Ague Pills

April 25th, 2015

Take quinine, twenty grains; piperine, ten grains; Dover’s Powder, ten grains; cayenne, ten grains. Mix, pulverize, and make into twenty pills with a little gum arabic or extract of gentian or boneset. To be taken at the rate of one pill an hour when there is no fever, or during intermission, until twelve pills are taken, the balance to be taken on the third day or next well day. Good as a remedy for the chills or fever and ague.

Source: The Ladies’ Book of Useful Information.

For an Ague

March 8th, 2015

Go into the cold bath, just before the cold fit. Nothing tends to prolong an Ague, than indulging a lazy indolent disposition. The patient ought, therefore, between the fits, to take as much exercise as he can bear; and to use a light diet; and for common drink, Lemonade is the most proper.

When all other means fail, give Blue Vitriol, from one grain to two grains, in the absence of the fit; and repeat it three or four times in twenty-four hours.

Or take a handful of Groundsell, shred it small, put it into a paper-bag, four inches square, pricing that side which is to be next the skin, full of holes. Cover this with a thin linen, and wear it on the pit of the stomach, renewing it two hours before the fit. Tried.

Or apply to the stomach, a large Onion slit.

Or, melt two penny worth of Frankincense, spread it on linen, grate a Nutmeg upon it, cover it with linen, and hang this bag upon the pit of the stomach. I have never yet known it fail.

Or boil Yarrow in new milk, till it is tender enough to spread as a plaster. An hour before the cold fit, apply this to the wrists, and let it be on till the hot fit is over. If another fit comes, use a fresh plaster. This often cures a Quartan.

Or drink a quart of cold water, just before the cold fit. Then go to bed and sweat.

Or make six middling pills of Cobwebs. Take one a little before the cold fit, two a little before the next fit, (suppose the next day,), the other three, if need be, a little before the third fit. This seldom fails. Or put a tea-spoonful of Salt of Tartar into a large glass of spring water, and drink it by little and little. Repeat the same dost the next two days, before the time of the fit.

Or two small tea-spoonfuls of Sal Prunellae an hour before the fit. It commonly cures in thrice taking.

Or a large spoonful of powdered Camomile Flowers.

Or a tea-spoonful of Spirits of Hartshorn, in a glass of water.

Or eat a small Lemon, rind and all.

In the hot fit, if violent, take eight or ten drops of Laudanum; if costive, in Hiera picra.

Dr Lind says, an Ague is certainly cured, by taking from ten to twenty drops of Laudanum, with two drachms of Syrup of Poppies, in any warm liquid, half an hour after the heat begins.

It is proper to take a gentle vomit, and sometimes a purge, before you use any of these medicines. If a vomit is taken two hours before the fit is expected, it generally prevents that fit, and sometimes cures an Ague, especially in children. It is also proper to repeat the medicine (whatever it be,) about a week after, in order to prevent a relapse. Do not take any purge soon after. The daily use of the flesh brush, and frequent cold bathing, are of great use to prevent relapses.

Children have been cured by wearing a waistcoat, in which Bark was quilted.

Source: Primitive Physic: or an easy and natural method of curing most diseases, John Wesley.

Ingredients: Orange

December 27th, 2008

Though not of native British growth, except by way of a luxury in the gardens of the wealthy, yet the Orange is of such common use amongst all classes of our people as a dietetic fruit, when of the sweet China sort, and for tonic medicinal purposes when of the bitter Seville kind, that some consideration may be fairly accorded to it as a Curative Simple in these pages.

The Citrus aurantium, or popular Orange, came originally from India, and got its distinctive title of Aurantium, either (ab aureo colore corticis) from the golden colour of its peel, or (ab oppido Achoeioe Arantium) from Arantium, a town of Achaia. It now comes to us chiefly from Portugal and Spain. This fruit is essentially a product of cultivation extending over many years. It began in Hindustan as a small bitter berry with seeds; then about the eighth century it was imported into Persia, though held somewhat accursed. During the tenth century it bore the name “Bigarade,” and became better known. But not until the sixteenth century was it freely grown by the Spaniards, and brought into Mexico. Even at that time the legend still prevailed that whoever partook of the luscious juice was compelled to embrace the faith of the prophet. Spenser and Milton tell of the orange as the veritable golden apple presented by Jupiter to Juno on the day of their nuptials: and hence perhaps arose its more modern association with marriage rites.

