Acute Inflammation of the Bladder

July 5th, 2016

Ten grains of bicarbonate of soda in a half ounce of an infusion of uva ursi (bearberry, kinnikinic, foxberry) every two hours will relieve acute inflammation of the bladder immediately.

Source: Audel’s Household Helps, Hints and Receipts

Ingredients: Pimpernel

January 17th, 2009

The “Poor Man’s Weather Glass” or “Shepherd’s Dial,” is a very well-known and favourite little flower, of brilliant scarlet hue, expanding only in bright weather, and closing its petals at two o’clock in the day. It occurs quite commonly in gardens and open fields, being the scarlet Pimpernel, or Anagallis arvensis, and belonging to the Primrose tribe of plants. Old authors called it Burnet; which is quite a distinct herb, cultivated now for kitchen use, the Pimpinella Saxifraga, of so cheery and exhilarating a quality, and so generally commended, that its excellence has passed into a proverb, “l’insolata non buon, ne betta ove non é Pimpinella.” But this Burnet Pimpinella is of a different (Umbelliferous) order, though similarly styled because its leaves are likewise bipennate.

The Scarlet Pimpernel is named Anagallis, from the Greek anagelao, to laugh; either because, as Pliny says, the plant removes obstructions of the liver, and spleen, which would engender sadness, or because of the graceful beauty of its flowers:–

“No ear hath heard, no tongue can tell
The virtues of the Pimpernell.”

The little plant has no odour, but possesses a bitter taste, which is rather astringent. Doctors used to consider the herb remedial in melancholy, and in the allied forms of mental disease, the decoction, or a tincture being employed. It was also prescribed for hydrophobia, and linen cloths saturated with a decoction were kept applied to the bitten part.

Narcotic effects were certainly produced in animals by giving considerable doses of an extract made from the herb. The flowers have been found useful in epilepsy, twenty grains dried being given four times a day. A medicinal tincture (H.) is prepared with spirit of wine. It is of approved utility for irritability of the main urinary passage, with genital congestion, erotism, and dragging of the loins, this tincture being then ordered of the third decimal strength, in doses of from five to ten drops every three or four hours, with a spoonful of water.

A decoction of the plant is held in esteem by countryfolk as checking pulmonary consumption in its early stages. Hill says there are many authenticated cases of this dire disease being absolutely cured by the herb. The infusion is best made by pouring boiling water on the fresh plant. It contains “saponin,” such as the Soapwort also specially furnishes.

In France the Pimpernel (Anagallis) is thought to be a noxious plant of drastic narcotico-acrid properties, and called Mouron–qui tue les petits oiseaux, et est un violent drastique pour l’homme, et les grands animaux; à dose tres elevée le mouron peut meme leur donner la mort. In California a fluid extract of the herb is given for rheumatism, in doses of one teaspoonful with water three times a day.

The Burnet Pimpinella is more correctly the Burnet Saxifrage, getting its first name because the leaves are brown, and the second because supposed to break up stone in the bladder. It grows abundantly in our dry chalky pastures, bearing terminal umbels of white flowers. It contains an essential oil and a bitter resin, which are useful as warmly carminative to relieve flatulent indigestion, and to promote the monthly flow in women. An infusion of the herb is made, and given in two tablespoonfuls for a dose. Cows which feed on this plant have their flow of milk increased thereby. Small bunches of the leaves and shoots when tied together and suspended in a cask of beer impart to it an agreeable aromatic flavour, and are thought to correct tart, or spoiled wines. The root, when fresh, has a hot pungent bitterish taste, and may be usefully chewed for tooth-ache, or to obviate paralysis of the tongue. In Germany a variety of this Burnet yields a blue essential oil which is used for colouring brandy. Again the herb is allied to the Anise (Pimpinella Anisum). The term Burnet was formerly applied to a brown cloth. Smaller than this Common Burnet is the Salad Burnet, Poterium sanguisorba, quod sanguineos fluxus sistat, a useful styptic, which is also cordial, and promotes perspiration. It has the smell of cucumber, and is, therefore, an ingredient of the salad bowl, or often put into a cool tankard, whereto, says Gerard, “it gives a grace in the drynkynge.” Another larger sort of the Burnet Pimpinella (Magna), which has broad upper leaves less divided, grows in our woods and shady places.

