn and the pain went away. She also recalled other encounter she had encountered as a child where her grandpa healed others.
    We never put two and two together. You see my great grandpa and Roger were best friends and neighbors. My grandma still lives on the same family plot of land. My great grandpa never passed it down.

  • Reply
    January 17, 2019 at 10:22 pm

    I came across this post searching for the origins of “talking out fire” and similar practices. My great grandmothers brother could do this and it had to be passed to a daughter. I am not sure of anyone down that line has it anymore. But we are from Scot Irish , Irish and Scotish descent . I was wondering if anyone knows the origins of such beliefs?
    This same family , my moms great grandpa , stopped her colic when she was a baby by drawing a little blood from her and feeding it to her in her milk !! Weird !! They called it ” culping” I was told by my grandmother. Of course my grandfather thought it was insane. I have to agree it’s out there. Has anyone ever heard of this?
    My ex husbands grandma talked out fire and my moms cousin had warts healed in the same manner, so it’s not a rare thing to hear about , at least where I come from.

  • Reply
    Janet Smart
    February 28, 2018 at 4:56 pm

    Hi, Tipper. My grandpa could blow the fire out of a burn. I think one of my uncles could also do this. Grandpa died a few months before I was born, but I know he did this to my mom when she was a baby and one of my 1st cousins said he did it to him when he was a young boy. He also stopped bleeding my reciting a verse. One of my cousins says that she has stopped bleeding before, too.

    • Reply
      Barbara Baker
      June 13, 2020 at 8:40 am

      As a child we had a neighbor who could stop bleeding. I saw it firsthand when my brother cut his hand with a paring knife. The neighbor recited a Bible verse and the bleeding stopped! Also had another neighbor who could “try for” certain things. My brother had a port wine birthmark on his face and she “tried” for it and after a few months it was completely gone! I remember she used a piece of raw meat(don’t know what kind) but it obviously worked! Don’t know of anyone anymore with those skills!

  • Reply
    Bobby C
    February 22, 2018 at 9:49 pm

    My dad can talk out fire. An older lady passed it to him and I’m told he could only pass it to a woman. Lots of folks come to have him talk out fire, but it usually from a small burn. I’ve don’t think I’ve ever know him to do it for a anything like a 3rd degree burn. My daughter is a teenager, but if she ever gets a burn, especially a sunburn, she will visit Papa.
    I don’t think anyone mentioned it here, but he also cures Poison Oak rash the same way. The itching will stop and the rash will go away.
    I know it probably sounds like hogwash to most folks, but personally I think it has a lot to do with mind over matter and how much you truly believe it will work. He’ also a Baptist minister. I’ve asked about how he does it or what is says, but he only says that he can’t tell or he’ll lose the gift.
    I can also attest to using Ezekiel 16:6 to stop bleeding. When I was a teenager, I had all four wisdom teeth removed. We went through so much gauze and it just wouldn’t stop. My mama called my grandma who told me to read that verse myself, and within 10 mins it had stopped. Maybe it would’ve stopped anyway, I guess I’ll never know. But I believe it worked for me that day.

    • Reply
      August 26, 2018 at 7:29 am

      What bible verse is used for burns

    • Reply
      July 27, 2019 at 9:22 pm

      I’m a believer. Through Christ all things are possible, and yes, believe it. Faith is believing what we can’t see or explain. There’s simply not a scientific explanation for all things, and wouldn’t that be boring!

    • Reply
      January 2, 2021 at 10:53 am ask your dad to please talk out the burning of my friend Luis?
      I am a firm believer and I know that God is real.
      Thank you and God bless

  • Reply
    Marshall Reagan
    February 22, 2018 at 7:03 pm

    My Dad could talk out fire from someone who got burned. My cousin fell in some hot coals & was severely burned . his mom brought him over to my dad & dad talked out the fire . my cousin didn,t even have a scar from the burn. Dad could only tell one other person how & it had to be a female. he told my mom . I don,t know if she told anyone else or not.

  • Reply
    Stephen Ammons
    February 22, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    Tipper years ago when I was married and me and my wife were working in restaurant she got burned bad. She was taking a
    pan of bacon of what I called a pizza oven and spilled the grease down her arm. By the time I got her home the skin was beginning to blister. We lived just across from her grandparents and she noticed her uncles car was there. The first thing she said was take me over there to see uncle Plez so off we went again. I went in to tell them what happened and met Plez coming out. I told him what had happened and asked him to look at it. He held her arm and said something and would blow on the burn and repeated this three times. He then asked his wife to get him a white cloth then wrapped it around her arm and told me not to remove it until the next day. I took her home and she said it wasn’t hurting as bad so I didn’t take her to the doctor or anything. I asked her what he was doing and she said that he was drawing the fire out. To be honest at that point I thought it was a bunch of hogwash until I removed the cloth from her arm and there was no sign that it had been burned. I walked back over to her parents and asked Plez what he had said or done. His only answer was that he couldn’t tell me or he would lose the power but he could tell his sons. He did tell me that it was a verse in the bible and that there was a verse that would stop bleeding but he didn’t have that gift. I know that all sounds hard to believe and I guess I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes.