Of the varieties the China Orange is the most juicy, being now grown in the South of Europe; whilst the St. Michael Orange (a descendant of the China sort, first produced in Syria), is now got abundantly from the Azores, whence it derives its name.

John Evelyn says the first China Orange which appeared in Europe, was sent as a present to the old Condé Mellor; then Prime Minister to the King of Portugal, when only one plant escaped sound and useful of the whole case which reached Lisbon, and this became the parent of all the Orange trees cultivated by our gardeners, though not without greatly degenerating.

The Seville Orange is that which contains the medicinal properties, more especially in its leaves, flowers, and fruit, though the China sort possesses the same virtues in a minor degree. The leaves and the flowers have been esteemed as beneficial against epilepsy, and other convulsive disorders; and a tea is infused from the former for hysterical sufferers.

Two delicious perfumes are distilled from the flowers–oil of neroli, and napha water,–of which the chemical hydro-carbon “hesperidin,” is mainly the active principle. This is secreted also as an aromatic attribute of the leaves through their minute glands, causing them to emit a fragrant odour when bruised. A scented water is largely prepared in France from the flowers, l’eau de fleur d’oranger, which is frequently taken by ladies as a gentle sedative at night, when sufficiently diluted with sugared water. Thousands of gallons are drunk in this way every year. As a pleasant and safely effective help towards wooing sleep, from one to two teaspoonfuls of the French Eau de fleur d’oranger, if taken at bedtime in a teacupful of hot water, are to be highly commended for a nervous, or excitably wakeful person.

Orange buds are picked green from the trees in the gardens of the Riviera, and when dried they retain the sweet smell of the flowers. A teaspoonful of these buds is ordered to be infused in a teacupful of quite hot water, and the liquid to be drunk shortly, before going to bed. The effect is to induce a refreshing sleep, without any subsequent headache or nausea. The dried berries may be had from an English druggist.

A peeled Orange contains, some citric acid, with citrate of potash; also albumen, cellulose, water, and about eight per cent. of sugar. The white lining pith of the peel possesses likewise the crystalline principle “hesperidin.” Dr. Cullen showed that the acid juice of oranges, by uniting with the bile, diminishes the bitterness of that secretion; and hence it is that this fruit is of particular service in illnesses which arise from a redundancy of bile, chiefly in dark persons of a fibrous, or bilious temperament. But if the acids of the Orange are greater in quantity than can be properly corrected by the bile (as in persons with a small liver, and feeble digestive powers), they seem, by some prejudicial union with that liquid, to acquire a purgative quality, and to provoke diarrhoea, with colicky pains.

The rind or peel of the Seville Orange is darker in colour, and more bitter of taste than that of the sweet China fruit. It affords a considerable quantity of fragrant, aromatic oil, which partakes of the characters exercised by the leaves and the flowers as affecting the nervous system. Pereira records the death of a child which resulted from eating the rind of a sweet China Orange.

The small green fruits (windfalls) from the Orange trees of each sort, which become blown off, or shaken down during the heats of the summer, are collected and dried, forming the “orange berries” of the shops. They are used for flavouring curacoa, and for making issue peas. These berries furnish a fragrant oil, the essence de petit grain, and contain citrates, and malates of lime and potash, with “hesperidin,” sulphur, and mineral salts. The Orange flowers yield a volatile, odorous oil, acetic acid, and acetate of lime. The juice of the Orange consists of citric and malic acids, with sugar; citrate of lime, and water. The peel furnishes hesperidin, a volatile oil, gallic acid, and a bitter principle.

By druggists, a confection of bitter orange peel is sold; also a syrup of this orange peel, and a tincture of the same, made with spirit of wine, to be given in doses of from one to two teaspoonfuls with water, as an agreeable stomachic bitter. Eau de Cologne contains oil of neroli, oil of citron, and oil of orange.

