Preparation for Rough Skin

October 23rd, 2016

A delicate and effective preparation for rough skins, eruptive diseases, cuts or ulcers, is found in a mixture of one ounce of glycerine, half an ounce of rosemary-water, and twenty drops of carbolic acid. In those dreaded irritations of the skin, occurring in summer, such as hives or prickly heat, this wash gives soothing relief. A solution of this acid, say fifty drops to an ounce of the glycerine, applied at night, forms a protection from mosquitoes. Use the pure crystallized form: it is far less overpowering in its fragrance than the common sort, Those who dislike it too much to use at night, will find the sting of the bites almost miraculously cured, and the blotches removed by touching them with the mixture in the morning. Babies and children should be touched with it in a reduced form. Two or three drops of otter of roses in the preparation will improve the smell so as to render it tolerable to human beings though not so to mosquitoes.

Source: The Housekeeper’s Friend: A Practical Cookbook

Hemlock Poultice

November 18th, 2015

Two drachms of dried hemlock; two pints of water boiled down to one; add sufficient linseed meal to make it of a proper consistency. Excellent for cancerous and scrofulous ulcers, and malignant sores.

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

Ingredient: Carrot

April 17th, 2015

Carrots are strongly antiseptic. They are said to be mentally invigorating and nerve restoring. They have the reputation of being very indigestible on account of the fact that they are generally boiled, not steamed. When used medicinally it is best to take the fresh, raw juice. This is easily obtained by grating the carrot finely on a common penny bread grater, and straining and pressing the pulp thus obtained.

Raw carrot juice, or a raw carrot eaten fasting, will expel worms. The cooked carrot is useless for this purpose.

A poultice of fresh carrot pulp will heal ulcers.

Fresh carrot juice is also good for consumptives on account of the large amount of sugar it contains.

Carrots are very good for gouty subjects and for derangements of the liver.

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

Judkins’ Ointment

November 23rd, 2008

Linseed-oil 1 pt; sweet oil 1 oz; and boil them in a kettle on coals for nearly 4 hours, as warm as you can; then have pulverized and mixed, borax 1/2 oz; red lead 4 ozs, and sugar of lead 1 1/2 ozs; remove the kettle from the fire and thicken in the powder; continue the stirrying until cooled to blood heat, then stir in 1 oz of spirits of turpentine; and now take out a little, letting it get cold, and if not then sufficiently thick to spread upon thin, soft linen as a salve, you will boil again until this point is reached.

[…] it is good for all kinds of wounds, bruises, sores, burns, white swellings, rheumatisms, ulcers, sore breasts, and even where there are wounds on the inside, it has been used with advantage, by applying a plaster over the part.

Source: Dr Chase’s Recipes, or Information for Everybody, A.W. Chase

Ingredients: Lemon

August 30th, 2008

The Lemon (Citrus Limonum) is so common of use in admixing refreshing drinks, and for its fragrancy of peel, whether for culinary flavour, or as a delightful perfume, that it may well find a place among the Simples of a sagacious housewife. Moreover, the imported fruit, which abounds in our markets, as if to the manner born, is endowed with valuable medicinal properties which additionally qualify it for the domestic Herbarium. The Lemons brought to England come chiefly from Sicily, through Messina and Palermo. Flowers may be found on the lemon tree all the year round.

In making lemonade it is a mistake to pour boiling water upon sliced Lemons, because thus brewing an infusion of the peel, which is medicinal. The juice should be squeezed into cold water (previously boiled), adding to a quart of the same the juice of three lemons, a few crushed strawberries, and the cut up rind of one Lemon.

This fruit grows specially at Mentone, in the south of France; and a legend runs that Eve carried two or three Lemons with her away from Paradise, wandering about until she came to Mentone, which she found to be so like the Garden of Eden that she settled there, and planted her fruit.

The special dietetic value of Lemons consists in their potash salts, the citrate, malate, and tartrate, which are respectively antiscorbutic, and of assistance in promoting biliary digestion. Each fluid ounce of the fresh juice contains about forty-four grains of citric acid, with gum, sugar, and a residuum, which yields, when incinerated, potash, lime, and phosphoric acid. But the citric acid of the shops is not nearly so preventive or curative of scurvy as the juice itself.