  • Reply
    Deb Kroll
    February 22, 2018 at 5:14 pm

    I can talk the fire out of a burn. I’ve done it many times, and my daughter will sometimes call me on the phone and ask me to “take the fire out ” if she or her husband or son get burned.

    • Reply
      Jimmie Carpenter
      September 2, 2018 at 1:24 am

      Can you pass this verse on to me.

      • Reply
        May 23, 2021 at 2:31 am

        I’m able to talk fire out and stop bleeding. Strangely nobody handed it down to me, I just knew how and it works.

    • Reply
      Gamaska vickers
      April 15, 2019 at 12:29 am

      I want to learn

    • Reply
      Kacy Hatmaker
      June 7, 2019 at 8:30 pm

      I want to learn. Will you teach me?

      • Reply
        September 20, 2019 at 2:57 pm

        I’ve had the fire talked out of a burn. When I was three, I pulled a pot of boiling water off the stove onto my head and shoulders. My mom said I passed out from shrieking in pain, but I recall crying at a neighbor’s house while she prayed over me. She was known to everyone as ‘Big Mama’ & she could talk the fire out of burns when folks needed help. My mom swears that my skin bubbled up & she expected I’d have scars. But after praying & blowing the burns Big Mama wrapped the wounds in wet linens & gave mom a salve to apply for a few days. I have no physical scars at all, just some memory of the ordeal. My uncle Randy has the gift, but won’t teach it to me because his wife convinced him it’s a pagan ritual and not based in Christian gospel. It could have originated from pagens or native Americans and later got adapted by some Christians faiths. It’s all the same in my eyes though.

  • Reply
    aw griff
    February 22, 2018 at 4:55 pm

    My wife’s Grandmother could take the heat out of a burn and there was a man in the same country side who claimed to be a warlock that could stop bleeding.
    I use yellow mustard for burns or the homeopathy remedy, cantharis.

  • Reply
    February 22, 2018 at 2:00 pm

    I’ve heard of several of the folk methods mentioned. The cigarette smoke in the ear reminds me of the “wicking” method used by some in south Texas which uses a cone of paper with the point in the ear of the person with the earache. The outer edge is lit and the smoke is supposed to draw out the earache – reports I’ve heard give it about a 50-50 chance of working. for burns, aloe-vera is my go-to although cold butter or cold heavy cream or sometimes avocado flesh have done just fine when I had no aloe-vera. The cold soothed and perhaps the fats replenished the moisture in the skin cells.
    I’ve wondered about the penny treatment – seems like it was sometime in the late 70s or early 80s that the amount of copper in pennies was greatly reduced so maybe the newer pennies wouldn’t work as well. Wonder if using a old, truly copper pan would work as well or some other copper item.

  • Reply
    February 22, 2018 at 1:28 pm

    Just a few minutes after 1:00, Donna Lynn played a couple songs from the Reel to Reel tapes, by Ray and Pap. One of them was “I wasn’t there, but wish I could have Been”, a real Tear-jerker.

    I then requested “Working on a Building” by Chitter, Chatter, and Paul. She allowed Paul could really play the Guitar. …Ken

  • Reply
    February 22, 2018 at 1:06 pm

    Cold water works for me on a burn and I should know ’cause I have a wood-burning stove and I burn wood. But about 60 years ago, I had seed warts, right where you do writings with a pencil or pen. I’m right-handed and it hurt like the Dickens. I took the Flu and when I got over it, they were gone.
    I don’t know for sure whether it was the Flu that took them away, or Mama’s Prayers. …Ken

  • Reply
    February 22, 2018 at 11:29 am

    My father, who was from the mountains of NC, could remove warts. I saw him do it several times. A Jewish lady once told me that to relieve the pain of a sunburn, run as hot water as you could stand over the burned area. It works.

  • Reply
    February 22, 2018 at 10:54 am

    I grew up with kids who claimed they knew people who could draw out fire and stop bleeding by repeating a Bible verse but I never heard the verse and never saw it done. They said that if the person who repeated the verse told anybody, the gift passed on to the hearer and they would lose it.

