For Toothache

August 18th, 2016

The worst toothache, or neuralgia, coming from the teeth may be speedily and delightfully ended by the application of a bit of clean cotton saturated in a solution of ammonia to the defective tooth. Sometimes the late sufferer is prompted to momentary laughter by the application, but the pain will disappear.

Alum reduced to a powder, a teaspoonful of the powder and an equal quantity of fine salt well mixed, applied to the gums by dipping your moistened finger in the mixed powder; put some also in the tooth, and keep rubbing the gums with it; it scarcely ever fails to cure.

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

For Neuralgia

August 4th, 2016

Alcohol one quart, sulphuric ether four ounces, chloroform two ounces, laudanum two ouncss, oil of wintergreen one-half ounce, oil of lavender one-half ounce, camphor one-half ounce. Apply with a
silk handkerchief. Half this quantity is enough to have mixed at one time, as the chloroform and ether evaporate so quickly.

Source: The Housekeeper’s Friend: A Practical Cookbook

Neuralgia

September 17th, 2015

Heat a new brick, wrap it in flannel, and apply to the part affected.

Source: The Kansas Home Cook-Book

Lemons for Neuralgia

May 7th, 2015

Lemon, eaten freely, without the peel, and without sugar, has proved very beneficial in neuralgia. But very little sugar, if any, must be used.

Source: Mrs Owens’ Cook Book and Useful Household Hints, Frances Owens

Ingredient: Pellitory

March 20th, 2015

A plant belonging to the order of Nettles, the Pellitory of the Wall, or Paritory–Parietaria, from the Latin parietes, walls–is a favourite Herbal Simple in many rural districts. It grows commonly on dry walls, and is in flower all the summer. The leaves are narrow, hairy, and reddish; the stems are brittle, and the small blossoms hairy, in clusters. Their filaments are so elastic that if touched before the flower has expanded, they suddenly spring from their in curved position, and scatter the pollen broadcast.

An infusion of the plant is a popular medicine to stimulate the kidneys, and promote a large flow of watery urine. The juice of the herb acts in the same way when made into a thin syrup with sugar, and given in doses of two tablespoonfuls three times in the day. Dropsical effusions caused by an obstructed liver, or by a weak dilated heart, may be thus carried off with marked relief. The decoction of Parietaria, says Gerard, “helpeth such as are troubled with an old cough.” All parts of the plant contain nitre abundantly. The leaves may be usefully applied as poultices.

But another Pellitory, which is more widely used because of its pungent efficacy in relieving toothache, and in provoking a free flow of saliva, is a distinct plant, the Pyrethrum, or Spanish Chamomile of the shops, and not a native of Great Britain, though sometimes cultivated in our gardens. The title “Purethron” is from pur, fire, because of its burning ardent taste. Its root is scentless, but when chewed causes a pricking sensation (with heat, and some numbness) in the mouth and tongue. Then an abundant flow of saliva, and of mucus within the cheeks quickly ensues. These effects are due to “pyrethrin” contained in the plant, which is an acid fixed resin; also there are present a second resin, and a yellow, acrid oil, whilst the root contains inulin, tannin, and other substances. When sliced and applied to the skin it induces heat, tingling, and redness. A patient seeking relief from rheumatic or neuralgic affections of the head and face, or for palsy of the tongue, should chew the root of this Pyrethrum for several minutes.

The “Pelleter of Spain” (Pyrethrum Anacyclus), was so styled, not because of being brought from Spain; but because it is grown there.

A gargle of Pyrethrum infusion is prescribed for relaxed uvula, and for a partial paralysis of the tongue and lips. The tincture made from the dried root may be most helpfully applied on cotton wool to the interior of a decayed tooth which is aching, or the milder tincture of the wall Pellitory may be employed for the same purpose. To make a gargle, two or three teaspoonfuls of the tincture of Pyrethrum, which can be had from any druggist, should be mixed with a pint of cold water, and sweetened with honey, if desired. The powdered root forms a good snuff to cure chronic catarrh of the head and nostrils, and to clear the brain by exciting a free flow of nasal mucus and tears–Purgatur cerebrum mansâ radice Pyrethri.

