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Diseases and Medicines.
PLEURISY cured with Camomile. --To do this our country women, before they bleed, try camomile, by boiling a boy's handful of it in a pint of middling ale a little while; then strain, and sweeten it with half a half-pennyworth of treacle, and as soon as it is drank, go to bed, laying the boiled camomile to the side where the pain is, which if violent, some will make use of a whole half-pennyworth of treacle.
Hoarseness cured by Figs and Brandy.--Take three figs, split them and toast them, and then put them into half a quartern of French or old molosses brandy; eat the figs going to bed, and in about eight minutes after drink up the brandy.--Or bruise four ounces of figs, eight ounces of prunes, and four large cloves of garlick, boil in three pints of milk, strain and sweeten with candy or sugar, take some hot going to bed, and continue it for a cough[.]
Hoarseness cured by Treacle and Water.--Take three or four knife-points of treacle in your mouth, and then directly drink a draught of cold water after it, and go immediately to bed. It will sweat you, and is by some thought to be the best of medicines for this purpose.--Another wraps up a piece of butter as big as a walnut in sugar.
A Tympany cured.--Mr. Caser, whom I knew, was a famous surgeon-apothecary and man-midwife at Stroud in Kent, whose wife having a tympany, or very large swell'd belly, it failed her husband and all the skill of his acquaintance to cure her, till happily a beggar-woman advised her to apply camomile dipt in spirits of wine, which effected a cure, and she out-lived her husband.
Vomitting stopt.--Boil mint and camomile in water, sweeten the strained liquor with treacle and drink it, but apply the herbs hot to the belly; it cured my servant when other things failed.
Cough and Asthma.
TO cure a Cough.--My landlord, the late Mr. Colemare, rector of Little-Gaddesden assured me, that the following receit is an infallible cure for a cough.--Boil two ounces of Spanish liquorice with three cloves of garlick, in a quart of spring water, till it comes to a pint; take a spoonful of it now and then as the fit happens. For an asthma.--A man was kept many years alive by drinking (as his common drink) rum, water, and sugar. Whey is good, and beer almost poison.--One Daniel Watkins, of Long Marson, near Aylesbury, declared to me, that he was cured of an asthma by swallowing young frogs.
A second Receit.--Mr. Justice Duncomb, of Barley-End in Bucks, laid much stress on this remedy for a cough: Boil, says he, bran in water, strain; and sweeten with sugar-candy.
A third Receit.--A farmer's wife used to put pepper into a pint of ale, and drink it going into bed. It has cured in one night's time.--Or swallow a pint of cold spring water going to bed; it will cause you to sweat.
A fourth Receit for Cough and Asthma.--Take five or six figs, as many cloves of garlick, and eight or ten prunes stoned and bruised; infuse all in a pint of rum, and fll up if occasion with another pint, taking now and then some of it.--The landlord at the Bear-Inn at Southampton told me nothing exceeds it.
Sir Hans Sloan's Medicine for an Asthma.--Take the yolk of an egg in a dram of rum now and then; it is a most excellent remedy.
The famous Cure for a Cough and spitting of Blood by Balsam of Sulphur.--Drop ten drops of balsam of sulphur on a piece of loaf sugar and swallow it; it will cause a cold to begin breaking directly, make you spit, and heal the lungs. My farrier, that is the Duke of Bridg[e]water's farrier, tells me, that in ------ , 1749, he had such a violent cough, as to bring up much blood in clots, which he thinks must have terminated in an ulcer on his lungs and a consumption, had he not been cured; but he cured himself by taking twenty drops of balsam of sulphur in a tea spoonful of treacle twice a day, for several days, which directly stopt his spitting of blood, and cured him; but it was not the same with the following person.--Tho. Cely, a servant at Barley-End, having a cough that made him spit blood, was ordered by Dr. Woodhouse of Berkhamstead to take balsam of sulphur, but it did not answer; upon this he applied himself to one Surgeon Rowland of Aylesbury, and his remedy did not do; at last there happened to be two physical professors at Tring, who said one to the other, Come we shall lose this good pot-companion, if we don't do something better for him. Upon which, they ordered him to boil raisins, figs, coltsfoot-flowers, sassafras, liquorice-powder, and one spoonful of anniseed, in three quarts of spring-water, till it came to three pints, and drink it at discretion; Cely said, he found much benefit at the first taking of it, and was thoroughly cured by it afterwards.--It was thought the balsam was too hot for his constitution in the quantity it was given him.
For a common Cough.--Boil one ounce of butter, one ounce of honey; and a sprig of rosemary, in half a pint of milk, and drink going to bed; but treacle is thought by some to be better than honey.
Another Receit for a Cough.--Boil a spoonful of honey, and a spoonful of mustard, in less than half a pint of white-wine vinegar; let it but just boil up, and when cold enough, take it going to bed; it has cured when other things have failed, by giving a breathing sweat.
Another.--Make a tea of horehound and ground-ivy. Dr. Woodhouse.
A Smith cured of a consumptive Cough.--This smith lived near me, when he told me the following medicine cured him of a cough of two years standing: He put a handful of rue and a sprig of wormwood into a two quart large-nosed glass bottle of ale, and after they had been soaked a day and night, he drank half a pint at a time, in the morning and at going to bed; when out, he flled up the bottle with more ale, and afterwards he put in fresh herbs and more ale, and thus cured himself; otherwise he thought the cough would have brought him into a consumption.
A Family Syrup to cure Coughs.--Coltsfoot yellow flowers blow in March and April, and one of our country housewives makes a syrup of them to keep all the year by her, for curing her family of coughs.--Or boil a quarter of a pound of raisins stoned, with some horehound, in a quart of ale, and a quarter of a pound of sugar-candy, till a third part is wasted; take a coffee-cup full night and morning.
A fine Remedy for a Cough or Cold.--Put twenty-four cloves of garlick into a pint and half of coltsfoot, mint, and hysop-water; boil the cloves till they are tender, then lay them on a plate. This done, take the liquid part, and add to it half a pint of the very best white-wine vinegar, and one pound of sugar-candy, which boil gently till it comes to a syrup; when cold, let the garlick lie in it.--Directions for taking it.--Take two cloves in a spoonful of the syrup every morning, and fast till dinner; at night only one spoonful of the syrup; continue at discretion: It is said, that nothing is better to cure a cough or cold, or to preserve the lungs, and create an appetite. Another boils a whole head of garlick in two quarts of water to a quart, then puts in a pound of sugar-candy, and boils it to a pint: Take a tea-spoonful frequently.
A poor Family's Remedy for a Cough.--They take brandy thicken'd with sugar, or (better) brandy, coarse sugar, and sweet oil mixt.--A hooping-cough has been cured in children, by putting coarse sugar between sliced turnips; or sugar-candy in the liquor.
Sore Throat.--Our country housewives mix honey and pepper together; or turn a fig inside outward, and put powder'd race-ginger on it; or boil rosemary and sugar in milk.--Or you may make a good gargle for a sore throat, by adding pepper or powder'd ginger to the above cough medicine, consisting of honey, mustard, and vinegar. This warm'd, should be frequently used to gargle the sore part of a throat, and applied now and then with a liquorice stick.--Another of my neighbours drops Hungary water on loaf-sugar and swallows it.--Esquire Williams, of Devonshire, mixes best brandy with a little water, and swallowing it several times a day cures him.--Another for a cough or sore throat holds a large pewter spoonful of honey over some embers, till it is melted thoroughly hot, and takes it very hot going to bed; this is much practised in Hertfordshire.--When the palate of the mouth is down, boil pepper in milk with butter and rosemary; take some now and then very hot, and stroke under your jaws at the same time.--Or as soon as the throat begins to be sore, wrap pepper in a piece of fresh butter about the bigness of a small walnut, and when the butter is cover'd all over with the pepper, swallow it: This has proved a present cure.
