Hints In Regard To Health (Part I)

September 1st, 2018

It is plainly seen by an inquiring mind that, aside from the selection and preparation of food, there are many little things constantly arising in the experience of everyday life which, in their combined effect, are powerful agents in the formation (or prevention) of perfect health. A careful observance of these little occurrences, an inquiry into the philosophy attending them, lies within the province, and indeed should be considered among the highest duties, of every housekeeper.

  • That one should be cautious about entering a sick room in a state of perspiration, as the moment you become cool your pores absorb. Do not approach contagious diseases with an empty stomach, nor sit between the sick and the fire, because the heat attracts the vapor.
  • That the flavor of cod-liver oil may be changed to the delightful one of fresh oyster, if the patient will drink a large glass of water poured from a vessel in which nails have been allowed to rust.
  • That a bag of hot sand relieves neuralgia.
  • That warm borax water will remove dandruff.
  • That salt should be eaten with nuts to aid digestion.
  • That it rests you, in sewing, to change your position frequently.
  • That a little soda water will relieve sick headache caused by indigestion.
  • That a cupful of strong coffee will remove the odor of onions from the breath.
  • That well-ventilated bedrooms will prevent morning headaches and lassitude.
  • A cupful of hot water drank before meals will relieve nausea and dyspepsia.
  • That a fever patient can be made cool and comfortable by frequent sponging off with soda water.
  • That consumptive night-sweats may be arrested by sponging the body nightly in salt water.
  • That one in a faint should be laid flat on his back, then loosen his clothes and let him alone.
  • The best time to bathe is just before going to bed, as any danger of taking cold is thus avoided; and the complexion is improved by keeping warm for several hours after leaving the bath.
  • To beat the whites of eggs quickly add a pinch of salt. Salt cools, and cold eggs froth rapidly.
  • Hot, dry flannels, applied as hot as possible, for neuralgia.

(Continued in this post.)

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

Pitch Pomade

August 19th, 2018

Take 1 drachm of pitch, and 1 ounce of lard. Mix well, and apply twice a day to the affected parts.

This is used for ringworm, and scald head.

Source: The Ladies’ Book of Etiquette, and Manual of Politeness, Florence Hartley

To Increase The Hair in the Brows

May 18th, 2018

Clip them and anoint with a little sweet oil. Should the hair fall out, having been full, use one of the hair invigorators.

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

Dye for White or Light Eyebrows

May 4th, 2018

Boil an ounce of walnut bark in a pint of water for an hour. Add a lump of alum the size of a filbert, and when cold, apply with a camel’s-hair brush.

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

Hair Wash

April 30th, 2018

One penny’s worth of borax, half a pint of olive oil, one pint of boiling water.

Pour the boiling water over the borax and oil; let it cool; then put the mixture into a bottle. Shake it before using, and apply it with a flannel. Camphor and borax, dissolved in boiling water and left to cool, make a very good wash for the hair; as also does rosemary water mixed with a little borax. After using any of these washes, when the hair becomes thoroughly dry, a little pomatum or oil should be rubbed in to make it smooth and glossy–that is, if one prefers oil on the hair.

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

Macassar Oil for the Hair

April 26th, 2018

Renowned for the past fifty years, is as follows: Take a quarter of an ounce of the chippings of alkanet root, tie this in a bit of coarse muslin and put it in a bottle containing eight ounces of sweet oil; cover it to keep out the dust; let it stand several days; add to this sixty drops of tincture of cantharides, ten drops of oil of rose, neroli and lemon each sixty drops; let it stand one week and you will have one of the most powerful stimulants for the growth of the hair ever known.

Another:–To a pint of strong sage tea, a pint of bay rum and a quarter of an ounce of the tincture of cantharides, add an ounce of castor oil and a teaspoonful of rose, or other perfume. Shake well before applying to the hair, as the oil will not mix.

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

For Dandruff

March 19th, 2018

Take glycerine four ounces, tincture of cantharides five ounces, bay rum four ounces, water two ounces. Mix, and apply once a day and rub well down the scalp.

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

Uses of Ammonia

March 17th, 2018

All housekeepers should keep a bottle of liquid ammonia, as it is the most powerful and useful agent for cleaning silks, stuffs and hats, in fact cleans everything it touches. A few drops of ammonia in water will take off grease from dishes, pans, etc., and does not injure the hands as much as the use of soda and strong chemical soaps. A spoonful in a quart of warm water for cleaning paint makes it look like new, and so with everything that needs cleaning.

Spots on towels and hosiery will disappear with little trouble if a little ammonia is put into enough water to soak the articles, and they are left in it an hour or two before washing; and if a cupful is put into the water in which clothes are soaked the night before washing, the ease with which the articles can be washed, and their great whiteness and clearness when dried, will be very gratifying. Remembering the small sum paid for three quarts of ammonia of common strength, one can easily see that no bleaching preparation can be more cheaply obtained.

No articles in kitchen use are so likely to be neglected and abused as the dish-cloth and dish-towels; and in washing these, ammonia, if properly used, is a greater comfort than anywhere else. Put a teaspoonful into the water in which these cloths are, or should be, washed everyday; rub soap on the towels. Put them in the water; let them stand half an hour or so; then rub them out thoroughly, rinse faithfully, and dry outdoors in clear air and sun, and dish-cloths and towels need never look gray and dingy–a perpetual discomfort to all housekeepers.

A dark carpet often looks dusty soon after it has been swept, and you know it does not need sweeping again; so wet a cloth or a sponge, wring it almost dry, and wipe off the dust. A few drops of ammonia in the water will brighten the colors.

For cleaning hair-brushes it is excellent; put a tablespoonful into the water, having it only tepid, and dip up and down until clean; then dry with the brushes down and they will be like new ones.

When employed in washing anything that is not especially soiled, use the waste water afterward for the house plants that are taken down from their usual position and immersed in the tub of water. Ammonia is a fertilizer, and helps to keep healthy the plants it nourishes. In every way, in fact, ammonia is the housekeeper’s friend.

Ammonia is not only useful for cleaning, but as a household medicine. Half a teaspoonful taken in half a tumbler of water is far better for faintness than alcoholic stimulants. In the Temperance Hospital in London, it is used with the best results. It was used freely by Lieutenant Greely’s Arctic party for keeping up circulation. It is a relief in nervousness, headache and heart disturbances.

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

Phalon’s Instantaneous Hair Dye

March 1st, 2018

To one ounce of crystallized nitrate of silver, dissolved in one ounce of concentrated aqua ammonia, add one ounce of gum arabic and six ounces of soft water. Keep in the dark. Remember to remove all grease from the hair before applying the dye.

There is danger in some of the patent hair dyes, and hence the Scientific American offers what is known as the walnut hair dye. The simplest form is the expressed juice of the bark or shell of green walnuts. To preserve the juice a little alcohol is commonly added to it with a few bruised cloves, and the whole digested together, with occasional agitation, for a week or fortnight, when the clear portion is decanted, and, if necessary, filtered. Sometimes a little common salt is added with the same intention. It should be kept in a cool place. The most convenient way of application is by means of a sponge.

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

A Good Shampoo

February 25th, 2018

Take one bar of cocoanut soap. Shave into a gallon of rain water. Put on the stove until it comes to a boil; then turn the gas low and let simmer fifteen minutes. Before taking off the stove add ten cents’ worth of cream of tartar.

Source: 1001 Household Hints, Ottilie V. Ames