Remedy for a Burn

September 12th, 2017

After immediately applying sweet oil, scrape the inside of a raw potato, and lay some of it on the place, securing it with a rag. In a short time put on fresh potato, and repeat this application very frequently. It will give immediate ease, and draw out the fire. Of course, if the burn is bad, it is best to send for a physician.

Source: Directions for Cookery, in its Various Branches, Eliza Leslie

When A Button Is Swallowed

August 31st, 2017

Children sometimes swallow buttons, fruit stones, thimbles and pennies. When the mother is sure that the child has swallowed a foreign substance the child should be encouraged and even compelled to eat plentifully of mashed potatoes, thick mush and coarse bread. Then follow with syrup of rhubarb or castor oil. Do not give the cathartic immediately on finding out the accident but make sure that much bulky food is taken. Give a child slippery elm to chew when it swallows a penny or button or hard object. This forms a slippery coating on the surface of the penny in the stomach which aids it in passing easily through the intestine and prevents its lodging there and was the remedy applied by a physician when called.

Source: Civic League Cook Book

Burns

August 7th, 2017

Grated raw peeled potatoes spread on bandages and bound on a badly burned arm, shoulder and hand brought immediate relief to one of my children once when I was on a farm and could not get a doctor. I kept the bandages moist by binding fresh new, wet ones over the old ones until pain ceased but did not remove the dressing at all until wound was healed. It healed perfectly without leaving any scar. Do not know the merits of this remedy from a physician’s standpoint but it was used successfully in a bad hotel fire in a village where no physicians resided and the patients all recovered from severe burns and there were no scars left on their bodies.

Source: Civic League Cook Book

A Simple and Harmless Hair Dye

April 15th, 2017

“It is said that the water in which potatoes have been boiled with the skins on forms a speedy and harmless dye for the hair and eyebrows. The pareings of potatoes before cooking may be boiled by themselves, and the water strained off for use. To apply it the shoulders should be covered with cloths to protect the dress and a fine comb dipped in the water drawn through the hair, wetting it at each stroke, until the head is thoroughly soaked. Let the hair dry thoroughly before putting it up. If the result is not satisfactory the first time, repeat the wetting with a sponge, taking care not to discolor the skin of the brow and neck. No hesitation need be felt about trying this, for potato-water is a safe article used in the household in a variety of ways. It relieves chilblains if the feet are soaked in it while the water is hot, and is said to ease rheumatic gout.”

Source: The Housekeeper’s Friend: A Practical Cookbook

To Cleanse Silks, Woolens, and Cottons

February 26th, 2017

Grate raw potatoes to a fine pulp in clean water, and pass the liquid matter through a coarse sieve into another vessel of water ; let the mixture stand still till the fine white particles of the potatoes settle to the bottom; then pour off the liquor from the sediment, and preserve it for use. The article to be cleaned should be laid upon a cloth on a table ; dip a clean sponge into the liquor, and apply it to the article to be cleaned, till the dirt is perfectly separated, then rinse it in clean water several times. Two middle size potatoes will be sufficient for a pint of water. Should there be any grease spots on the articles, they should be previously extracted.

Source: Valuable Receipts, J.M. Prescott

Potato Poultice

August 8th, 2016

Peel, boil and mash the potatoes fine; put them in a thin muslin cloth and apply quite moist. It is considered better than bread as it will hold the heat and retain the moisture longer.

Source: 76: A Cook Book

For Burns

July 1st, 2016

Let the clothes be taken off with great care and tenderness, and then apply spirits of turpentine, or lay on a thick plaster of fresh yeast, renewing it as often as it becomes hot or dry; or dash the part with cold water in which some yeast has been stirred, or with vinegar, or with strong brine, or with the liquid which runs from potatoes sliced thin and sprinkled with salt; or cut a large cucumber in slices and lay it on the part.

Source: Audel’s Household Helps, Hints and Receipts

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