The exterior rind furnishes a grateful aromatic bitter; and our word “zest” signifies really a chip of lemon peel or orange peel used for giving flavour to liquor. It comes from the Greek verb, “skizein,” to divide, or cut up.

The juice has certain sedative properties whereby it allays hysterical palpitation of the heart, and alleviates pain caused by cancerous ulceration of the tongue. Dr. Brandini, of Florence, discovered this latter property of fresh Lemon juice, through a patient who, when suffering grievously from that dire disease, found marvellous relief to the part by casually sucking a lemon to slake his feverish thirst. But it is a remarkable fact that the acid of Lemons is harmful and obnoxious to cats, rabbits, and other small animals, because it lowers the heart’s action in these creatures, and liquifies the blood; whereas, in man it does not diminish the coagulability of the blood, but proves more useful than any other agent in correcting that thin impoverished liquidity thereof which constitutes scurvy. Rapin extols lemons, or citrons, for discomfort of the heart:–

“Into an oval form the citrons rolled
Beneath thick coats their juicy pulp unfold:
From some the palate feels a poignant smart,
Which, though they wound the tongue, yet heal the heart.”

Throughout Italy, and at Rome, a decoction of fresh Lemons is extolled as a specific against intermittent fever; for which purpose a fresh unpeeled Lemon is cut into thin slices, and put into an earthenware jar with three breakfastcupfuls of cold water, and boiled down to one cupful, which is strained, the lemon being squeezed, and the decoction being given shortly before the access of fever is expected.

For a restless person of ardent temperament and active plethoric circulation, a Lemon squash (unsweetened) of not more than half a tumblerful is a capital sedative; or, a whole lemon may be made hot on the oven top, being turned from time to time, and being put presently when soft and moist into a teacup, then by stabbing it about the juice will be made to escape, and should be drunk hot. If bruised together with a sufficient quantity of sugar the pips of a fresh Lemon or Orange will serve admirably against worms in children. Cut in slices and put into the morning bath, a Lemon makes it fragrant and doubly refreshing.

Professor Wilhelm Schmole, a German doctor, has published a work of some note, in which he advances the theory that fresh Lemon juice is a kind of elixir vitae; and that if a sufficient number of Lemons be taken daily, life may be indefinitely prolonged. Lemon juice is decidedly beneficial against jaundice from passive sluggishness of the biliary functions; it will often serve to stay bleedings, when ice and astringent styptics have failed; it will prove useful when swallowed freely against immoderately active monthly fluxes in women; and when applied externally it signally relieves cutaneous itching, especially of the genitals.

Prize-fighters refresh themselves with a fresh cut Lemon between the rounds when competing in the Ring. Hence has arisen the common saying, “Take a suck of the Lemon, and at him again.”

For a relaxed sore throat, Lemon juice will help to make a serviceable gargle. By the heat of the sun it may be reduced to a solid state. For a cold in the head, if the juice of a ripe Lemon be squeezed into the palm of the hand, and strongly sniffed into the nostrils at two or three separate times, a cure will be promoted. Roast fillet of veal, with stuffing and lemon juice, was beloved by Oliver Cromwell.

For heartburn which comes on without having eaten sweet things, it is helpful to suck a thin slice of fresh Lemon dipped in salt just after each meal.

The Chinese practice of rubbing parts severely neuralgic with the wet surface of a cut Lemon is highly useful. This fruit has been sold within present recollection at half-a-crown each, and during the American war at five shillings.

The hands may be made white, soft, and supple by daily sponging them with fresh Lemon juice, which further keeps the nails in good order; and the same may be usefully applied to the roots of the hair for removing dandriff from the scalp.

