Good Hard Soap

September 2nd, 2017

Five pounds of grease, one quart and one cup of cold water, one can of potash, one heaping tablespoonful of borax, two tablespoonfuls of ammonia. Dissolve the potash in the water, then add the borax and ammonia and stir in the lukewarm grease slowly and continue to stir until it becomes as thick as thick honey; then pour into a pan to harden. When firm cut into cakes. Grease that is no longer fit to fry in is used for this soap. Strain it carefully that no particles of food are left in it. It makes no difference how brown the grease is, the soap will become white and float in water. It should be kept a month before using.

Source: The Golden Age Cook Book, H. L. Dwight

To Keep out Mosquitoes and Bats

June 24th, 2017

If a bottle of the oil of pennyroyal is left uncorked in a room at night, not a mosquito, nor any other blood-sucker, will be found there in the morning. Mix potash with powdered meal, and throw it into the rat-holes of a cellar, and the rats will depart. If a rat or a mouse get into your pantry, stuff into its hole a rag saturated with a solution of cayenne pepper, and no rat or mouse will touch the rag for the purpose of opening communication with a depot of supplies.

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

Soft Soap

February 28th, 2017

All mutton and ham fat should be melted and strained into a large stone pot. The practice of throwing lumps of fat into a pot, and waiting till there are several pounds before trying them out, is a disgusting one, as often such a receptacle is alive with maggots. Try out the fat, and strain as carefully as you would lard or beef drippings, and it is then always ready for use. If concentrated lye or potash, which comes in little tins, is used, directions will be found on the tins. Otherwise allow a pound of stone potash to every pound of grease. Twelve pounds of each will make a barrel of soft soap.

Crack the potash in small pieces. Put in a large kettle with two gallons of water, and boil till dissolved. Then add the grease, and, when melted, pour all into a tight barrel. Fill it up with boiling water, and for a week, stir daily for five or ten minutes. It will gradually become like jelly.

Source: The Easiest Way in Housekeeping and Cooking, H. Campbell

To Eradicate Corns

January 17th, 2017

Bathe the corn in warm water, with a sponge, on going to bed, until it has become tender ; then wet the corn with a bit of slackened potash, or some caustic of potash, or with a very strong ley. Repeat two or three times.

Source: Valuable Receipts, J.M. Prescott

Scurvy

March 1st, 2016

Scurvy is a disease accompanied by a depraved state of the blood, attributed to improper diet, assisted by bad air and mental depression. It is generally cured by a good mixed and fresh diet. Sound potatoes, and other vegetables containing salts of potash, are said to prevent it; but as a substitute for these, lemon juice, when much salt food is used, has been found very efficacious, and it is therefore always provided for the use of the Royal Navy, which, though once dreadfully afflicted with this disease, is now nearly exempt from it ; a result mainly attributable to a great and general improvement in discipline, ventilation, and diet.

This disease was very prevalent and destructive in England before the general cultivation of the potato, and it became again a common disease among the poor in several parts of the country, when the extensive potato-blight occurred in 1846. At that time Dr. Baly remarked, that the military prisoners at Millbank, dieted like the other prisoners, except that they had no potatoes, were alone attacked by scurvy on that occasion, and when potatoes were supplied to them the disease ceased. It is probable that the citric and tartaric acids existing in the potato are combined with the nutriment in such a manner as to be peculiarly adapted to the blood, since the potato is found even more advantageous in many cases of scurvy than lemons and oranges. I dwell on this point because it proves that small variations in diet are capable of producing vast effects on health, and that but for a fair and full distribution of the fruits of the earth, disease would be far more destructive than at present; and by neglect of small points in the diet of the poor, maladies from depraved blood would be now as rife and terrible as in the darker ages. The method by which potatoes are dried, so as to be fit to form part of ship-store, is an important invention, and highly valuable to sailors, since they may thus obtain in any climate a dish of mash-potatoes with the help of a little warm water.

