In the days when healthcare was unheard of, most people would rely on cures they made themselves from ingredients to be found in their vicinity. We came across an interesting little book that would probably have been in quite a few homes containing cures for most ailments, the ingredients used for these cures would have been freely available at the time, whether or not they worked is of course open to debate.
Naturally we donít recommend you try them.
The Family Book of Herbal
Remedies. ( 19th century)
Advice for Various Ailments and Diseases
Translated from the original Welsh version.
For Consumption ( if taken in time)
Take a handful of hoarhound and half that of garden rue, in two quarts of water, with two pounds of brown sugar and boil together until it reduces by half, bottle and take three tablespoonfuls each morning before eating.
For Ague (fever)
Take equal amounts of camomile,
liverwort, wood betony, the leaves or root of coltsfoot, root of sea holly and
boil in water, add plenty of treacle. Drink when youíre warmly wrapped up in
bed, and two hours later youíll sweat.
To strengthen the stomach.
Take peppermint, wood betony and wood sorrel, the same amount of each, boil in water adding sugar or similar, drink it as you will.
For Coughing Blood.
Take wood betony, briar leaves, red roses, red dock leaves, the same amount of each and boil in red wine. ( those of you that cannot afford wine, youíll have to use water) Sweeten with white sugar and drink often and you will feel healthy.
For Urine in the Blood
Take wood betony, plantain leaves and smallage , the same amount of each, boil using half a pound of sugar to each pint of water, drink and youíll be healthy
For Whooping Cough in Children.
Take mallow leaves, thyme, wild thyme boil and sweeten with candy sugar, let the child drink ample amounts
For Consumption in both young and old.
Take root of burdock ,root of dandelion, root of coltsfoot, hoarhound, juniper berries and sundried raisins, boil together add plenty of brown sugar, boil in a covered pot over a low fire for a long time.
For Ďrabidí dog bites or snake bites.
Take balm, burdock root, mint the seed or root of Alexander, wood betony, dwarf elder, plantain, garden rue, the same amount of each, boil in white wine, place the leaves on the bite.
For a sore in the eye.
Take daisy leaves boil in milk, place in the eye and it will soothe immediately.
Take wood betony, penny royal (lercitus), poplar leaves, the same amount of each and boil in water, drink plenty of it and you will be well.
Take the same amount of bay leaves, wood betony, the root or flowers of coltsfoot, hemp seeds, hyssop, hounds tongue or dock leaves, juniper berries, white maiden hair, mallow root, mouse ear leaves, hedge mustard, rosemary and sage, those who are wealthy can successfully boil them in wine, but poor folk will have to use water and sweeten it with honey or brown sugar. It is of no use giving you instruction as to how to take it, common sense should allow you to know how bad the cough is and how strong you are feeling.
Take a pint of lanoline, four ounces of red lead, and ounce of wax (yellow) boil together over a low fire for three hours, stir, at the end of the boil add an ounce of oil of elder, leave to cool. Brush on to the chilblains daily.
Another for Chillblains
Take some lapis powder or brown dust ( you can get some at the druggist shop) mix with melted snow, you can make enough during the winter to last all year to keep for all your needs. It relieves the burning and heals.
Take some linseed oil, egg yolk, brown sugar, mix well until it thickens, stir each time before use.
Take spirits of wine, camphor,
spirits of turpentine and St Johnís oil, the same amount of each and rub on
the chilblains. It has been proven to relieve.
Take the sap of celandine, daisy leaves, plantain leaves, ground ivy, the same amount of each, add a little honey, put in the eye as needs be.
To prevent Bleeding in Wounds.
Take some white leather burn to a powder, bole armoniac and dragons blood, mix with a little spirit of wine. Proven.
To prevent Sores in the Mouth
Take gun powder, alum,bole armoniac, and honey, the same amount of each, rub onto the gums, do not swallow, allow to dribble out.
Take the yellow bark from elder trees, bay leaves, wood betony, camomile, wild carrot, celandine and the bark of dwarf elder, sea holly root, juniper berries, parsley , pellitory of the wall, plantain leaves, dock leaf root and smallage. For those who think the disease has developed it is well worth searching for the leaves, place in a covered pot and simmer for a long time when bottling add two ounces of honey to every pint.
To prevent ĎTermsí( periods)
Another for the same purpose.
Gather young wild tansies if you can find them, place under the soles of your feet (next to the skin) in your shoes, this is infallible and worth more than the worth of this whole book.
For Children with Hernia
Take Solomon seal, wood betony, briar leaves and wild tansy, gather the same amount of each and boil in water, put some white sugar in. The child should drink ample amounts of the drink warmed, place the leaves externally as a plaster for nine days.
Take liverwort, infuse and drink it in place of tea, use the leaves as a plaster for the sore, change this dressing every other day until healed.
To strengthen Sight
Take eyebright, infuse and drink often in place of tea, place the sap in the eyes, this will do for the elderly in place of buying glasses.
Take a handful of balm and the same amount of red campion, wood betony, mother wort and red roses, boil together and drink warm, as often as desired.
