Deafness, Quick and Effective Remedy for

October 21st, 2008

“Five or ten drops of onion juice put in the ear several times a day is very good. If there is any pain in the ear, add a drop or two of laudanum, or you may just use two or three drops of glycerin with the other ingredients. In about an hour after treating the ear in this manner, syringe it well with warm castile soap suds or warm milk.”

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

Deafness, My Mother, in Galt, Found Mullein Good for

October 8th, 2008

“Small blossoms of mullein, fill bottles and cork, hang in sun till oil forms, drop three drops every third day in the ear for three or four weeks. We tried this successfully in our family.”

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

Deafness, Often Tried Remedy for

September 15th, 2008

“Take one dram each of tincture of lobelia, tincture of gum myrrh, oil of sassafras, tincture of opium and olive oil, mix and apply lint wet with the liniment in the ear, night, and morning, then syringe out with warm water and castile soap.”

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

Ingredients: Ivy (Ground)

September 13th, 2008

This common, and very familiar little herb, with its small Ivy-like aromatic leaves, and its striking whorls of dark blue blossoms conspicuous in early spring time, comes into flower pretty punctually about the third or fourth of April, however late or early the season may be. Its name is attributed to the resemblance borne by its foliage to that of the true Ivy (Hedera helix). The whole plant possesses a balsamic odour, and an aromatic taste, due to its particular volatile oil, and its characteristic resin, as a fragrant labiate herb. It remaineth green not only in summer, but also in winter, at all times of the year.

From the earliest days it has been thought endowed with singular curative virtues chiefly against nervous headaches, and for the relief of chronic bronchitis. Ray tells of a remarkable instance in the person of a Mr. Oldacre who was cured of an obstinate chronic headache by using the juice or the powdered leaves of the Ground Ivy as snuff: Succus hujus plantoe naribus attractus cephalalgiam etiam vehementissimam et inveteratam non lenit tantum, sed et penitus aufert; and he adds in further praise of the herb: Medicamentum hoc non satis potest laudari; si res ex usu oestimarentur, auro oequiparandum. An infusion of the fresh herb, or, if made in winter, from its dried leaves, and drank under the name of Gill tea, is a favourite remedy with the poor for coughs of long standing, accompanied with much phlegm. One ounce of the herb should be infused in a pint of boiling water, and a wineglassful of this when cool is to be taken three or four times in the day. The botanical name of the plant is Nepeta glechoma, from Nepet, in Tuscany, and the Greek gleechon, a mint.

Resembling Ivy in miniature, the leaves have been used in weaving chaplets for the dead, as well as for adorning the Alestake erected as a sign at taverns. For this reason, and because formerly in vogue for clearing the ale drank by our Saxon ancestors, the herb acquired the names of Ale hoof, and Tun hoof (“tun” signifying a garden, and “hoof” or “hufe” a coronal or chaplet), or Hove, “because,” says Parkinson, “it spreadeth as a garland upon the ground.” Other titles which have a like meaning are borne by the herb, such as “Gill go by the ground,” and Haymaids, or Hedgemaids; the word “gill” not only relating to the fermentation of beer, but meaning also a maid. This is shown in the saying, “Every Jack should have his Gill, or Jill”; and the same notion was conveyed by the sobriquet “haymaids.” Again in some districts the Ground Ivy is called “Lizzy run up the hedge,” “Cat’s-foot” (from the soft flower heads), “Devil’s candlesticks,” “Aller,” and in Germltny “Thundervine,” also in the old English manuscripts “Hayhouse,” “Halehouse,” and “Horshone.” The whole plant was employed by our Saxon progenitors to clarify their so-called beer, before hops had been introduced for this purpose; and the place of refreshment where the beverage was sold bore the name of a “Gill house.”

In A Thousand Notable Things, it is stated, “The juice of Ground Ivy sniffed up into the nostrils out of a spoon, or a saucer, purgeth the head marvellously, and taketh away the greatest and oldest pain thereof that is: the medicine is worth gold, though it is very cheap.”

