Summer Diseases

April 20th, 2022

The food of children in summer, should be light and nourishing; if of milk, be careful that it is sweet. If you cannot get it fresh as often as you want it, boiling will keep it sweet. Sour milk and improper food sometimes bring on the summer disease, which is easier prevented than cured.

A little rhubarb tea or tincture, with a small quantity of prepared chalk, will sometimes check it in its early stages, but the most effectual medicine that I have tried is called by some apothecaries, “red mixture,” of which I will give a recipe.

Chicken water, slightly salted, is very good; make but a little at a time, and have it fresh.

Rice gruel, sweetened with loaf-sugar, and a little nutmeg, is nourishing. To make a drink of slippery-elm, shave the bark fine and put it in water; strain it, mix it with milk, and sweeten it. Elderberry and blackberry cordials are also good in cases where there is no fever.

The stomach and back should be bathed with spirits, and a little bag of pounded spices, wet with spirits, applied to the stomach, may be used with safety, when not within reach of a physician.

A bark jacket has been used with success in many instances, cut it out of fine muslin, to be double, spread it open, and cover one side with about two ounces of the best Lima bark, and twelve pounded cloves; put on the other side, sew it up, and quilt it across; put on shoulder straps and strings of soft ribbon; sprinkle it with spirits twice a day.

The child should have the benefit of the morning and evening air. If it is not convenient to ride it out, walking will answer, in the arms of a careful nurse, carried on a pillow, with an umbrella to protect its eyes from the light.

When a child is taken sick in a city, removing it to the country often has a beneficial effect. Milk thickened with arrow root is good diet for children. Flour dried in an oven for several hours, and used to thicken milk or water, is also good, sweetened with loaf-sugar, and is nutritious. They should eat but a small portion of any thing at a time.

To cut slices of lean fresh beef or mutton, put it in a bowl, and pour a pint of boiling water on it, and let it set close to the fire for an hour, is very good to give children occasionally, with but little salt; the stomach will sometimes retain this when other things are rejected. As thirst is an attendant on this disease, much salt should be avoided in all their food. Every thing about a sick child should be kept clean, and its clothes well aired before changing them. If it is too ill to carry out of doors, have it changed from one room to another, and the apartment it left well aired.

Children who are afflicted with this disease, sometimes crave fruit. Ripe peaches, fresh from the tree, or ripe apples, baked or roasted before the fire, may he occasionally administered in small quantities with perfect safety.

To make toast-water, the bread should be toasted on both sides very dry, and boiling water poured on it.

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

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

For Insomnia

January 22nd, 2022

A heaping bowl of bread and milk, seasoned with salt, and eaten just before retiring, is recommended as a sure cure for the worst case of insomnia.

Source: Fowler’s Household Helps, A.L. Fowler

Sinapisms

December 11th, 2021

The sinapism is a poultice made of vinegar instead of milk, and rendered warm and stimulating by the addition of mustard, horseradish, or garlic. The common sinapism is made of equal quantities of bread crumbs and mustard, a sufficient quantity of strong vinegar, and mixing all together into a poultice. When a sinapism is required to be more stimulating, a little bruised garlic may be added. Sinapisms are employed to recal the blood and spirits to a weak part, as in the case of palsy; they are also of service in deep-seated pains, as in the case of sciatica. When the gout seizes the head or stomach, they are applied to the feet to bring the disorder down, and are likewise applied to the soles of the feet in a low state of fever. They should not be suffered to lie on till they have raised blisters, but till the parts become red, and will continue so when pressed with the finger.

Source: The Cook And Housekeeper’s Complete and Universal Dictionary, Mary Eaton

Bread and Butter Poultice

August 23rd, 2021

For bruises and sores, take equal quantities of butter and bread crumbs, mix thoroughly, adding a little water, and apply as a poultice. This reduces pain and swelling and prevents discoloration.

Source: The Inglenook Cook Book

For Insomnia

July 14th, 2021

A heaping bowl of bread and milk, seasoned with salt, and eaten just before retiring, is recommended as a sure cure for the worst case of insomnia.

Source: Fowler’s Household Helps, A.L. Fowler

Boils

May 1st, 2021

Bring these tumours to a head by hot poultices of camomile flowers or white lily root, fermenting with hot water, or by a plaster of shoemakers’ wax. When ripe prick the centre with a needle or slit it with a lancet, and apply bread poultices till the discharge is cleared away. Purify the blood with a course of medicine.

Source: Recipes for the Million

A Mild Aperient (To Take In The Spring)

January 18th, 2021

Put 1 oz. of senna into a jar, and pour 1 quart of boiling water over it; fill up the vessel, with prunes and figs; cover with paper, and set it in the oven, with household bread. Take every morning, one or two prunes, and a wine-glass of the liquor.– Or: dissolve 3 oz. of Spanish liquorice in one pint boiling water, add 1 oz. socotrine aloes in powder, and 1 pint brandy. Take 1 tea-spoonful in a wine-glassful of water, either in the morning, at night, or both.– Or: a large tea-spoonful of magnesia, a lump of sugar, a dessert-spoonful of lemon juice, in 1/2 pint of spring water.

Source: The English Housekeeper, Anne Cobbett

For a Sore Throat

April 8th, 2020

At the beginning of a sore throat, get fresh ivy leaves, tack them together, warm them, and put the shady side to the throat.– Or: wet bread-crumbs with brandy, and tie them round the throat. Make a gargle of 2 carrots, sliced and boiled, and use it often.– Or: dissolve 4 oz. camphor in a pint of rectified spirits of wine. Dip a piece of new Welsh flannel into this, and apply it to the throat. Be careful to wet frequently.

Source: The English Housekeeper, Anne Cobbett

Poultices

February 22nd, 2020

A Bread and Milk Poultice. — Put a tablespoonful of the crumbs of stale bread into a gill of milk, and give the whole one boil up. Or, take stale bread-crumbs, pour over them boiling water and boil till soft, stirring well; take from the fire and gradually stir in a little glycerine or sweet oil, so as to render the poultice pliable when applied.

A Hop Poultice. — Boil one handful of dried hops in half a pint of water, until the half pint is reduced to a gill, then stir into it enough Indian meal to thicken it.

A Mustard Poultice. — Into one gill of boiling water stir one tablespoonful of Indian meal; spread the paste thus made upon a cloth, and spread over the paste one teaspoonful of mustard flour. If you wish a mild poultice, use a teaspoonful of mustard as it is prepared for the table, instead of the mustard flour. Equal parts of ground mustard and flour made into a paste with warm water, and spread between two pieces of muslin, form the indispensable mustard plaster.

A Ginger Poultice. — This is made like a mustard poultice, using ground ginger instead of mustard. A little vinegar is sometimes added to each of these poultices.

A Stramonium Poultice. — Stir one tablespoonful of Indian meal into a gill of boiling water, and add one tablespoonful of bruised stramonium seeds.

Wormwood and Arnica are sometimes applied in poultices. Steep the herbs in half a pint of cold water, and when all their virtue is extracted stir in a little bran or rye-meal to thicken the liquid; the herbs must not be removed from the liquid. This is a useful application for sprains and bruises.

Linseed Poultice. — Take four ounces of powdered linseed, and gradually sprinkle it into a half pint of hot water.

Source: The Canadian Family Cookbook, Grace E. Denison