Sunday, September 03, 2006

Civil War Remedies

1. Thieves Vinegar: Take a handful each of rue, sage, mint, rosemary, wormwood, and lavender and out into a gallon of vinegar to infuse. Let sit in a warm place for four days. Strain the mixture and then add one ounce of camphor. Wash the face and hands with it before exposure in a hospital or sick room. It is called Thieves Vinegar because of a legend of thieves using this liquid to protect them as they plundered the houses of people sick with Bubonic Plague at Marseilles, France.

2. Prevention of Mosquito Bites: Mix oil of pennyroyal with olive oil and spread on the skin to repel mosquitoes.

3. Sprains and Bruises: mix one pint of train oil, ½ pound of stone pitch, ½ pound of resin, ½ pound of beeswax, and ½ pound of stale tallow. Boil for ½ an hour and skin off any scum. Pour liquid into cups to cool. When needed, spread it on a cloth and apply it to the sprain or bruise.

In Paris, the treatment for a sprain was to have the doctor grease his thumbs and press them on the sprain for ½ hour. Within one day, the patient was relieved.

A specific treatment for a sprained ankle was to wash the ankle with salted water and keep the foot as cold as possible. Elevate the foot, don’t eat too much, and take a “cooling medicine” until the sprain is cured.

Another cure for a bruise was to bath the area with water and apply a paper or cloth spread with treacle.

4. Stings: Take a wine glass of vinegar and mix in common (baking) soda. Apply it to the affected areas.

Another treatment was to apply a plaster of moistened salt. This was to draw out the venom of a bee or wasp sting.

5. Blisters on the feet: Rub the feed with spirits mixed with tallow from a candle.

6. Dirt in the Eye: Place a finger on the affected patients cheek and slightly pull down, exposing the area under the eye. For over the eye, use a knitting needle over the eyelid to hold it up. Use a silk handkerchief to remove the dirt. Bathe the eye and have the patient stay out of the sun for the day. If there is any inflammation, have the patient take a purgative and apply a cooling lotion.

7. Frostbite: For the feet, apply deer’s marrow to the affected area.

For other areas, take chrome yellow and hog’s lard and mix them into an ointment. Apply to affected areas after warming the ointment.

8. Coughs: Take one teacup of molasses, add two tablespoons of vinegar and bring to a simmer. Then add three teaspoons of paregoric and as much refined niter as you can place on a breakfast knife. Take two or three teaspoons before bed and one of two during the day to dispel coughs.

9. Nosebleed: Blow powdered gum Arabic or alum up the nose with a quill to stop the bleeding.

10. Headaches: Use epodeldoe, spirits of wine, and sal ammoniac applied as a lotion to the forehead.

11. Bleeding Wounds: Apply flour and lint to the wound.

12. Infectious wounds: Apply sugar to the wound. Another procedure is to wash the wound with wine, then apply sugar.

13. Warts: Wet the wart with tobacco juice and apply chalk. Another method is to rub the area with fresh beef.

14. Corns: Mix and melt together two ounces of beeswax and two ounces of ammonia. Then add ½ ounce of verdigris. Spread on linen and apply it to the corn.

15. Bunions: If caught early, bind the foot tightly to prevent bunion growth. If inflames, a poultice of twelve grains of iodine and a ½ ounce of lard can be applied. This should be done two to three times daily. If the bunion is enlarged, apply salad oil. Wear lose shoes or slippers.

16. Boils: Treatment is a poultice of molasses or honey mixed with flour. Apply until it disappears. If the boil is painful, a poultice of bread, milk, volatile liniment and laudanum should be used.

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