Thursday, June 17, 2021

1830 A Few Home Remedies for Ailments from the American Frugal Housewife

Lydia Maria Francis Child
The Frugal Housewife - Dedicated to Those Who Are Not Ashamed of Economy 2nd Edition To Which is Added Hints to Persons of Moderate Fortune
Boston: Carter and Hendee. 1830


Cotton wool wet with sweet oil and paregoric, relieves the ear-ache very soon.

A good quantity of old cheese is the best thing to eat, when distressed by eating too much fruit, or oppressed with any kind of food. Physicians have given it in cases of extreme danger.

Honey and milk is very good for worms; so is strong salt water; likewise powdered sage and molasses, taken freely.

For a sudden attack of quincy, or croup, bathe the neck with bear's grease, and pour it down the throat.
A linen rag soaked in sweet oil, butter, or lard, and sprinkled with yellow Scotch snuff, is said to have performed wonderful cures in cases of croup: it should be placed where the distress is greatest.

Cotton wool and oil, are the best things for a burn.

A poultice of wheat bran, or rye bran, and vinegar, very soon takes down the inflammation occasioned by a sprain. Brown paper wet is healing to a bruise. Dipped in molasses it is said to take down inflammation.

In case of any scratch, or wound, from which the lock-jaw is apprehended, bathe the injured part freely with lye, or pearl-ash and water.

A rind of pork bound upon a wound occasioned by a needle, pin, or nail, prevents the lock-jaw. It should be always applied. Spirits of turpentine is good to prevent the lock-jaw.

If you happen to cut yourself slightly while cooking, bind on some fine salt:
molasses is likewise good.

Black, or green tea steeped in boiling milk is excellent for the dysentery.  Cork burnt to charcoal, about as big as a hazle nut, macerated, and put in a tea-spoonful of brandy, with a little loaf sugar and nutmeg, is very efficacious in cases of dysentery and cholera-morbus. If nutmeg be wanting, peppermint water may be used. Flannel wet with brandy, powdered with Cayenne pepper, and laid upon the bowels, affords great relief in cases of extreme distress.

Dissolve as much table salt in keen vinegar, as will ferment and work clear. When the foam is discharged, cork it up in a bottle and put it away for use. A large spoonful of this in a gill of boiling water is very efficacious in cases of dysentery and cholic.

Whortleberries, commonly called huckleberries, dried, are a useful medicine for children. Made into tea and sweetened with molasses, they are very beneficial, when the system is in a restricted state, and the digestive powers out of order.

Blackberries are extremely useful in cases of dysentery. To eat the berries is very healthy; tea made of the root and leaves is beneficial; and a syrup made of the berries is still better. Blackberries have sometimes effected a cure when physicians despaired.

Loaf sugar and brandy relieve a sore throat; when very bad, it is good to inhale the steam of scalding hot vinegar through the tube of a tunnel. This should be tried carefully at first, lest the throat be scalded. For children, it should be allowed to cool a little.

A stocking bound on warm from the foot, at night, is good for the sore throat.

An ointment made from the common ground-worms, which boys dig to bait fishes, rubbed on with the hand is said to be excellent, when the sinews are drawn up by any disease, or accident.

A gentleman in Missouri advertises that he had an inveterate cancer upon his nose cured by a strong potash made of the lye of the ashes of red oak bark, boiled down to the consistence of molasses. The cancer was covered with this, and about an hour after covered with a plaster of tar. This must be removed in a few days, and if any protuberances remain in the wound, apply more potash to them, and the plaster again, until they entirely disappear: after which heal the wound with any common soothing salve. I never knew this to be tried.

If a wound bleeds very fast, and there is no physician at hand, cover it with the scrapings of sole-leather, scraped like coarse lint. This stops blood very soon. Always have vinegar, camphor, hartshorn, or something of that kind in readiness, as the sudden stoppage of blood almost always makes a person faint.