Incidentally, as a quaint but effective remedy for carious toothache, may be mentioned the common lady bird insect, Coccinella, which when captured secretes from its legs a yellow acrid fluid having a disagreeable odour. This fluid will serve to ease the most violent toothache, if the creature be placed alive in the cavity of the hollow tooth.

Gerard says this Pyrethrurn (Pellitory of Spain, or Pelletor) “is most singular for the surgeons of the hospitals to put into their unctions contra Neapolitanum morbum, and such other diseases that are cousin germanes thereunto.” The Parietaria, or Pellitory of the wall, is named Lichwort, from growing on stones.

Sir William Roberts, of Manchester, has advised jujubes, made of gum arabic and pyrethrum, to be slowly masticated by persons who suffer from acid fermentation in the stomach, a copious flow of alkaline saliva being stimulated thereby in the mouth, which is repeatedly swallowed during the sucking of one or more of the jujubes, and which serves to neutralise the acid generated within the stomach. Distressing heartburn is thus effectively relieved without taking injurious alkalies, such as potash and soda.

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

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

Ingredients: Lemon

August 30th, 2008

The Lemon (Citrus Limonum) is so common of use in admixing refreshing drinks, and for its fragrancy of peel, whether for culinary flavour, or as a delightful perfume, that it may well find a place among the Simples of a sagacious housewife. Moreover, the imported fruit, which abounds in our markets, as if to the manner born, is endowed with valuable medicinal properties which additionally qualify it for the domestic Herbarium. The Lemons brought to England come chiefly from Sicily, through Messina and Palermo. Flowers may be found on the lemon tree all the year round.

In making lemonade it is a mistake to pour boiling water upon sliced Lemons, because thus brewing an infusion of the peel, which is medicinal. The juice should be squeezed into cold water (previously boiled), adding to a quart of the same the juice of three lemons, a few crushed strawberries, and the cut up rind of one Lemon.

This fruit grows specially at Mentone, in the south of France; and a legend runs that Eve carried two or three Lemons with her away from Paradise, wandering about until she came to Mentone, which she found to be so like the Garden of Eden that she settled there, and planted her fruit.

The special dietetic value of Lemons consists in their potash salts, the citrate, malate, and tartrate, which are respectively antiscorbutic, and of assistance in promoting biliary digestion. Each fluid ounce of the fresh juice contains about forty-four grains of citric acid, with gum, sugar, and a residuum, which yields, when incinerated, potash, lime, and phosphoric acid. But the citric acid of the shops is not nearly so preventive or curative of scurvy as the juice itself.

The exterior rind furnishes a grateful aromatic bitter; and our word “zest” signifies really a chip of lemon peel or orange peel used for giving flavour to liquor. It comes from the Greek verb, “skizein,” to divide, or cut up.

The juice has certain sedative properties whereby it allays hysterical palpitation of the heart, and alleviates pain caused by cancerous ulceration of the tongue. Dr. Brandini, of Florence, discovered this latter property of fresh Lemon juice, through a patient who, when suffering grievously from that dire disease, found marvellous relief to the part by casually sucking a lemon to slake his feverish thirst. But it is a remarkable fact that the acid of Lemons is harmful and obnoxious to cats, rabbits, and other small animals, because it lowers the heart’s action in these creatures, and liquifies the blood; whereas, in man it does not diminish the coagulability of the blood, but proves more useful than any other agent in correcting that thin impoverished liquidity thereof which constitutes scurvy. Rapin extols lemons, or citrons, for discomfort of the heart:–

“Into an oval form the citrons rolled
Beneath thick coats their juicy pulp unfold:
From some the palate feels a poignant smart,
Which, though they wound the tongue, yet heal the heart.”

Throughout Italy, and at Rome, a decoction of fresh Lemons is extolled as a specific against intermittent fever; for which purpose a fresh unpeeled Lemon is cut into thin slices, and put into an earthenware jar with three breakfastcupfuls of cold water, and boiled down to one cupful, which is strained, the lemon being squeezed, and the decoction being given shortly before the access of fever is expected.

For a restless person of ardent temperament and active plethoric circulation, a Lemon squash (unsweetened) of not more than half a tumblerful is a capital sedative; or, a whole lemon may be made hot on the oven top, being turned from time to time, and being put presently when soft and moist into a teacup, then by stabbing it about the juice will be made to escape, and should be drunk hot. If bruised together with a sufficient quantity of sugar the pips of a fresh Lemon or Orange will serve admirably against worms in children. Cut in slices and put into the morning bath, a Lemon makes it fragrant and doubly refreshing.

