Doctors were some sort of strange species, far out of our realm unless you were extraordinarily ill. CT Scans were unknown. MRI's of course were just a twinkle in the eye of some yet unborn genius. So you healed yourself with what you had.
Old time remedy
My mother would put the vinegar in a pot, dilute it with a bit of water and then put several small sheets of the brown paper in it. She would then bring it to a fairly high heat, making sure the paper still stayed together.
By this time the injured one would be lying down with a nice book, having recovered from a tearful protest of the event. The now soaked brown paper was carefully placed over the injury, testing to make sure it didn't burn your skin, then came a towel to keep the heat in. You had to stay like that for a good half hour.
How moms used it
It made you feel very important, and tough because you bore the pain.
It actually worked, because it seemed to magically pull the pain and bruising out.
It worked for headaches too, if you had one the rare time. My mother used it herself quite frequently!
Something has always puzzled me about this nursery rhyme... Why isn’t anything said about Jill? After all, she tumbled down too.