At Your Own Risk: Pioneer Remedies From the Pennsylvania German Settlers


Compiled by Lorne Smith & published by the Pennsylvania German Folklore Society of Ontario, this little gem is a MUST HAVE for those wishing to learn more of the Canadian Pennsylvania Dutch. This is one of the only Canadian historical books on this subject ever published.

I came across this wonderful little volume filled with Canadian-German folk remedies researching my own lineage, and it has helped me understand my own family’s history and a part of how Warrior Apothecary came about, with this knowledge literally running through myself through my ancestors. A family member of mine, Paul Burkholder, has beautifully illustrated this book with plants and other ways of life for the Canadian Pennsylvania Germans.

With many of their traditionally used plants being unavailable in the German’s new home in Canada, they worked alongside local First Nations, trading medicine and food. They were taught the medicinal value of indigenous plant life and integrated these into their own folk remedies.

This book has been compiled from old handwritten recipes from the Pennsylvania Dutch’s medicine cabinets, and verbally told by memory from elders in the community. Many were written by pronunciation and have been left spelled incorrectly in this book to maintain original context. Inside you will find remedies for coughs & colds, general ailments, salves, ointments & liniments, plant cures, pioneer foods from the land, plant & herb history & uses, ingredients and other local history.

Published in 1991, this book is packed with German-First Nation knowledge, remedies, folklore, history and many ways of life that the Pennsylvania Dutch in both Canada and America continue to abide by. A wonderful collectors item for those passionate about Canadian, Pennsylvania Dutch & Indigenous history!

Softcover, black and white, 120 pages


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