A bright blue variety of the true Scarlet Pimpernel (Anagallis) is less frequent, and is thought by many to be a distinct species. Gerard says, “the Pimpernel with the blue flower helpeth the fundament that is fallen down: and, contrariwise, red Pimpernel being applied bringeth it down.”

The Water Pimpernel (Anagallis aquatica) is more commonly known as Brooklime, or Beccabunga, and belongs to a different order of plants, the Scrophulariaceoe (healers of scrofula).

It grows quite commonly in brooks and ditches, as a succulent plant with smooth leaves, and small flowers of bright blue, being found in situations favourable to the growth of the watercress. It is the brok lempe of old writers, Veronica beccabunga, the syllable bec signifying a beck or brook; or perhaps the whole title comes from the Flemish beck pungen, mouth-smart, in allusion to the pungent taste of the plant.

“It is eaten,” says Gerard, “in salads, as watercresses are, and is good against that malum of such as dwell near the German seas, which we term the scurvie, or skirby, being used after the same manner that watercress and scurvy-grass is used, yet is it not of so great operation and virtue.” The leaves and stem are slightly acid and astringent, with a somewhat bitter taste, and frequently the former are mixed by sellers of water-cresses with their stock-in-trade.

A full dose of the juice of fresh Brooklime is an easy purge; and the plant has always been a popular Simple for scrofulous affections, especially of the skin. Chemically, this Water Pimpernel contains some tannin, and a special bitter principle; whilst, in common with most of the Cruciferous plants, it is endowed with a pungent volatile oil, and some sulphur. The bruised plant has been applied externally for healing ulcers, burns, whitlows, and for the mitigation of swollen piles.

The Bog Pimpernel (Anagallis tenella), is common in boggy ground, having erect rose-coloured leaves larger than those of the Poor Man’s Weather Glass.

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

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

Ingredients: Belladonna (Deadly Nightshade)

November 8th, 2008

This is a Solanaceous plant found native in Great Britain, and growing generally on chalky soil under hedges, or about waste grounds. It bears the botanical name of Atropa, being so called from one of the classic Fates,–she who held the shears to cut the thread of human life:–

“Clotho velum retinet, Lachesis net, et atropos occit.”

Its second title, Belladonna, was bestowed because the Spanish ladies made use of the plant to dilate the pupils of their brilliant black eyes. In this way their orbs appeared more attractively lustrous: and the donna became bella (beautiful). The plant is distinguished by a large leaf growing beside a small one about its stems, whilst the solitary flowers, which droop, have a dark full purple border, being paler downwards, and without scent. The berries (in size like small cherries) are of a rich purplish black hue, and possess most dangerously narcotic properties. They are medicinally useful, but so deadly that only the skilled hands of the apothecary should attempt to manipulate them; and they should not be prescribed for a patient except by the competent physician. When taken by accident their mischievous effects may be prevented by swallowing as soon as possible a large glass of warm vinegar.

A tincture of allied berries was used of old by ladies of fashion in the land of the Pharaohs, as discovered among the mummy graves by Professor Baeyer, of Munich. This had the property of imparting a verdant sheen to the human iris; and, perhaps by the quaint colour-effect it produced on the transparent cornea of some wily Egyptian belle, it gave rise to the saying, “Do you see any green in the white of my eye?”

At one time Belladonna leaves were held to be curative of cancer when applied externally as a poultice, either fresh, or dried, and powdered. It is remarkable that sheep, rabbits, goats, and swine can eat these leaves with impunity, though (as Boerhaave tells) a single berry has been known to prove fatal to the human subject; and a gardener was once hanged for neglecting to remove plants of the deadly Night Shade from certain grounds which he knew. A peculiar symptom in those poisoned by Belladonna berries is the complete loss of voice, together with frequent bending forward of the trunk, and continual movements of the hands and fingers. The Scotch under Macbeth sent bread and wine treacherously impregnated with this poison to the troops of Sweno.