Professor Wilhelm Schmole, a German doctor, has published a work of some note, in which he advances the theory that fresh Lemon juice is a kind of elixir vitae; and that if a sufficient number of Lemons be taken daily, life may be indefinitely prolonged. Lemon juice is decidedly beneficial against jaundice from passive sluggishness of the biliary functions; it will often serve to stay bleedings, when ice and astringent styptics have failed; it will prove useful when swallowed freely against immoderately active monthly fluxes in women; and when applied externally it signally relieves cutaneous itching, especially of the genitals.

Prize-fighters refresh themselves with a fresh cut Lemon between the rounds when competing in the Ring. Hence has arisen the common saying, “Take a suck of the Lemon, and at him again.”

For a relaxed sore throat, Lemon juice will help to make a serviceable gargle. By the heat of the sun it may be reduced to a solid state. For a cold in the head, if the juice of a ripe Lemon be squeezed into the palm of the hand, and strongly sniffed into the nostrils at two or three separate times, a cure will be promoted. Roast fillet of veal, with stuffing and lemon juice, was beloved by Oliver Cromwell.

For heartburn which comes on without having eaten sweet things, it is helpful to suck a thin slice of fresh Lemon dipped in salt just after each meal.

The Chinese practice of rubbing parts severely neuralgic with the wet surface of a cut Lemon is highly useful. This fruit has been sold within present recollection at half-a-crown each, and during the American war at five shillings.

The hands may be made white, soft, and supple by daily sponging them with fresh Lemon juice, which further keeps the nails in good order; and the same may be usefully applied to the roots of the hair for removing dandriff from the scalp.

The Candied Peel which we employ as a confection is got from one of the citrons (a variety of the lemon); whilst another of this tribe is esteemed for religious purposes in Jewish synagogues. These citrons are imported into England from the East; and for unblemished specimens of the latter which reach London, high prices are paid. One pound sterling is a common sum, and not infrequently as much as seventy shillings are given for a single “Citron of Law.” The fruit is used at the Feast of Tabernacles according to a command given in the Book of the Law; it is not of an edible nature, but is handed round and smelt by the worshippers as they go out, when they “thank God for all good things, and for the sweet odours He has given to men.” This citron is considered to be almost miraculously restorative, especially by those who regard it as the “tappnach,” intended in the text, “Comfort me with apples.” Ladies of the Orient, even now, carry a piece of its rind about them in a vinaigrette.

The citron which furnishes Candied Peel resembles a large juicy lemon, but without a nipple.

Virgil said of the fruit generally:–

“Media fert tristes succos, tardumque saporem
Felicis mali.”

Fresh Lemon juice will not keep because of its mucilage, which soon ferments.

Sidney Smith, in writing about Foston, his remote Country Cure in Yorkshire, said it is “twelve miles from a Lemon.”

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

Ingredients: Horse Radish

June 28th, 2008

The Horse Radish of our gardens is a cultivated cruciferous plant of which the fresh root is eaten, when scraped, as a condiment to correct the richness of our national roast beef. This plant grows wild in many parts of the country, particularly about rubbish, and the sides of ditches; yet it is probably an introduction, and not a native. Its botanical name, Cochlearia armoracia_, implies a resemblance between its leaves and an old-fashioned spoon, cochleare; also that the most common place of its growth is ar, near, mor, the sea.

Our English vernacular styles the plant “a coarse root,” or a “Horse radish,” as distinguished from the eatable radish (root), the Raphanus sativus. Formerly it was named Mountain Radish, and Great Raifort. This is said to be one of the five bitter herbs ordered to be eaten by the Jews during the Feast of the Passover, the other four being Coriander, Horehound, Lettuce, and Nettle.

