Ingredient: Caraway Seed

April 1st, 2015

Caraway seeds sharpen the vision, promote the secretion of milk, and are good against hysterical affections. They are also useful in cases of colic. When used to flavour cakes the seeds should be pounded in a mortar, especially if children are to partake thereof.

When used medicinally 20 grains of the powdered seeds may be taken in a wineglassful of hot water. But for children half an ounce of the bruised seeds are to be infused in cold water for six hours, and from 1 to 3 teaspoonfuls of this water given.

A poultice of crushed caraway seeds moistened with hot water is good for sprains.

Caraway seeds are narcotic, and should therefore be used with caution.

Source: Food Remedies: Facts About Foods And Their Medicinal Uses, Florence Daniel

Scrofulous Syrup

March 31st, 2015

Take yellow dock root, two pounds; stillingia root and bark of bittersweet root, of each one pound. Boil slowly in three or four gallons of water down to three quarts; strain, and add six pounds of white sugar. Dose: Half a wineglass three times a day. A valuable remedy for scrofula, and all scrofulous skin diseases, as tetter, herpes, leprosy, and the like; also a valuable alterative in all constitutional diseases.

Source: The Ladies’ Book of Useful Information

News: 1,000-year-old onion and garlic eye remedy kills MRSA

March 30th, 2015

The BBC report that a medieval eye remedy has been found to almost completely eradicate MRSA – equal parts of onion and another allium (garlic or leek), chopped and crushed in a mortar, then mixed with a small amount of English wine and some bovine salts.

Fever with Pains in the Limbs

March 30th, 2015

Take twenty drops of Spirit of Hartshorn in a cup of water twice or thrice in twenty-four hours.

Or drink largely of Cinquefoil Tea.

Source: Primitive Physic: or an easy and natural method of curing most diseases, John Wesley.

Pills for Chronic Bronchitis

March 29th, 2015

Take pulverized skunk cabbage root, two drams; pulverized extract of liquorice, one dram; sanguinaria and macrotin, of each thirty grains. Make into large sized pills (say from eighty to one hundred) with a sufficient quantity of tar, and take one pill from three to six times a day, and continue for several weeks if necessary. One of the best remedies known for chronic bronchitis, and what is sometimes called “clergyman’s sore throat.”

Source: The Ladies’ Book of Useful Information

Pile Ointment

March 28th, 2015

Take say a teacupful of hog’s lard, put in a flat or pewter dish, and take two bars of lead, flattened a little, and rub the lard with the flat ends and between them till it becomes black or of a dark lead color. Then burn equal parts of cavendish tobacco and old shoeleather in an iron vessel till charred. Powder these and mix into the lard till it becomes a thick ointment. Use once or twice a day as an ointment for the piles. An infallible cure.

Source: The Ladies’ Book of Useful Information

Intermitting Fever

March 27th, 2015

Drink warm Lemonade in the beginning of every fit; it cures in a few days. Tried.

Or take a tea-spoonful of Oil of Sulphur in a cup of Balm-Tea, once or twice a day.

Source: Primitive Physic: or an easy and natural method of curing most diseases, John Wesley.

To Cause the Hair to Grow very Thick

March 26th, 2015

One of the most powerful stimulants for the growth of the hair is the following: Take a quarter of an ounce of the chippings of alkanet root, tie in a scrap of coarse muslin, and suspend it in a jar containing eight ounces of sweet oil for a week, covering it from the dust. Add to this sixty drops tincture of cantharides, ten drops oil of rose, sixty drops of neroli, and sixty drops oil of lemon. Let this stand twenty days, closely corked, and you will have one of the greatest hair-invigorators and hair-growers that this world has ever produced.