The plant bears other titles, as “Dwale” (death’s herb), “Great Morel,” and “Naughty Man’s Cherry.” The term “Morel” is applied to the plant as a diminutive of mora, a Moor, on account of the black-skinned berries. The Belladonna grows especially near the ruins of monasteries, and is so abundant around Furness Abbey that this locality has been styled the “Vale of Night Shade.”

Hahnemann taught that, acting on the law of similars, Belladonna given in very small doses of its tincture will protect from the infection of scarlet fever. He confirmed this fact by experiments on one hundred and sixty children. When taken by provers in actual toxic doses the tincture, or the fresh juice, has induced sore throat, feverishness, and a dry, red, hot skin, just as if symptomatic of scarlet fever. The plant yields atropine and hyoscyamine from all its parts. As a drug it specially affects the brain and the bladder. The berries are known in Buckinghamshire as “Devil’s cherries.”

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

Imperial Drop – For Gravel And Kidney Complaints

August 24th, 2008

Take saltpetre 1 oz.; putting it into an iron mortar, dropping in a live coal with it, which sets it on fire; stir it around until it all melts down into the solid form, blow out the coals and pulverize it; then taka an equal amount of bi-carbonate of potassia, or saleratus, and dissolve both in soft water 2 oz.

Dose: from 20 to 30 drops, morning and evening, in a swallow of tea made from flax seed, or a solution of gum arabic.

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

Kidney Trouble, Temporary Relief for

April 14th, 2008

“Rub witchhazel on stomach and back; use freely.” This is an old-time remedy, and can be relied upon to at least give temporary relief. The witch hazel has a very soothing effect upon the parts affected.

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

Kidney and Bladder Trouble, Buchu Leaves for

April 12th, 2008

“Get five cents’ worth of buchu leaves at any drug store, and make a good strong tea of it by steeping. This acts nicely on the kidneys. This remedy is easily prepared, and is not expensive.”

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

Kidney Trouble, Flaxseed and Lemons for

March 29th, 2008

“Make a tea by placing the flaxseed in a muslin or linen bag, and suspend it in a dish of water, in the proportion of about four teaspoonfuls for each quart of water. After allowing the seeds to soak for several hours remove the same and tea will be ready for use. The addition of a little lemon juice will improve the flavor. Give in quantities as may be found necessary.”

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

Ingredients: Barley

February 17th, 2008

Hordeum Vulgare — common Barley — is chiefly used in Great Britain for brewing and distilling; but, it has dietetic and medicinal virtues which entitle it to be considered among serviceable simples. Roman gladiators who depended for their strength and prowess chiefly on Barley, were called Hordearii. Nevertheless, this cereal is less nourishing than wheat, and when prepared as food is apt to purge; therefore it is not made into bread, except when wheat is scarce and dear, though in Scotland poor people eat Barley bread. In India Barley meal is made into balls of dough for the oxen and camels. Pearl Barley is prepared in Holland and Germany by first shelling the grain, and then grinding it into round white granules. The ancients fed their horses upon Barley, and we fatten swine on this grain made into meal. Among the Greeks beer was known as barley wine, which was brewed without hops, these dating only from the fourteenth century.

A decoction of barley with gum arabic, one ounce of the gum dissolved in a pint of the hot decoction, is a very useful drink to soothe irritation of the bladder, and of the urinary passages. The chemical constituents of Barley are starch, gluten, albumen, oil, and hordeic acid. From the earliest times it has been employed to prepare drinks for the sick, especially in feverish disorders, and for sore lining membranes of the chest. Honey may be added beneficially to the decoction of barley for bronchial coughs. The French make “Orgeat” of barley boiled in successive waters, and sweetened at length as a cooling drink: though this name is now applied in France to a liqueur concocted from almonds.

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

Round and Pin Worms, Peach Leaf Tea for

February 1st, 2008

“Half an ounce of dried peach leaves may be infused in a pint of boiling water and a tablespoonful given for a dose three times a day.” They are laxative and exert a sedative influence over the nervous system. They have been frequently used for worms with reported success. An infusion is highly recommended in irritability of the bladder, in sick stomach and in whooping cough.

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