The fresh juice of Oranges is antiseptic, and will prevent scurvy if taken in moderation daily. Common Oranges cut through the middle while green, and dried in the air, being afterwards steeped for forty days in oil, are used by the Arabs for preparing an essence famous among their old women because it will restore a fresh dark, or black colour to grey hair. The custom of a bride wearing Orange blossoms, is probably due to the fact that flowers and fruit appear together on the tree, in token of a wish that the bride may retain the graces of maidenhood amid the cares of married life. This custom has been derived from the Saracens, and was originally suggested also by the fertility of the Orange tree.

The rind of the Seville Orange has proved curative of ague, and powerfully remedial to restrain the monthly flux of women when in excess. Its infusion is of service also against flatulency. A drachm of the powdered leaves may be given for a dose in nervous and hysterical ailments. Finally, “the Orange,” adds John Evelyn, “sharpens appetite, exceedingly refreshes, and resists putrefaction.”

With respect to the fruit, it is said that workpeople engaged in the orange trade enjoy a special immunity from influenza, whilst a free partaking of the juice given largely, has been found preventive of pneumonia as complicating this epidemic. The benefit is said to occur through lessening the fibrin of the blood.

In the time of Shakespeare, it was the fashion to carry “pomanders,” these being oranges from which all the pulp had been scooped out, whilst a circular hole was made at the top. Then after the peel had become dry, the fruit was filled with spices, so as to make a sort of scent-box. Orange lilies, Orangemen, and William of Orange, are all more or less associated with this fruit. The Dutch Government had no love for the House of Orange: and many a grave burgomaster went so far as to banish from his garden the Orange lily, and Marigold; also the sale of Oranges and Carrots was prohibited in the markets on account of their aristocratic colour.

There exists at Brighton a curious custom of bowling or throwing Oranges along the high road on Boxing day. He whose Orange is hit by that of another, forfeits the fruit to the successful hitter.

In Henry the Eighth’s reign Oranges were made into pies, or the juice was squeezed out, and mixed with wine. This fruit when peeled, and torn into sections, after removing the white pith, and the pips, and sprinkling over it two or three spoonfuls of powdered loaf sugar, makes a most wholesome salad. A few candied orange-flower petals will impart a fine flavour to tea when infused with it.

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

Ingredients: Parsnip

December 20th, 2008

The Wild Parsnip (Pastinaca sativa) grows on the borders of ploughed fields and about hedgerows, being generally hairy, whilst the Garden Parsnip is smooth, with taller stems, and leaves of a yellowish-green colour. This cultivated Parsnip has been produced as a vegetable since Roman times. The roots furnish a good deal of starch, and are very nutritious for warming and fattening, but when long in the ground they are called in some places “Madnip,” and are said to cause insanity.

Chemically, they contain also albumen, sugar, pectose, dextrin, fat, cellulose, mineral matters, and water, but less sugar than turnips or carrots. The volatile oil with which the cultivated root is furnished causes it to disagree with persons of delicate stomach; otherwise it is highly nutritive, and makes a capital supplement to salt fish, in Lent. The seeds of the wild Parsnip (quite a common plant) are aromatic, and are kept by druggists. They have been found curative in ague, and for intermittent fever, by their volatile oil, or by its essence given as a medicine. But the seeds of the garden Parsnip, which are easier to get, though not nearly so efficacious, are often substituted at the shops. A decoction of the wild root is good for a sluggish liver, and in passive jaundice.

In Gerard’s time, Parsnips were known as Mypes. Marmalade made with the roots, and a small quantity of sugar, will improve the appetite, and serve as a restorative to invalids.

From the mashed roots of the wild Parsnip in some parts of Ireland, when boiled with hops, the peasants brew a beer. In Scotland a good dish is prepared from Parsnips and potatoes, cooked and beaten together, with butter. Parsnip wine, when properly concocted, is particularly exhilarating and refreshing.

