Remedy for Toothache

March 27th, 2016

First wash the mouth well with warm water, then use the following tincture: Tannin, 10 grains; gum mastic, 1/2 drachm; 10 drops of carbolic acid; dissolve in 1/2 ounce of sulphuric ether. Paint the decayed hollow of the aching tooth over with this tincture twice or thrice, using a camel’s hair brush. The tincture will remain in good condition for a month or more, provided care is taken to keep it in a vial with a glass stopper.

Source: Audel’s Household Helps, Hints and Receipts

Spongy Gums

March 9th, 2016

If the gums become spongy, or detached from the necks of the teeth, your diet is probably defective, and more fresh vegetable is demanded. Lance the gums, however, and let them bleed freely, and
gargle the mouth with alum and water, or strong sage-tea unsweetened ; but the best application to spongy gums, and in case of salivation, is pure tannin, or, as a substitute, tincture of galls.

Source: Health, Disease and Remedy, George Moore

Infusion of Catechu, commonly called Japonic Infusion

March 3rd, 2016

Take of

  • Extract of catechu, two drachms and a half;
  • Cinnamon, half a drachm;
  • Boiling water, seven ounces;
  • Simple syrup, one ounce.

Macerate the extract and cinnamon in the hot water, in a covered vessel, for two hours, then strain it, and add the syrup.

Extract of catechu is almost pure tan[n]in. This infusion is therefore a powerfully astringent solution. The cinnamon and syrup render it a very agreeable medicine, which will be found serviceable in fluxes proceeding from a laxity of the intestines. Its dose is a spoonful or two every other hour. As this preparation will not keep above a day or two, it must always be made extemporaneously. The two hours maceration, therefore, becomes very often extremely inconvenient; but it may be prepared in a few minutes by boiling, without in the least impairing the virtues of the medicine.

Source: The Edinburgh New Dispensatory, Andrew Duncan

Falling of the Womb, White Oak Bark for

April 13th, 2015

“A mild infusion of white oak bark, or of alum or tannin, used in quantities of a pint, as a douche, will often give immediate relief.”

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

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

Stye, Common Tea Leaves for

June 1st, 2008

“After steeping tea gather out a small handful of the steeped leaves, lay them in a cloth as you would any poultice, and apply warm over the stye.” It is the tannin in the tea that cures the stye, although clear tannin bought at the drug store does not seem to do the work as well. Black tea may be preferable.

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

Stings from Nettles, an Inexpensive Remedy for

May 30th, 2008

“Rub the affected parts, if of nettles, with berry juice and let dry. This is what I always do during the berry season.” Berry juice is quieting and soothing; it contains tannin. It would be handy to use and is recommended.

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

Ingredients: Bilberry

May 4th, 2008

(Also known as Whortleberry, or Whinberry).

This fruit, which belongs to the Cranberry order of plants, grows abundantly throughout England in heathy and mountainous districts. The small-branched shrub bears globular, wax-like flowers, and black berries, which are covered, when quite fresh, with a grey bloom. In the West of England they are popularly called “whorts,” and they ripen about the time of St. James’ Feast, July 25th. Other names for the fruit are Blueberry, Bulberry, Hurtleberry, and Huckleberry. The title Whinberry has been acquired from its growing on Whins, or Heaths; and Bilberry signifies dark coloured; whence likewise comes Blackwort as distinguished in its aspect from the Cowberry and the Cranberry. By a corruption the original word Myrtleberry has suffered change of its initial M into W. (Whortlebery.) In the middle ages the Myrtleberry was used in medicine and cookery, to which berry the Whortleberry bears a strong resemblance. It is agreeable to the taste, and may be made into tarts, but proves mawkish unless mixed with some more acid fruit.

The Bilberry (Vaccinium Myrtillus) is an admirable astringent, and should be included as such among the domestic medicines of the housewife. If some good brandy be poured over two handfuls of the fruit in a bottle, this will make an extract which continually improves by being kept. Obstinate diarrhoea may be cured by giving doses of a tablespoonful of this extract taken with a wineglassful of warm water, and repeated at intervals of two hours whilst needed, even for the more severe cases of dysenteric diarrhoea. The berries contain chemically much tannin. Their stain on the lips may be quickly effaced by sucking at a lemon. In Devonshire they are eaten at table with cream. The Irish call them “frawns.” If the first tender leaves are properly gathered and dried, they can scarcely be distinguished from good tea. Moor game live on these berries in the autumn. Their juice will stain paper or
linen purple:–

“Sanguineo splendore rosas vaccinia nigro,
Induit, et dulci violas ferrugine pingit.”
CLAUDIAN.

They are also called in some counties, Blaeberries, Truckleberries, and Blackhearts.

The extract of Bilberry is found to be a very useful application for curing such skin diseases as scaly eczema, and other eczema which is not moist or pustulous; also for burns and scalds. Some of the extract is to be laid thickly on the cleansed skin with a camel hairbrush, and a thin layer of cotton wool to be spread over it, the whole being fastened with a calico or gauze bandage. This should be changed gently once a day.

Another Vaccinium (oxycoccos), the Marsh Whortleberry, or Cranberry, or Fenberry — from growing in fens — is found in peat bogs, chiefly in the North. This is a low plant with straggling wiry stems, and solitary terminal bright red flowers, of which the segments are bent back in a singular manner. Its fruit likewise makes excellent tarts, and forms a considerable article of commerce at Langtown, on the borders of Cumberland. The fruit stalks are crooked at the top, and before the blossom expands they resemble the head and neck of a crane.

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

Leucorrhea, Common Tea for

May 1st, 2008

“A very simple remedy that every woman has in the home is a decoction of common tea; used as an injection twice daily is very beneficial.” The tea has an astringent action and the tannin contained in the tea leaves is very effective. This remedy is a harmless one, and every woman suffering with this disagreeable disease should give this remedy a trial.

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