Instantaneous Hair Dye

March 31st, 2022

Take one drachm of nitrate of silver, and add to it just sufficient rain water to dissolve it, and no more; then take strong spirit of ammonia, and gradually pour on the solution of silver, until it becomes as clear as water, (the addition of the ammonia at first makes it brown); then wrap round the bottle two or three covers of blue paper, to exclude the light — otherwise it will spoil. Having made this, obtain two drachms of gallic acid; put this into another bottle which will contain one-half pint; pour upon it hot water, and let it stand until cold — when it is fit for use.

Source: Our Knowledge Box, ed. G. Blackie

For Worms

March 29th, 2022

Equal parts of salt and sugar, taken while fasting, are good for worms; a tea-spoonful is sufficient for a child two years old; to take half a cup of chamomile, rue or wormwood tea, with a little sugar, two hours before breakfast, is also good. Give a dose of senna after they have been taking this three days. It is very important to bruise garlic and rue, to apply to the stomach; put it in a bag, and wet it with spirits every day. The garlic and rue is said to keep the worms out of the stomach. Wormseed oil, a few drops at a time, has given relief, but should be used cautiously. Old cheese grated and given to a child, has been known to afford relief: it is also beneficial when a child is seized with sudden illness from having eaten too many cherries.

Source: Domestic Cookery, Useful Receipts, and Hints to Young Housekeepers, Elizabeth E. Lea

Ammoniacal Pomatum for Promoting the Growth of Hair

March 27th, 2022

Take almond oil, quarter of a pound; white wax, half an ounce; clarified lard, three ounces; liquid ammonia, a quarter fluid ounce; otto of lavender, and cloves, of each one drachm. Place the oil, wax and lard in a jar, which set in boiling water; when the wax is melted, allow the grease to cool till nearly ready to set, then stir in the ammonia and the perfume, and put into small jars for use. Never use a hard brush, nor comb the hair too much. Apply the pomade at night only.

Source: Our Knowledge Box, ed. G. Blackie

Cure for Chapped Hands

March 25th, 2022

Take 3 drachms of gum camphor, 3 drachms of white beeswax, 3 drachms of spermaceti, 2 ounces of olive oil — put them together in a cup upon the stove, where they will melt slowly and form a white ointment in a few minutes. If the hands be affected, anoint them on going to bed, and put on a pair of gloves. A day or two will suffice to heal them.

Source: The Ladies’ Book of Etiquette, and Manual of Politeness, Florence Hartley

Elecampane and Hoarhound Syrup

March 23rd, 2022

Put a pint of hoarhound in a quart of water, and let it draw by the fire; put a tea-cupful of dried elecampane root in a pint of water, cover it close, and let it boil till all the strength is out; strain it and the hoarhound together, and put them to boil with a pound of sugar; when it is a rich syrup, pour it in a pitcher to cool, and bottle it. Take a table-spoonful at a time when the cough is troublesome. Sometimes flaxseed is a useful addition to this syrup.

Source: Domestic Cookery, Useful Receipts, and Hints to Young Housekeepers, Elizabeth E. Lea

Loss of Hair

March 21st, 2022

The most simple remedy for loss of hair, is friction to the scalp of the head, using for the purpose an old tooth-brush, or one of which the bristles have been softened by soaking in boiling water. The shape of the instrument adapts it to be inserted readily and effectually between the hair, where it should be rubbed backwards and forwards over the space of an inch or so at a time. In addition to the friction, which should be used once or twice a day, the head may be showered once a day with cold water, carefully drying it with soft, spongy towels.

Source: The Ladies’ Book of Etiquette, and Manual of Politeness, Florence Hartley

Essence for the Headache

March 19th, 2022

Spirits of wine, two pounds; roche alum, in fine powder, two ounces; camphor, four ounces; essence of lemon, half an ounce; strong water of ammonia, four ounces. Stop the bottle close, and shake it daily, for three or four days.

Source: Our Knowledge Box, ed. G. Blackie

For Dysentery and Diarrhoea

March 17th, 2022

The following prescription from an eminent physician has proved valuable: Take of calcined magnesia two drachms, of aromatic spirits of ammonia two and a half drachms, of water half a pint, mix well together, and as a dose for a grown person, give a table-spoonful every half hour until relieved.

Some country nurses recommend dittany tea, or spice-wood berries boiled in new milk. A large poultice on the stomach and bowels, made of new milk, thickened with light bread, has given relief — keeping it warm.

Be careful to keep the patient’s feet warm, and to bathe the back and stomach with spirits. Where the dittany and spice-wood cannot be obtained, other aromatics, as cinnamon and cloves, are good substitutes.

Source: Domestic Cookery, Useful Receipts, and Hints to Young Housekeepers, Elizabeth E. Lea

White Camphorated Ointment

March 15th, 2022

1. Take 3 ounces 2 drachms of powdered carbonate of lead (cerussa), 45 grains of powdered camphor. Mix, and then stir into 5 ounces of melted lard.

This is applied to burns and contusions with very good effect, and is much used in Austria. The surface must not be abraded when it is applied.

2. Take 4 ounces of olive oil, 1 ounce of white wax, 22 grains of camphor, and 6 drachms of spermaceti. Melt the wax and spermaceti with the oil, and when they have cooled rub the ointment with the camphor, dissolved in a little oil. Sometimes the white wax is omitted, and lard substituted for it.

It is useful in chaps, fissures, abrasions, and roughness of the skin.

Source: The Ladies’ Book of Etiquette, and Manual of Politeness, Florence Hartley

Court Plaster

March 13th, 2022

This plaster is a kind of varnished silk, and its manufacture is very easy. Bruise a sufficient quantity of Isinglass, and let it soak in a little warm water for twenty-four hours. Expose it to heat over the fire until the greater part of the water is dissipated and supply its place by proof Spirits of Wine, which will combine with the Isinglass. Strain the whole through a piece of open linen, taking care that the consistency of the mixture shall be such that when cool it may form a trembling jelly. Extend a piece of black or flesh-colored silk on a wooden frame, and fix it in that position by means of tacks or twine. Then apply the Isinglass, after it has been rendered liquid by a gentle heat, to the silk with a brush of fine hair (badger’s is the best). As soon as this coating is dried, which will not be long, apply a second, and afterward, if the article is to be very superior, a third. When the whole is dry, cover it with two or three coatings of the Balsam of Peru. This is the genuine court plaster. It is pliable and never breaks, which is far from being the case with spurious articles sold under the same name.

Source: One Thousand Secrets of Wise and Rich Men Revealed, C. A. Bogardus