The Candied Peel which we employ as a confection is got from one of the citrons (a variety of the lemon); whilst another of this tribe is esteemed for religious purposes in Jewish synagogues. These citrons are imported into England from the East; and for unblemished specimens of the latter which reach London, high prices are paid. One pound sterling is a common sum, and not infrequently as much as seventy shillings are given for a single “Citron of Law.” The fruit is used at the Feast of Tabernacles according to a command given in the Book of the Law; it is not of an edible nature, but is handed round and smelt by the worshippers as they go out, when they “thank God for all good things, and for the sweet odours He has given to men.” This citron is considered to be almost miraculously restorative, especially by those who regard it as the “tappnach,” intended in the text, “Comfort me with apples.” Ladies of the Orient, even now, carry a piece of its rind about them in a vinaigrette.

The citron which furnishes Candied Peel resembles a large juicy lemon, but without a nipple.

Virgil said of the fruit generally:–

“Media fert tristes succos, tardumque saporem
Felicis mali.”

Fresh Lemon juice will not keep because of its mucilage, which soon ferments.

Sidney Smith, in writing about Foston, his remote Country Cure in Yorkshire, said it is “twelve miles from a Lemon.”

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

Ingredients: St John’s Wort

August 2nd, 2008

The wild Saint John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) is a frequent plant in our woods and hedgebanks, having leaves studded with minute translucent vesicles, which seem to perforate their structure, and which contain a terebinthinate oil of fragrant medicinal virtues.

The name Hypericum is derived from the two Greek words, huper eikon, “over an apparition,” because of its supposed power to exorcise evil spirits, or influences; whence it was also formerly called Fuga doemoniorum, “the Devil’s Scourge,” “the Grace of God,” “the Lord God’s Wonder Plant.” and some other names of a like import, probably too, because found to be of curative use against insanity. Again, it used to be entitled Hexenkraut, and “Witch’s Herb,” on account of its reputed magical powers. Matthiolus said, Scripsere quidam Hypericum adeo odisse doemones, ut ejus suffitu statim avolent, “Certain writers have said that the St. John’s Wort is so detested by evil spirits that they fly off at a whiff of its odour.”

Further names of the herb are “Amber,” “Hundred Holes,” and Sol terrestris, the “Terrestrial Sun,” because it was believed that all the spirits of darkness vanish in its presence, as at the rising of the sun.

For children troubled with incontinence of urine at night, and who wet their beds, an infusion, or tea, of the St. John’s Wort is an admirable preventive medicine, which will stop this untoward infirmity.

The title St. John’s Wort is given, either because the plant blossoms about St. John’s day, June 24th, or because the red-coloured sap which it furnishes was thought to resemble and signalise the blood of St. John the Baptist. Ancient writers certainly attributed a host of virtues to this plant, especially for the cure of hypochondriasis, and insanity. The red juice, or “red oil,” of Hypericum made effective by hanging for some months in a glass vessel exposed to the sun, is esteemed as one of the most popular and curative applications in Europe for excoriations, wounds, and bruises.

The flowers also when rubbed together between the fingers yield a red juice, so that the plant has obtained the title of Sanguis hominis, human blood. Furthermore, this herb is Medicamentum in mansâ intus sumptum, “to be chewed for its curative effects.”

And for making a medicinal infusion, an ounce of the herb should be used to a pint of boiling water. This may be given beneficially for chronic catarrhs of the lungs, the bowels, or the urinary passages, Dr. Tuthill Massy considered the St. John’s Wort, by virtue of its healing properties for injuries of the spinal cord, and its dependencies, the vulnerary “arnica” of the organic nervous system. On the doctrine of signatures, because of its perforated leaves, and because of the blood-red juice contained in the capsules which it bears, this plant was formerly deemed a most excellent specific for healing wounds, and for stopping a flow of blood:–

“Hypericon was there–the herb of war,
Pierced through with wounds, and seamed with many a scar.”