JAundice cured.--My next neighbour the widow Howard, who lives on her landed estate, and has more experience in medicines than thousands of others, says, old women cure this distemper better than doctors.--That she knew a woman gather a bushel of chickweed for getting and saving the juice of it, purely for having (she thought) the best remedy in the world by her ready to cure the jaundice at any time of the year, I suppose by making a syrup of it. In 1747, Mrs Howard had a niece, naturally of a ruddy complection, and of a sound constitution, but the mother of it having indulged the girl (almost six years old) in drinking tea every morning, and sometimes in the afternoon, she fell into the jaundice, but was cured by Mrs. Howard, who only gave her a spoonful of chickweed-juice fasting, and another spoonful at four of the clock in the afternoon in a little ale; but it would not be amiss, if a little saffron was mixt with the juice. This was continued till perfectly cured, and she tells me that this has done, when all other remedies have failed. The saffron by tincturing the juice makes it excellent. N. B. The juice of chickweed has cured several grown persons about Market-street in Hertfordshire.
To cure the Jaundice by Lice.--It has often succeeded by giving the patient nine live lice every morning for a week, in a little ale.--Or take half a dram of cochineal, the same of cream of tartar; mix them with two drams of Venetian soap, which incorporate well together, and take half a dram three times a day, till the patient is well, which will soon be: This receit is said by Dr. Fuller to be a most excellent one, refraining from salt meats and strong drink.
To cure the Jaundice in Children by Mr. Boyle's Receit.-- Mix half an ounce of powder'd rhubarb with three ounces of currants, and beat the whole into an electuary; give the quantity of a hasel-nut every morning for several days.
The original Receit for curing the Jaundice in old or young, by the Juice of Chickweed, runs thus.--Take pimpernel and chickweed, stamp and strain them into posset-ale, and let the party drink thereof morning and evening; but our country housewives have found by many experiments, that the juice of chickweed alone never fails curing a yellow jaundice, if given in time.--Mr. Boyle says, a lady cured herself twice by boiling an egg hard in her urine; and then pricking holes all over in it, she buried it in an ant-hill, and as the egg wasted, so did her distemper.
Black Jaundice.--It is said, that if shell snails be roasted and dried at the fire, or in an oven, and made into powder, and a spoonful thereof drank in ale at a time, and so taken nine days together, it perfectly cures the black jaundice.
HOW Mr. Axtell, a Surgeon and Apothecary at Leighton in Bedfordshire, preserved himself many years, while his Legs were spotted and swell'd with the Dropsy.--This person I knew to be well skill'd in his profession. He drank no malt liquor, but bought old Jamaica rum of Mr. Ladbury, a distiller, near Doctors-Commons in London, for eight shillings a gallon. To one quart of it, he put two quarts of water, two lemons, two oranges, and four ounces of double-refined sugar; the peels he cut small, and to them and their juice he pour'd on boiling water, and so let them stand cover'd; when cold, he put in the rum, and when he would drink of it, he warm'd a coffee-dish full. This was his constant drink, with another made of Rhenish-wine and green tea, in which he would pour some drops of spirit of vitriol.--These liquors preserved him many years from being overcome by his dropsy, till at last he died in 1727. N. B. I am well acquainted with a physician in London, that undertakes to cure the dropsy without tapping, where another would tap for it. He did a surprising cure of this kind at Gaddesden, as is well known in the parish.
Dropsy cured by a Country Housewife.--In the first place she advises to take a purge or two of pilla-cochia. Then take two besoms made not with birch but broom, and two handfuls of sweet cisley, by some called maid-sweet, that grows like a kecks in wet meadows; boil these in six gallons of the best wort drawn from five or six bushels of malt; let it boil an hour gently, then strain, work it, and barrel it; this must be a common drink, for every thing should be avoided that creates thirst in meats and drinks. Both the receits are excellent, and will undoubtedly answer expectation, if duly followed.--Or which is better, take five spoonfuls of broom ashes, the ashes of eight burnt nutmegs, one ounce of mustard seed, two ounces of scraped horse-radish, and some sage of virtue: These infuse in a gallon of white-wine for four or five days, and drink a jill in the morning fasting, and another at night:--Or infuse or boil them in the wort.
THIS obstinate malady is much easier prevented then cured.--Gum guaiacum is certainly the greatest remedy known by man for the gout; but the several ways of making a right use of it, is the main thing to be known.
The first Way to relieve a Fit of the Gout.--As soon as ever the fit is come on a person, let him take a short half quartern of the following mixture going to bed, on an empty stomach. Infuse half an ounce of gum guaiacum powder in a pint of good rum, shake it well, and it is fit to use directly; you may take the rum and powder in a mixture alone, or in a quarter of a pint of ale or mountain-wine; cover close in bed and lie till nine next morning, for it will cause a gentle sweat, and perhaps a stool or two. This has discharged the pain entirely in one night's time, and if you think fit you may take it again, letting one night pass between; but it has been observed of this excellent medicine, that the oftener you take it, the less effect it has.
A second Way to relieve a fit of the Gout.--I knew a person of my intimate acquaintance, that as soon as he had taken the gum guaiacum dose, rubbed the gouty part with some spirit of lavender, and when he had done this, he claps a rag over the same besmear'd with treacle, and it answered.--But as for making use of an application of mustard for this purpose, I am against it, for I knew a person by this means draw a blister on his gouty foot that cost him five shillings curing, notwithstanding it was laid on in a rag, and although it is said the rag should be twice or thrice doubled to prevent the blistering; yet if any of the mustard in the bed should get beside the rag, it may do mischief.
How a Higler cured himself of a Fit of the Gout.--I am informed that one Mr. Gould, a higler, being seized on a journey with the gout in his foot, so that he could not walk, stopt at Busby near Watford, and poured some spirit of lavender into his shoe, and by the time he rode fourteen miles to London, he was thoroughly cured.
Sweat for the Gout.--I have been informed that a person of note took of hartshorn one scruple, powder of snakeroot the same quantity, mithridate half a dram, drinking it in any cordial water.--It is a violent sweat, such a one that I should not care to take, unless it was at the last extremity.
A Medicine for the Gout put in Practice by a robust Tradesman.--He says he mixt spirit of saffron, spirit of turpentine, and spirit of hartshorn together, half an ounce of each, and took twenty drops at a time in ale, and found it an excellent remedy for gout or rheumatism.
A Preventive for the Gout.--A gentleman at Watford in Hertfordshire put half a dram of the powder of gum guaiacum into half a pint of warm ale, and drank the same dose fasting eight mornings successively, and forbore seven mornings, then took it again, and so on.--This I think to be an excellent preservative against the gout; but we have a country apothecary that takes a dram and a half of gum guaiacum and alloes each, and makes it into pills with balsam of Peru: Dose half a dram before supper.
A Gentleman cured of the Gout for four Years.--As soon as the gout began, he took a spoonful of flower of brimstone in some spring water going to bed, with a glass of mountain wine after it, and the same next morning, and so on till it removed the fit, which it soon did, and he had no gout for four years after.--But if I am not mistaken, he at the same time applied on very fine flannel hot treacle, so that with these internal and external remedies he soon overcame his gout. The treacle, shifted twice a day, helps to sweat the part and extract the gouty matter.
