For a Cough of the Lungs, or any Cough coming of Cold, approved by many

April 9th, 2015

Take a good handful of French Barley, boil it in several waters till you see the water be clear, then take a quart of the last water, and boil in it sliced Licoras, Aniseeds bruised, of each as much as you can take up with your four Fingers and your Thumb, Violet Leaves, Strawberry Leaves, five fingered Grass, Maidenhair, of each half a handful, a few Raisins in the Sun stoned; boil these together till it come to a Pint, then strain it, and take twelve or fourteen Jordan Almonds blanched and beaten, and when your water is almost cold, put in your Almonds, and stir it together, and strain it; then sweeten it with white Sugar Candy; drink this at four times, in the morning fasting, and at four of the Clock in the Afternoon a little warmed; do this nine or ten days together; if you please, you may take a third draught when you go to Bed; if you be bound in your body, put in a little Syrrup of Violets, the best way to take it, is to suck it through a straw, for that conveys it to the Lungs the better.

Source: The Queen-like Closet or Rich Cabinet, Hannah Wolley

Ingredient: Assafoetida

April 5th, 2015

This substance is used as a stimulant and anti-spasmodic in hysterical and nervous diseases, and spasmodic cough; as an expectorant in asthma; and as a carminative in flatulent colic. The usual dose is from five grains to half a drachm, combined, if necessary, with expectorants in cough, and with chalybeates and aloetics in hysterical complaints. The following formula will sometimes allay obstinate attacks of spasmodic cough, and has been found useful even in [w]hooping-cough : —

Take of Assafoetida, half a drachm;
Mindererus’s Spirit, two ounces;
Penny-royal Water, two ounces.

Mix, and take one or two table spoonsful for a dose.

For the relief of colic in the bowels, the following glyster may be administered :—

Assafoetida, two drachms;
Thin Gruel, ten ounces.

(Assafoetida was used by the ancients as a condiment, under the names of Silphion and Laserpitium. In Persia, it is still esteemed as a condiment, and mixed with almost all their dishes. Gastronomers, as the French term those who delight in the pleasures of the palate, among the moderns, employ it for the same purpose; having the hot plates on which they eat beef steaks rubbed with it.)

Source: A Companion To The Medicine Chest, John Savory.

Ingredient: Pellitory

March 20th, 2015

A plant belonging to the order of Nettles, the Pellitory of the Wall, or Paritory–Parietaria, from the Latin parietes, walls–is a favourite Herbal Simple in many rural districts. It grows commonly on dry walls, and is in flower all the summer. The leaves are narrow, hairy, and reddish; the stems are brittle, and the small blossoms hairy, in clusters. Their filaments are so elastic that if touched before the flower has expanded, they suddenly spring from their in curved position, and scatter the pollen broadcast.

An infusion of the plant is a popular medicine to stimulate the kidneys, and promote a large flow of watery urine. The juice of the herb acts in the same way when made into a thin syrup with sugar, and given in doses of two tablespoonfuls three times in the day. Dropsical effusions caused by an obstructed liver, or by a weak dilated heart, may be thus carried off with marked relief. The decoction of Parietaria, says Gerard, “helpeth such as are troubled with an old cough.” All parts of the plant contain nitre abundantly. The leaves may be usefully applied as poultices.

But another Pellitory, which is more widely used because of its pungent efficacy in relieving toothache, and in provoking a free flow of saliva, is a distinct plant, the Pyrethrum, or Spanish Chamomile of the shops, and not a native of Great Britain, though sometimes cultivated in our gardens. The title “Purethron” is from pur, fire, because of its burning ardent taste. Its root is scentless, but when chewed causes a pricking sensation (with heat, and some numbness) in the mouth and tongue. Then an abundant flow of saliva, and of mucus within the cheeks quickly ensues. These effects are due to “pyrethrin” contained in the plant, which is an acid fixed resin; also there are present a second resin, and a yellow, acrid oil, whilst the root contains inulin, tannin, and other substances. When sliced and applied to the skin it induces heat, tingling, and redness. A patient seeking relief from rheumatic or neuralgic affections of the head and face, or for palsy of the tongue, should chew the root of this Pyrethrum for several minutes.

