Ingredients: Capsicum (Cayenne)

April 21st, 2008

The Capsicum, or Bird Pepper, or Guinea Pepper, is a native of tropical countries; but it has been cultivated throughout Great Britain as a stove plant for so many years (since the time of Gerard, 1636) as to have become practically indigenous. Moreover, its fruit-pods are so highly useful, whether as a condiment, or as a medicine, no apology is needed for including it among serviceable Herbal Simples. The Cayenne pepper of our tables is the powdered fruit of Bird Pepper, a variety of the Capsicum plant, and belonging likewise to the order of Solanums; whilst the customary “hot” pickle which we take with our cold meats is prepared from another variety of the Capsicum plant called “Chilies.” This plant — the Bird Pepper — exercises an important medicinal action, which has only been recently recognized by doctors. The remarkable success which has attended the use of Cayenne pepper as a substitute for alcohol with hard drinkers, and as a valuable drug in delirium tremens, has lately led physicians to regard the Capsicum as a highly useful, stimulating, and restorative medicine. For an intemperate person, who really desires to wean himself from taking spirituous liquors, and yet feels to need a substitute at first, a mixture of tincture of Capsicum with tincture of orange peel and water will answer very effectually, the doses being reduced in strength and frequency from day to day. In delirium tremens, if the tincture of Capsicum be given in doses of half-a-dram well diluted with water, it will reduce the tremor and agitation in a few hours, inducing presently a calm prolonged sleep. At the same time the skin will become warm, and will perspire naturally; the pulse will fall in quickness, but whilst regaining fulness and volume; and the kidneys, together with the bowels, will act freely.

Chemically the plant furnishes an essential oil with a crystalline principle, “capsicin,” of great power. This oil may be taken remedially in doses of from half to one drop rubbed up with some powdered white sugar, and mixed with a wineglassful of hot water.

The medicinal tincture is made with sixteen grains of the powdered Capsicum to a fluid ounce of spirit of wine; and the dose of this tincture is from five to twenty drops with one or two tablespoonfuls of water. In the smaller doses it serves admirably to relieve pains in the loins when depending on a sluggish inactivity of the kidneys. Unbroken chilblains may be readily cured by rubbing them once a day with a piece of sponge saturated with the tincture of Capsicum until a strong tingling is induced. In the early part of the present century, a medicine of Capsicum with salt was famous for curing severe influenza with putrid sore throat. Two dessert spoonfuls of small red pepper; or three of ordinary cayenne pepper, were beaten together with two of fine salt, into a paste, and with half-a-pint of boiling water added thereto. Then the liquor was strained off when cold, and half-a-pint of very sharp vinegar was mixed with it, a tablespoonful of the united mixture being given to an adult every half, or full hour, diluted with water if too strong. For inflammation of the eyes, with a relaxed state of the membranes covering the eyeballs and lining the lids, the diluted juice of the Capsicum is a sovereign remedy. Again, for toothache from a decayed molar, a small quantity of cayenne pepper introduced into the cavity will often give immediate relief. The tincture or infusion given in small doses has proved useful to determine outwardly the eruption of measles and scarlet fever, when imperfectly developed because of weakness. Also for a scrofulous discharge of matter from the ears, Capsicum tincture, of a weak strength, four drops with a tablespoonful of cold water three times a day, to a child, will prove curative.

A Capsicum ointment, or “Chili paste,” scarcely ever fails to relieve chronic rheumatism when rubbed in topically for ten minutes at a time with a gloved hand; and an application afterwards of dry heat will increase the redness and warmth, which persist for some while, and are renewed by walking. This ointment, or paste, is made of the Oleo-resin — Capsicin — half-an-ounce, and Lanolin five ounces, the unguent being melted, and, after adding the Capsicin, letting them be stirred together until cold. The powder or tincture of Capsicum will give energy to a languid digestion, and will correct the flatulency often incidental to a vegetable diet. Again, a gargle containing Capsicum in a proper measure will afford prompt relief in many forms of sore throat, both by its stimulating action, and by virtue of its special affinities (H.); this particularly holds good for a relaxed state of the throat, the uvula, and the tonsils. Cayenne pepper is employed in the adulteration of gin.

