Years ago, the people of Kippens did not have easy access to a doctor. With the opening of the Aguathuna quarry came a man by the name of Dr. MacDonald, who was also known as the “quarry doctor”. Prior to this, the closest doctor was located at St. George’s, which was quite a few miles away. As a result, it wasn’t always possible to reach a doctor when one was needed. People, out of necessity, developed their own “cures” for the things that ailed them.

Stomach trouble was supposed to be cured with the ingestion of ground juniper that had been boiled. May snow was often gather and bottled, as it was good for curing a variety of ailments. Walking around in a circle, back wards could cure headaches. Bread poultices were good for infected cuts. The bread was soaked in hot water and then wrapped in cloth. The poultice was placed over the infected part, and it would “draw out” the infection. Peppermint was good for stomach cramps. Pipe smoke blown into the ear would cure an earache. Boiled yellow roots or peppermint was good for curing a cold. To heal a broken bone, juniper was steeped and plaster would be made to aid in curving a broken bone. The bone would be set and the plaster was then applied. Vinegar held in the mouth would cure a toothache.

Midwives commonly took on the responsibility of assisting women in the birth of their children. Only if complications arose was the doctor brought in. Most midwives had received training from a doctor or from the Cottage Hospital. Many women were grateful to have an experienced midwife present when their children were being born. They performed a valuable medical service and helped ease the minds of a lot of expectant mothers and fathers.