To Dress A Blister

December 18th, 2016

Clip the blisters; dress with a soft cloth covered with hog’s lard. Renew as necessary. Cabbage leaves are not now used.

Source: Mrs Hill’s New Cook-Book

Draughts for the Feet

November 8th, 2015

Take a large leaf from the horse-radish plant, and cut out the hard fibres that run through the leaf; place it on a hot shovel for a moment to soften it, fold it, and fasten it closely in the hollow of the foot by a cloth bandage.

Burdock leaves, cabbage leaves, and mullein leaves, are used in the same manner, to alleviate pain and promote perspiration.

Garlics are also made for draughts by pounding them, placing them on a hot tin plate for a moment to sweat them, and binding them closely to the hollow of the foot by a cloth bandage.

Draughts of onions, for infants, are made by roasting onions in hot ashes, and, when they are quite soft, peeling off the outside, mashing them, and applying them on a cloth as usual.

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

Ingredients: Eyebright

June 14th, 2008

Found in abundance in summer time on our heaths, and on mountains near the sea, this delicate little plant, the Euphrasia officinalis, has been famous from earliest times for restoring and preserving the eyesight. The Greeks named the herb originally from the linnet, which first made use of the leaf for clearing its vision, and which passed on the knowledge to mankind. The Greek word, euphrosunee, signifies joy and gladness. The elegant little herb grows from two to six inches high, with deeply-cut leaves, and numerous white or purplish tiny flowers variegated with yellow; being partially a parasite, and preying on the roots of other plants. It belongs to the order of scrofula-curing plants; and, as proved by positive experiment (H.), the Eyebright has been recently found to possess a distinct sphere of curative operation, within which it manifests virtues which are as unvarying as they are truly potential. It acts specifically on the mucous lining of the eyes and nose, and the uppermost throat to the top of the windpipe, causing, when given so largely as to be injurious, a profuse secretion from these parts; and, if given of reduced strength, it cures the same troublesome symptoms when due to catarrh.

An attack of cold in the head, with copious running from the eyes and nose, may be aborted straightway by giving a dose of the infusion (made with an ounce of the herb to a pint of boiling water) every two hours; as, likewise, for hay fever. A medicinal tincture (H.) is prepared from the whole plant with spirit of wine, of which an admirably useful lotion may be made together with rose water for simple inflammation of the eyes, with a bloodshot condition of their outer coats. Thirty drops of the tincture should be mixed with a wineglassful of rosewater for making this lotion, which may be used several times in the day.

What precise chemical constituents occur in the Eyebright beyond tannin, mannite, and glucose, are not yet recorded. In Iceland its expressed juice is put into requisition for most ailments of the eyes. Likewise, in Scotland, the Highlanders infuse the herb in milk, and employ this for bathing weak, or inflamed eyes. In France, the plant is named Casse lunettes; and in Germany, Augen trost, or, consolation of the eye.

Surely the same little herb must have been growing freely in the hedge made famous by ancient nursery tradition:–

“Thessalus acer erat sapiens proe civibus unus
Qui medium insiluit spinets per horrida sepem.
Effoditque oculos sibi crudelissimus ambos.
Cum vero effosos orbes sine lumine vidit
Viribus enisum totis illum altera sepes
Accipit, et raptos oculos cito reddit egenti.”

“There was a man of Thessuly, and he was wondrous wise;
He jumped into a quick set hedge, and scratched out both his eyes;
Then, when he found his eyes were out, with all his might and main
He jumped into the quick set hedge, and scratched them in again.”

Old herbals pronounced it “cephalic, ophthalmic, and good for a weak memory.” Hildamus relates that it restored the sight of many persons at the age of seventy or eighty years. “Eyebright made into a powder, and then into an electuary with sugar, hath,” says Culpeper, “powerful effect to help and to restore the sight decayed through years; and if the herb were but as much used as it is neglected, it would have spoilt the trade of the maker.”

On the whole it is probable that the Eyebright will succeed best for eyes weakened by long-continued straining, and for those which are dim and watery from old age. Shenstone declared, “Famed Euphrasy may not be left unsung, which grants dim eyes to wander leagues around”; and Milton has told us in Paradise Lost, Book XI:–

“To nobler sights
Michael from Adam’s eyes the film removed,
Then purged with Euphrasy and rue
The visual nerve, for he had much to see.”

The Arabians knew the herb Eyebright under the name Adhil, It now makes an ingredient in British herbal tobacco, which is smoked most usefully for chronic bronchial colds. Some sceptics do not hesitate to say that the Eyebright owes its reputation solely to the fact that the tiny flower bears in its centre a yellow spot, which is darker towards the middle, and gives a close resemblance to the human eye; wherefore, on the doctrine of signatures, it was pronounced curative of ocular derangements. The present Poet Laureate speaks of the herb as:–

“The Eyebright this.
Whereof when steeped in wine I now must eat
Because it strengthens mindfulness.”

