Fever Blisters (Cold Sores)

November 19th, 2017

Apply boric acid ointment, or touch frequently with spirit of nitre or spirit of camphor.

Source: The Mary Frances First Aid Book, Jane Eayre Fryer

To Remove Freckles

May 7th, 2017

Take finely powdered nitre (saltpetre), and apply it to the freckles by the finger moistened with water and dipped in the powder. When perfectly done, and judiciously repeated, it will remove them effectually without trouble. Rough skins from exposure to the wind in riding, rowing or yachting trouble many ladies who will be glad to know that an application of cold cream or glycerine at night, washed off with fine carbolic soap in the morning, will render them presentable at the breakfast-table. Another method is to rub the face, throat and arms well with cold cream or pure almond oil before going out. With this precaution one may come home from a berry party, or a sail without a trace of that ginger-bread effect too apt to follow these pleasures.

Source: The Housekeeper’s Friend: A Practical Cookbook

French Lip Salve

July 15th, 2015

Lard, twenty-six ounces; white wax, two ounces; nitre and alum in fine powder, of each one-half ounce; alkanet to color.

Source: The Ladies’ Book Of Useful Information

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

Rheumatism in Children

February 20th, 2008

Rheumatic fever in young children is generally the result of inherited tendency. The symptoms are redness and swelling of the larger joints, with pain, perspiration, and fever. The fever is not, as a rule, high, seldom rising above 102 degrees Fahr., and is not long continued; but when it rises even thus, it is generally due to the heart being affected, and affections of the heart are those which have to be dreaded whenever a child suffers from this complaint. Where there is a hurried breathing, a dry cough, or uneasiness or pain about the heart, the case should be looked upon as serious from this point of view. Pleurisy is also a common sequel to rheumatic fever, and one of the diseases most closely associated with it is St. Vitus’s dance, which seems in some way dependent upon the affection of the heart to which this disease gives rise.

Eruptions on the skin, such as nettle rash, or a rash resembling red gum, are very common, and seem to be caused by the intense acidity and poverty of the blood, which are common in rheumatic children, and last for a long time after an attack.

The disease, as a rule, lasts from two to three weeks, slight cases getting well in between ten and fourteen days. The child should be kept at rest, and well protected from every possibility of chill. It should lie in bed in a flannel nightgown between the blankets. Food should at first be farinaceous with bread and milk, and later on broths and fish may be added. The affected joints should be wrapped in cotton wool, and when they are painful a solution may be made of one drachm of nitrate of potash and twenty drops of laudanum in an ounce of water, and a flannel soaked in this applied. The rubbing in of iodine ointment is of service for the swelling which lingers during convalescence.

Any internal remedies will, of course, be prescribed by the doctor in attendance; but the most important part of the treatment is that by the nurse or mother, as so much care is necessary with reference to the warmth of the clothing, the digestibility of the food, the avoidance of exposure to cold and damp, and saving the child from much fatigue, over-exercise, and over-excitement.

Muscular Rheumatism is found in the form of stiff neck or lumbago, and in the muscles of the arms and those of the head. Treatment consists in rest, the application of warmth by hot fomentation and the use of liniments, such as the compound camphor liniment; while perspiration should be assisted by the use of sweet spirits of nitre, and keeping the child in bed between the blankets. If the case lasts, bromide of ammonium is a useful remedy. Chronic rheumatism is rare in childhood, and is best treated by warm baths with plenty of carbonate of soda in them, and massage, while iodine may be painted on the affected joints.

Source: Home Notes, 1895