Balm-of-Gilead buds bottled up in N. E. rum, make the best cure in the world for fresh cuts and wounds. Every family should have a bottle of it. The buds should be gathered in a peculiar state; just when they are well swelled, ready to burst into leaves, and well covered with gum. They last but two or three days in this state.

Plantain and house-leek, boiled in cream, and strained before it is put away to cool, makes a very cooling, soothing ointment. Plantain leaves laid upon a wound are cooling and healing.

Half a spoonful of citric acid, (which may always be bought of the apothecaries,) stirred in half a tumbler of water is excellent for the head-ache.

Boiled potatoes are said to cleanse the hands as well as common soap; they prevent chops in the winter season, and keep the skin soft and healthy.

Water gruel, with three or four onions simmered in it, prepared with a lump of butter, pepper, and salt, eaten just before one goes to bed, is said to be a cure for a hoarse cold. A syrup made of horse-raddish root and sugar is excellent for a cold.

Very strong salt-and-water, when frequently applied has been known to cure wens.

The following poultice for the throat distemper, has been much approved in England. The pulp of a roasted apple, mixed with an ounce of tobacco, the whole wet with spirits of wine, or any other high spirits; spread on a linen rag, and bound upon the throat at any period of the disorder.

Nothing is so good to take down swellings, as a soft poultice of stewed white beans, put on in a thin muslin bag, and renewed every hour, or two.

The thin white skin which comes from suet, is excellent to bind upon the feet for chilblains.

Always apply laudanum to fresh wounds.

A poultice of elder-blow tea and biscuit is good as a preventative to mortification. The approach of mortification is generally shown by the formation of blisters filled with blood; water blisters are not alarming.

Burnt alum held in the mouth is good for the canker.

The common dark blue violet makes a slimy tea, which is excellent for the canker. Leaves and blossoms are both good. Those who have families should take some pains to dry these flowers.

When people have a sore mouth, from taking calomel, or any other cause, tea made of low-blackberry leaves is extremely beneficial.

Tea made of slippery elm is good for the piles, and for humors in the blood. To be drank plentifully.

Winter evergreen is considered good for all humors, particularly scrofula.
Some call it rheumatism-weed; because a tea made from it is supposed to check that painful disorder.

An ointment of lard, sulphur, and cream-of-tartar, simmered together, is good for the piles.

Elixir Proprietatis is a useful family medicine for all cases when the digestive powers are out of order. One ounce of saffron, one ounce of myrrh, and one ounce of aloes. Pulverize them; let the myrrh steep in half a pint of N. E. rum for four days; then add the saffron and aloes; let it stand in the sunshine, or in some warm place, for a fortnight; taking care to shake it well twice a day. At the end of the fortnight fill up the bottle, (a common sized one) with N. E. rum, and let it stand a month. It costs six times as much to buy it in small quantities, as it does to make it.

The constant use of malt beer, or malt in any way, is said to be a preservative against fevers.

Black cherry tree bark, barberry bark, mustard-seed, petty-morrel root, and horse-radish, well steeped in cider is excellent for the jaundice.

Cotton wool and oil, are the best things for a burn. When children are burned it is difficult to make them endure the application of cotton wool. I have known the inflammation of a very bad burn extracted in one night, by the constant application of brandy, vinegar, and water, mixed together. This feels cool and pleasant, and a few drops of paragoric will soon put the little sufferer to sleep. The bathing should be continued till the pain is gone.

A few drops of the oil of Cajput on cotton wool is said to be a great relief to the tooth-ache. It occasions a smart pain for a few seconds, when laid upon the defective tooth. Any apothecary will furnish it ready dropped, on cotton wool, for a few cents.

A poultice made of common chickweed, that grows about one's door in the country, has given great relief to the tooth-ache, when applied frequently to the cheek.

A spoonful of ashes stirred in cider is good to prevent sickness at the stomach. Physicians frequently order it in cases of cholera-morbus.

When a blister occasioned by a burn breaks, it is said to be a good plan to put wheat flower upon the naked flesh.

The buds of the elder bush, gathered in early spring, and immersed with new butter or sweet lard, makes a very healing and cooling ointment.