The “Pelleter of Spain” (Pyrethrum Anacyclus), was so styled, not because of being brought from Spain; but because it is grown there.

A gargle of Pyrethrum infusion is prescribed for relaxed uvula, and for a partial paralysis of the tongue and lips. The tincture made from the dried root may be most helpfully applied on cotton wool to the interior of a decayed tooth which is aching, or the milder tincture of the wall Pellitory may be employed for the same purpose. To make a gargle, two or three teaspoonfuls of the tincture of Pyrethrum, which can be had from any druggist, should be mixed with a pint of cold water, and sweetened with honey, if desired. The powdered root forms a good snuff to cure chronic catarrh of the head and nostrils, and to clear the brain by exciting a free flow of nasal mucus and tears–Purgatur cerebrum mansâ radice Pyrethri.

Incidentally, as a quaint but effective remedy for carious toothache, may be mentioned the common lady bird insect, Coccinella, which when captured secretes from its legs a yellow acrid fluid having a disagreeable odour. This fluid will serve to ease the most violent toothache, if the creature be placed alive in the cavity of the hollow tooth.

Gerard says this Pyrethrurn (Pellitory of Spain, or Pelletor) “is most singular for the surgeons of the hospitals to put into their unctions contra Neapolitanum morbum, and such other diseases that are cousin germanes thereunto.” The Parietaria, or Pellitory of the wall, is named Lichwort, from growing on stones.

Sir William Roberts, of Manchester, has advised jujubes, made of gum arabic and pyrethrum, to be slowly masticated by persons who suffer from acid fermentation in the stomach, a copious flow of alkaline saliva being stimulated thereby in the mouth, which is repeatedly swallowed during the sucking of one or more of the jujubes, and which serves to neutralise the acid generated within the stomach. Distressing heartburn is thus effectively relieved without taking injurious alkalies, such as potash and soda.

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

Bronchitis, General Relief for

January 19th, 2009

“Dose of castor oil every night; one teaspoonful for child. Grease well with camphorated oil or any good oil.” The castor oil is very good for carrying off the phlegm from the stomach and bowels that children always swallow instead of coughing up like an older person. It is well in addition to the above remedy to give a little licorice or onion syrup to relieve the bronchial cough.

Source: Mother’s Remedies: Over One Thousand Tried and Tested Remidies from Mothers of the United States and Canada, T. J. Ritter

Cough of Long Standing, Excellent Syrup for

January 11th, 2009

“Carbonate Ammonia 40 grains
Syrup Senega 6 drams
Paregoric 4 drams
Syrup Wild Cherry 6 drams
Syrup Tolu 4 ounces”

This is a very good syrup, and is especially good for chronic cough or chronic bronchitis.

Dose.–One teaspoonful every three hours.

Source: Mother’s Remedies: Over One Thousand Tried and Tested Remidies from Mothers of the United States and Canada, T. J. Ritter

Cough Syrup

January 9th, 2009

One quart of water, one handful of hops; boil these together, and
strain; put in this fluid a cup of sugar, and boil to a syrup; cut a
lemon into it, and bottle for use.

Source: Recipes Tried and True, Ladies’ Aid Society of the First Presbyterian Church of Marion, Ohio

Tickling in Throat, Simple Remedy for

December 8th, 2008

“Take bread crumbs and swallow them.”

Source: Mother’s Remedies: Over One Thousand Tried and Tested Remidies from Mothers of the United States and Canada, T. J.

Ingredients: Pear

December 6th, 2008

The Pear, also called Pyrrie, belongs to the same natural order of plants (the Rosacoe) as the Apple. It is sometimes called the Pyerie, and when wild is so hard and austere as to bear the name of Choke-pear. It grows wild in Britain, and abundantly in France and Germany. The Barland Pear, which was chiefly cultivated in the seventeenth century, still retains its health and vigour, “the identical trees in Herefordshire which then supplied excellent liquor, continuing to do so in this, the nineteenth century.”