    My Daddy, however, could cure earaches with cigarette smoke. I have seen it done. On me! He would breathe in a big draw of Prince Albert smoke and gently blow it into my ear. The pain would cease almost immediately and would not return for months or years sometimes. I wish now that I had suffered on in silence with those earaches. Daddy died at 54 of a heart attack that I am convinced was caused by years of heavy smoking. I know in my heart that those few cigarettes he rolled to relieve my pain wouldn’t have made much of a difference considering he started at 12 years old, when smoking was good for you. But the thought that keeps returning is of “the straw that broke the camel’s back.” It was no more the last one than any of the other straws he bore that eventually broke him.

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    February 22, 2018 at 10:19 am

    I remember it being called “drawing fire”. We’ve seen warts removed by the rock method and my grandparents believed the stopping of blood verses. So many strange things!

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    Lisa I.
    February 22, 2018 at 9:40 am

    My pawpaw would talk out fire. I can remember him doing this when we were little. He would take the burned area and whisper over it. I asked him if he would tell me how to do it and he wouldn’t. Always wondered what he said.

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    February 22, 2018 at 9:16 am

    My great uncle had the ability to blow out fire. Once a very prominent man in the community brought his wife, who had been badly burned, for him to doctor on. The problem was, that she had spilled hot grease in her lap, and it burned her very private area. Her husband didn’t want him to see that part of her anatomy, so he insisted that uncle John wear a blindfold. He refused to do that, telling the man that he wasn’t gonna risk sticking his nose in it. The man, not wanting his wife to suffer any longer, backed off, and the woman was treated .
    My great grandmother removed warts. She would count the warts, and pick up a small rock for each one, put them in a brown paper bag, and take you to a place where there was a fork in the road. She would give you the bag and tell you to toss it over your shoulder and not look back. If you didn’t look back, the warts would leave you in a few days.

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    Dee Parks
    February 22, 2018 at 9:14 am

    Mr. Banks mentioned the seventh son of a seventh son which made me remember my mother saying my great grandfather was the seventh son of a seventh son. She said it like it was an important title. I was too young to inquire what she meant by that statement. I did know there were people that could remove warts although I never understood how they did it.

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    Dee Parks
    February 22, 2018 at 9:06 am

    Never hear of blowing out fire but I do remember way back someone saying butter was good to put on a burn. For me it would have been cold water but I’m sure my grandmothers would have known that phrase. Today I usually keep an aloe plant because it absolutely stops the pain immediately. Just open up a leaf and put the jell on the burn.

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    Ron Stephens
    February 22, 2018 at 9:05 am

    My maternal grandma could blow out fire. People would come to her when they got burned because she was a widow for about 45 years and didn’t drive. I never knew how she did it and I was not in line to pass it on to.

    My Dad believed in drawing fire out with fire. It is very painful. Somewhere I read or heard that the current thinking of cooling a burn as fast as possible came from the experience of a dairy farmer. He burned his arm badly and to relieve the pain put his arm in cold milk. His arm healed without scarring where it was in the milk but was scarred above that.

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    February 22, 2018 at 9:04 am

    Maybe talking the fire out has the same meaning as “trying on” or “laying hands on” someone. I lost a first cousin years ago when she got her long flannel gown too close to the fireplace. I often think of how she must have suffered, while my aunt suffered just as bad with a different kind of pain. Another cousin was severely burned while her family burned outside trash. She survived but has horrible scars everywhere except her beautiful face to remind her of what could have been much worse.
    A penny placed on a small burn works wonders. You will have to use an older penny with a higher percentage of copper.

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    Ron Banks
    February 22, 2018 at 8:46 am

    I have heard of people who could talk the fire out of a burn by using certain Bible verses.
    It seems there were certain reasons why some people had the ability like being the seventh son of a seventh son or something like that.

    When I was in my twenties I had two plantar warts on my right foot that bothered me tremendously. I tried everything to get rid of them and the Dr said he could cut them out.
    An old lady we knew told me to go see Mr Johnson and he could talk them off. I was willing to try anything so she went with me there. He was an elderly man who was very kind. He looked at my foot and rubbed his hand over the warts and left the room. He came back in later and asked me if I believed they would go away and I said yes. He told me to go home and forget about them which surprisingly I did. Two weeks later the warts that had been there for over a year were gone.
    Thirty plus years later they are still gone and not even a scar from where they were so I can attest to the ability of some people being able to heal certain afflictions.
    I am scientific minded person so things have to make since to me generally before I believe it but in this case it is unexplainable and I’m ok with that.

    • Reply
      Brenna Stoppiello
      January 17, 2019 at 10:04 pm

      My moms cousin had a similar experience. She had a bad wart and a person at her church made them go away . She also told her to go home and ” forget about them ” . So strange !
      We had people in our family that could talk the fire out ,etc. But it was handed down another side of the family.

