Rheumatism

June 7th, 2024

In this complaint the diet should be nourishing, with a little generous wine; costiveness must be carefully avoided. The painful part should be kept warm with flannel, should be frequently rubbed, occasionally electrified, and supplied with the volatile liniment. Blisters, cataplasms of mustard or horseradish, may be applied with advantage.

If these be not effectual, take a pint of the spirits of turpentine, and add half an ounce of camphor. Let it stand till the camphor is dissolved, then rub it on the part affected night and morning, and it will seldom fail to afford effectual relief. This mixture is also very proper for sprains and bruises, and should be kept for family use.

But several of our own domestic plants as above may be used with advantage in the rheumatism. One of the best is the white mustard. A table-spoonful of the seed of this plant may be taken twice or thrice a day, in a glass of water or small wine. The water trefoil is likewise of great use in this complaint. It may be infused in wine or ale, or drunk in the form of tea. The ground-ivy, camomile, and several other bitters, are also beneficial, and may be used in the same manner. No benefit, however, is to be expected from these, unless they be taken for a considerable time.

Cold bathing, especially in salt water, often cures the rheumatism. It is also advisable to take exercise, and wear flannel next the skin. Issues are likewise very proper, especially in chronic cases. If the pain affects the shoulders, an issue may be made in the arm; but if it affects the loins, it should be put into the leg or thigh. Such as are subject to frequent attacks of the rheumatism ought to make choice of a dry, warm situation, to avoid the night air, wet clothes, and wet feet, as much as possible. Their clothing should be warm, and they should wear flannel next their skin, and make frequent use of the flesh brush.

One of the best articles of dress, not only for the prevention of rheumatism, but for powerful co-operation in its cure, is fleecy hosiery. In low marshy situations, the introduction of that manufacture has prevented more rheumatisms, colds, and agues, than all the medicines ever used there. Such of the inhabitants of marshy counties as are in easy circumstances, could not, perhaps, direct their charity and humanity to a better object than to the supplying their poor neighbours with so cheap and simple a preservative.

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

An Ointment for Burns

September 30th, 2021

Take a Pound of Bores-Grease, two Pints of White-Wine, the Leaves of the greater Sage, Ground- and Wall-Ivy, Sweet Marjoram, or the Greater House-Leek, of each two handfuls.

Let the whole Mass be boil’d over a gentle Fire, and having afterward strain’d and squeez’d it, let the Ointment so made be kept for use.

Source: The Compleat Surgeon, Charles Gabriel Le Clerc

To Make a Meath Good for the Liver and Lungs

July 6th, 2017

Take of the Roots of Coltsfoot, Fennel and Fearn each four Ounces. Of Succory-roots, Sorrel-roots, Strawberry-roots, Bitter-sweet-roots, each two Ounces, of Scabious-roots and Elecampane-roots, each an Ounce and a half. Ground-ivy, Hore-hound, Oak of Jerusalem, Lung-wort, Liver-wort, Maiden-hair, Harts-tongue of each two good-handfulls. Licorish four Ounces. Jujubes, Raisins of the Sun and Currents, of each two Ounces; let the roots be sliced, and the herbs be broken a little with your hands; and boil all these in twenty quarts of fair running water, or, if you have it, in Rain water, with five Pints of good white honey, until one third part be boiled away; then pour the liquor through a jelly bag often upon a little Coriander-seeds, and Cinnamon; and when it runneth very clear, put it into Bottles well stopped, and set it cool for your use, and drink every morning a good draught of it, and at five in the afternoone.

Source: The Closet Of Sir Kenelm Digby Knight Opened, K. Digby

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

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    NOTE: these remedies are listed only for information and/or amusement. They are not to be construed as medical advice of any type, nor are they recommended for use. Consult your doctor or other medical professional for any medical advice you require.