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

Gray Hair

January 18th, 2009

“The only thing to do with gray hair is to admire it.” This is true. Nothing so sets off an aged face like the crown of silver. To color it is a great mistake. There is absolutely no cure for it; the one thing we can do is to make it a beauty. Gray hair is due to the exhaustion of the pigment or coloring cells of the hair, supposed to be occasioned by the lack of a regular supply of blood.

For the progressive whitening of the hair due to the advance of age, curative agents are rarely of any avail, especially if the trouble is hereditary. Not that gray hair and baldness are handed down from father to son, but that the peculiarities of constitution which produce them are inherent in both. Nervousness, neuralgia, a low physical condition, aid the falling and blanching of the hair, and the victim should build up the general system. Preparations of iron and sulphur, taken internally, are supposed to supply certain elements of growth and pigment-forming power to the hair.

A solution of iron for external application to the hair, calls for two drams each of citrate of iron and tincture of nux vomica, and one and one-half ounces each of cocoanut oil and bay rum. It may be mentioned here, that faithfulness in treatment means even more than the tonic applied. To gain any real benefit, one must be persistent in application.

Hair often turns gray “in streaks” to the chagrin of the victim. Or it whitens above the forehead and temples and remains dark at the back. Nothing can be done for this.

Gray hair should be kept scrupulously clean, and requires more frequent washing than hair that holds its color. A very little blueing in the rinsing water gives a purer, clearer white. For this use indigo, not the usual washing fluid which is made of Prussian blue. Five cents worth of indigo will last a lifetime.

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

Nervous Pill

December 28th, 2008

Alcoholic extract of the Ignatia Amara (St Ignatius bean) 30 grains; powdered gum arabic 10 grains. Make into 40 pills.

Dose: One pill to be taken an hour after breakfast, and one an hour before retiring at night. Half a pill is enough for young, or very old or very delicate persons. The pills may be easily cut if laid on a damp cloth for a few moments.

These pills will be found applicable in bad dyspepsia, nervous headache, sleeplessness, palpitation of the heart, confusion of thought, determination of blood to the head, failure of memory, and all other forms of general nervous debility, no matter of how long standing. Where a prominent advantage is discovered in two weeks from the commencement of the medicine, one a day will suffice until all are taken.

The extract is made by pulverizing the seed or bean, and putting it into alcohol from ten to fourteen days, then evaporating to the consistency for working into pill mass with the powdered gum.

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

Nervousness, Five Ingredient Remedy That Relieves

August 13th, 2008

“In extreme nervous debility with tendency to fainting fits, use the following:

Spirits of Camphor 1/2 ounce
Aromatic Spirits of Ammonia 1/2 ounce
Spirits of Lavender Compound 1 ounce
Tincture Valerian 1 ounce
Tincture Castor 1 ounce

Mix.

Dose.– From one to three teaspoonfuls at intervals of from fifteen minutes to three hours, according to urgency of symptoms. This mixture should be kept on hand by all persons subject to fainting fits.”

Spirits of camphor and aromatic spirits of ammonia stimulates the heart, while the tincture of valerian quiets the nervous system.

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

Catnip Tea for Nervousness

June 24th, 2008

“A tea made of catnip will quiet the nerves. This is good for women when they are apt to be nervous.”

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