The Water Parsnip (spelt also in old Herbals, Pasnep, and Pastnip, and called Sium) is an umbelliferous plant, common by the sides of rivers, lakes, and ditches, with tender leaves which are “a sovereign remedy against gravel in the kidney, and stone in the bladder.” It is known also as Apium nodiflorum, from apon, water, and contains “pastinacina,” in common with the wild Parsnip. This is a volatile alkaloid which is not poisonous, and is thought to be almost identical with ammonia. The fresh juice, in doses of one, two, or three tablespoonfuls, twice a day, is of curative effect for scrofulous eruptions on the face, neck, and other parts of children. Dr. Withering tells of a child, aged six years, who was thus cured of an obstinate and otherwise intractable skin disease. The juice may be readily mixed with milk, and does not disagree in any way.

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

Ague Mixture without Quinine

July 27th, 2008

Mrs Wadsworth, a few miles south of this city, has been using the following Ague mixture over twenty years, curing, she says, more than forty cases without a failure. She takes:–

Mandrake root, fresh dug, and pounds it; then squeezes out the juice, to obtain 1 1/2 tablespoons, with which she mixes the same quantity of molasses, is dividing into 3 equal doses of 1 tablespoon each, to be given 2 hours apart, commencing so as to take all an hour before the chill.

It sickens and vomits some, but she says, it will scarcely ever need repeating. Then steep dog-wood bark (some call it box-wood), make it strong, and continue to drink it freely for a week or two, at least.

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

Ingredients: Feverfew

May 17th, 2008

The Feverfew is one of the wild Chamomiles (Pyrethrum Parthenium), or Matricaria, so called because especially useful for motherhood. Its botanical names come from the Latin febrifugus, putting fever to flight, and parthenos, a virgin. The herb is a Composite plant, and grows in every hedgerow, with numerous small heads of yellow flowers, having outermost white rays, but with an upright stem; whereas that of the true garden Chamomile is procumbent. The whole plant has a pungent odour, and is particularly disliked by bees. A double variety is cultivated in gardens for ornamental purposes.

The herb Feverfew is strengthening to the stomach, preventing hysteria and promoting the monthly functions of women. It is much used by country mediciners, though insufficiently esteemed by the doctors of to-day.

In Devonshire the plant is known as “Bachelor’s buttons,” and at Torquay as “Flirtwort,” being also sometimes spoken of as “Feathyfew,” or “Featherfull.”

Gerard says it may be used both in drinks, and bound on the wrists, as of singular virtue against the ague.

As “Feverfue,” it was ordered, by the Magi of old, “to be pulled from the ground with the left hand, and the fevered patient’s name must be spoken forth, and the herbarist must not look behind him.” Country persons have long been accustomed to make curative uses of this herb very commonly, which grows abundantly throughout England. Its leaves are feathery and of a delicate green colour, being conspicuous even in mid-winter. Chemically, the Feverfew furnishes a blue volatile oil; containing a camphoraceous stearopten, and a liquid hydrocarbon, together with some tannin, and a bitter mucilage.

The essential oil is medicinally useful for correcting female irregularities, as well as for obviating cold indigestion. The herb is also known as “Maydeweed,” because useful against hysterical distempers, to which young women are subject. Taken generally it is a positive tonic to the digestive and nervous systems. Our chemists make a medicinal tincture of Feverfew, the dose of which is from ten to twenty drops, with a spoonful of water, three times a day. This tincture, if dabbed oil the parts with a small sponge, will immediately relieve the pain and swelling caused by bites of insects or vermin. In the official guide to Switzerland directions are given
to take “a little powder of the plant called Pyrethrum roseum and make it into a paste with a few drops of spirit, then apply this to the hands and face, or any exposed part of the body, and let it dry: no mosquito or fly will then touch you.” Or if two teaspoonfuls of the tincture are mixed with half a pint of cold water, and if all parts of the body likely to be exposed to the bites of insects are freely sponged therewith they will remain unassailed. Feverfew is manifestly the progenitor of the true Chamomilla (Anthemis nobilis), from which the highly useful Camomile “blows,” so commonly employed in domestic medicine, are obtained, and its flowers, when dried, may be applied to the same purposes. An infusion of them made with boiling water and allowed to become cold, will allay any distressing sensitiveness to pain in a highly nervous subject, and will afford relief to the faceache or earache of a dyspeptic or rheumatic person. This Feverfew (Chrysanthemum parthenium), is best calculated to pacify those who are liable to sudden, spiteful, rude irascibility, of which they are conscious, but say they cannot help it, and to soothe fretful children. “Better is a dinner or such herbs, where love is; than a stalled ox, and hatred therewith.”

