Hair Tonic II

April 15th, 2015

A preparation which is tonic in its properties and is also said to darken gray hair, and which certainly contains nothing injurious, calls for one ounce of sage and a pint of boiling water, allowed to stand twenty-four hours in an iron pot, and then filtered through filtering papers.

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

A Hair Tonic

March 6th, 2015

A lotion Dr. Leonard recommends for the hair, especially where it is coming out calls for two drams tincture cantharides, half an ounce nux vomica, one dram tincture capsicum, one and a half ounces castor oil, and two ounces of cologne. Apply with a bit of sponge twice a day.

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

News: Indonesia’s ancient tonic seeks modern remedy

March 4th, 2015

A BBC article about jamu, an Indonesian tonic made primarily of roots (e.g. turmeric, ginger and galangal).

Bronchitis Remedy and General Tonic

January 7th, 2009

“Take small doses of glycerin and one teaspoonful three times a day of codfish oil.” This remedy, though simple, is very effective. The glycerin and codfish oil are both soothing to the affected parts, and the codfish oil is a very good tonic to tone up the general system.

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

Ingredients: Orchids

January 3rd, 2009

ORCHIDS.

Our common English Orchids are the “Early Purple,” which is abundant in our woods and pastures; the “Meadow Orchis”; and the “Spotted Orchis” of our heaths and commons. Less frequent are the “Bee Orchis,” the “Butterfly Orchis,” “Lady’s Tresses,” and the “Tway blade.”

Two roundish tubers form the root of an Orchid, and give its name to the plant from the Greek orchis, testicle. A nutritive starchy product named Salep, or Saloop, is prepared from the roots of the common Male Orchis, and its infusion or decoction was taken generally in this country as a beverage before the introduction of tea and coffee. Sassafras chips were sometimes added for giving the drink a flavour. Salep obtained from the tubers of foreign Orchids was specially esteemed; and even now that sold in Indian bazaars is so highly valued for its fine qualities that most extravagant prices are paid for it by wealthy Orientals. Also in Persia and Turkey it is in great repute for recruiting the exhausted vitality of aged, and enervated persons. In this country it may be purchased as a powder, but not readily miscible with water, so that many persons fail in making the decoction. The powder should be first stirred with a little spirit of wine: then the water should be added suddenly, and the mixture boiled. One dram by weight of the salep powder in a fluid dram and a half of the spirit, to half-a-pint of water, are the proper proportions. Sometimes amber, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger are added.

Dr. Lind, in the middle of the last century, strongly advised that ships, and soldiers on long marches, should be provided with Salep made into a paste or cake. This (with a little portable soup added) will allay hunger and thirst if made liquid. An ounce in two quarts of boiling water will sufficiently sustain a man for one day, being a combination of animal and vegetable foods. Among the early Romans the Orchis was often called “Satyrion,” because it was thought to be the food of the Satyrs, exciting them to their sexual orgies. Hence the Orchis root became famous as all aphrodisiac medicine, and has been so described by all herbalists from the time of Dioscorides.

A tradition is ascribed to the English Orchis Mascula (early Purple), of which the leaves are usually marked with purple spots. It is said that these are stains of the precious blood which flowed from our Lord’s body on the cross at Calvary, where this species of Orchis is reputed to have grown. Similarly in Cheshire, the plant bears the name of Gethsemane. This early Orchis is the “long Purples,” mentioned by Shakespeare in Hamlet: and it is sometimes named “Dead men’s fingers,” from the pale colour, and the hand-like shape of its tubers.

“That liberal shepherds give a grosser name,
But our cold maids do ‘dead men’s fingers’ call them.”

It is further styled “Cain and Abel” and “Rams’ horns,” the odour being offensive, especially in the evening. It thrives wherever the wild hyacinth flourishes, and is believed by some to grow best where the earth below is rich in metal. Country people in Yorkshire call it “Crake feet,” and in Kent “Keat legs,” or “Neat legs.” The roots of this Orchis abound with a glutinous sweetish juice, of which a Salep may be made which is quite equal to any brought from the Levant. The new root should be washed in hot water, and its thin brown skin rubbed off with a linen cloth. Having thus prepared a sufficient number of roots, the operator should spread them on a tin plate in a hot oven for eight or ten minutes, until they get to look horny, but without shrinking in size: and being then withdrawn, they may be dried with more gentle heat, or by exposure to the air. Their concocted juice can be employed with the same intentions and in the same complaints as gum arabic,–about which we read that not only has it served to sustain whole negro towns during a scarcity of other provisions, but the Arabs who collect it by the river Niger have nothing else to live upon for months together.

Salep is a most useful article of diet for those who suffer from chronic diarrhoea.