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    Gayle Larson
    February 22, 2018 at 8:28 am

    My Grandmother did what she called pow wowing. I know it was all connected to the bible verses somehow. She could stop blood, remove warts and bring down a fever.I asked her to teach me and she said it had to go to a male first and he could tell me. My brother said he was not interested in all that mumbo jumbo and would not do it.
    I have regretted to this day I did not get someone else to do it.

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    February 22, 2018 at 8:19 am

    We keep aloe plants growing in the house specifically to rub on burns. The fact that in days gone by, people spent more time around fires brings to mind one of my favorite poets and poems. Edgar Guest (1881 — 1959) had a son named Bud Guest who had a radio show that we always listened to while growing up in the Detroit area. That radio show was kind of like an old version of Prairie Home Companion. My favorite poem by the elder Guest is “When Father Shook the Stove” …. probably why we now live in a little log home in northern Wisconsin. It begins:

    ’’Twas not so many years ago,
    Say, twenty-two or three,
    When zero weather or below
    Held many a thrill for me.
    Then in my icy room I slept
    A youngster’s sweet repose,
    And always on my form I kept
    My flannel underclothes.
    Then I was roused by sudden shock
    Though still to sleep I strove,
    I knew that it was seven o’clock
    When father shook the stove.

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    Ed Karshner
    February 22, 2018 at 7:29 am

    I’ve heard of putting a potato or an onion on a burn. It seems like an Onion will fix about anything. Where I grew up, we had, or people still remembered, The Braucher…a kind of folk healer.

    Lately, I’ve been going through a book called The Long Lost Friend that is a book of folk remedies. You can find it on line and it is an interesting read.I find this stuff fascinating.

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    Miss Cindy
    February 22, 2018 at 7:15 am

    Tip, I’ve heard of talking fire from a burn but I have no personal experience with it. I have had experience with words being used to remove warts and it was 100% effective. I am sure talking the fire out would be just as effective. I think it’s not about the words it’s about the conviction behind them. We have far more ability than we realize.

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    Lee Mears
    February 22, 2018 at 7:08 am

    Never heard of more heat for burned or blistered skin or ‘talking’ it out. Our bodies are mostly water so I don’t understand. Guess I’ll stick with ice.
    It’s a fact, my grandfather could remove warts so anything is possible.

    • Reply
      Sanford McKinney Jr
      February 22, 2018 at 10:15 am

      You are correct in sticking with the ice. More heat only inflicts more pain. Their intentions were probably noble, but the remedy was torture. Apparently, the best immediate treatment used today is a cool saline solution poured over the burn(s)?

    • Reply
      August 30, 2020 at 9:46 pm

      Don’t use ice for a burn. Start with cool water and work up to cold water. Cool it down then apply aloe. Unless you know a fire blower of course! My uncle fell into the fireplace in the early 1900’s. He was only 2 yrs old and back then the fireplace was flush with the floor. He died. This was in WNC and I don’t know if they didn’t know a fire blower or not. It’s always been a sad story in the family. I am a 5th generation WNC native.

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    February 22, 2018 at 6:10 am

    That is something I’ve heard of and never seen done, but the potato slice on the eyes I have done, I was suppose to be a welder actually took classes to become one, and in the end became a lineman that could weld.

    • Reply
      Sanford McKinney Jr
      February 22, 2018 at 10:19 am

      My Father-In-Law was a welder for over forty years and used the potato slice remedy over his eyes many times.

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    Sheryl PaulI
    February 22, 2018 at 6:09 am

    My neighbor’s Grammy from the Ga mountains used to draw out the burn with heat, she woild also remove warts, but I don’t remember how. We aleays put pet milk on any burn it did seem to remove the heat. Maybe because there was always a can in the fridge

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    Michael Montgomery
    February 21, 2018 at 6:23 pm

    I have no testimonials for “talking out fire,” “blowing out fire,” or any of the other folk medical treatments that Cavendar documents, but have read much about them. Perhaps the best known is “stopping blood,” purportedly by a having a person with the gift of performing this recite the sixth verse of Ezekiel 16: “And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, ‘Live!'” Cavender has a handy three-page entry on “Folk Medicine” in the ENCYCLOPEDIA OF APPALACHIA — an 1800-page book that is quite a bargain. From the reading I’ve done, these practices appear to come from German tradition. Some of them can be documented back to German settlements in the Shenandoah Valley in the mid-18th century. See Gerald Milnes’ SIGNS, CURES, AND WITCHES: GERMAN APPALACHIAN FOLKLORE. He also has much to say about the use of almanacs when following “the signs” to plant and conduct many other activities.

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