Ingredients: Peach

January 10th, 2009

The Peach (Amygdabus Persica), the apple of Persia, began to be cultivated in England about 1562, or perhaps before then. Columella tells of this fatal gift conveyed treacherously to Egypt in the first century:–

“Apples, which most barbarous Persia sent,
With native poison armed.”

The Peach tree is so well known by its general characteristics as not to need any particular description. Its young branches, flowers, and seeds, after maceration in water, yield a volatile oil which is chemically identical with that of the bitter almond. The flowers are laxative, and have been used instead of manna. When distilled, they furnish a white liquor which communicates a flavour resembling the kernels of fruits. An infusion made from one drachm of the dried flowers, or from half an ounce of the fresh flowers, has a purgative effect. The fruit is wholesome, and seldom disagrees if eaten when ripe and sound. Its quantity of sugar is only small, but the skin is indigestible.

The leaves possess the power of expelling worms if applied outside a child’s belly as a poultice, but in any medicinal form they must be used with caution, as they contain some of the properties of prussic acid, as found also in the leaves of the laurel. A syrup of Peach flowers was formerly a preparation recognised by apothecaries. The leaves infused in white brandy, sweetened with barley sugar, make a fine cordial similar to noyeau. Soyer says the old Romans gave as much for their peaches as eighteen or nineteen shillings each.

Peach pie, owing to the abundance of the fruit, is as common fare in an American farm-house, as apple pie in an English homestead. Our English King John died at Swinestead Abbey from a surfeit of peaches, and new ale.

A tincture made from the flowers will allay the pain of colic caused by gravel; but the kernels of the fruit, which yield an oil identical with that of bitter almonds, have produced poisonous effects with children.

Gerard teaches “that a syrup or strong infusion of Peach flowers doth singularly well purge the belly, and yet without grief or trouble.” Two tablespoonfuls of the infusion for a dose.

In Sicily there is a belief that anyone afflicted with goitre, who eats a Peach on the night of St. John, or the Ascension, will be cured, provided only that the Peach tree dies at the same time. In Italy Peach leaves are applied to a wart, and then buried, so that they and the wart may perish simultaneously.

Thackeray one day at dessert was taken to task by his colleague on the Punch staff, Angus B. Reach, whom he addressed as Mr. Reach, instead of as Mr. (Scotticé) Reach. With ready promptitude, Thackeray replied: “Be good enough Mr. Re-ack to pass me a pe-ack.”

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

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

Rheumatism, Three Simple Ingredient Liniment for

January 8th, 2009

“One pint pure cider vinegar, one pint of turpentine, four fresh eggs, put the egg shells and all in the vinegar, let stand until the vinegar eats the eggs all up, then add the turpentine.” This makes a fine liniment.

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

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

Bronchitis, Lard Poultice for

January 6th, 2009

“Take a piece of cotton batting large enough to cover chest and fit up close to the neck; wring out of melted lard as hot as the patient can stand it, and apply. Change as often as it gets cold. Also give dose of castor oil.”

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

Rheumatism, Sulphur Good for

January 5th, 2009

“Cases of chronic rheumatism are often relieved by sulphur baths and sulphur tea. Dose:– Powder sulphur and mix with molasses. A teaspoonful three times a day,” Sulphur is a good blood purifier and laxative.

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

Cordial for Diarrhoea

January 4th, 2009

The best rhubarb root, pulverized, 1 oz; peppermint leaf 1 oz; capsicum 1/8 oz; cover with boiling water and steep thoroughly, strain, and add bi-carbonate of potash and essence of cinnamon, of each 1/2 oz; with brandy (or good whisky) equal in amount to the whole, and loaf sugar 4 oz.

Dose: For an adult, 1 to 2 tablespoons; for a child 1 to 2 teaspoons, from 3 to 6 times per day, until relief is obtained.

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

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

Whooping Cough Syrup

January 2nd, 2009

One ounce flax seed, one ounce slippery elm, one ounce boneset, one ounce stick liquorice, one and one-half pounds loaf sugar, one pint Orleans molasses. Put first three ingredients in thin muslin bag, and boil one hour in sufficient water to cover well. Dissolve the liquorice in one pint of water; then boil all together a few moments.

DOSE.– One teaspoonful every hour or two, as the case may require.

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

Bleeding from the Lungs. Herb Tea for

January 1st, 2009

“Two ounces each of bistory root, tormentil root, oak bark, and comfrey root, boil in three quarts of water down to one pint, strain and add one tablespoonful of ground ginger. Give a wine glass full every half hour until relieved. Place the feet in hot mustard water, keep the bowels open with a little senna and ginger tea and if necessary give a vapor bath”

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