Outward and inward Applications for the Gout.--Some lay much stress on a little tar mixed with treacle, and applied on a doubled cloth hot to the gouty part.--Others say it is better done, if the tar is mixed with mutton-dripping, and cry this up for the very best of outward cures; for both these draw out the humour.--My farrier, who has now and then the gout in a violent manner, takes a little spoonful of flower of brimstone mixt with treacle three mornings fasting, as the quickest inside relief of all others; and for an outward relief he heats a brick very hot, and applies it in folds of cloth as hot as can be endured; it draws much, and holds its heat a long time; but if used too much, it is apt to leave a weakness in the part.--A gouty correspondent writes to me, that he knew a person wear a piece of common allum, cut into the shape of a middling oystershell, to weigh a quarter of a pound; that this is the same remedy prescribed or made use of by the famous Jew, Mr. Moses Hart, as an easy preventive one, and so cheap, as to cost but one penny, and that it must be constantly wore in a breeches pocket.--Another prefers a piece of roll brimstone for the same purpose.--Where the gout is settled, mix Barbadoes liquid tar with olive-oil, and apply it plaister-wise.
The Gout said to be relieved by one or more Issues.--I have heard it as the opinion of several learned gentlemen, that if a person has an issue in each leg, or better above the knee, it will deliver him from having the gout. But I think this is not infallible, because I knew two persons that have had two issues at once on them for this purpose, and yet were not cured. The late Mr. Meadows, living near Hempstead, had an issue in one arm and one leg, as I have been informed; it is true he had great relief by it, yet by the gouty pains and rheumatism he died in February, 1748, at the age of about forty-seven. Another person now alive, a gentleman's park-keeper in Hertfordshire, the most troubled with the gout that I ever knew any one of a young man, found the greatest relief by having an issue in each leg; but not a total cure. Another, his companion, now alive (in May 1749) of considerable worth, had a place lanced on the joint near his great toe, where the surgeon took out chalk stones that would mark, notwithstanding he has an issue in one leg, and is now but about forty years of age.
How the Duke of Bridgewater's Farrier cured himself of the Gout in his Stomach.--Here I shall bring to the test an action performed on my farrier by his own management. He generally keeps Venice-treacle by him for horses distempers, and being so much afflicted with the gout, that he had it in his legs, feet, hands, and shoulder at once (and at last it got into his stomach) finding his case desperate, he directly had recourse to Venice-treacle, and took a piece of it about the bigness of a small walnut dissolved in ale, going to bed. And sure enough, it drove the gout out of his stomach, as he assured me. And to prevent its return, he next day took a large dose of gin to keep his stomach warm for the purpose, after he had by the treacle gone through a deep sweat.
A second Receit to cure the Gout in the Stomach.--A correspondent of the Esculapian tribe writes to me, that to prevent the fatal effects of the gout in the stomach, when it has seized this part, take elixir salutis one ounce, tincture of rhubarb made in wine a quarter of an ounce, tincture of gum guaiacum made in spirit of sal volatile, aloes, and spirit of lavender, of each half a dram, Sydenham's liquid laudanum ffteen drops, to be directly taken when the fit seizes.
Doctor Quincy's (and another's) Ale for the Gout.--In his Dispensatory, page 484, he says, Take guaiacum and sassafras each one ounce, leaves of germander and ground-pine dry'd each two ounces; boil in wort instead of hops, in five or six gallons of it, then strain and work it with yeast as usual. When it is put in a barrel, take roots of avens, half a pound; hermodactyls, four ounces; agrimony, sage, betony, dodder of thyme, stúchas-flowers, each two ounces; raisins stoned, half a pound; and hang them in the vessel.--Or take one pound of raisins; four ounces of sassafras chips or shaveings; the same quantity of hartshorn shavings; candy'd eringo-roots, six ounces; angelico roots, three ounces; guaiacum chips, two ounces; dry'd orange-peel, two ounces. Hang these in five gallons of small ale when it is tun'd. Tap at a fortnight's end, and drink constantly of it.
An experienced serviceable Account how to manage and releive the Gout.--Experience is the best doctor; a merry life and short one is too often the wrong choice of imprudent persons, but a sober life and a long one is a true choice; however, as many by the unthinking folly of youth unwarily, by drinking, lay the foundation of a gout, which they can never be cured of, without submitting to Dr. Boerhaave's milk-diet--Therefore drink half a pint of the quicksilver-water every morning throughout the year, and towards April take now and then a dose of the preventing gum guaiacum pills, and when you have the gout rub your foot with human urine a little warm'd. This done, rub also over the same hogslard, or rather adders-tongue neat ointment, and immediately lay on the part one or more bruised colewort or cabbage leaves a little heated; draw your stocking over the same, and lie in it; this do till the pain and swelling are gone. This outward management I knew an ancient gentleman, very subject to frequent fts of the gout, always to make use of, to his quick relief.
An outward Application to relieve the gouty Pain.--A mixture of common tar with mutton dripping, laid on a gouty foot, has been affrmed to be an excellent remedy. Others say, that to mix Barbadoes tar with olive oil, apply'd for the same purpose, is better. But by what I understand of an outward application for the gout, I advise to mix this liquid excellent Barbadoes tar with treacle; a fourth part tar, and three parts common treacle; and lay it plaisterwise on the gouty part, as a most excellent remedy. And withall take this caution, that you employ no outward application which may force in the gouty humour, lest it drive it back to the stomach or head; but only such as those that are drawers, and not repellers.
New way of relieving the Gout by inward and outward Applications, sent to this Author by his ingenious Correspondent in London.--Sir, agreeable to my promise, I have now sent you the following receits: And first an internal remedy against the gout.
As soon as you find the pain attack you, take three fine fresh rocamboles (which are sold in Covent-Garden for one shilling and six-pence per pound) in a glass of mountain wine going to rest.--The next night take six, and so every night advance three, till you take ffteen for the last dose. Then omit for five nights, and begin the same course again, and you may expect the happy effect.--A gentleman that was laid up with the gout in his feet, so that he was forced to use crutches, was able, after he had taken two doses (number 15 each night) to get on his boots, and ride from hence to Oxford races.
Another gentleman takes five rocamboles in a glass of mountain at the tavern, at any time, and frequently whenever he finds the least symptoms of the gout; and likewise uses himself to it now and then by way of prevention, when he is free from it.
An external Application.--A certain apothecary advised a gentleman to apply a large piece of green oilcloth (such as is commonly used for issues) over his foot swell'd with the gout, and wrap flannel about it, which gave him great ease in about half an hour, and drew the part so, without fretting the skin, that the cloth was almost as wet as if a blistering plaister had been applied: Then it was dried and put on again, and the patient was well in about three days, who before used to be confined much longer.--N. B. This apothecary was much afflicted with this distemper, and used the same means himself.
This last was told me as a great secret, therefore I think it would not be adviseable to divulge it, but to yourself; because could we find it answer but in four cases in six, with the use of some medicine inwardly at the same time, that would not purge so violently as the gum guaiacum does in some constitutions, but as potently promote insensible perspiration; or even with the use of the rocamboles as above. But I believe many would object against them as being nauseous and offensive, tho' they certainly must be very good in this case, being hotter than garlick.--A rocambole is of the onion and garlick tribe, about the bigness of a large pill.
IT is the notion of many, that the gout proceeds from a hot cause, and the rheumatism from a cold cause. If the rheumatism is not cured in its infancy, it is apt to grow very painful and stubborn, often times making cripples of both old and young. The poorer sort of people are mostly afflicted with it.
Two Persons cured of the Rheumatism.--These had it in their legs, and were lamed by it; but cured in about a fortnight by the following drink: Take a handful or more of dwarf-elder, being what some call Dane-weed; bruise and steep it in water, or better in ale, a night and a day, and at the same time put in some bruised mustard-seed, strain, and drink it at discretion.--This is said to have been sold for half a crown a quart, a long time, by a professor of physic in Hertfordshire.--Another advises to rub the afflicted part with Hungary water.--Another declares, that the rheumatism may be cured by boiling the roots of blackthorn in water, and drank sweeten'd. A farmer by me, though young, was almost a cripple with the rheumatism, but cured several times by boiling a handful of elder-buds, a handful of rosemary, and a handful of rue all together in verjuice, and bathing the afflicted part as hot as possible.--Some bind the greens on after bathing.