Take angelica, camomile, root of water fern, and half the amount of garden rue, boil in white wine or brandy or boil in water and take in wine or brandy, take again if it is not effective first time.
Take rosemary pound in a mortar, place in a teapot add white wine and leave at the fireside for a week, after which time boil, sieve and bottle, take care that it does not reduce, take a spoonful morning and evening, less for children.
For Bedwetting in Children
Give a tablespoonful of sap of yarrow sweetened with sugar each night, until they stop.
Take wood betony, root of bracken, wormwood, wild sage, bay leaves, motherwort, sorrel, wild thyme, thyme and vervain mallow, boil with half the amount of garden rue in water to make a strong infusion, drink half a pint of the mixture each morning, a diluted mixture should be given for children.
Take the flowers or roots of coltsfoot, hyssop, liquorice powder ( from the druggist shop), hedge mustard and nettle seeds, boil the same amount of each, at the end of the boil add two ounces of honey or sugar candy for each quart, bottle and take a cupful morning and evening, and you will be well.
To Heal Wounds
Take ground ivy, wood betony,
red dock leaf roots, knapweed, St Johns Wort, boil in liquid and add yeast,
drink a warmed half pint of the mixture evening and morning and youíll be
Take sorrel, red campion, broom root, celandine, root of holy thistle, fennel root, hops and hoarhound, a handful of each, boil in four quarts of water until reduced by a third, add a pound of treacle and drink a warm half pint morning and evening.
Another for the same purpose
Gather the same amount of wormwood and feverfew, Solomon seal, valerian, wood sorrel, barbery and wood betony, (shave the barbery into small shreds) soak overnight in four quarts of stale beer,in the morning boil until it reduces to a quart, at this time add half an ounce of saffron and boil for five minutes, cover tightly and cool, strain and bottle, take a cupful warmed when needed.
Take angelica, balm, young briar leaves, the same amount of each, squeeze the sap and place in the cavity of the tooth, and it will be well.
Gather wild thyme and thyme squeeze the sap out of them and place on the tooth, this will ease the pain, but the best advice is to take the tooth out for it will affect the nearest teeth.
Take plantain leaves, ribwort plantain, mint, balm, wood betony, red roses, oak leaves, queen of the meadow and rosemary, gather a handful of each, boil in four quarts of water until reduced to a third, drink a cupful three times a day.
To heal the Spleen
Take elecampne, camomile, root of sea holly, root of water fern, half a pound of the first three and a quarter pound of the root of water fern, place in four quarts of water and boil until it reduces by half, at the end add a pint of white wine and a pound of brown sugar, take a warm cupful morning and evening.
To reduce swelling in the body.
Take watercress, lercitus, broom camomile, plantain leaves and wormwood, the same amount of each apart from the broom and wormwood which are half the amount of the others boil in liquid, drink it warm according to your need and feeling.
To reduce external swelling
Take the leaves of elder, honeysuckle and woundwort a handful of each and boil in strong sweet ale thicken with malt and rye flour the same amount of each add honey, and combine with goose fat, place as a plaster on the swelling.
A Drink to prevent Scurvy.
Take watercress, juniper berries, scurvy leaves, boil together making a strong brew, sharpen with cream of tartar, and drink ample amounts morning and evening.
Advice for women whose
ĎTermsí have ceased.
Take agrimony, ground ivy, Alexander, balm, wood betony, wild carrots, watercress, sea holly root, hoarhound, nettle seeds, juniper berries, St Johns wort, vervain, pellitory of the wall, lercitus, sage, hpneusuckle leaves, wormwood, garden rue, and savin, gather a handful of each apart from the garden rue and savin half a handful of these, you can get the juniper berries from the druggist shop, put four ounces of them with the other herbs and boil in a gallon and a half of water in a covered pot over a low fire, until it reduces to a gallon. Drink a warmed half pint morning and evening.
For Stones and Backache
Take bay leaves, broom flowers, plantain leaves, burdock, camomile, wild carrots, cherry leaves watercress, a little mustard seed (husked), mouse ear leaves, pellitory of the wall, rhubarb, dock leaf root, wood sorrel and smallage, the same amount of each, add flax seeds and a little honey drink often.
Advice to prevent miscarriage
Take sage and wild tansy the same amount of each, pound and squeeze out the sap. Take a tablespoonful often.
To Prevent Stomach Ache
Take camomile, wild tansy, wild carrots, boil together and take a good hot draught of it often.
To Prevent Piles
Take briar leaves, comfrey
leaves, nettles, root of tormentil and pellitory of the wall, a handful of each,
boil in four quarts of water over a low fire, drink half a pint morning and
evening and youíll be well.
Ointment for piles
Take daisy leaves, lesser celandine or pile leaves ( you only have to dig up the roots to see the shape of the piles on them) take the roots along with daisy roots pound and boil in fat until they have shrunk, strain and smear the piles with the ointment
To Prevent Melancholy
Take balm, motherwort, red campion, the same amount of each, boil in water and wine and drink. Alternatively powder the leaves and mix with honey and take a dram in wine twice a day- this is by far the better method in my opinion.
For the Memory
Take eyebright, root of holy thistle, juniper berries and water lily, the same amount of each boil slowly and use as a refreshing drink.