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

Ingredients: Bennet Herb

February 28th, 2008

This, the Herba Benedicta, or Blessed Herb, or Avens (Geum Urbanum) is a very common plant of the Rose tribe, in our woods, hedges, and shady places. It has an erect hairy stem, red at the base, with terminal bright yellow drooping flowers. The ordinary name Avens — or Avance, Anancia, Enancia — signifies an antidote, because it was formerly thought to ward off the Devil, and evil spirits, and venomous beasts. Where the root is in a house Satan can do nothing, and flies from it: “therefore” (says Ortus Sanitatis) “it is blessed before all other herbs; and if a man carries the root about him no venomous beast can harm him.” The herb is sometimes called Way Bennet, and Wild Rye. Its graceful trefoiled loaf, and the fine golden petals of its flowers, symbolising the five wounds of Christ, were sculptured by the monks of the thirteenth century on their Church architecture. The botanical title of this plant, Geum, is got from Geuo, “to yield an agreeable fragrance,” in allusion to the roots. Hence also has been derived another appellation of the Avens — Radix Caryophyllata, or “clove root,” because when freshly dug out of the ground the roots smell like cloves. They yield tannin freely, with mucilage, resin, and muriate of lime, together with a heavy volatile oil. The roots are astringent and antiseptic, having been given in infusion for ague, and as an excellent cordial sudorific in chills, or for fresh catarrh. To make this a pint of boiling water should be poured on half an ounce of the dried root, or rather more of the fresh root, sliced. Half a wineglassful will be the dose, or ten grains of the powdered root. An extract is further made. When the petals of the flower fall off, a small round prickly ball is to be seen.

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

Ague in Face, Menthol and Alcohol Effective Remedy for

February 5th, 2008

“After making a solution of teaspoonful of menthol crystals, dissolved in two ounces of
alcohol, apply several times a day to the face. Care should be taken that this solution does not enter the eyes, as it would be injurious.”

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

Ague and Fever, Dogwood Good for

January 24th, 2008

“Take one ounce of dogwood root and one quart of water. Make an infusion by boiling down to one-half pint. Strain and give one-half wineglassful every two or three hours.”

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

Ingredients: Oak

January 20th, 2008

The Oak — Quercus robur — is so named from the Celtic “quer,” beautiful; and “cuez,” a tree. “Drus,” another Celtic word for tree, and particularly for the Oak, gave rise to the terms Dryads and Druids. Among the Greeks and Romans a chaplet of oak was one of the highest honours which could be conferred on a citizen. Ancient oaks exist in several parts of England, which are traditionally called Gospel oaks, because it was the practice in times long past when beating the bounds of a parish to read a portion of the Gospel on Ascension Day beneath an oak tree which was growing on the boundary line of the district. Cross oaks were planted at the juncture of cross roads, so that persons suffering from ague might peg a lock of their hair into the trunks, and by wrenching themselves away might leave the hair and the malady in the tree together. A strong decoction of oak bark is most usefully applied for prolapse of the lower bowel.

Oak Apple day (May 29th) is called in Hampshire “Shikshak” day.

The bark of an oak tree, and the galls, or apples, produced on its leaves, or twigs, by an insect named cynips, are very astringent, by reason of the gallo-tannic acid which they furnish abundantly. This acid, given as a drug, or the strong decoction of oak bark which contains it, will serve to restrain bleedings if taken internally; and finely powdered oak bark, when inhaled pretty frequently, has proved very beneficial against consumption of the lungs in its early stages. Working tanners are well known to be particularly exempt from this disease, probably through their constantly inhaling the peculiar aroma given off from the tan pits; and a like effect may be produced by using as snuff the fresh oak bark dried and reduced to an impalpable powder, or by inhaling day after day the steam given off from recent oak bark infused in boiling water.

Marble galls are formed on the back of young twigs, artichoke galls at their extremities, and currant galls by spangles on the under surface of the leaves. From these spangles females presently emerge, and lay their eggs on the catkins, giving rise to the round shining currant galls.

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