Not a few fatal cases have occurred of persons being poisoned by taking Aconite root in mistake for a stick of Horse radish, and eating it when scraped. But the two roots differ materially in shape, colour, and taste, so as to be easily discriminated: furthermore the leaves of the Aconite — supposing them to be attached to the root — are not to be mistaken for those of any other plant, being completely divided to their base into five wedge-shaped lobes, which are again sub-divided into three. Squire says it seems incredible that the Aconite Root should be mistaken for Horse Radish unless we remember that country folk are in the habit of putting back again into the ground Horse Radish which has been scraped, until there remain only the crown and a remnant of the root vanishing to a point, these bearing resemblance to the tap root of Aconite.

The fresh root of the Horse radish is a powerful stimulant by reason of its ardent and pungent volatile principle, whether it be taken as a medicament, or be applied externally to any part of the body. When scraped it exhales a nose-provoking odour, and possesses a hot biting taste, combined with a certain sweetness: but on exposure to the air it quickly turns colour, and loses its volatile strength; likewise, it becomes vapid, and inert by being boiled. The root is expectorant, antiscorbutic, and, if taken at all freely, emetic. It contains a somewhat large proportion of sulphur, as shown by the black colour assumed by metals with which it comes into touch. Hence it promises to be of signal use for relieving chronic rheumatism, and for remedying scurvy.

Taken in sauce with oily fish or rich fatty viands, scraped Horse radish acts as a corrective spur to complete digestion, and at the same time it will benefit a relaxed sore throat, by contact during the swallowing. In facial neuralgia scraped Horse radish applied as a poultice, proves usefully beneficial: and for the same purpose some of the fresh scrapings may be profitably held in the hand of the affected side, which hand will become in a short time bloodlessly benumbed, and white.

When sliced across with a knife the root of the Horse radish will exude some drops of a sweet juice which may be rubbed with advantage on rheumatic, or palsied limbs. Also an infusion of the sliced root in milk, almost boiling, and allowed to cool, makes an excellent and safe cosmetic; or the root may be infused for a longer time in cold milk, if preferred, for use with a like purpose in view. Towards the end of the last century Horse radish was known in England as Red cole, and in the previous century it was eaten habitually at table, sliced, with vinegar.

Infused in wine the root stimulates the whole nervous system, and promotes perspiration, whilst acting likewise as a diuretic. For rheumatic neuralgia it is almost a specific, and for palsy it has often proved of service. Our druggists prepare a “compound spirit of Horse radish,” made with the sliced fresh root, orange peel, nutmeg, and spirit of wine. This proves of effective use in strengthless, languid indigestion, as well as for chronic rheumatism; it stimulates the stomach, and promotes the digestive secretions. From one to two teaspoonfuls may be taken two or three times in the day, with half a wineglassful of water, at the end of a principal meal, or a few minutes after the meal. An infusion of the root made with boiling water and taken hot readily proves a stimulating emetic. Until cut or bruised the root is inodorous; but fermentation then begins, and develops from the essential oil an ammoniacal odour and a pungent hot bitter taste which were not pre-existing.

Chemically the Horse radish contains a volatile oil, identical with that of mustard, being highly diffusible and pungent by reason of its “myrosin.” One drop of this volatile oil will suffice to odorise the atmosphere of a whole room, and, if swallowed with any freedom, it excites vomiting. Other constituents of the root are a bitter resin, sugar, starch, gum, albumen, and acetates.

A mixture of the fresh juice, with vinegar, if applied externally, will prove generally of service for removing freckles.

Bergius alleges that by cutting the root into very small pieces without bruising it, and then swallowing a tablespoonful of these fragments every morning without chewing them, for a month, a cure has been effected in chronic rheumatism, which had seemed otherwise intractable.

For loss of the voice and relaxed sore throat the infusion of Horse radish makes an excellent gargle; or it may be concentrated in the form of a syrup, and mixed for the same use — a teaspoonful, with a wine-glassful of cold water.

Gerard said of the root: “If bruised and laid to the part grieved with the sciatica, gout, joyntache, or the hard swellings of the spleen and liver, it doth wonderfully help them all.” If the scraped root be macerated in vinegar, it will form a mixture (which may be sweetened with glycerine to the taste) very effective against whooping cough. In pimply acne of the skin, to touch each papula with some of the Compound Spirit of Horse Radish now and again will soon effect a general cure of the ailment.

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

Lemon Juice as Liniment for Neuralgia

June 23rd, 2008

“Cut a lemon in two and squeeze juice on parts afflicted and rub in, then place hot cloths over it. I know this will cure the pain.” This is very good.

