Remedies and folk
medicines of 1883 are not recommended for actual use. Some
may be effective, while some may be toxic.
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 for that matter. 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 sudden attack of quincy or coup, 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 Scotch
snuff, is said to have performed wonderful cures in cases of
croup: it should be placed where the distress is greatest.
Goose-grease, or any other kind of oily grease, is as good
as bear’s oil.
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 lockjaw 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 lockjaw. It should be always
applied. Spirits of turpentine is good to prevent the
lockjaw. Strong soft-soap, mixed with pulverized chalk,
about as thick as batter, put in a thin cloth or bag, upon
the wound, is said to be a preventive to this dangerous
disorder. The chalk should be kept moist, till the wound
begins to discharge itself; then the patient should find
If you happen to cut yourself slightly while cooking, bind
on some fine salt: molasses is likewise good.
Flour boiled thoroughly in milk, so as to make quite a thick
porridge, is good in cases of dysentery. A tablespoonful of
rum, a tablespoonful of sugar-baker’s molasses, and the same
quantity of sweet oil, well simmered together, is likewise
good for this disorder; the oil softens the harshness of the
Black or green tea, steeped in boiling milk, seasoned with
nutmeg, and best of loaf sugar, is excellent for the
dysentery. Cork burnt to charcoal, about as big as a
hazelnut, macerated, and put in a teaspoonful 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 colic.
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 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 roots and
leaves is beneficial; and syrup made of the berries is still
belter. Blackberries have sometimes effected a cure when
Loaf sugar and brandy relieves a sore throat: when very bad,
it is good to inhale the steam of scalding 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 common ground worms, which boys dig to
bait fishes, rubbed on the hand, is said to be excellent,
when the sinews are drawn up by any disease or accident.
Balm-of-Gilead buds bottled up in 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 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.
Water gruel, with three or four onions simmered in it,
prepared with a lump of butter, pepper, and salt, eaten just
before on goes to bed, is said to be a cure for a hoarse
cold. Syrup made of horseradish root and sugar is excellent
for a cold.
Very strong salt and water, when frequently applied, has
been known to cure wens.
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.
Always apply diluted laudanum to fresh wounds.
A poultice of elder-blow tea and biscuit is good as a
preventive 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.
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.
* This plant resembles the poisonous kill-lamb, both
in shape and the glossiness of the leaves: great care should
be used to distinguish them.
When the toe nails have a tendency to turn in, so as to be
painful, the nail should be kept scraped very thin, and as
near the flesh as possible. As soon as the corner of the
nail can be raised up and out of the flesh, it should be
kept from again entering, by putting a tuft of fine lint
As this book may fall into the hands of those who cannot
speedily obtain a physician, it is worthwhile to mention
what is best to be done for the bite of a rattlesnake: Cut
the flesh out, around the bite, instantly; that the poison
may not have time to circulate in the blood. If caustic is
at hand, put it upon the raw flesh; if not the next best
thing is to fill the wound with salt –renewing it
occasionally. Take a dose of sweet oil and spirits of
turpentine, to defend the stomach. If the whole limb swells,
bathe it in salt and vinegar freely. It is well to physic
the system thoroughly, before returning to usual diet.
Maxims for Good health
Rise early, eat simple food, and take plenty of exercise.
Let not children be dressed in tight clothes. Avoid the
necessity of a physician, but if you find yourself really
ill, have nothing to do with quacks or quick medicine. Keep
hair clean, washing does not injure the hair as is generally
supposed. Do not sleep with hair braided or frizzled. Do not
make children cross-eyed by having hair hung about their
foreheads, where they see it continually.
Never sleep without proper tooth attention. Take pulverized
chalk with twice as much, made very fine charcoal, and add
castile soap suds and spirits of camphor to make a thick
past. Apply with finger or brush.
A fathers advice to his courtin’ son;
Kissin’ wears out- cookin’ don’t –Them that works
hard, eats hardy – A woman can throw out more with a spoon
than a man can bring in with a shovel.