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

Ingredients: Buckthorn

October 4th, 2008

The common Buckthorn grows in our woods and thickets, and used to be popularly known because of the purgative syrup made from its juice and berries. It bears dense branches of small green flowers, followed by the black berries, which purge violently. If gathered before they are ripe they furnish a yellow dye. When ripe, if mixed with gum arabic and lime water, they form the pigment called “Bladder Green.” Until late in the present century– O dura ilia messorum!–English rustics, when requiring an aperient dose for themselves or their children, had recourse to the syrup of Buckthorn. But its action was so severe, and attended with such painful gripings, that as time went on the medicine was discarded, and it is now employed in this respect almost exclusively by the cattle doctor. Dodoeus taught about Buckthorn berries: “They be not meet to be administered but to young and lusty people of the country, which do set more store of their money than their lives.” The shrub grows chiefly on chalk, and near brooks. The name Buckthorn is from the German buxdorn, boxthorn, hartshorn. In Anglo-Saxon it was Heorot-bremble. It is also known as Waythorn, Rainberry Thorn, Highway Thorn and Rhineberries. Each of the berries contains four seeds: and the flesh of birds which eat thereof is said to be purgative. When the juice is given medicinally it causes a bad stomach-ache, with much dryness of the throat: for which reason Sydenham always ordered a basin of soup to be given after it. Chemically the active principle of the Buckthorn is “rhamno-cathartine.” Likewise a milder kind of Buckthorn, which is much more useful as a Simple, grows freely in England, the Rhamnus frangula or so-called “black berry-bearing Alder,” though this appellation is a mistake, because botanically the Alder never bears any berries. This black Buckthorn is a slender shrub, which occurs in our woods and thickets. The juice of its berries is aperient, without being irritating, and is well suited as a laxative for persons of delicate constitution. It possesses the merit of continuing to answer in smaller doses after the patient has become habituated to its use. The berry of the Rhamnus frangula may be known by its containing only two seeds. Country people give the bark boiled in ale for jaundice; and this bark is the black dogwood of gunpowder makers. Lately a certain aperient medicine has become highly popular with both doctors and patients in this country, the same being known as Cascara Sagrada. It is really an American Buckthorn, the Rhamnus Persiana, and it possesses no true advantage over our black Alder Buckthorn, though the bark of this latter must be used a year old, or it will cause griping. A fluid extract of the English mild Buckthorn, or of the American Cascara, is made by our leading druggists, of which from half to one teaspoonful may be given for a dose. This is likewise a tonic to the intestines, and is especially useful for relieving piles. Lozenges also of the Alder Buckthorn are dispensed under the name of “Aperient Fruit Lozenges;” one, or perhaps two, being taken for a dose as required.

There is a Sea Buckthorn, Hippophoe, which belongs to a different natural order, Eloeagnaceoe, a low shrubby tree, growing on sandhills and cliffs, and called also Sallowthorn. The fruit is made (in Tartary) into a pleasant jelly, because of its acid flavour, and used in the Gulf of Bothnia for concocting a fish sauce.

The name signifies “giving light to a horse,” being conferred because of a supposed power to cure equine blindness; or it may mean “shining underneath,” in allusion to the silvery underside of the leaf.

The old-fashioned Cathartic Buckthorn of our hedges and woods has spinous thorny branchlets, from which its name, Rhamnus, is thought to be derived, because the shrub is set with thorns like as the ram. At one time this Buckthorn was a botanical puzzle, even to Royalty, as the following lines assure us:–

“Hicum, peridicum; all clothed in green;
The King could not tell it, no more could the Queen;
So they sent to consult wise men from the East.
Who said it had horns, though it was not a beast.”

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

Jaundice, Lemon Juice for

September 24th, 2008

“Take a tablespoonful of lemon juice several times a day.” This disease is produced by congestion of the liver, and as lemon is excellent as a liver tonic it is known to be an excellent remedy for jaundice.

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

Drunkenness, Effective as Cure for

September 12th, 2008

“Arsenious Acid 19 grains
Bromine Water sufficient
Tribromide of Gold 14 grains
Distilled Water sufficient

Ten drops of this solution for injection, which equals one thirty-second grain of gold tribromide.” This is an active tonic, powerful sedative and destroys the appetite or cravings for alcoholic stimulants; the medicine is to be taken regularly four or five times a day for several weeks until the alcohol is out of the system even though he may appear cured. This is a good remedy, but should be given under the supervision of a doctor.

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

Stye, Home Method to Kill

August 26th, 2008

“To hasten the pointing of a stye apply hot compresses for fifteen minutes every two hours. As ill health may be the cause, a tonic may be needed; glasses properly fitted should be worn and a boric acid eyewash used until long after the stye has disappeared.” Applying hot compresses will relieve the congestion and gives much relief. Ill health produces a poor circulation of the blood and a good tonic will be found beneficial. Styes are frequently produced by need of glasses.

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

Blood Purifier, Another Effective Herb Remedy

July 4th, 2008

“Pour boiling hot water on four ounces of gentian root with two ounces of dried orange peel, a sufficient amount of water should be used to exhaust the strength in the root and orange peel; then boil in a porcelain pot until there is left one-half pint of the concentrated infusion to every ounce of gentian root used. Then to every one-half pint add one half ounce alcohol. The effect of the alcohol is to coagulate it from a quantity of jelly looking substance which must be separated by straining. This is one of the best strengtheners of the human system. Dose: — One teaspoonful in an ounce of water.”

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