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

Ingredients: Buttercup

March 3rd, 2008

The most common Buttercup of our fields (Ranunculus bulbosis) needs no detailed description. It belongs to the order termed Ranunculaceoe, so-called from the Latin rana, a frog, because the several varieties of this genus grow in moist places where frogs abound. Under the general name of Buttercups are included the creeping Ranunculus, of moist meadows; the Ranunculus acris, Hunger Weed, or Meadow Crowfoot, so named from the shape of the leaf (each of these two being also called King Cup), and the Ranunculus bulbosus mentioned above. “King-Cob” signifies a resemblance between the unexpanded flowerbud and a stud of gold, such as a king would wear; so likewise the folded calyx is named Goldcup, Goldknob and Cuckoobud. The term Buttercup has become conferred through a mistaken notion that this flower gives butter a yellow colour through the cows feeding on it (which is not the case), or, perhaps, from the polished, oily surface of the petals. The designation really signifies “button cop,” or bouton d’or; “the batchelor’s button”; this terminal syllable, cup, being corrupted from the old English word “cop,” a head. It really means “button head.” The Buttercup generally is known in Wiltshire and the adjoining counties as Crazy, or Crazies, being reckoned by some as an insane plant calculated to produce madness; or as a corruption of Christseye (which was the medieval name of the Marigold).

A burning acridity of taste is the common characteristic of the several varieties of the Buttercup. In its fresh state the ordinary field Buttercup is so acrimonious that by merely pulling up the plant by its root, and carrying it some little distance in the hand, the palm becomes reddened and inflamed. Cows will not eat it unless very hungry, and then the mouth of the animal becomes sore and blistered. The leaves of the Buttercup, when bruised and applied to the skin, produce a blistering of the outer cuticle, with a discharge of a watery fluid, and with heat, redness, and swelling. If these leaves are masticated in the mouth they will induce pains like a stitch between the ribs at the side, with the sharp catchings of neuralgic rheumatism. A medicinal tincture is made (H.) from the bulbous Buttercup with spirit of wine, which will, as a similar, cure shingles very expeditiously, both the outbreak of small watery pimples clustered together at the side, and the accompanying sharp pains between the ribs. Also this tincture will promptly relieve neuralgic side-ache, and pleurisy which is of a passive sort. From six to eight drops of the tincture may be taken with a tablespoonful of cold water by an adult three or four times a day for either of the aforesaid purposes. In France, this plant is called “jaunet.” Buttercups are most probably the “Cuckoo Buds” immortalised by Shakespeare. The fresh leaves of the Crowfoot (Ranunculus acris) formed a part of the famous cancer cure of Mr. Plunkett in 1794. This cure comprised Crowfoot leaves, freshly gathered, and dog’s-foot fennel leaves, of each an ounce, with one drachm of white arsenic levigated, and with five scruples of flowers of sulphur, all beaten together into a paste, and dried by the sun in balls, which were then powdered, and, being mixed with yolk of egg, were applied on pieces of pig’s bladder. The juice of the common Buttercup (Bulbosus), known sometimes as “St. Anthony’s Turnip,” if applied to the nostrils, will provoke sneezing, and will relieve passive headache in this way. The leaves have been applied as a blister to the wrists in rheumatism, and when infused in boiling water as a poultice over the pit of the stomach as a counter-irritant. For sciatica the tincture of the bulbous buttercup has proved very helpful.

The Ranunculus flammata, Spearwort, has been used to produce a slight blistering effect by being put under a limpet shell against the skin of the part to be relieved, until some smarting and burning have been sensibly produced, with incipient vesication of the outermost skin.

The Ranunculus Sceleratus, Marsh Crowfoot, or Celery-leaved Buttercup, called in France “herbe sardonique,” and “grenouillette d’eau,” when made into a tincture (H.) with spirit of wine, and given in small diluted doses, proves curative of stitch in the side, and of neuralgic pains between the ribs, likewise of pleurisy without feverishness. The dose should be five drops of the third decimal tincture with a spoonful of water every three or four hours. This plant grows commonly at the sides of our pools, and in wet ditches, bearing numerous small yellow flowers, with petals scarcely longer than the calyx.

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