Source: The Ladies’ Book Of Useful Information

Anti-Dyspeptic Pills

March 25th, 2015

Take Socotrine aloes, two drams; colocynth, gamboge, rhubarb, and castile soap, each one dram; cayenne, thirty grains; oil cloves, thirty drops. Make into one hundred and twenty pills with extract of gentian or dandelion. Dose: For dyspepsia, inactive liver or costiveness, one or two pills once a day; as a cathartic, three to five pills at a dose. This is a splendid pill. It cleanses the stomach, gives tone and energy to the digestive organs, restores the appetite, excites the liver and other secretory organs, without causing any debility.

Source: The Ladies’ Book Of Useful Information

Ingredient: Periwinkle

March 24th, 2015

There are two British Periwinkles growing wild; the one Vinca major, or greater, a doubtful native, and found only in the neighbourhood of dwelling-houses; the other Vinca minor lesser, abounding in English woods, particularly in the Western counties, and often entirely covering the ground with its prostrate evergreen leaves. The common name of each is derived from vincio, to bind, as it were by its stems resembling cord; or because bound in olden times into festive garlands and funeral chaplets. Their title used also to be Pervinca, and Pervinkle, Pervenkle, and Pucellage (or virgin flower).

This generic name has been derived either from pervincire, to bind closely, or from pervincere, to overcome. Lord Bacon observes that it was common in his time for persons to wear bands of green Periwinkle about the calf of the leg to prevent cramp. Now-a-days we use for the same purpose a garter of small new corks strung on worsted. In Germany this plant is the emblem of immortality. It bears the name “Pennywinkles” in Hampshire, probably by an inland confusion with the shell fish “winkles.”

Each of the two kinds possesses acrid astringent properties, but the lesser Periwinkle, Vinca minor or Winter-green, is the Herbal Simple best known of the pair, for its medicinal virtues in domestic use. The Periwinkle order is called Apocynaceoe, from the Greek apo, against, and kunos, a dog; or dog’s bane.

The flowers of the greater Periwinkle are gently purgative, but lose their effect by drying. If gathered in the Spring, and made into a syrup, they will impart all their virtues, and this is excellent to keep the bowels of children gently open, as well as to overcome habitual constipation in grown persons. But the leaves are astringent, contracting and strengthening the genitals if applied thereto either as a decoction, or as the bruised leaves themselves. An infusion of the greater Periwinkle, one part of the fresh plant to ten of water, may be used for staying female fluxes, by giving a wine-glassful thereof when cool, frequently; or of the liquid extract, half a teaspoonful for a dose in water. On account of its striking colour, and its use for magical purposes, the plant, when in bloom, has been named the Sorcerer’s Violet, and in some parts of Devon the flowers are known as Cut Finger or Blue Buttons. The Italians use it in making garlands for their dead infants, and so call it Death’s flower.

Simon Fraser, whose father was a faithful adherent of Sir William Wallace, when on his way to be executed (in 1306) was crowned in mockery with the Periwinkle, as he passed through the City of London, with his legs tied under the horse’s belly. In Gloucestershire, the flowers of the greater Periwinkle are called Cockles.

The lesser Periwinkle is perennial, and is sometimes cultivated in gardens, where it has acquired variegated leaves. It has no odour, but gives a bitterish taste which lasts in the mouth. Its leaves are strongly astringent, and therefore very useful to be applied for staying bleedings. If bruised and put into the nostrils, they will arrest fluxes from the nose, and a decoction made from them is of service for the diarrhoea of a weak subject, as well as for chronic looseness of the bowels; likewise for bleeding piles, by being applied externally, and by being taken internally. Again, the decoction makes a capital gargle for relaxed sore throat, and for sponginess of the mouth, of the tonsils, and the gums.

This plant was also a noted Simple for increasing the milk of wet nurses, and was advised for such purpose by physicians of repute. Culpeper gravely says: “The leaves of the lesser Periwinkle, if eaten by man and wife together, will cause love between them.”

A tincture is made (H.) from the said plant, the Vinca minor, with spirit of wine. It is given medicinally for the milk-crust of infants, as well as for internal haemorrhages, the dose being from two to ten drops three or four times in the day, with a spoonful of water.

Source: Herbal Simples Approved for Modern Uses of Cure, William Thomas Fernies.