What a Person said in Praise of a Remedy for the Rheumatism.--The late Mr. Dodgson, minister of Edlesborough in Bucks, told me, that he was informed nothing exceeds spirit of hartshorn for curing the rheumatism, if a tea spoonful of it is taken once or twice a day in white-wine and water, for that it thins the blood and causes a free circulation. Hence it is thought that cold and sour juices occasion this distemper. My day-labourer being almost dead with the rheumatism and a great cold in his stomach, his wife gave him a tea spoonful of this spirit in water twice, which sweated and cured him.
Nettle-Tea good for the Rheumatism.--A person said, that nettle-tea, drank half a pint in a morning fasting, if continued long enough will cure any rheumatism.
Infusion of Rue cures a Rheumatism.--Steep a small handful of rue in a quart of rum or gin, and take half a quartern at night, and the same next morning, for a month.
Boar Stones extraordinary good for the Rheumatism.--A poor man told me, he had try d several things for his rheumatism, but nothing did him so much good as the powder of boar stones dry'd in a slow oven, taking as much of the powder in warm ale, every night and morning, as would lie on a six-pence; he said, it moved the cause at once, and gave him present ease.
A young Man, seized with the Rheumatism, was relieved by taking Mustard-seed in Treacle.--He was so bad in our neighbourhood, that he wore hat shoes, and said he took a whole bottle of Bateman's drops, but it did not cure him, so that he was a cripple. In May, 1745, a beggar woman bid him mix some mustard-seed, and take it with treacle on the point of a knife, night and morning, which did him the most service of any thing, and when he left it off he grew worse.
Rheumatism relieved by an outward Application.--A young man, after being in a London hospital, and discharged uncured of the rheumatism, made use (as an outward application) of old verjuice, in which was dissolved some allum; this being heated, and froted well in his joints, proved (it was thought) his chief cure, with the help of an internal medicine.
Rheumatism cured by Dwarf-Elder and Buckbean Tea.--A woman, almost ruin'd by the charge of doctors, for she was so bad of the rheumatism, that she could not help herself, was told by a beggar to make a tea of Dane-weed and buckbean, and it cured her. Buckbean grows by the river-side, and has a top like a bean; in May gather and dry it in the shade in a room, but never in the open air or sun, for these extract their virtue. Some have found buckbean tea alone the best of medicines for the rheumatism. A young woman that had been in an hospital was relieved by this tea.
White-Elder Wine for the Rheumatism.--The late physician of Hempstead, Mr. Wigg, advised a woman of worth to drink white-elder instead of red-elder wine, saying the white sort is much better for a rheumatism than the red.
A young Man cured by the cold Bath of a dangerous Rheumatism.--He was troubled with it a year together, and was forced to be often carried to bed. He found some benefit by drinking milk hot from the cow, with a little balm in it every morning, and at last was intirely cured by going into a cold bath, for he had the rheumatism sometimes all over him; sometimes it shifted into and swelled his fingers, and once he had it in the hinder part of his head, when he thought it would have made him mad.
Rheumatism cured by Gum Guaiacum.--This is a hot gum, the powder of which infused in rum, and the same dose taken of it as aforesaid for the gout, is perhaps the best of remedies for the rheumatism. Clothe well, and eat and drink well.
St. Anthony's Fire.
IT generally proceeds from excessive heat in the blood occasioned after surfeits, or by too free a use of spiritous or other strong liquors, and commonly causes great pain in the part it comes out in. In this case use bleeding and purging.
A Widow Woman's Remedy for St. Anthony's Fire.--This woman, living at Little Gaddesden, finds the greatest relief to her inflamed face, that sometimes has a scarlet red-hot place in her cheek, even almost all over it, by beating in the first place white lead in a rag, and after it is thus beaten, she grinds it small between the bottoms of two pewter plates, then mixes it with sweet oil, and lays a plaister of it over the part: And for an internal remedy, she makes a tea of sena leaves, which proves a cool purge, and thus overcomes the St. Anthony's fire.
A second Remedy for St. Anthony's Fire.--Another woman used to drink without sugar a tea made with elderberries and dandelion, and sometimes infused these in a small malt-wort for her common drink.
Adders-tongue Ointment good for St. Anthony's Fire.--In the month of May gather adders-tongue, that grows in its top-part like an adder's tongue in meadows; bruise the herb, and squeeze out as much juice as will answer one pound of unsalted butter; boil both a quarter of an hour, and let stand in a pan to cool; when cold, take away the liquid part, and reserve only the fat part for an ointment for the St. Anthony's fire, or any inflammation in man or beast.--See the receit at large in my Shepherd's sure Guide (at page 111.) sold at the Rose, in Pater-noster-row, London.
If you can't get adders-tongue, make use of the green leaves of elder in the room of it, and if you add a dram of fine powder'd camphire in its making, it will improve the poultice.--Some say cow dung applied is good to ease the pain of St. Anthony's fire.--I knew a woman my neighbour take two or three spoonfuls of the juice of elder leaves, for the St. Anthony's fire in her face; it is somewhat nauseous in taste, and purging.
Of the Imperfectness of a Receit.--The imperfectness of a receit has occasioned many mistakes in the composition; to go no farther than that I have just mentioned of making adders-tongue ointment, I have to say, that by only boiling the juice of the herb with butter, and when cold, to put it all together into the pot it is to be kept all the year in, is wrong; because then the juice will separate from the butter, and in this condition breed a rank mouldiness: Therefore, when the herb juice is boiled up with the butter, our housewife puts all into a broad pan, and when cold, the watry part she leaves behind, and just melts down the fat part in the earthen glazed pot it is to be kept all the year in, and then it will keep sound a year or two.
Of the Itch, Leprosy, and Scald-Head.
HOW to prevent catching the Itch by making a Bed.-- nnkeepers, farmers, and travellers are more exposed to this cruel malady than all others: At a certain great market-town in Bedfordshire, where many of the northern passengers used to lie, the maid-servants, whenever they suspected any had lain in a bed that had the itch, would always in the first place lay the sheets open upon the spread, for an hour, to air and cool, before they made the bed for good; by this means they feared no infection, for it is the warm linen, not the woollen that does it.
How a Horsekeeper and a Servant-maid gave the Itch to several Families in Hertfordshire.--It is an ill custom in this county to hire servants without character, a thing chiefly owing to their being hired at statutes at all hazards; so that if he or she gets a new service two or three miles distance from the last, they are commonly safe from having their faults known. A horsekeeper, between a man and a boy, by this means gave four several farmers families the itch in a little time. At Gaddesden he lived about a month before he was found out, then discharged and went to another, and so on, till he thus mightily spread this horrid disease in Hertfordshire, because they neither inquired his character, nor search'd his body; if they had done the last, they had found his legs grievously scabbed, for he kept the itch out of his hands by now and then anointing them. The servant-maid was one that thus brought the itch into my family, for she was in as bad a pickle as the boy, having her arms and hands clear, but her legs sadly scabbed.
A Person like to have been killed by a Mercurial Ointment for the Itch, &c.--A man, living near me, used to make an ointment of quicksilver and hogslard, by beating and mixing them with spittle three hours together. Many pots of this were sold at markets for curing the itch, scald-head, and kibe-heels; but one person, applying the ointment plaister-wise, had like to have been killed, had he not been timely anointed with sweet oil.--A young woman servant, having been supplied with a pot of mercurial bluish-colour'd ointment from a famous country surgeon and apothecary, applied it till she was raw about her waste; at last the surgeon ordered her to put some (I suppose medicinal) paper over all, which relieved, but did not cure, till she got a remedy from a person that did not profess surgery.