For lacerated nerves, and injuries by violence to the spinal cord, a warm lotion should be employed, made with one part of the tincture to twenty parts of water, comfortably hot. A salve compounded from the flowers, and known as St. John’s Wort Salve, is still much used and valued in English villages. And in several countries the dew which has fallen on vegetation before daybreak on St. John’s morning, is gathered with great care. It is thought to protect the eyes from all harm throughout the ensuing year, and the Venetians say it renews the roots of the hair on the baldest of heads. Peasants in the Isle of Man, are wont to think that if anyone treads on the St. John’s Wort after sunset, a fairy horse will arise from the earth, and will carry him about all night, leaving him at sunrise wherever he may chance to be.

The plant has a somewhat aromatic odour; and from the leaves and flowers, when crushed, a lemon-like scent is exhaled, whilst their taste is bitter and astringent. The flowers furnish for fabrics of silk or wool a dye of deep yellow. Those parts of the plant were alone ordered by the London Pharmacopoeia to be used for supplying in chief the medicinal, oily, resinous extractive of the plant.

The juice gives a red colour to the spirit of wine with which it is mixed, and to expressed oils, being then known as the Hypericum “red oil” mentioned above. The flowers contain tannin, and “Hypericum red.”

Moreover, this Hypericum oil made from the tops is highly useful for healing bed sores, and is commended as excellent for ulcers. A medicinal tincture (H.) is prepared with spirit of wine from the entire fresh plant, collected when flowering, or in seed, and this proves of capital service for remedying injuries to the spinal cord, both by being given internally, and by its external use. It has been employed in like manner with benefit for lock-jaw. The dose of the tincture is from five to eight drops with a spoonful of water two or three times a day.

This plant may be readily distinguished from others of the Hypericaceous order by its decidedly two edged stem. Sprigs of it are stuck at the present time in Wales over every outer door on the eve of St. John’s day; and in Scotland, milking is done on the herb to dispel the malignant enchantments which cause ropy milk.

Among the Christian saints St. John represents light; and the flowers of this plant were taken as a reminder of the beneficent sun.

Tutsan is a large flowered variety (Hypericum androsoemum) of the St. John’s Wort, named from the French toute saine, or “heal all,” because of its many curative virtues; and is common in Devon and Cornwall. It possesses the same properties as the perforate sort, but yields a stronger and more camphoraceous odour when the flowers and the seed vessels are bruised. A tincture made from this plant, as well as that made from the perforate St. John’s Wort, has been used with success to cure melancholia, and its allied forms of insanity. The seed-capsules of the Tutsan are glossy and berry-like; the leaves retain their strong resinous odour after being dried.

Tutsan is called also provincially “Woman’s Tongue,” once set g(r)owing it never stops; and by country folk in Ireland the “Rose of Sharon.” Its botanical name Androsoemum, andros aima, man’s blood, derived from the red juice and oil, probably suggested the popular title of Tutsan, “heal all,” often corrupted to “Touchen leaf.”

Gerard gives a receipt, as a great secret, for making a compound oil of Hypericum, “than which,” he says, “I know that in the world there is no better; no, not the natural balsam itself.” “The plant,” he adds, “is a singular remedy for the sciatica, provided that the patient drink water for a day or two after purging.” “The leaves laid upon broken shins and scabbed legs do heal them.”

The whole plant is of a special value for healing punctured wounds; and its leaves are diuretic. It is handsome and shrubby, growing to a height of two or three feet.

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

Ulcers and Sores, Carrots will heal

May 12th, 2008

“Boil carrots until soft and mash them to a pulp, add lard or sweet oil sufficient to keep it from getting hard. Spread and apply; excellent for offensive sores. Onion poultice made the same way is good for slow boils and indolent sores.” This makes a very soothing poultice and has great healing properties.

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

Sores and Ulcers, Chickweed Ointment for

May 5th, 2008

“Chop chickweed and boil in lard, strain and bottle for use.” This makes a fine green cooling ointment. It is surprising to see the relief obtained by this simple ointment.

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

Sores and Ulcers, the Potato Lotion for

March 8th, 2008

“Take the water you boil potatoes in and in one quart of it boil one ounce of foxglove leaves for ten minutes, then add one ounce tincture of myrrh to the lotion, bathe the affected parts with the lotion warm, then keep a cloth wet with it on the sore, if possible, until cured.”