This fruit caused the death of Drusus, a son of the Roman Emperor Claudius, who caught in his mouth a Pear thrown into the air, and by mischance attempted to swallow it, but the Pear was so extremely hard that it stuck in his throat, and choked him.

Pears gathered from gardens near old monasteries were formerly held in the highest repute for flavour, and it was noted that the trees which bore them continued fruitful for a great number of years. The secret cause seems to have been, not the holy water with which the trees were formally christened, but the fact that the sagacious monks had planted them upon a layer of stones so as to prevent the roots from penetrating deep into the ground, and so as thus to ensure their proper drainage.

The cellular tissue of which a Pear is composed differs from that of the apple in containing minute stony concretions which make it, in many varieties of the fruit, bite short and crisp; and its specific gravity is therefore greater than that of the apple, so much so that by taking a cube of each of equal size, that of the Pear will sink when thrown into a vessel of water, while that of the apple will float. The wood of the wild Pear is strong, and readily stained black, so as to look like ebony. It is much employed by wood-engravers. Gerard says “it serveth to be cut up into many kinds of moulds; not only such fruits as those seen in my Herbal are made of, but also many sorts of pretty toies for coifes, breast plates, and such like; used among our English gentlewomen.”

The good old black Pear of Worcester is represented in the civic arms, or rather in the second of the two shields belonging to the faithful city; Argent, a fesse between three Pears, sable. The date of this shield coincides with that of the visit of Queen Elizabeth to Worcester.

Virgil names three kinds of Pears which he received as a present from Cato:–

“Nec surculus idem,
Crustaneis, Syriisque pyris, gravibusque volemis.”

The two first of these were Bergamots and Pounder Pears, whilst the last-named was called a volemus, because large enough to fill the hollow of the hand, (vola).

Mural paintings which have been disclosed at Pompeii represent the Pear tree and its fruit. In Pliny’s time there were “proud” Pears, so called because they ripened early, and would not keep; and “winter” pears for baking, etc. Again, in the time of Henry the Eighth, a “warden” Pear, so named (Anglo-Saxon “wearden”) from its property of long keeping, was commonly cultivated.

“Her cheek was like the Catherine Pear,
The side that’s next the sun,”

says one of our old poets concerning a small fruit seen often now-a-days in our London streets, handsome, but hard, and ill-flavoured.

The special taste of Pears is chemically due for the most part to their containing amylacetate; and a solution of this substance in spirit is artificially prepared for making essence of Jargonelle Pears, as used for flavouring Pear drops and other sweetmeats. The acetate amyl is a compound ether got from vinegar and potato oil. Pears contain also malic acid, pectose, gum, sugar, and albumen, with mineral matter, cellulose, and water. Gerard says wine made of the juice of Pears, called in English, Perry, “purgeth those that are not accustomed to drinke thereof, especially when it is new; notwithstanding, it is as wholesome a drink (being taken in small quantity) as wine; it comforteth and warmeth the stomacke, and causeth good digestion.”

Perry contains about one per cent. alcohol over cider, and a slightly larger proportion of malic acid, so that it is rather more stimulating, and somewhat better calculated to produce the healthful effects of vegetable acids in the economy. How eminently beneficial fruits of such sort are when ripe and sound, even to persons out of health, is but little understood, though happily the British public is growing wiser to-day in this respect. For instance, it has been lately discovered that there is present in the juice of the Pine-apple a vegetable digestive ferment, which, in its action, imitates almost identically the gastric juices of the stomach; and a demand for Bananas is developing rapidly in London since their wholesome virtues have become generally recognised. It is a remarkable fact that the epidemics of yellow fever in New Orleans have declined in virulence almost incredibly since the Banana began to be eaten there in considerable quantities. If a paste of its ripe pulp dried in the sun be made with spice, and sugar, this will keep well for years.

