Quince Water

March 11th, 2016

Peel and cut up into quarters two large quinces; pour over them one quart and a half of boiling water ; let it stand all night, then drain, and sweeten. This is very good for colds.

Source: The Unrivalled Cook-Book and Housekeeper’s Guide, Mrs Washington

Spongy Gums

March 9th, 2016

If the gums become spongy, or detached from the necks of the teeth, your diet is probably defective, and more fresh vegetable is demanded. Lance the gums, however, and let them bleed freely, and
gargle the mouth with alum and water, or strong sage-tea unsweetened ; but the best application to spongy gums, and in case of salivation, is pure tannin, or, as a substitute, tincture of galls.

Source: Health, Disease and Remedy, George Moore

The Snail water excellent for Consumptions

March 7th, 2016

Take a Peck of Snails with the Shells on their Backs, have in a readiness a good fire of Charcoal well kindled, make a hole in the midst of the fire, and cast your Snails into the fire, renew your fire till the Snails are well rosted, then rub them with a clean Cloth, till you have rubbed off all the green which will come off.

Then bruise them in a Mortar, shells and all, then take Clary, Celandine, Burrage, Scabious, Bugloss, five leav’d Grass, and if you find your self hot, put in some Wood-Sorrel, of every one of these one handful, with five tops of Angelica.

These Herbs being all bruised in a Mortar, put them in a sweet earthen Pot with five quarts of white Wine, and two quarts of Ale, steep them all night; then put them into an Alembeck, let the herbs be in the bottom of the Pot, and the Snails upon the Herbs, and upon the Snails put a Pint of Earth-worms slit and clean washed in white Wine, and put upon them four ounces of Anniseeds or Fennel-seeds well bruised, and five great handfuls of Rosemary Flowers well picked, two or three Races of Turmerick thin sliced, Harts-horn and Ivory, of each four ounces, well steeped in a quart of white Wine till it be like a Jelly, then draw it forth with care.

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

Almond Ball

March 5th, 2016

Put into an earthen saucepan, set in a pan of boiling water, one ounce of white wax, one ounce of pure spermaceti, and one gill of oil of almonds well stirred in ; add to this, when it begins to grow cool, half a drachm of essential oil of almonds; half a drachm of expressed oil of mace, and half a drachm of balsam of Peru; stir until smooth and perfectly amalgamated; then pour into egg-cups; turn out when hard. These balls passed over the clean and dry skin at bedtime greatly improve the softness of the complexion.

Source: The Unrivalled Cook-Book and Housekeeper’s Guide, Mrs Washington

Infusion of Catechu, commonly called Japonic Infusion

March 3rd, 2016

Take of

  • Extract of catechu, two drachms and a half;
  • Cinnamon, half a drachm;
  • Boiling water, seven ounces;
  • Simple syrup, one ounce.

Macerate the extract and cinnamon in the hot water, in a covered vessel, for two hours, then strain it, and add the syrup.

Extract of catechu is almost pure tan[n]in. This infusion is therefore a powerfully astringent solution. The cinnamon and syrup render it a very agreeable medicine, which will be found serviceable in fluxes proceeding from a laxity of the intestines. Its dose is a spoonful or two every other hour. As this preparation will not keep above a day or two, it must always be made extemporaneously. The two hours maceration, therefore, becomes very often extremely inconvenient; but it may be prepared in a few minutes by boiling, without in the least impairing the virtues of the medicine.

Source: The Edinburgh New Dispensatory, Andrew Duncan

Scurvy

March 1st, 2016

Scurvy is a disease accompanied by a depraved state of the blood, attributed to improper diet, assisted by bad air and mental depression. It is generally cured by a good mixed and fresh diet. Sound potatoes, and other vegetables containing salts of potash, are said to prevent it; but as a substitute for these, lemon juice, when much salt food is used, has been found very efficacious, and it is therefore always provided for the use of the Royal Navy, which, though once dreadfully afflicted with this disease, is now nearly exempt from it ; a result mainly attributable to a great and general improvement in discipline, ventilation, and diet.

This disease was very prevalent and destructive in England before the general cultivation of the potato, and it became again a common disease among the poor in several parts of the country, when the extensive potato-blight occurred in 1846. At that time Dr. Baly remarked, that the military prisoners at Millbank, dieted like the other prisoners, except that they had no potatoes, were alone attacked by scurvy on that occasion, and when potatoes were supplied to them the disease ceased. It is probable that the citric and tartaric acids existing in the potato are combined with the nutriment in such a manner as to be peculiarly adapted to the blood, since the potato is found even more advantageous in many cases of scurvy than lemons and oranges. I dwell on this point because it proves that small variations in diet are capable of producing vast effects on health, and that but for a fair and full distribution of the fruits of the earth, disease would be far more destructive than at present; and by neglect of small points in the diet of the poor, maladies from depraved blood would be now as rife and terrible as in the darker ages. The method by which potatoes are dried, so as to be fit to form part of ship-store, is an important invention, and highly valuable to sailors, since they may thus obtain in any climate a dish of mash-potatoes with the help of a little warm water.

Observing the benefit resulting from the use of phosphate of soda in certain depraved conditions of the blood, I think it probable that this salt would be of great service in scurvy. The proper dose would be from ten to thirty grains a day. As scurvy arises from salted meat in the absence of fresh meat and vegetables, the theory of its cause and cure almost resolves itself into a chemical problem. All animals need salt, since it furnishes ingredients for the blood, and is essential to digestion and secretion. How, then, is salted meat injurious? Simply from the circumstance that, in salting meat, the common salt takes the place of the soluble phosphates of the flesh, while these phosphates, so requisite for the production of healthy blood and sound flesh, are almost entirely removed from the flesh into the brine. It becomes then important to discover some better plan of preserving meat. By the exclusion of air, as by filling tin cases with meat, and then soldering them, meat may be preserved for years. The best plan is to make a real concentration of the animal juices, as in portable soup. What is generally sold under this name, is but a gelatinous mass of very little value as nourishment. The following is the method of preparing this soup, or extract of meat, abridged from Liebig:— Chop very fine one pound of lean beef; mix it well with an equal weight of cold water; slowly heat the mixture to boiling; after boiling briskly a minute or two, strain through coarse linen. Salt and flavour according to taste, and tinge it with roasted onion or burnt sugar. This, when concentrated by slow evaporation, is a dark soft mass, half an ounce of which in a pint of water, makes a strong well-flavoured soup.

Source: Health, Disease and Remedy, George Moore