The Itch cured by Advice of an Exciseman, who also acted as a Surgeon at Ivinghoe.--He bid a poor woman of the same parish mix common soap and flower of brimstone together, and after taking flower of brimstone in some treacle three mornings before-hand, to anoint only twice with the ointment (that is to say, after the first time, a week after) wearing the same linen all the time, and it cured.
A strong Ointment for the Itch.--Another person, to make the same remedy stronger and surer, added black pepper and hogslard to the soap and sulphur, and boiled all into an ointment, with which, after taking brimstone in some treacle three mornings, he anointed himself by a fire-side three nights together, and was cured.
A very strong Ointment for the Itch.--Beat stone brimstone, then mix it with soap, hogslard, tobacco, and pepper, boil and strain all through a cloth, after taking sulphur inwardly; anoint with this three nights.
How a Smith in Hertfordshire cured his Family of the Itch, without Mercury or Sulphur.--This man's family was dreadfully infected with the itch, brought to him by a journeyman, but cured by first taking flower of brimstone inwardly three times, and then anointing twice with a liquor made thus: He boiled two ounces of tobacco in three pints of strong beer, till a third part was consumed, with a piece of allum in the same; and others have since been cured by the same remedy, wearing the same linen for a week.--This remedy I am sure is a very good one, and as it has no mixture of mercury is not dangerous, nor offensive, as it is free of the smell of brimstone.
Itch cured by white Hellebore-root.--A beggar woman told a family that had the itch near me, that it had cost another family ten pounds to be cured of the itch, and it was not done, till she told them to buy two ounces of white hellebore-root powder at the apothecary's, and boil it in a quart of milk mixt with water to a pint, with some hogslard. This ointment, after taking sulphur in treacle three times, was made use of a few nights, and cured them all, for it is a very strong powder, and will make the body smart, as if stung with nettles.
Itch said to be cured in a certain Workhouse.--They boil an ounce of camphire, an ounce of long pepper, and a little hogslard in water, and anoint.
A most potent Remedy for curing the Itch. Take tobacco stalks, allum, hogslard, and powder'd salt-petre, the three first must be put into a full quart of strong beer, and when it is warm, the salt-petre must be put into it by degrees, for if it is put in cold, it will lump; the whole must be boiled well into an ointment.--If sulphur in treacle is first taken, I think no itch can resist the remedy; but for a more cleanly one, the following is made use of by some.
Author's Plowman cured by Dr. Dover's Mercurial Water.--My plowman, wanting a plowboy to drive my plow team, took one that had the itch in his legs, which being unperceived, he let the boy lie with him, who gave him the itch heartily, and the fellow desiring to be cured by a cleanly medicine, I made use of Dr. Dover's, thus--Take one dram of white sublimate mercury in powder, and mix it with half an ounce of cream of tartar; these infuse in a quart of spring water, then take sulphur in treacle on the point of a knife three times, and wash the body before the fire with this water three nights together, change your linen, and the Doctor says it is a sure cure, and a safe one.--If you don't wash before a fire, the cure will be the longer, for then the wash must be continued longer.--It is said, that many persons about London get a tolerable livelihood by this water.--But although I have here published a mercurial water, yet I am entirely against all other mercurial medicines, both in ointments and in a quicksilver girdle, because of the many damages that have happened by their uses.
A Leprosy cured by the Herb Fumitory.--Fumitory grows with a red flower in May and June amongst wheat, and about Michaelmas in our turnep felds. A yeoman's wife, living at Ringsell, a village lying about a mile distant from Gaddesden, having a leprosy, made use of a capital surgeon and apothecary's diet-drink for three months together, but in vain; till she was advised to infuse the herb fumitory in whey, and by drinking the same for some weeks she was cured of her leprosy.
A sure Cure for the Itch without Sulphur or Mercury, by which a poor Man cured his own Family and others.--Take a root of elecampane; in some grounds, as in an orchard, I have known it grow almost as big as a parsnip; cut three slices of this root short ways, and make a tea of it, which drink three mornings and nights, then take the rest of the root, and boil it in water till it is soft like a turnep; boil the thinnest part of this again with hogslard and soap, anoint the body every night for three nights together, and it is a sure cure. My day-labourer says he has cured several others with the same.
A Scald-Head cured by a Beggar Woman.--This happened to my wheelwright's son, who having a scald-head, at about twelve years of age, his parents applied for a cure to the late physician Mr. Wigg of Hempstead, who told them, there was no cure but by a pitch plaister. Quickly after this, a beggar woman hearing of it, bid them roast a shoulder of mutton, and let it drip on tar, and when mixed, to rub it all over the head well. This they did twice, and it proved a cure, not only to the son, but to another in Albury parish near Gaddesden; but it is said, if the shoulder of mutton was basted with tar, it would be rather more efficacious.
The Traveller's Remedy for curing the Itch.--As most of the begging travellers have now and then the itch, they that know the following medicine say nothing exceeds it.--After taking as much flower of brimstone as will lie on half a crown, in a spoonful of treacle, three mornings fasting, they boil salt and tobacco in urine, and rub their bodies over with the same three times in all, and wear the same shirt a week, two, or more.
To cure Wounds, Swellings, and Burns, and how to make Ointments and Salves.
A Quick Cure for a green Wound.--First with a feather apply tincture of myrrh, for this is one chief means to prevent a gangreen.--Or do it with brandy or spirit of wine.--Or wash the wound first with warm milk; then beat the yolk of an egg into two ounces of Venice turpentine, and apply a lint dipt in it, or otherwise. If dangerous, dress twice a day: It is a strong digestive, and so efficacious, that if a bone is crackt, it will heal it, being a remedy much in use with surgeons at this time, tho' the receit of it has been in print near a hundred years ago.
To heal a green Wound with Copper Oar.--Wash the wound as aforesaid, then infuse some copper oar as it comes out of the mine in a quart of spring water. It cures all green wounds, and skins beyond all other things; as a gentleman at Glassenbury in Somersetshire assured me, who was concerned in a copper mine in Devonshire.
To cure a Wound with Leaves.--Apply the rough part of the leaf bearbind to a green wound or running sore. It has cured when a surgeon's skill failed.
A Swelling in a Man's Leg attended with great Pain cured.--My neighbour had a swelling in his leg attended with great pain, if he walked but a little way; a stranger, being in his company, bid him mix the marrow of a bacon-bone with spirits of wine, and rub it well in. This he did two or three times, and was quickly cured.
A ready cheap Way to cure a green Wound.--Mix water and salt with soap, beat up all into a lather, soak the cut in it, and apply the settlement to the part, which renew at discretion.
A Doctress's cure for a green Wound.--She always for the first dressing uses tincture of myrrh, because she says it prevents soreness and festering; as soon as she has besmeared the wound with this, she applies a plaister of black basilicon; at the second dressing, she washes with spirit of wine, and renews her basilicon plaister. Dr. Quincey says (at page 303 of his Dispensatory) that this tincture of myrrh is in great esteem amongst surgeons for cleansing ulcers, and for exfoliating carious bones.
A good Housewife's Salve for curing Wounds.--Take mutton suet, bees-wax, frankincense, resin, and Venice turpentine, each four ounces; some linseed and train oils. Melt all these over a fire, and stir in powder'd camphire and Roman vitriol, a dram of each; when cold, roll it up in oiled paper for use.--If a wound is deep, first wash it as aforesaid, then melt some of the salve, and dip a tent in it; if shallow, spread a little of it on lint, and apply it with a plaister of the same salve over it; or if the wound is slight, a plaister alone may do.
