For those suffering from gout, just wearing slippers made of beaver skins provided a cure.
Excerpt from Moon Flower by Neil Perry Gordon:
The Algonquin natives claimed that trapping the beaver offered unusual remedies. One was of taking the oil of the beaver and mixing it with honey, then rubbing it on one’s eyes to restore poor eyesight. Another useful application was administering beaver water as an antidote for poisoning. Or, for those suffering from gout, just wearing slippers made of beaver skins provided a cure.
But what was of particular interest to father and his friends was that the beaver had under its long glossy coat of fur, another layer of short, tightly packed hairs. This layer could be processed into a rainproof felt that happened to be perfect for men’s hats. Father said that the native trappers and the white man had traded thousands of beaver pelts for years. Apparently, the beaver pelt trade was a good business and to these twenty-year-old men, looking for a direction with their lives, it seemed an excellent reason to emigrate to the New World.