Thieves’ Vinegar

July 22nd, 2017

Take a large handful of lavender blossoms, and the same quantity of sage, mint, rue, wormwood and rosemary. Chop and mix them well. Put them into a jar, with half an ounce of camphor that has been dissolved in a little alcohol, and pour in three quarts of strong clear vinegar. Keep the jar for two or three weeks in the hot sun, and at night plunge it into a box of heated sand. Afterwards strain and bottle the liquid, putting into each bottle a clove of garlic sliced. To have it very clear, after it has been bottled for a week, you should pour it off carefully from the sediment, and filter it through blotting paper. Then wash the bottles, and return the vinegar to them. It should be kept very tightly corked. It is used for sprinkling about in sick-rooms; and also in close damp oppressive weather. Inhaling the odour from a small bottle will frequently prevent faintness in a crowd.

It is best to make it in June.

This vinegar is so called from an old tradition, that during the prevalence of the plague in London the composition was invented by four thieves, who found it a preservative from contagion; and were by that means enabled to remain in the city and exercise their profession to great advantage, after most of the inhabitants had fled.

Source: Directions for Cookery, in its Various Branches, Eliza Leslie

Colds

July 20th, 2017

For a cold in the head just appearing inhale spirits of camphor. Put one or two drops of camphor on a small lump of sugar, dissolve in a wine glass of water, (one gill) and take a teaspoonful every half hour. Take a good cathartic or drink four or five glasses of hot water at bed time and in half an hour follow with four more glasses of hot water. Gargle sore throat with warm water and alcohol or warm water and salt using one level teaspoon of salt to a pint of water. If cold has made the throat or lungs sore, dip a cloth in cold water, wring dry and spread it on throat or chest. Cover with three thicknesses of dry flannel and bind it on securely. Take a hot foot bath and go to bed. This treatment should cure your cold. If is doesn’t it will be a wise thing to call a physician in the morning before alarming symptoms are developed. Bathe frequently, drink plenty of water and keep the bowels in regular action and prevent colds.

Source: Civic League Cook Book

Hair Invigorator

June 14th, 2017

Bay rum two pints, alcohol one pint, castor oil one ounce, carb. ammonia half an ounce, tincture of cantharides one ounce. Mix them well. This compound will promote the growth of the hair and prevent it from falling out.

Source: The White House Cookbook, F.L. Gillette

Liniment for Sprains

May 13th, 2017

One ounce oil of wormseed, one ounce of hemlock, one ounce of sassafras, one ounce of cedar, one ounce of red pepper, one ounce gum camphor, three pints of alcohol. This liniment Ls good for man or beast.

Source: The Housekeeper’s Friend: A Practical Cookbook

Grandmother’s Universal Liniment

May 3rd, 2017

One pint of alcohol and as much camphor gum as can be dissolved in it, half an ounce of the oil of cedar, one-half ounce of the oil of sassafras, aqua ammonia half an ounce, and the same amount of the tincture of morphine. Shake well together and apply by the fire; the liniment must not be heated, or come in contact with the fire, but the rubbing to be done by the warmth of the fire.

Source: The White House Cookbook, F.L. Gillette

A Splendid Hair Tonic

April 25th, 2017

A strong tincture for the hair is made by adding half an ounce of oil of mace to a pint of deodorized alcohol. Pour a spoonful or two into a saucer; dip a small stiff brush into it, and brush the hair smartly, rubbing the tincture well into the roots. On bald spots, if hair will start at all, it may be stimulated by friction with a piece of flannel until the skin looks red, and rubbing the tincture into the scalp. This process must be repeated three times a day for weeks. When the hair begins to grow, apply the tincture once a day until the growth is well established, bathing the head in cold water every morning, and briskly brushing it to bring the blood to the surface.”

Source: The Housekeeper’s Friend: A Practical Cookbook

Colic Mixture for Infants

January 7th, 2017

Eighty drops of laudanum, fourteen of oil of anise, two tablespoonfuls of alcohol, and a piece of asafoetida as large as a pea; put these in an eight-ounce phial, and fill with warm water. Sweeten with loaf sugar. Dose from four to six drops to a child a few days old. Increase the dose as the child grows older.

Source: Mrs Hill’s New Cook-Book

Cure for Toothache

January 5th, 2017

To one tea-spoonful of kreosote[sic] put half a tea-spoonful of alcohol. Soak a bit of cotton well with this, and put it into the tooth. No harm will arise from the use of kreosote, if care is taken not to swallow the spittle. This has been tried by the author, and found a permanent cure.

Another: Mix alum and common salt in equal quantities, finely pulverized. Then wet some cotton, large enough to fill the cavity, which cover with salt and alum, and apply it.

Source: Valuable Receipts, J.M. Prescott

Tonic

November 20th, 2016

One drachm of pulverized colombo, one drachm of rasp. d. quartia, two drachms of peruvian bark, one drachm of orange peel, one drachm of ginger, two ounces of loaf sugar and a half pint of liquor. Let it stand twenty-four hours and then add a half pint of water.

Source: 76: A Cook Book

Loss of Hair

October 25th, 2016

Hair is preserved by onion-juice and brandy, rubbed in well. Or, take one part cantharides powder, to eight of alcohol, carefully mixed; and well rubbed into the roots of the hair.

Source: Valuable Receipts, J.M. Prescott