A ready, cheap, good Balsam for curing green Wounds.--Mix over a gentle fire Venice turpentine with oil of the herb St. John's-wort, of each a like quantity; when they are well incorporated, put them into a glazed gallipot for use.--This herb has many excellent qualities in it for curing wounds or bruises, it dissolves swellings, and strengthens feeble members, &c. &c. And such a liquid is sometimes more proper than salve, where veins, nerves, or tendons are cut, and which also for the same purpose makes a mixture to be preferred to all other applications, that is composed of a little spirit of wine, a little camphire, and more oil of turpentine, laid on the wound warm; and afterwards a plaister must be laid on the same.--But the following balsam is said to exceed all others whatsoever, and which has never failed my expectation in curing many wounds in my family.
The most excellent of all Balsams, Salves, or Ointments, for curing Wounds, Bruises, Strains, Burns, Bleeding, &c. &c.--It is a balsamick tincture, that not only cures all bruises, strains, burns, scalds, and common green wounds, but also (which with difficulty will be believed) stops the most obstinate bleeding at the nose, and any arteries wounded or cut quite in two, although the largest branches of the body, without any ligature. If the brain is wounded quite thro', either length-ways or breadthways, or the eye pierced in the very pupil or sight; and if the chief tendons are wounded, or cut quite asunder, the wound will not inflame, be sore, or run matter, or require digesting, deterging, incarning, or cicatrizing, as the common method is, which takes much time to do; but this medicine so agglutinates the parts, and defends them from corruption, that sometimes in one or else in a few days, according as the case is, it effects a cure. It is a balsam that may be taken inwardly, being as harmless as the food we eat; it gives almost immediate ease in fts of the gout, being applied with soft rags to the inflamed part, and in the stone does the same as Mrs. Stephens's medicines, but in a more compendious manner, as has been fully proved to be true before many apothecaries, surgeons, and physicians, in and about London.
This balsam is made by my friend, a most ingenious chymist, from whom I have it in bottles sealed up, price one shilling each; a remedy of such importance, that no family ought to be without it, because it may not only save great expences, but even life itself; for as we are all liable to accidents, a person may receive a mortal damage, or bleed to death, before a surgeon can be had. I therefore have just reason to observe, that a farmer especially ought never to be without this balsam, because in the use of scythes, chaff-engine knives, reaping and other cutting hooks and sickles, hedge-bills, and axes, &c. &c. men are more than ordinarily liable to cut and bruise themselves, and also to be hurt by the kicks of horses, falls from carts, waggons, cocks and mows of corn and hay, trees, &c. &c. Which most excellent liquid balsam I furnish any person with, in bottles sealed up, at one shilling each, with printed directions for its uses.
A Poultice to disperse a Swelling.--Stamp the inner rind of elder and boil it in chamberlye, of which make a poultice and apply it. This is not to break but disperse and reduce a swelling.
A Brine Ointment to reduce Swellings.--In beef brine, boil the green bark of elder, some nettles, wormwood, and rue; strain, and boil up the liquid part with lard.
To make a cooling Elder Ointment.--Put the flowers of elder into a pitcher, and stop the mouth of it; then set it in a pot or kettle of water, and boil it two or three hours, and as the flowers sink, add more. Some put in mashmallows of the garden, not wild mallows; then separate the juice, and boil it up with hogslard or unsalted butter for use. It is a great cooler, asswager of pain, and disperser of humours.
A Turnep Poultice to reduce a Swelling.--Roast a turnep in the embers, and when enough, take out the pulp and leave the shell; with this pulp mix hogslard, and apply it while hot to a swelling; it will either break or disperse, if repeated.
A Woman's sore Breast cured by herself.--There being a fery red inflammation settled in it, she first anointed with elderflower ointment, and then applied roasted cabbage leaves (the first asswaged the pain, and the last drew out the feverish inflamed quality) and by due applications was cured.
A Country Housewife cured her Neighbour of a sore Breast.--She reduced a swell'd breast, by anointing it with tobacco ointment; and no wonder, since it is generally allow'd to be a great discusser of scrophulous tumours. A woman had three holes in her breast, for which she boiled the inner rind of elder stampt, white bread, and hogslard, in milk; this is healing, cooling, and a little drawing.--Adders-tongue is also good for this.
To keep back a Humour from falling into a Wound.--Boil a piece of allum about the bigness of a walnut in somewhat more than half a pint of milk, separate the curd from the whey, and dip a linen rag in this drained whey, and bind it above the wound, but let none of it touch the wound. It will keep a humour back.
To prevent and cure proud Flesh.--Powder of precipitate is a good mercurial powder for this purpose; but if not understood, it is next to the putting a sword in a mad man's hand. Therefore rather make use of a wound water, by boiling a pound of powder'd allum, in three pints of spring water, till it comes to a quart, then put in one ounce of Roman vitriol--Or with powder of burnt allum--Or with powder'd double refined sugar.
Burns and Scalds cured by a Country Housewife.--This woman's way is--Break the blisters, because they contain a hot fery water in them, and clip the skin off if you can; then burn fresh butter in a broad stew-pan, and pour it into a large bason of water, and work it well therein, for from a blackish brown it will become whitish. Spread it on rags, and lay them on the wound; it is an excellent way of curing a burn or scald, by fetching out the fire and healing the wound.
Burns and scalds cured by another Country Housewife.--After she has clipt away the blistery skin, she washes the wound with a mixture of vinegar and water; then she stamps some onions and salt together, which she applies as a poultice for a night and a day, then lays over it a plaister of burnt salve, after the onions and salt have drawn out the fire. And if proud flesh arise, she puts powder of burnt allum.
To cure Burns or Scalds by a third Country Housewife.--This woman mixes linseed oil with bruised onions, and (by shifting it now and then) says it is the best of things to draw out the fire.--Or to fetch fire out, you may beat up powder'd allum with whites of eggs, and apply it.
An excellent Ointment for curing Burns, Scalds, &c.--Take elder leaves, St. John's-wort, garden mallows, ivy leaves, and adders-tongue, of each two handfuls. These are in their perfection in the month of May. The wort and tongue grows in meadows. If you can't get all, make use of some, and take housleek in the room. Stamp and squeeze out their juice, and boil it up with a pound or more of butter fresh out of the churn, that has no salt in it, for a quarter of an hour; then pour all into a glazed broad earthen pan; when cold, take off only the hard buttery part, and leave the liquid part behind, to be thrown away. Next, you are to put this butter part into a glazed earthen pot, and set it just within the heat of the fire, enough only to melt it into a close body; then keep it well cover'd for use.--This ointment is a most excellent sort for dispersing humours, and allaying swellings in man or beast, healing green wounds, St. Anthony's fire, burns, scalds, hot tumours, spreading sores, impostumes, and ruptures.
An excellent Salve for Burns or Scalds.--You may make the above ointment into an excellent salve for dressing burns and scalds, wounds made by the bite of venomous beasts, green wounds, dispersing of humours, and allaying of swellings, &c.--Take what quantity you please of the above ointment, supposing it to be about half a pound, to which put a large spoonful of Venice turpentine, one ounce of bees-wax, and as much white powder'd lead as will lie on half a crown. Just boil these up, and keep it as a salve in particular for dressing a wound made by burning or scalding, &c. to be spread on a rag, and applied now and then till it is cured.--The herb adders-tongue I have growing in my meadows, and make an ointment of it every year for reducing the swell'd bags of my cows, and for diseases in the human body as aforesaid.
To break a Swelling by a Country Housewife.--She wraps sorrel in a wet paper, and covers it with embers; and thus it will be reduced to a pappy consistence; she says, nothing breaks a swelling sooner nor better. But another country housewife does it rather better, by laying the sorrel between two tiles, which she covers with embers.
A swelled Leg cured.--A young woman, about nineteen years of age, in her lying-in month, in September 1748, had her left leg swell'd to a great degree, insomuch that she could not walk cross a room without help. Some persons in the neighbourhood bid her boil some rosemary, rue, and elder-leaves in old verjuice, and bathe her leg with the strained liquor, as hot as she could endure it. This see did several times, and it cured her.