At Godstone, as is related in Bray’s Survey, the water from a well sunk close to a wild Pear tree (which bore fruit as hard as iron) proved so curative of gout, that large quantities of it were sent to London and sold there at the rate of sixpence a quart. Pears were deemed by the Romans an antidote to poisonous fungi; and for this reason, which subsequent experience has confirmed, Perry is still reckoned the best thing to be taken after eating freely of mushrooms, as also Pear stalks cooked therewith.

There is an old Continental saying: Pome, pere, ed noce guastano la voce–“Apples, pears, and nuts spoil the voice,” And an ancient rhymed distich says:–

“For the cough take Judas eare,
With the parynge of a pear;
And drynke them without feare,
If ye will have remedy.”

All Pears are cold, and have a binding quality, with an earthy substance in their composition.

It should be noted that Pears dried in the oven, and kept without syrup, will remain quite good, and eatable for a year or more.

Most Pears depend on birds for the dispersion of their seeds, but one striking variety prefers to attract bees, and the larger insects for cross-fertilization, and it has therefore assumed brilliant crimson petals of a broadly expanded sort, instead of bearing a succulent edible fruit, This is the highly ornamental Pyrus Japonica, which may so often be seen trained on the sunny walls of cottages.

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

Ingredients: Bog-Bean, or Marsh Trefoil

November 1st, 2008

The Buck-bean, or Bog-bean, which is common enough in stagnant pools, and on our spongy bogs, is the most serviceable of all known herbal tonics. It may be easily recognised growing in water by its large leaves overtopping the surface, each being composed of three leaflets, and resembling the leaf of a Windsor Broad Bean. The flowers when in bud are of a bright rose color, and when fully blown they have the inner surface of their petals thickly covered with a white fringe, on which account the plant is known also as “white fluff.” The name Buckbean is perhaps a corruption of scorbutus, scurvy; this giving it another title, “scurvy bean.” And it is termed “goat’s bean,” perhaps from the French le bouc, “a he-goat.” The plant flowers for a month and therefore bears the botanical designation, “Menyanthes” (trifoliata) from meen, “a month,” and anthos, “a flower.” It belongs to the Gentian tribe, each of which is distinguished by a tonic and appetizing bitterness of taste. The root of the Bog Bean is the most bitter part, and is therefore selected for medicinal use. It contains a chemical glucoside, “Menyanthin,” which consists of glucose and a volatile product, “Menyanthol.” For curative purposes druggists supply an infusion of the herb, and a liquid extract in combination with liquorice. These preparations are in moderate doses, strengthening and antiscorbutic; but when given more largely they are purgative and emetic. Gerard says if the plant “be taken with mead, or honied water, it is of use against a cough”; in which respect it is closely allied to the Sundew (another plant of the bogs) for relieving whooping-cough after the first feverish stage, or any similar hacking, spasmodic cough. A tincture is made (H.) from the whole plant with spirit of wine, and this proves most useful for clearing obscuration of the sight, when there is a sense, especially in the open-air, of a white vibrating mist before the eyes; and therefore it has been given with marked success in early stages of amaurotic paralysis of the retina. The dose should be three or four drops of the tincture with a tablespoonful of cold water three times in the day for a week at a time.

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

The Best Cough Syrup

October 19th, 2008

For making the best cough syrup, take 1 oz of thoroughworth; 1 oz of slippery elm; 1 oz of stick licorice; and 1 oz of flax seed; simmer together in 1 qt of water until the strength is entirely extracted. Strain carefully, add 1 pt of best molasses and 1/2 lb of loaf sugar; simmer them all well together, and when cold bottle tight. This is the cheapest, best, and safest medicine now or ever in use.

A few doses of one tablespoon at a time will alleviate the most distressing cough of the lungs, soothes and allays irritation, and if continued, subdues any tendency to consumption; breaks up entirely the whooping cough, and no better remedy can be found for croup, asthma, bronchitis, and all affections of the lungs and throat. Thousands of precious lives may be saved every year by this cheap and simple remedy, as well as thousands of dollars which would otherwise be spent in the purchase of nostrums which are both useless and dangerous.

Source: Dr Chase’s Recipes, or Information for Everybody, A.W. Chase