Grandmother Cooper, a gipsy of note for skill in healing, practised the cure of inflamed and scrofulous eyes, by anointing them with clay, rubbed up with her spittle, which proved highly successful. Outside was applied a piece of rag kept wet with water in which a cabbage had been boiled. As confirmatory of this cure, we read reverently in the Gospel of St. John about the man “which was blind from his birth,” and for whose restoration to sight our Saviour “spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay.” More than one eminent oculist has similarly advised that weak, ailing eyes should be daily wetted on waking with the fasting saliva. And it is well known that “mothers’ marks” of a superficial character, but even of a considerable size, become dissipated by a daily licking with the mother’s tongue. Old Mizaldus taught that “the fasting spittle of a whole and sound person both quite taketh away all scurviness, or redness of the face, ringworms, tetters, and all kinds of pustules, by smearing or rubbing the infected place therewith; and likewise it clean puts away thereby all painful swelling by the means of any venomous thing as hornets, spiders, toads, and such like.” Healthy saliva is slightly alkaline, and contains sulphocyanate of potassium.

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

Ingredients: Cabbage

March 26th, 2008

“The time has come,” as the walrus said in Alice and the Looking Glass, “to talk of many things” —

“Of shoes, and ships, and sealing-wax; of Cabbages, and
kings.”

The Cabbage, which is fabled to have sprung from the tears of the Spartan lawgiver, Lycurgus, began as the Colewort, and was for six hundred years, according to Pliny and Cato, the only internal remedy used by the Romans. The Ionians had such a veneration for Cabbages that they swore by them, just as the Egyptians did by the onion. With ourselves, the wild Cabbage, growing on our English sea cliffs, is the true Collet, or Colewort, from which have sprung all our varieties of Cabbage — cauliflower, greens, broccoli, etc. No vegetables were grown for the table in England before the time of Henry the Eighth. In the thirteenth century it was the custom to salt vegetables because they were so scarce; and in the sixteenth century a Cabbage from Holland was deemed a choice present.

The whole tribe of Cabbages is named botanically Brassicaceoe — apo tou brassein — because they heat, or ferment.

By natural order they are cruciferous plants; and all contain much nitrogen, or vegetable albumen, with a considerable quantity of sulphur; hence they tend strongly to putrefaction, and when decomposed their odour is very offensive. Being cut into pieces, and pressed close in a tub with aromatic herbs and salt, so as to undergo an acescent fermentation (which is arrested at that stage), Cabbages form the German Saurkraut, which is strongly recommended against scurvy. The white Cabbage is most putrescible; the red most emollient and pectoral. The juice of the red cabbage made into syrup, without any condiments, is useful in chronic coughs, and in bronchial asthma. The leaves of the common white Cabbage, when gently bruised and applied to a blistered surface, will promote a free discharge, as also when laid next the skin in dropsy of the ankles. All the Coleworts are called “Crambe,” from krambos, dry, because they dispel drunkenness.

“There is,” says an old author, “a natural enmitie between the Colewort and the vine, which is such that the vine, if growing near unto it, withereth and perisheth; yea, if wine be poured into the Colewort while it is boiling, it will not be any more boiled, and the colour thereof will be quite altered.” The generic term Colewort is derived from caulis, a stalk, and wourte, as applied to all kinds of herbs that “do serve for the potte.” “Good worts,” exclaimed Falstaff, catching at Evans’ faulty pronunciation of words, — “good worts,” — “good cabbages.” An Irish cure for sore throat is to tie Cabbage leaves round it; and the same remedy is applied in England with hot Cabbage leaves for a swollen face. In the Island of Jersey coarse Cabbages are grown abundantly on patches of roadside ground, and in corners of fields, the stalks of which attain the height of eight, ten, or more feet, and are used for making walking sticks or cannes en tiges de choux. These are in great demand on the island, and are largely exported. It may be that a specially tall cabbage of this sort gave rise to the Fairy tale of “Jack and the bean stalk.” The word Cabbage bears reference to caba (caput), a head, as signifying a Colewort which forms a round head. Kohl rabi, from caulo-rapum, cabbage turnip, is a name given to the Brassica oleracea. In 1595 the sum of twenty shillings was paid for six Cabbages and a few carrots, at the port of Hull, by the purveyor to the Clifford family.

The red Cabbage is thought in France to be highly anti-scorbutic; and a syrup is made from it with this purpose in view. The juice of white Cabbage leaves will cure warts.