Small hairy tumours may often be seen in the autumn on the leaves of the Ground Ivy occasioned (says Miss Pratt) by the punctures of the cynips glechomoe from which these galls spring. They have a strong flavour of the plant, and are sometimes eaten by the peasantry of France. The volatile oil on which the special virtues of the Ground Ivy depend exudes from small glandular dots on the under surface of the leaves. This is the active ingredient of Gill tea made by country persons, and sweetened with honey, sugar, or liquorice. Also the expressed juice of the herb is equally effectual, being diaphoretic, diuretic, and somewhat astringent against bleedings.

Gerard says that in his day “the Ground Ivy was commended against the humming sound, and ringing noises of the ears by being put into them, and for those that are hard of hearing. Also boiled in mutton broth it helpeth weak and aching backs.” Dr. Thornton tells us in his Herbal (1810) that “Ground Ivy was at one time amongst the ‘cries’ of London, for making a tea to purify the blood,” and Dr. Pitcairn extolled this plant before all other vegetable medicines for the cure of consumption. Perhaps the name Ground Ivy was transferred at first to the Nepeta from the Periwinkle, about which we read in an old distich of Stockholm:–

“Parvenke is an erbe green of colour,
In time of May he bereth blo flour,
His stalkes are so feynt and feye
That nevermore groweth he heye:
On the grounde he rynneth and growe
As doth the erbe that hyth tunhowe;
The lef is thicke, schinende and styf
As is the grene Ivy leef:
Uniche brod, and nerhand rownde;
Men call it the Ivy of the grounde.”

In the Organic Materia Medica of Detroit, U.S.A., 1890, it is stated, “Painters use the Ground Ivy (Nepeta glechoma) as a remedy for, and a preventive of lead colic.” An infusion is given (the ounce to a pint of boiling water)–one wineglassful for a dose repeatedly. In the relief which it affords as a snuff made from the dried leaves to congestive headache of a passive continued sort, this benefit is most probably due partly to the special titillating aroma of the plant, and partly to the copious defluxion of mucus and tears from the nasal passages, and the eyes.

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

Deafness: If Recent, To Cure; If Not, To Relieve

July 20th, 2008

Hen’s oil 1 gill; and a single handful of the sweet clover raised in gardens; stew it in the oil until the juice is all out, strain it and bottle for use.

Where deafness is recent, it will be cured by putting three or four drops daily into the ear, but if of long standing, much relief will be obtained if continued a sufficient length of time.

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

Earache, Fresh Warm Milk for

June 2nd, 2008

“The warm milk from a cow will cure earache and has also been known to cure deafness.” While still warm from the cow drop a little in the ear.

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

The Ear

February 22nd, 2008

The structure of the outer ear has much to do in the making or marring of beauty. Small and finely formed ears are a sign of good breeding, but are comparatively rare, many of the ears we see having a distinctly animal appearance.

The duty of the outer ear is to collect sound, and in the lower animals, whose hearing is far more acute than that of man, the ear is larger, more simply formed, and is mobile. In some human beings it still retains these characteristics, but we cannot admire them, because the aristocratic type is in reality the highest outcome of evolution.

The air is collected and strikes upon the drum, making it vibrate. Its vibrations are conveyed by a tiny chain of bones to the nerve endings, which may be compared to the keys of a piano and which, when set in motion, convert air vibrations into nerve impressions, which we recognise as sound.

Deformities of the outer ear are often due to carelessness of nurses, the child being put to sleep with its ear doubled under it, or the bonnet or hat may be put on in such a way as to keep the outer ear in a bad position. In young children great care should be taken to see that the ear is in its proper place, and the hands may be placed on either side of the baby’s head, so as to hold the ears in position, several times during the day, if there is any tendency for them to fall forward. In older children, a cap specially constructed to keep the ears in place may be worn, and this, in some cases, has even been found serviceable for adults.

Deafness is becoming more and more common, and it is chiefly due, I think, to the carelessness of persons who expose the ears to strong currents of air, or remove wax from them by means of a hair-pin or other instrument. The drum of the ear, and, in fact, the whole auditory apparatus, is so extremely delicate as to be seriously injured by slight causes. The practice of cleaning out the ears with a fluffy towel after washing, or of wearing pieces of cotton wool in the ear, is also injurious, and apt to set up irritation.