Observing the benefit resulting from the use of phosphate of soda in certain depraved conditions of the blood, I think it probable that this salt would be of great service in scurvy. The proper dose would be from ten to thirty grains a day. As scurvy arises from salted meat in the absence of fresh meat and vegetables, the theory of its cause and cure almost resolves itself into a chemical problem. All animals need salt, since it furnishes ingredients for the blood, and is essential to digestion and secretion. How, then, is salted meat injurious? Simply from the circumstance that, in salting meat, the common salt takes the place of the soluble phosphates of the flesh, while these phosphates, so requisite for the production of healthy blood and sound flesh, are almost entirely removed from the flesh into the brine. It becomes then important to discover some better plan of preserving meat. By the exclusion of air, as by filling tin cases with meat, and then soldering them, meat may be preserved for years. The best plan is to make a real concentration of the animal juices, as in portable soup. What is generally sold under this name, is but a gelatinous mass of very little value as nourishment. The following is the method of preparing this soup, or extract of meat, abridged from Liebig:— Chop very fine one pound of lean beef; mix it well with an equal weight of cold water; slowly heat the mixture to boiling; after boiling briskly a minute or two, strain through coarse linen. Salt and flavour according to taste, and tinge it with roasted onion or burnt sugar. This, when concentrated by slow evaporation, is a dark soft mass, half an ounce of which in a pint of water, makes a strong well-flavoured soup.

Source: Health, Disease and Remedy, George Moore

Sore Throat

February 16th, 2016

Everybody has a cure for this trouble, but simple remedies appear to be most effectual. Salt and water is used by many as a gargle, but a little alum and honey dissolved in sage tea is better. An application of cloths wrung out of hot water and applied to the neck, changing as often as they begin to cool, has the most potency for removing inflammation of anything we ever tried. It should be kept up for a number of hours; during the evening is usually the most convenient time for applying this remedy.

Cut slices of salt pork or fat bacon, simmer a few minutes in hot vinegar, and apply to throat as hot as possible. When this is taken off as the throat is relieved, put around a bandage of soft flannel. A gargle of equal parts of borax and alum, dissolved in water, is also excellent. To be used frequently.

Camphorated oil is an excellent lotion for sore throat, sore chest, aching limbs, etc. For a gargle for sore throat, put a pinch of chlorate of potash in a glass of water. Gargle the throat with it
twice a day, or oftener, if necessary

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

Gargles for Sore Throat

December 22nd, 2015

No. 1. — One wineglassful of barm ; one wineglassful of vinegar ; remainder sage tea, to make a half-pint bottle of gargle.

No. 2. — A pinch of chlorate of potash in a glass of water. Gargle the throat with it twice a day, or oftener, if necessary.

No. 3. — Tar water is a very good gargle for sore throat ; it is to be used twice a day.

Source: The Unrivalled Cook-Book and Housekeeper’s Guide, Mrs Washington

Corns – To Cure

May 25th, 2015

Two drachms potash and 1 drachm salt of sorrel. Mix into a fine powder. Put on enough to cover the corn for four successive nights, binding it on with a cloth.

Corns can often be cured by paring them down and rubbing on a little strong vinegar or acetic acid every night. Each morning, rub them over with lard or olive oil.

The latest cure for soft corns is this: Wash and dry the foot thoroughly, and put on a sprinkling of dry sulphur night and morning for several weeks, and a cure is assured.

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

Ingredient: Asparagus

April 24th, 2015

Asparagus is said to strengthen and develop the artistic faculties. It also calms palpitation of the heart. It is very helpful to rheumatic patients on account of its salts of potash. It should be steamed, not boiled, otherwise part of the valuable salts are lost.

Source: Food Remedies: Facts About Foods And Their Medicinal Uses, Florence Daniel

The Hands

March 11th, 2015

One of the woman’s continuous tasks is trying to keep her hands clean, and one thing that militates against their good looks is careless washing. They are washed indiscriminately in hot or cold water, the soap not properly rinsed off, nor the drying complete. To keep them soft and white, wash in soft, tepid water, dry thoroughly, then rub in a little cold cream or compound of glycerin, or fine cornmeal. Use rubber gloves in dish washing, and if you must have your hands in soapy water for a long time, after washing them in pure water rub over with a few drops of lemon juice or cider vinegar. This kills the potash in the soap that has been used.

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