To heal Erysipelas
Take elecampe, pound with a
little salt and vinegar put on the sore, before it breaks out, itíll soon cure
Take foxglove leaves pound and boil in water make a poultice with oatmeal and a little vinegar, place on the sore until it breaks out, it will bring it out dry and heal the skin.
Mix St Johns wort and the root of sea holly pound with fat, apply and change daily.
To Heal the Pox
Take three pounds of sea holly roots, a pound of wild sage, quarter pound of and boil in five quarts of water until it reduces to four quarts, sieve and add a pound of treacle work it with yeast and drink as an ordinary drink, it has to kept to for a long time.
Advice for Bad Breath
Take mint, and rosemary boil together and use to wash your mouth every morning.
Take powdered smallage seeds boil and drink often or mix with honey
For bad Breath due to Cancer
Combine the sap of wood sorrel and honey and cleanse the mouth with it often.
Boil two pounds of cleaned tormentil root in three pints of water, reduce to a quart add half a pound of treacle. Drink a warm cupful three times a day, this will quickly rid the measles and strengthen the heart.
Take half an ounce of corn marigold pods and half an ounce of saffron place in two quarts of boiling water with half a pound of honey added in a covered pot near the fire. Give a child a tablespoonful regularly, an adult may take more.
Advice for the hard of hearing
Take the sap of angelica and place warmed drops in the ears each evening.
Take the sap of savory and oil of roses, combine the same amount of each, place the warmed oil in your ears, this will reduce the noise in your head.
The sap of angelica, dwarf elder, celandine eyebright, the same amount of each, mix with a little honey and a little breast milk, bathe the eyes soon.
For Palsy ( that causes the hands to tremble)
Take the flowers of the dwarf elder, distil in May, wash your hands with it morning and evening
Boil daisy leaves, wood betony,
balm and hellebore, bathe the swelling with this infusion often. Alternatively
take daisy leaves boil in fat until they have shrunk, then strain through a
cloth and rub the ointment on the gout.
Sieve powdered rosemary and take half a dram with wine morning and evening
Ointment for Wounds
Take half a pound of smallage sap, the same amount of celandine, four ounces of honey and an ounce and a half of wheat flour, boil until thickened, use to cleanse seeping odours old sores (wounds)
Another specifically for dead flesh wounds
Take four ounces of smallage sap, the same amount of celandine, an ounce of verdigris, four ounces of honey two ounces of vinegar, boil together until red and thickened, use in the same way as above. This is not relevant to any particular sores only those with dead flesh.
Ointment for joints and limbs stiffened by cold.
Take half a pound of young bay leaves, quarter pound pf cabbage leaves, boil in five pounds of lanoline and two pounds of beef dripping until the leaves have shrunk, strain and keep to apply to aching limbs and joints when affected by the cold.
Ointment for muscular and other aches caused by the cold.
Take a handful of sage, rosemary, lavender ,bay leaves, camomile, garden rue and wormwood, half the amount of mint, wood betony, St Johns wort and parsley, five pounds of lanolin and sheep fat, half an ounce of oil of spike. Pound the herbs and boil in the fats, strain through a cloth. This is an excellent ointment for all aches, but is best used when seated near a warm fire.
A Plaster to relive colic and other pain in the body
Take the fruit or berries that grow on bay leaves, it you cannot come by them use two ounces of powdered bay leaf, two ounces of Venice turpentine, an ounce and a half of frankincense and mastich half an ounce, four ounces of honey, boil together to make a plaster, spread on leather and apply to the affected area. This has proven to be effective on many occasions
A very good way to make ointment suitable for all wounds
Take half a pond of melted fat,, an ounce and a half red and white lead . wax (yellow), black incense one ounce and two ounces of venice turpentine. Boil slowly for three quarters of an hour adding the Venice turpentine at the end , stir the mix until cooled.
Take a little tartar salts, the same amount of magnesia mix in a little water and take often, this is a proven cure for indigestion.
Take cream of tartar and honey each morning and this will keep you regular.
A Poultice to bring infections to a head.
Flax seeds, and fenugreek seeds ground together and boiled, thicken with flour add sweet oil or fat.
For rheumatism ( which prevents you from lying in bed)
Take hemlock ( which can be found in hedgerows) lettuce ( they grow in gardens)
Boil in water and bathe the affected area usually as you go to bed. If you so desire you may add to it pellitory of the wall and red rose leaves to make a poultice, be sure to change the poultice daily
To make Basilicon, to cleanse wounds
Mix wax, incense, greek pitch, four ounces of each, four and a half ounces of oil mix and dissolve gradually. This ointment both cleanses and soothes.
For Leg Sores
Take elemy gum, turpentine an ounce and a half of each, two ounces of lanoline and an ounce of pig fat, melt slowly. This is an excellent ointment, but do not use on wounds that are on tendons or sinews.
Ointment to dry sores and renew skin.
Take a quarter pound of oil of roses, three ounces of wax, half an ounce of bole ammoniac, an ounce of litharge of gold, half a dram of camphire, melt those that melt and mix in the rest to make up the ointment.
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