The commonest cause of deafness is a mass of hardened wax which forms in the outer passage of the ear, and may even cause great pain by pressing upon the drum. This wax, in small quantities, is normally secreted and beneficial, but in old age it is apt to form a hard mass and also in cases where the ear is tampered with, or the person sits in a draught, deafness may often arise from its hardening. If there is deafness and a feeling of stoppage in the ear, there is no objection to remove the wax in the following way:–

Take–

Boracic acid — 2 drachms
Glycerine — 3 ounces
Water — 3 ounces

Warm some of this and drop it into the ear from a teaspoon, leave it there for a quarter of an hour by holding the head on the pillow on the opposite side, then repeat the treatment with the other ear. This should be done for three or four days following, and then if properly syringed the wax comes away. Use a rubber enema syringe with a tube at both ends, and the best vessel to use for the purpose is a large-sized baking dish, divided down the middle, with clean water on one side, the water after use to run from the ear in to the other side. The patient’s head should be held close over this, and the dish be held either by the patient herself or an assistant. The water should first be allowed to run from the syringe into the hollow of the outer ear, so that the patient may judge of the temperature, as it would be dangerous to use it too hot. It should then be injected in a steady stream into the canal, and the syringing may be continued for half an hour or more. The wax sometimes comes away in small pieces, or in a large plug ; if the latter, of course it is not necessary to syringe any more. There is often a feeling of deafness for some little time after the syringing, but this goes off, and leaves the hearing very much better next day.

It is necessary to perfect hearing that there should be a constant supply of air into the drum chamber of the ear. The drum or fine membrane shuts off the internal ear entirely from the external air, and on the inner side of this membrane air is
required. This is supplied through a little tube from one and a half to two inches long, which is situated at the side and back of the upper part of the throat, and opens into the portion of the throat that is called the pharynx or back of the mouth. It is called the Eustachian tube. During swallowing, this opening into the throat is fur a moment closed, and when the throat is swollen by inflammation or from cold, it is found that the hearing is much impaired.

When the hearing is impaired by trouble with the Eustachian tube, it may very often be improved by forcing air up the tube. This is done by doctors by means of what is called “Politzer’s bag,” but may be done by any person if a very deep breath be drawn, the mouth firmly closed, and the nostrils closed with the fingers. Then an effort should be made to breathe out, and as the nose and mouth are closed some of the air is forced up the tube. This may be repeated several times during the day, and it is notable that the hearing is better afterwards.

Any Discharge From The Ear should be the signal for a visit to an aurist or good medical man. It is a great mistake to attempt to stop discharges from the ear by using astringents or other means. A quack once used to advertise that he would stop discharge from the ear, and did so by means of wax plugs. By this means, many patients suffered severely, and one or two died of brain disease caused by an abscess burrowing into the brain.

Every care should be taken to free the ear from any discharge, which should be done by gently syringing with warm water containing a little glycerine. Plugs of wool should not be worn in the ear to stop discharge, which they would only retain and render more objectionable.

When there is discharge from the ear, there is generally rupture of the drum and impaired hearing. It most commonly takes place after scarlet fever, but sometimes the drum is ruptured through diving or other accident.

Ear-Ache May Be Soothed by the following application:–

Tincture of laudanum — 2 drachms
Olive oil — 2 drachms

Warm a little of this and moisten a piece of cotton wool with it, putting it gently into the ear.

Eczema of the Ear.—Sometimes there is a slight discharge in the external ear not due to abscess, but to eczema, and there may be cracks both in the auricle itself and behind the ear. For this the following application is most useful:–

Tar — 1/2 drachm
Carbonate of zinc — 1/2 drachm
Lanoline — 1/2 ounce

To be applied to the surface of the ear.

If the smell of the tar is offensive, the following application may be used instead:—

Beta-napthol — 5 grains
Oil of camomile — 5 drops
Oxide of zinc ointment — 1/2 ounce

In the case of widows who wear crape strings to their bonnets, I have known eczema to appear just behind the ears. In such cases, the strings should at once be given up, and white silk ribbon or lawn used instead. It is the dye of the crape which does the mischief.

Source: Home Notes, 1895