The Brassica oleracea is one of the plants used in Count Mattaei’s vaunted nostrum, “anti-scrofuloso.” This, the sea Cabbage, with its pale clusters of handsome yellow flowers, is very ornamental to our cliffs. Its leaves, which are conspicuously purple, have a bitter taste when uncooked, but become palatable for boiling if first repeatedly washed; and they are sold at Dover as a market vegetable. These should be boiled in two waters, of which the first will be made laxative, and the second, or thicker decoction, astringent, which fact was known to Hippocrates, who said “jus caulis solvit cujus substantia stringit.”

Sir Anthony Ashley brought the Cabbage into English cultivation. It is said a Cabbage is sculptured at his feet on his monument in Wimbourne Minster, Dorset. He imported the Cabbage (Cale) from Cadiz (Cales), where he held a command, and grew rich by seizing other men’s possessions, notably by appropriating some jewels entrusted to his care by a lady. Hence he is said to have got more by Cales (Cadiz) than by Cale (Cabbage); and this is, perhaps, the origin of our term “to cabbage.” Among tailors, this phrase “to cabbage” is a cant saying which means to filch the cloth when cutting out for a customer. Arbuthnot writes “Your tailor, instead of shreds, cabbages whole yards of cloth.” Perhaps the word comes from the French cabasser, to put into a basket.

From the seed of the wild Cabbage (Rape, or Navew) rape-seed oil is extracted, and the residue is called rape-cake, or oil-cake.

Some years ago it was customary to bake bread-rolls wrapped in Cabbage leaves, for imparting what was considered an agreeable flavour. John Evelyn said: “In general, Cabbages are thought to allay fumes, and to prevent intoxication; but some will have them noxious to the sight.” After all it must be confessed the Cabbage is greatly to be accused for lying undigested in the stomach, and for provoking eructations; which makes one wonder at the veneration the ancients had for it, calling the tribe divine, and swearing per brassicam, which was for six hundred years held by the Romans a panacea: though “Dis crambee thanatos” — “Death by twice Cabbage” — was a Greek proverb. Gerard says the Greeks called the Cabbage Amethustos, “not only because it driveth away drunkennesse; but also for that it is like in colour to the pretious stone called the amethyst.” The Cabbage was Pompey’s best beloved dish. To make a winter salad it is customary in America to choose a firm white Cabbage, and to shred it very fine, serving it with a dressing of plain oil and vinegar. This goes by the name of “slaw,” which has a Dutch origin.

The free presence of hydrogen and sulphur causes a very strong and unpleasant smell to pervade the house during the cooking of Cabbages. Nevertheless, this sulphur is a very salutary constituent of the vegetable, most useful in scurvy and scrofula. Partridge and Cabbage suit the patrician table; bacon and Cabbage better please the taste and the requirements of the proletarian. The nitrogen of this and other cruciferous plants serves to make them emit offensive stinks when they lie out of doors and rot.

For the purulent scrofulous ophthalmic inflammation of infants, by cleansing the eyes thoroughly every half-hour with warm water, and then packing the sockets each time with fresh Cabbage leaves cleaned and bruised to a soft pulp, the flow of matter will be increased for a few days, but a cure will be soon effected. Pliny commended the juice of the raw Cabbage with a little honey for sore and inflamed eyes which were moist and weeping, but not for those which were dry and dull.

In Kent and Sussex, when a Cabbage is cut and the stalk left in the ground to produce “greens” for the table, a cottager will carve an x on the top flat surface of the upright stalk, and thus protect it against mischievous garden sprites and demons.

Some half a century ago medical apprentices were taught the art of blood-letting by practising with a lancet on the prominent veins of a Cabbage leaf.

Carlyle said “of all plants the Cabbage grows fastest to completion.” His parable of the oak and the Cabbage conveys the lesson that those things which are most richly endowed when they come to perfection, are the slowest in their production and development.

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

Gangrene, Remedy from New York that cured a Gangrenous Case

March 10th, 2008

“A man aged 74 years had a sore below the knee for fifteen years; at last gangrene appeared in his foot and three physicians pronounced his case hopeless on account of his age. I was called as a neighbor and found the foot swollen to twice its natural size, and the man in pain from head to foot. I ordered cabbage leaves steamed until wilted, then put them over the limb from knee to foot and covered with a cloth. In about fifteen minutes they were black, so we removed them and put on fresh ones, repeating the change until the leaves did not turn black. Then the sore was thoroughly cleansed with a weak solution of saleratus and while wet was thickly covered with common black pepper and wrapped up. The saleratus water and pepper was changed night and morning until the sore was entirely healed. After the third day this man had no pain, and in four weeks was entirely healed. A year later he said he had never had any trouble with it or with rheumatism which he had had for years before.”

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

Carbuncle, Sheep Sorrel Poultice for

January 24th, 2008

“Gather a bunch of sheep sorrel leaves, wrap them in a cabbage leaf and roast in the oven. Apply to the carbuncle, and it will soon ripen and break.”

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