Poison Water

November 23rd, 2017

Water boiled in galvanized iron becomes poisonous, and cold water passed through zinc-lined iron pipes should never be used for cooking or drinking. Hot water for cooking should never be taken from hot water pipes; keep a supply heated in kettles.

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

Mac’s Pile Ointment

September 19th, 2016

Gum Camphor 2 drams.

Citrine Ointment 3 drams.

Oxide of Zinc 2 drams.

Powdered Opium 1 dram.

Powdered Galls 1 dram.

Tannic Acid 1/2 dram.

Vaseline to make 2 ounces.

I have put up above for hundreds of sufferers, and have never known a case where great relief has not been experienced, and almost invariably a complete cure wrought.

Source: Tested Formulas and Useful House and Farm Recipes, T. Kenny


January 11th, 2016

The best eye-wash for granulated lids and inflammation of the eyes is composed of camphor, borax and morphine, in the following proportions: To a large wine-glass of camphor water–not spirits–add two grains of morphine and six grains of borax. Pour a few drops into the palm of the hand, and hold the eye in it, opening the lid as much as possible. Do this three or four times in twenty-four hours, and you will receive great relief from pain and smarting soreness. This recipe was received from a celebrated oculist, and has never failed to relieve the most inflamed eyes.

Another remedy said to be reliable: A lump of alum as large as a cranberry boiled in a teacupful of sweet milk, and the curd used as a poultice, is excellent for inflammation of the eyes.

Another wash: A cent’s worth of pure, refined white copperas dissolved in a pint of water, is also a good lotion; but label it poison, as it should never go near the mouth. Bathe the eyes with the mixture, either with the hands or a small piece of linen cloth, allowing some of the liquid to get under the lids.

Here is another from an eminent oculist: Take half an ounce of rock salt and one ounce of dry sulphate of zinc; simmer in a clean, covered porcelain vessel with three pints of water until all are dissolved; strain through thick muslin; add one ounce of rose-water; bottle and cork it tight. To use it, mix one teaspoonful of rain-water with one of the eye-water, and bathe the eyes frequently. If it smarts too much, add more water.

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

Epileptic Pills

April 22nd, 2015

Take sulphate of zinc, sixty grains; rhubarb and ipecac, each thirty grains; cayenne, sixty grains. Make into sixty pills with extract of hyoscyamus. Dose: One pill night and morning for one week, then leave off for a week, and then resume again, and so on every other week. An important remedy, and has cured many cases of epileptic fits when taken in the early stages.

Source: The Ladies’ Book Of Useful Information

Chafing, Borax and Zinc Stops

December 25th, 2008

“Wash parts frequently with cold water and use the following solution:

Pure Water 2 gills
Powdered Borax 1 teaspoonful
Sulphate of Zinc 1/2 teaspoonful

Apply by means of a soft rag several times daily. After drying the parts well, dust with wheat flour, corn starch or powdered magnesia.”

The above combination is excellent as the water cleanses the parts and the borax and zinc are very soothing and healing.

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

India Prescription for Sore Eyes

November 16th, 2008

Sulphate of zinc 2 grs; tincture of opium (laudanum) 1 dr.; rose water 2 ozs; mix. Put a drop or two in the eye 2 or 3 times daily.

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

Piles, Good Salve for

November 4th, 2008

“Red precipitate two and one-half drams, oxide of zinc one dram, best cosmoline three ounces, white wax one ounce, camphor gum one dram.” It is much better to have this salve made by a druggist, as it is difficult to mix at home. This it a splendid salve and very good for inflammation.

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

Hay fever, Remedy Worth Trying for

July 3rd, 2008

“A mixture composed of ten grains of sulphate of zinc, half teaspoonful of borax, and about four ounces of rose water. This is very good to inject into the nostrils if there is much irritation of eyes and nostrils.”

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

A Soothing Powder

February 25th, 2008

A soothing powder which will remain on the skin is the following :–

Boracic acid … … 1 part.
Oxide of zinc … … 1 part.
Powdered starch … … 4 parts.

Apply with an ordinary puff.

Source: Home Notes, 1895.

The Ear

February 22nd, 2008

The structure of the outer ear has much to do in the making or marring of beauty. Small and finely formed ears are a sign of good breeding, but are comparatively rare, many of the ears we see having a distinctly animal appearance.

The duty of the outer ear is to collect sound, and in the lower animals, whose hearing is far more acute than that of man, the ear is larger, more simply formed, and is mobile. In some human beings it still retains these characteristics, but we cannot admire them, because the aristocratic type is in reality the highest outcome of evolution.

The air is collected and strikes upon the drum, making it vibrate. Its vibrations are conveyed by a tiny chain of bones to the nerve endings, which may be compared to the keys of a piano and which, when set in motion, convert air vibrations into nerve impressions, which we recognise as sound.