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

Ingredients: Wood Anemone

January 25th, 2008

The Wood Anemone, or medicinal English Pulsatilla, with its lovely pink white petals, and drooping blossoms, is one of our best known and most beautiful spring flowers. Herbalists do not distinguish it virtually from the silky-haired Anemone Pulsatilla, which medicinal variety is of highly valuable modern curative use as a Herbal Simple. The active chemical principles of each plant are “anemonin” and “anemonic acid.” A tincture is made (H.) with spirit of wine from the entire plant, collected when in flower. This tincture is remarkably beneficial in disorders of the mucous membranes, alike of the respiratory and of the digestive passages. For mucous indigestion following a heavy or rich meal the tincture of Pulsatilla is almost a specific remedy. Three or four drops thereof should be given at once with a tablespoonful of water, hot or cold, and the same dose may be repeated after an hour if then still needed. For catarrhal affections of the eyes and the ears, as well as for catarrhal diarrhoea, the tincture is very serviceable; also for female monthly difficulties its use is always beneficial and safe. As a medicine it best suits persons of a mild, gentle disposition, and of a lymphatic constitution, especially females; it is less appropriate for quick, excitable, energetic men. Anemonin, or Pulsatilla Camphor, which is the active principle of this plant, is prepared by the chemist, and may be given in doses of from one fiftieth to one tenth of a grain rubbed up with dry sugar of milk. Such a dose (or a drop of the tincture with a tablespoonful of water), given every two or three hours, will soon relieve a swollen testicle; and the tincture still more diluted will ease the bladder difficulties of old men. Furthermore, the tincture, in doses of two or three drops with a spoonful of water, will allay spasmodic cough, as of whooping cough, or bronchitis. The vinegar of Wood Anemone made from the leaves retains all the more acrid properties of the plant, and is put, in France, to many rural domestic purposes. When applied in lotions every night for five or six times consecutively, it will heal indolent ulcers; and its rubefacient effects serve instead of those produced externally by mustard. If a teaspoonful is sprinkled within the palms and its volatile vapours are inhaled through the mouth and nose, this will dispel an incipient catarrh. The name Pulsatilla is a diminutive of the Latin puls, a pottage, as made from pulse, and used at sacrificial feasts. The title Anemone signifies “wind-flower.” Pliny says this flower never opens but when the wind is blowing. The title has been misapprehended as “an emony.” Turner says gardeners call the flowers “emonies”; and Tennyson, in his “Northern Farmer,” tells of the dead keeper being found “doon in the woild enemies afoor I corned to the plaice.” Other names of the plant are Wood Crowfoot, Smell Fox (Rants), and Flawflower. Alfred Austin says, “With windflower honey are my tresses smoothed.” It is also called the Passover Flower, because blossoming at Easter; and it belongs to the Ranunculaceous order of plants. The flower of the Wood Anemone tells the approach of night, or of a shower, by curling over its petals like a tent; and it has been said that fairies nestle within, having first pulled the curtains round them. Among the old Romans, to gather the first Anemone of the year was deemed a preservative against fever. The Pasque flower, also named Bluemoney and Easter, or Dane’s flower, is of a violet blue, growing in chalky pastures, and less common than the Wood Anemone, but each possesses equally curative virtues.

The seed of the Anemone being very light and downy, is blown away by the first breeze of wind. A ready-witted French senator took advantage of this fact while visiting Bacheliere, a covetous florist, near Paris, who had long held a secret monopoly of certain richly-coloured and splendidly handsome anemones from the East. Vexed to see one man hoard up for himself what ought to be more widely distributed, he walked and talked with the florist in his garden when the anemone plants were in seed. Whilst thus occupied, he let fall his robe, as if by accident, upon the flowers, and so swept off a number of the little feathery seed vessels which clung to his dependent garment, and which he afterwards cultivated at home. The petals of the Pasque flower yield a rich green colour, which is used for staining Easter eggs, this festival having been termed Pask time in old works, from “paske,” a crossing over. The plant is said to grow best with iron in the soil.

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