Cold Cream

January 6th, 2018

Melt together two ounces of oil of almonds, and one drachm each of white wax and spermaceti ; while warm add two ounces of rose-water, and orange flower water half an ounce. Nothing better than this will be found in the range of toilet salves.”

Source: The Housekeeper’s Friend: A Practical Cookbook

Green Ointment

July 18th, 2017

Take two or three large handfuls of the fresh-gathered leaves of the Jamestown weed, (called Apple Peru in New England,) and pound it in a mortar till you have extracted the juice. Then put the juice into a tin sauce-pan, mixed with sufficient lard to make a thick salve. Stew them together ten or fifteen minutes, and then pour the mixture into gallipots and cover it closely. It is excellent to rub on chilblains, and other inflammatory external swellings, applying it several times a day.

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

Recipes for Felons

May 31st, 2017

Take common rock salt, as used for salting down pork or beef, dry in an oven, then pound it fine and mix with spirits of turpentine in equal parts; put it in a rag and wrap it around the parts affected; as it gets dry put on more, and in twenty-four hours you are cured. The felon will be dead.

Or purchase the herb of stramonium at the druggist’s; steep it and bind it on the felon; as soon as cold, put on new, warm herbs. It will soon kill it, in a few hours at least.

Or saturate a bit or grated wild turnip, the size of a bean, with spirits of turpentine, and apply it to the affected part. It relieves the pain at once; in twelve hours there will be a hole to the bone, and the felon destroyed; then apply healing salve, and the finger is well.

Another Way to Cure a Felon: Fill a tumbler with equal parts of fine salt and ice; mix well. Sink the finger in the centre, allow it to remain until it is nearly frozen and numb; then withdraw it, and when sensation is restored, renew the operation four or five times, when it will be found the disease is destroyed. This must be done before pus is formed.

A simple remedy for felons, relieving pain at once, no poulticing, no cutting, no “holes to the bone,” no necessity for healing salve, but simple oil of cedar applied a few times at the commencement of the felon, and the work is done.

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

For a Burn

December 22nd, 2016

Make half a tumbler of strong lime water, let it set a few minutes; then strain the water through a thin muslin to the same quantity of linseed or sweet oil (neat’s or hog’s foot will answer); mix it well, and spread over the burn; wrap over linen cloths. Do not remove the cloth for several days; saturate it frequently with the lime and oil until the inflammation is subdued. Should the odor become offensive, apply cold poultices of the flour of slippery elm; spread over with pulverized charcoal. A plaster of lard and soot is also good for a burn. Heal with any simple salve — a very good one is made by stewing together heart leaves, white lily root, agrimony, a few leaves of the Jamestown weed, and sweet gum. When the strength of the herbs is extracted, strain the water; throw away leaves, etc.; add fresh unsalted butter, and simmer gently until the water has evaporated. Keep this on hand for common sores, in a close-covered box.

Source: Mrs Hill’s New Cook-Book

Grandmother’s Salve for Everything

August 2nd, 2016

Two pounds of rosin, a half teacup of mutton tallow after it is hard, half as much bees-wax and a half ounce of camphor gum. Put all together into an old kettle and let it dissolve and just come to a boil, stirring with a stick; then take a half pail of warm water (just the chill off), pour it in and stir carefully until you can get your hands around it. Two persons must each take half and
pull like candy until quite white and brittle; put a little grease on your hands to prevent sticking and keep them wet all the time; wet the table, roll out the salve and cut it with a knife. Keep in a cool place.

Source: 76: A Cook Book

For Felons

June 1st, 2016

Take a portion of the bark of sweet elder, or hops will do; then put it with some sweet cream into a cup, and boil a short time;then put in a lump of saltpetre twice as large as a pear; let it slowly dry away to the consistency of a salve, which apply to the felon. The salt petre is the cure, but the elder bark and sweet cream aid in easing the pain. By putting in enough saltpetre, any felon can be cured in 48 hours, and the pain will cease almost immediately.

Source: 76: A Cook Book

Lip Salve

September 29th, 2015

Dissolve a small lump of white sugar in a table-spoonful of rosewater, (common water will do, but is not as good.) Mix it with a couple of large spoonsful of sweet oil, a piece of spermaceti, of the size of half a butternut. Simmer the whole well together eight or ten minutes, then turn it into a small box.

Source: The American Housewife

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

German Lip Salve

May 10th, 2015

Butter of cacao, one-half ounce; oil of almonds, one-quarter ounce; melt together with a gentle heat, and add six drops of essence of lemon.

Source: The Ladies’ Book of Useful Information

Ingredient: Primrose

March 9th, 2015

The Common Primrose (Primula veris) is the most widely known of our English wild flowers, and appears in the Spring as its earliest herald.

It gets its name from the Latin primus, first, being named in old books and M.S. Pryme rolles, and in the Grete Herball, Primet, as shortened from Primprint.

In North Devon it is styled the Butter Rose, and in the Eastern counties it is named (in common with the Cowslip) Paigle, Peagle, Pegyll, and Palsy plant.

Medicinally also it possesses similar curative attributes, though in a lesser degree, to those of the Cowslip. Both the root and the flowers contain a volatile oil, and “primulin” which is identical with mannite: whilst the acrid principle is “saponin.” Alfred Austin, Poet Laureate, teaches to “make healing salve with early Primroses.”