To stop Bleeding inwardly and outwardly.
A Woman cured of spitting of Blood.--This was a poor widow and a chair-woman living near me, who applying herself to a physician, he out of charity bid her stamp the leaves of plantane and nettles together, and take a tea-cup of their juice three mornings; which she did, and was cured. The same juice, he said, will stop bleeding at the nose if snupt up, and also that of cuts. In the month of May, the juice may be boiled up with sugar for a reserve.--Or bruise common nettles, and thrust it into the bleeding nostril.
How a Girl's Arm was stopt bleeding by a Surgeon's Advice.--A girl in Gaddesden parish, having had a nail run into her arm, neither her parents nor neighbours could stop its bleeding. Upon which, the girl cried mightily as she stood at the door of her mother's house, when a Hempstead surgeon, coming accidentally by, said, What ails you my girl? She told him. Take, says he, some hogs-dung and lay to it; and it was done accordingly, to the entire stopping of it: For this dung is said to abound with a very pungent and nitrous salt.
A Labourer's Finger stopt bleeding by Tobacco.--One of our day-labourers, that was plashing a hedge, happened to cut his finger with a bill, and was at a loss how to stop its bleeding, till another labourer, working with him, took a chew of tobacco out of his mouth, and by applying thereof stopt the bleeding at once.
Bleeding at the Nose stopt by a Woman.--A man bled so at the nose by a small blow given him, that none of the surgeons could stop it: A woman coming by, she desired leave for an application, which was, it is thought, oil of vitriol (somewhat weakened) rubbed on the forehead of the man; which, by no more than once using, made his skin peel, but stopt the bleeding.
Bleeding at the Nose stopt by Frogs.--A young man, the son of a yeoman living near Gaddesden, bled so violently at the nose, that all applications proved in vain, till frogs were made use of; and then, by their being bound to his neck, their cold nature intirely stopt it.
Bleeding stopt by Vinegar.--It is a good old remedy to stop bleeding by washing, or better by soaking the testicles in the sharpest vinegar.--Or if a cloth is dipt in it, and applied to the nape of the neck--Or against the heart, but then it must be new dipt, as soon as it is warm.--Or if allum and salt-petre are dissolved in vinegar, and applied by a rag dipt in it to the breast, or by a tent to the bleeding nostril, and renewed now and then.--Clay mixt up with vinegar, and applied to the testicles, stops bleeding.
Of making an Issue, and of several Cases relating to the same.
The Case of a Woman that lost her Life, partly by having an Issue made with Spanish Flies.--This woman, about forty years of age, having a humour fell into her thigh or leg, employed a sort of country doctress to make her an issue for curing the same; but it happened quite otherwise: For by her application to make the issue with Spanish flies, the part became inflamed, and the humours much increased; so that a surgeon was sent for, who lanced the part, and applied remedies; but in vain, for a mortification ensued. To cure which, it is said he used little else than camphorated spirit of wine, and oil of turpentine; at last, after several times cutting away the flesh, till her thigh bone was near bare, he dress'd the wounds with lye as hot as possible, but she died in 1740, and her husband was arrested for and paid ten pounds to the surgeon.
How an Issue presently after cutting became inflamed, but cured by Vine-Leaves.--A man having had an issue cut at London, after he had been at home in Hertfordshire a day, the part became much inflamed and very sore. The issue was made by the surgeon's forcing the point of a lancet into the inside of his leg a little below the knee, and then he put in a pea, with a plaister of basilicon over it; notwithstanding which, it was thought the inflammation would have brought on a mortification, had not a farmer's wife advised to lay on the issue a parcel of vine-leaves thick, one upon another, which cooled the part, brought on a fine digestion, and made a cure. The same person, some time after desiring to be rid of his issue, dried it up, but was quickly obliged to have another cut, because for want of it he could not walk. The second cutting was much better performed than the first, for in making this, the country surgeon gathered up a little skin, and cut it quite off, so that there was a round pea-hole at once, that succeeded much better than making an incision with a lancet.--In case vine-leaves can't be had, cabbage-leaves may supply them; for this, as well as the other, is a cooler and drawer.
Of Plaisters and Peas, &c. for Issues.--These are fine sticking plaisters sold for promoting the discharge of issues in the neck, leg, arm, and back; but the good old common issue plaister is made of oil-cloth.--There are also sold several sorts of medicated peas, some greenish, and some blackish, for making an issue run the better. Many of our country people prefer carrot cut into pea shape, but I have the following direction on this account given me by a surgeon--After you have taken off (says he) any fungous or proud flesh, if any there be, with the mercurial ointment I prescribed you, get a large piece of Florentine arrach-root, soak it in water till it is a little soft, then cut it out in small bits, which lay in the sun upon paper to dry; then cut them roundish with a penknife, and constantly use these instead of the common peas, a fresh one every day, and your green oil-cloth over it, and you'll find the issue will discharge better.--But no mercurial ointment for me, the blue vitriol stone rub'd over any proud issue flesh will take it off safely.
To make an Issue or a Seaton run.--Mix thick Venice turpentine with the yolk of an egg, and anoint the silk rowel for a seaton.--For an issue, one of my labourers gets two or three roots at a time (by way of store) from a moorish ground of the broad flags, and dries them, about the bigness of a man's thumb; when the issue in his leg will not run, he cuts a bit like a pea, and in a day, or a day and a night's time, it will cause it to run, when he takes it out and puts in a pea; the root will tingle the flesh, and is apt to inflame it.
Sprains and Bruises.
TO cure a sprained Wrist in Harvest.--It is common for men to sprain their wrists the first or second day, by reaping, in harvest, before they are much used to it; some dip a red cloth in verjuice, and wrap it going to bed about the wrist.
A second Receit for the same.--A man was cured in one night's time, by wetting a rag with tincture of amber, and binding it on the wrist.
A third.--Dip a flannel in some warm brine.--Or in want thereof in urine mixt with salt.--Or urine alone.
A fourth.--Apply camphorated spirit of wine on a rag.
A fifth, or for a Bruise.--Boil soap and vinegar in strong beer grounds, dip a cloth and apply it.--Or boil bran in vinegar, and apply as a poultice.
A sixth.--Stamp a burdock-leaf, and bind it on the wrist; by morning it has cured.--Or mix the white of an egg with oil of turpentine and vinegar, and apply on a rag.
Inward Bruise.--The common remedy is to bleed and take two drams of powder'd Irish slate in half a pint of spruce beer, now and then repeating the same.
A Woman bruised and cured.--Having by a fall been much hurted, she bruised parsley, and beat it up with fresh butter; so mixt, she applied it, and it fetch'd the bruised quality out of the flesh; then she applied adders-tongue ointment, which reduced and cured the swelling.
Sprain.--Beat Venice-turpentine and brandy together, and rub it in three times in three days before a hot fire-shovel.--Or, if red cloth soaked in brine and applied will not do, clap after it a plaister of Paracelsus.
Bruise.--A surgeon directed a man at Aylesbury, if he was bruised, to drink cold water immediately, for it will cause the blood to circulate and prevent stagnation.
A Man almost bruised to Death cured.--My collarmaker was thought dead, by a fall from a horse, but by bleeding him, and giving him half a pint of salt water he was cured. The same at sea; they give salt water for a bruise, because it makes the blood circulate presently, and therein lies the cure. He says, he takes the same two or three times a year in his best health.--Some say, to scald urine, and put it on bran, if applied presently, as hot as possible will hinder a swelling and cure the bruise. Renew if there be occasion.
Consumption and Inflammation of the Lungs.