The “Peter Piper” of our young memories took pickled pepper by the peck. He must have been a Homoeopathic prover with a vengeance; but has left no useful record of his experiments — the more’s the pity — for our guidance when prescribing its diluted forms.

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

Bleeding, Cobwebs to Stop

April 20th, 2008

“Make a pad of cobwebs and apply to cut. I have never found anything to equal this remedy.” This simple remedy has been known to save many lives, and can always be obtained. As most housekeepers know; cobwebs are easily found in every home, and perhaps after reading this remedy they will not seem such a pest as heretofore, if we stop to think that at some future date our baby’s life might be saved by using them.

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

To Promote the Menses, Smartweed for

April 20th, 2008

“Smartweed is good to promote the menses. Always steep in cold water; never boil. Dose.– Two teaspoonsful every hour. Be sure to take warm.”

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

In-growing Toe-Nail, Popular Remedy for

April 19th, 2008

“Shave a little common laundry soap and mix with a little cream and pulverized sugar, work to the consistency of salve and apply to the affected part night and morning. It will take off the proud flesh in about ten days and then heal. This is a good salve for bed-sores or cuts, that, have dirt in them, and will also draw out a splinter. To prevent in-growing toe-nails, scrape the center of the nail very thin and cut a V in the top. This will allow the nail to bend and the corners will have a chance to grow up and out. Avoid short shoes and stockings.” Anyone suffering from this dreaded thing will be willing to try anything that will give relief. The above treatment is always at hand, and has been known to cure in severe cases.

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

Falling of the Womb, a Fine Herb Combination for

April 19th, 2008

“Peach leaves, mullein leaves and hops made into a tea, and a pint used twice a day as an injection [douche] often cures when other remedies fail.” We all know that this combination of herbs is healing and especially in female trouble. The hops, especially, are very soothing to the affected parts.

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

Rusty Nail Wound, Simple Guard Against Serious Results from

April 18th, 2008

“Every little while we read of someone who has run a rusty nail in his foot or some other part of his person, and lockjaw has resulted therefrom. All such wounds can be healed without any fatal consequences following them. It is only necessary to smoke such wounds or any wound or bruise that is inflamed, with burning wood or woolen cloth. Twenty minutes in the smoke will take the pain out of the worst case of inflammation arising from any wound I ever saw.” Put on a poultice of bread and milk, changing every five or ten minutes. After this bind on salt pork and keep on for several days.

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

Constipation, a Good Substitute for Pills and Drugs

April 18th, 2008

“Two ounces each of figs, dates, raisins, and prunes (without pits), one-half ounce senna leaves. Grind through meat chopper, and mix thoroughly by kneading. Break off pieces (about a level teaspoonful) and form into tablets. Wrap each in a wax paper and keep in covered glass jars, in a cool place. Dose.– One at night to keep the bowels regular. Very pleasant to take.”

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

Choking, Grease and Meat Common Remedy for

April 17th, 2008

“Warm lard, or any kind of grease, and give the patient. Have seen it used with success.” The warm grease will usually cause vomiting, and in that way remove the foreign matter.

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

Painful Menstruation, a Good Tonic for

April 17th, 2008

“This may be relieved by sitting over the steam of a strong decoction of tansy, wormwood, and yarrow, and fomenting the abdomen with the same. Then take the following in wineglassful doses:– One ounce each of ground pine, southern wood, tansy, catnip and germander, simmering in two quarts of water down to three pints and pour boiling hot on one ounce of pennyroyal herb, strain when cold and take as per dose above.”

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

Pregnancy, A Great Aid for

April 16th, 2008

“Soothing syrup or Mother’s friend, while pregnant. Two ounces each of cramp bark, blue cohosh, slippery elm, raspberry leaves, squaw vine, orange peel and bitter root. Simmer gently in sufficient water to keep herbs covered for two hours, strain and steep gently down to one quart. Let it stand to cool, then add one cup granulated sugar, and four ounces alcohol. Dose.– One tablespoonful two or three times a day for several weeks before the birth of the child. This has been thoroughly tried and causes an easy birth where difficulty has been expected.”

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