Mount Airy man cooks up ‘healing salve’

MOUNT AIRY, N.C. -- Robert Atkins is cooking up a very pungent family recipe.

“It will open up your sinuses,” said the 90-year-old, as he worked on a batch of Mt. Pilot Mayberry Mystery Healing Salve. “Many people think it was brought out as a gimmick for 'The Andy Griffith Show.'”

People might also get the idea of the connection because Atkins is almost like a character from the show himself. He ran a gas station for many years in town, a station today now known as Wally's. But the salve has nothing to do with the show. The original formula can be traced back to a product his dad made called Atkins Mystery Salve.

“The salve came from my dad being in Indiana and meeting a doctor and dad started making it in the early 1920s,” Atkins said. “Mom was making it up until 1949.”

After his father passed away in 1950 the recipe somehow got lost.

But when Atkins found the recipe in 2009 he decided to start making it again under a new name.

“Made with natural things that God gave man,” Atkins said.

It's a family business these days with his granddaughter helping and his wife Lettie helping with the packaging, so the mystery salve is a real, honest to goodness home remedy.

You can find the product in a number of stores throughout the Piedmont Triad. To learn more, contact Mt. Pilot Mayberry Mystery Healing Salve at (336) 577-7208.

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