Deformities of the outer ear are often due to carelessness of nurses, the child being put to sleep with its ear doubled under it, or the bonnet or hat may be put on in such a way as to keep the outer ear in a bad position. In young children great care should be taken to see that the ear is in its proper place, and the hands may be placed on either side of the baby’s head, so as to hold the ears in position, several times during the day, if there is any tendency for them to fall forward. In older children, a cap specially constructed to keep the ears in place may be worn, and this, in some cases, has even been found serviceable for adults.

Deafness is becoming more and more common, and it is chiefly due, I think, to the carelessness of persons who expose the ears to strong currents of air, or remove wax from them by means of a hair-pin or other instrument. The drum of the ear, and, in fact, the whole auditory apparatus, is so extremely delicate as to be seriously injured by slight causes. The practice of cleaning out the ears with a fluffy towel after washing, or of wearing pieces of cotton wool in the ear, is also injurious, and apt to set up irritation.

The commonest cause of deafness is a mass of hardened wax which forms in the outer passage of the ear, and may even cause great pain by pressing upon the drum. This wax, in small quantities, is normally secreted and beneficial, but in old age it is apt to form a hard mass and also in cases where the ear is tampered with, or the person sits in a draught, deafness may often arise from its hardening. If there is deafness and a feeling of stoppage in the ear, there is no objection to remove the wax in the following way:–


Boracic acid — 2 drachms
Glycerine — 3 ounces
Water — 3 ounces

Warm some of this and drop it into the ear from a teaspoon, leave it there for a quarter of an hour by holding the head on the pillow on the opposite side, then repeat the treatment with the other ear. This should be done for three or four days following, and then if properly syringed the wax comes away. Use a rubber enema syringe with a tube at both ends, and the best vessel to use for the purpose is a large-sized baking dish, divided down the middle, with clean water on one side, the water after use to run from the ear in to the other side. The patient’s head should be held close over this, and the dish be held either by the patient herself or an assistant. The water should first be allowed to run from the syringe into the hollow of the outer ear, so that the patient may judge of the temperature, as it would be dangerous to use it too hot. It should then be injected in a steady stream into the canal, and the syringing may be continued for half an hour or more. The wax sometimes comes away in small pieces, or in a large plug ; if the latter, of course it is not necessary to syringe any more. There is often a feeling of deafness for some little time after the syringing, but this goes off, and leaves the hearing very much better next day.

It is necessary to perfect hearing that there should be a constant supply of air into the drum chamber of the ear. The drum or fine membrane shuts off the internal ear entirely from the external air, and on the inner side of this membrane air is
required. This is supplied through a little tube from one and a half to two inches long, which is situated at the side and back of the upper part of the throat, and opens into the portion of the throat that is called the pharynx or back of the mouth. It is called the Eustachian tube. During swallowing, this opening into the throat is fur a moment closed, and when the throat is swollen by inflammation or from cold, it is found that the hearing is much impaired.

When the hearing is impaired by trouble with the Eustachian tube, it may very often be improved by forcing air up the tube. This is done by doctors by means of what is called “Politzer’s bag,” but may be done by any person if a very deep breath be drawn, the mouth firmly closed, and the nostrils closed with the fingers. Then an effort should be made to breathe out, and as the nose and mouth are closed some of the air is forced up the tube. This may be repeated several times during the day, and it is notable that the hearing is better afterwards.

Any Discharge From The Ear should be the signal for a visit to an aurist or good medical man. It is a great mistake to attempt to stop discharges from the ear by using astringents or other means. A quack once used to advertise that he would stop discharge from the ear, and did so by means of wax plugs. By this means, many patients suffered severely, and one or two died of brain disease caused by an abscess burrowing into the brain.

Every care should be taken to free the ear from any discharge, which should be done by gently syringing with warm water containing a little glycerine. Plugs of wool should not be worn in the ear to stop discharge, which they would only retain and render more objectionable.

When there is discharge from the ear, there is generally rupture of the drum and impaired hearing. It most commonly takes place after scarlet fever, but sometimes the drum is ruptured through diving or other accident.

Ear-Ache May Be Soothed by the following application:–

Tincture of laudanum — 2 drachms
Olive oil — 2 drachms

Warm a little of this and moisten a piece of cotton wool with it, putting it gently into the ear.

Eczema of the Ear.—Sometimes there is a slight discharge in the external ear not due to abscess, but to eczema, and there may be cracks both in the auricle itself and behind the ear. For this the following application is most useful:–

Tar — 1/2 drachm
Carbonate of zinc — 1/2 drachm
Lanoline — 1/2 ounce

To be applied to the surface of the ear.

If the smell of the tar is offensive, the following application may be used instead:—

Beta-napthol — 5 grains
Oil of camomile — 5 drops
Oxide of zinc ointment — 1/2 ounce

In the case of widows who wear crape strings to their bonnets, I have known eczema to appear just behind the ears. In such cases, the strings should at once be given up, and white silk ribbon or lawn used instead. It is the dye of the crape which does the mischief.

Source: Home Notes, 1895