Pliny speaks of the Primrose as almost a panacea: In aquâ potam omnibus morbis mederi tradunt. An infusion of the flowers has been always thought excellent against nervous disorders of the hysterical sort. It should be made with from five to ten parts of the petals to one hundred of water. “Primrose tea” says Gerard, “drunk in the month of May, is famous for curing the phrensie.”

The whole plant is sedative and antispasmodic, being of service by its preparations to relieve sleeplessness, nervous headache, and muscular rheumatism. The juice if sniffed up into the nostrils will provoke violent sneezing, and will induce a free flow of water from the lining membranes of the nostrils for the mitigation of passive headaches: though this should not be tried by a person of full habit with a determination of blood to the head. A teaspoonful of powdered dry Primrose root will act as an emetic. The whole herb is somewhat expectorant.

When the petals are collected and dried they become of a greenish colour: whilst fresh they have a honey-like odour, and a sweetish taste.

Within the last few years a political significance and popularity have attached themselves to the Primrose beyond every other British wild flower. It arouses the patriotism of the large Conservative party, and enlists the favour of many others who thoughtlessly follow an attractive fashion, and who love the first fruits of early Spring. Botanically the Primrose has two varieties of floral structure: one “pin-eyed,” with a tall pistil, and short stamens; the other “thrum-eyed,” showing a rosette of tall stamens, whilst the short pistil must be looked for, like the great Panjandrum himself, “with a little round button at the top,” half way down the tube. Darwin was the first to explain that this diversity of structure ensures cross fertilisation by bees and allied insects. Through advanced cultivation at the hands of the horticulturist the Primula acquires in some instances a noxious character. For instance, the Primula biconica, which is often grown in dwelling rooms as a window plant, and commonly sold as such, will provoke an crysipelatous vesicular eruption of a very troublesome and inflamed character on the hands and face of some persons who come in contact with the plant by manipulating it to take cuttings, or in other ways. A knowledge of this fact should suggest the probable usefulness of the said Primula, when made into a tincture, and given in small diluted doses thereof, to act curatively for such an eruption if attacking the sufferer from idiopathic causes.

The Latins named the Ligustrum (our Privet) Primrose. Coles says concerning it (17th century): “This herbe is called Primrose; it is good to ‘Potage.'” They also applied the epithet, “Prime rose” to a lady.

The Evening Primrose (OEnothera biennis, or odorata) is found in this country on sand banks in the West of England and Cornwall; but it is then most probably a garden scape, and an alien, its native habitat being in Canada and the United States of America. We cultivate it freely in our parterres as a brilliant, yellow, showy flower. It belongs to the natural order, Onagraceoe, so called because the food of wild asses; and was the “vini venator” of Theophrastus, 350 B.C. The name signifies having the odour of wine, oinos and theera. Pliny said: “It is an herbe good as wine to make the heart merrie. It groweth with leaves resembling those of the almond tree, and beareth flowers like unto roses. Of such virtue is this herbe that if it be given to drink to the wildest beast that is, it will tame the same and make it gentle.” The best variety of this plant is the OEnothera macrocarpa.

The bark of the Evening Primrose is mucilaginous, and a decoction made therefrom is of service for bathing the skin eruptions of infants and young children. To answer such purpose a decoction should be made from the small twigs, and from the bark of the larger branches, retaining the leaves. This has been found further of use for diarrhoea associated with an irritable stomach, and asthma. The infusion, or the liquid extract, acts as a mild but efficient sedative in nervous indigestion, from twenty to thirty drops of the latter being given for a dose. The ascertained chemical principle of the plant, OEnotherin, is a compound body. Its flowers open in the evening, and last only until the next noon; therefore this plant is called the “Evening Primrose,” or “Evening Star.”

Another of the Primrose tribe, the Cyclamen, or Sow-bread (Panis porcinus), is often grown in our gardens, and for ornamenting our rooms as a pot plant. Its name means (Greek) “a circle,” and refers to the reflected corolla, or to the spiral fruit-stalks; and again, from the tuber being the food of wild swine. Gerard said it was reported in his day to grow wild on the Welsh mountains, and on the Lincolnshire hills: but he failed to find it. Nevertheless it is now almost naturalised in some parts of the South, and East of England. As the petals die, the stalks roll up and carry the capsular berries down to the surface of the ground. A medicinal tincture is made (H.) from the fresh root when flowering. The ivy-leaved variety is found in England, with nodding fresh-coloured blossoms, and a brown intensely acrid root. Besides starch, gum, and pectin, it yields chemically, “cyclamin,” or “arthanatin,” with an action like “saponin,” whilst the juice is poisonous to fish. When applied externally as a liniment over the bowels, it causes them to be purged. Gerard quaintly and suggestively declares “It is not good for women with childe to touch, or take this herbe, or to come neere unto it, or to stride over the same where it groweth: for the natural attractive vertue therein contained is such that, without controversie, they that attempt it in manner above said, shall be delivered before their time; which danger and inconvenience to avoid, I have fastened sticks in the ground about the place in my garden where it groweth, and some other sticks also crosswaies over them, lest any woman should by lamentable experiment find my words to be true by stepping over the same. Again, the root hanged about women in their extreme travail with childe, causeth them to be delivered incontinent: and the leaves put into the place hath the like effect.” Inferentially a tincture of the plant should be good for falling and displacement of the womb. “Furthermore, Sowbread, being beaten, and made into little flat cakes, is reputed to be a good amorous medicine, to make one in love.”

In France, another Primula, the wild Pimpernel, occurs as a noxious herb, and is therefore named Mouron.

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