The Lemon Decoction in Malaria

May 30th, 2015

This remedy has, besides its anti-malarial efficacy, distinct value as a tonic to the stomach. Take a fresh lemon; cut it into thin slices, rind and all; boil it in three tumblerfuls of water in an earthen pot which has not been previously used for culinary purposes; prolong the boiling till the liquid contents of the pot have been reduced to one-third — that is, to the volume of one tumbler. Pass the decoction through muslin, squeezing out the residue of the lemon, and let it cool for several hours. Let the whole be taken in the early morning, fasting.

Source: Audel’s Household Helps, Hints and Receipts

Ingredient: Angustura Bark

May 13th, 2015

Angustura bark (Cusparia) is a valuable tonic, especially in cases of dyspepsia, with diarrhoea and loss of appetite. It may be given in powder in doses of ten grains, twice or thrice a-day; or in infusion, or decoction. In cases of flatulency of the stomach, attended by nausea, five grains, with the same weight of rhubarb, taken an hour before dinner, will often effectually restore the appetite and digestion.

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

Ingredient: Apple

May 6th, 2015

It is hardly possible to take up any newspaper or magazine now a days without happening on advertisements of patent medicines whose chief recommendation is that they “contain phosphorus.” They are generally very expensive, but the reader is assured that they are worth ten times the price asked on account of their wonderful properties as nerve and brain foods. The proprietors of these concoctions seemingly flourish like green bay trees and spend many thousands of pounds per annum in advertising. From which it may be deduced that sufferers from nervous exhaustion and brain fag number millions. And surely only a sufferer from brain fag would suffer himself to be led blindly into wasting his money, and still further injuring his health, by buying and swallowing drugs about whose properties and effects he knows absolutely nothing. How much simpler, cheaper, and more enjoyable to eat apples!

The apple contains a larger percentage of phosphorus than any other fruit or vegetable. For this reason it is an invaluable nerve and brain food. Sufferers from nerve and brain exhaustion should eat at least two apples at the beginning of each meal. At the same time they should avoid tea and coffee, and supply their place with barley water or bran tea flavoured with lemon juice, or even apple tea.

Apples are also invaluable to sufferers from the stone or calculus. It has been observed that in cider countries where the natural unsweetened cider is the common beverage, cases of stone are practically unknown. Food-reformers do not deduce from this that the drinking of cider is to be recommended, but that even better results may be obtained from eating the fresh, ripe fruit.

Apples periodically appear upon the tables of carnivorous feeders in the form of apple sauce. This accompanies bilious dishes like roast pork and roast goose. The cook who set this fashion was evidently acquainted with the action of the fruit upon the liver. All sufferers from sluggish livers should eat apples.

Apples will afford much relief to sufferers from gout. The malic acid contained in them neutralises the chalky matter which causes the gouty patient’s sufferings.

Apples, when eaten ripe and without the addition of sugar, diminish acidity in the stomach. Certain vegetable salts are converted into alkaline carbonates, and thus correct the acidity.

An old remedy for weak or inflamed eyes is an apple poultice. I am told that in Lancashire they use rotten apples for this purpose, but personally I should prefer them sound.

A good remedy for a sore or relaxed throat is to take a raw ripe apple and scrape it to a fine pulp with a silver teaspoon. Eat this pulp by the spoonful, very slowly, holding it against the back of the throat as long as possible before swallowing.

A diet consisting chiefly of apples has been found an excellent cure for inebriety. Health and strength may be fully maintained upon fine wholemeal unleavened bread, pure dairy or nut butter, and apples.

Apple water or apple tea is an excellent drink for fever patients.

Apples possess tonic properties and provoke appetite for food. Hence the old-fashioned custom of eating an apple before dinner.

Apple Tea

The following are two good recipes for apple tea:– (1) Take 2 sound apples, wash, but do not peel, and cut into thin slices. Add some strips of lemon rind. Pour on 1 pint of boiling water (distilled). Strain when cold. (2) Bake 2 apples. Pour over them 1 pint boiling water. Strain when cold.

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

Hair Tonic III

April 23rd, 2015

Digest half an ounce of pine tar in a pint of water for forty-eight hours, stirring occasionally; filter, and put with the other fluid, then add one pint of bay rum, one ounce each of cologne and tincture of cantharides, two ounces of glycerin and ten ounces of distilled water. Apply daily, using a tonic brush.

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

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