A Person, given over by two Physicians, cured of a Consumption.--Mr. Hume, who was then servant to the Earl of ----, assured me, he was cured of a consumption (being far gone, and given over by Sir Hans Sloane and Dr. Stewart, and directed by them to be sent home to his native air, as the best thing they could advise) by paring some fresh-gathered turnips, cutting them in thin slices, and strewing some powder of brown sugar-candy over each layer in a cullender, and letting them stand a few hours to drain into a dish; of which liquor he drank three or four cups in a day, and without taking any thing else by way of medicine was cured in three weeks, to the great surprise of the doctors and his friends.
A Woman cured of a Consumption.--One of my neighbours informs me, that her near kinswoman being given over by the doctors in a consumption, was cured by making use of conserve of red-roses and a mixture of mithridate, taking a little at a time of it.
A Remedy for a Consumption.--Take half a pound of raisins of the sun stoned, a quarter of a pound of figs, a quarter of a pound of honey, half an ounce of Lucatellus balsam, half an ounce of powder of steel, half an ounce of flower of elecampane, a grated nutmeg, one pound of double refined sugar pounded; shred and pound all together in stone mortar, pouring into it, by degrees, a pint of sallad oil, of which eat the bigness of a nutmeg four times a day; every morning drink a glass of old Malaga sack, with the yolk of a new-laid egg in it, and as much flower of brimstone as will lie upon a sixpence, and next morning as much flower of elecampane.
A second Remedy.--Take two gallons of small beer, 2 handfuls of oak-leaves, and 2 handfuls of fern-roots (let the oak-leaves be gathered two or three days before you use them) wash the fern-roots, and split them; then put them into the small beer, and boil them all together, till about two quarts are wasted out of the two gallons. Then have half a pound of brown sugar-candy ready, and strain it off upon the candy boiling hot. When cold, put it into bottles. Drink a pint first in a morning, and another going to bed last at night.
A Gentlewoman prodigiously relieved in a deep Consumption, if not cured.--This was a maiden gentlewoman, sister to -- W----t, of Derbyshire, Esq; who was in a deep consumption, and so weak that she could hardly lift her hand to her head, for which there were eight sheeps-trotters boiled five hours in spring water, then strained off and kept as a jelly; when used, she put a spoonful or more of it in warm or hot milk, and supt it. She took this half a year together, being of a most strengthening nature, far beyond the jelly of hartshorn or calves-feet, and will restore, it is said, when nothing else will. The same after a fever has weaken'd a person. It is a great healer of the lungs and stomach, damaged by any means, but must be continued some time, for it will not have effect presently.
Inflammation of the Lungs cured.--This stubborn and too often fatal malady, that generally is acquired by hard drinking, I am informed, by a very creditable person, was cured in a gentleman by the following medicine: A spoonful of beech-oil was mixt with a spoonful of the juice of ground-ivy, and taken going to bed. This repeated several times had the desired effect.
A young Man cured of a Consumption in a very particular Manner.--It is reported, that a young man was absolutely cured of a consumption, by baking turnips with a piece of rusty bacon, which produced a very disagreeable liquor, but cured the person.
A Drink for a Consumption.--Boil two handfuls of small bran, in two quarts of spring water, till a pint is consumed. Sweeten it with honey, and it will drink like mead.
A Young Man cured of an Ague.--This person lives now at Gaddesden, of wealthy parents, who having an ague (by advice) put pepper into his beer every time he drank, and was cured; being told that it was the best of remedies for this disease.
A young Woman cured of an Ague.--This was done by Dr. Dover's receit, in his book intitled The Physician's Last Legacy, page 93, where he has these words:--"Take two ounces of fine bark grosly powder'd; infuse it cold in a quart of red-port for twenty-four hours, then fltre it off as you use it, taking six spoonfuls every third or fourth hour, beginning just as the fit is off, till you have taken the whole quart. Thus repeat it four times, and it will not return. This must be observed, that if it purges, it will do no service. In this case put two or three drops of liquid laudanum into each dose, till the purging is stopt."--A daughter of mine, having a second-day ague, was partly cured by this receit; for I put one ounce of gross bark into a pint of claret, and she was cured before the pint was out, though she purged the day before the ague left her, but I quickly stopt it by bruising cinnamon in milk.--I remember, when I was about 20 years of age, that I was cured of an ague I had had nine months (for ten shillings) by a person who said, I should not have my ague any more. And he made his word good (not only to me, but, as it was said, to all he undertook) by giving them three sorts of colour'd powders at once in a half-pint glass of small-beer, twice the day I was to have the ague, and once a day for a fortnight after. This medicine neither purged, nor vomitted, nor made sick (I only suck'd a bit of orange after taking it) which makes me believe it was only bark disguised.
A Woman cured of an Ague by a Country Apothecary's Advice.--The apothecary (Mr. Goodwyn) then lived at Barkhamstead, and advised a near neighbour of mine to beat two yolks of eggs, their whites and all, into half a pint of brandy, just as the fit was coming on, and take it going to bed; which she did and was cured.--Never drink small-beer in an ague, it is apt to bring on a dropsy, and cause knots in several parts of the body that cannot be cured.
A Schoolmaster in Ivinghoe cured of an Ague--by boiling honey in a quart of old strong-beer and drinking a little at a time as hot as could be endured, just as the cold fit was coming on.--Another person was cured by burning a quart of claret with honey in it, and drinking it hot, some at a time, leisurely.--Another was cured by drinking a quarter of a pint of the juice of rue just before the cold fit came on.
My Collar-maker's Boy cured of an Ague.--He put his son into a tub of cold water while the fit was on him.
Ague cured by Dr. Quincy.--He says, in his Dispensatory, page 99, "That he had it from a worthy person, that he had cured a great many poor people in the country of agues, with a large nutmeg, and its equal weight of allum, powdered and divided into three doses, giving one every morning fasting."--Others have given bay-leaves dry'd, and the powder mixt in a quart of the strongest old beer, of which take three spoonfuls every two hours, a little before the fit comes on.--Another takes a spoonful of flower of brimstone in honey or treacle.--A most excellent remedy, after brimstone is taken, is to boil half a pound of sugar, a piece of allum as big as a marble, and a quarter of a pint of the juice of rue in a pint of white-wine vinegar, and give a quarter of a pint just before the fit comes on. I learnt this of a traveller, on the 19th of May, 1749.
A very excellent Receit for an Ague.--Take a handful of wormwood and a handful of rue; steep them all night in a quart or two of strong beer, and drink some of the strained liquor a little before the fit comes on. This, tho' somewhat nauseous, commonly cures at once, if not, the dose must be renewed; and it has this property beyond the bark, that it generally prevents the return of the ague; because it not only warms, but sweetens and thins the blood.--An old woman cures the ague by giving gun-powder in half a pint of ale.--A surgeon cures it by boiling an ounce of bark in three pints of water to a quart, to which add half a pint of claret, strain off with a little loaf sugar. After a vomit, take a quarter of a pint three times a day.
Stone and Wind Cholick.
A Woman troubled with the Stone-Cholick lived to a great Age, by an excellent Remedy.--She usually scraped as much Castile-soap as would lie on a shilling, and drank it in half a pint of warm ale. This was the only medicine she made use of, and it did her exceeding great service, so that she lived to above eighty years of age.
Stone and Gravel.--I knew a certain woman who took the juice of leeks and honey mixt up like a conserve, which did her great service.
How a young Woman was cured of the Stone-Cholick.--I am credibly informed she was cured by taking balsam of capivi; but in what manner she took it, I cannot say.
Wind-Cholick relieved and cured.--A creditable person near me, very subject to the cholick, put a handful of rue and as much camomile into a quart bottle that had a large nose, and on them he pour'd a quart of ale. Next morning, he drank a quarter of a pint of the liquor, and continued it three mornings; then rested some time, and took it again. This, he says, secures against the cholick; but if you have it, drink half a pint, and it is an immediate cure, though of a hot nature and nauseous.--Another person boiled nettle-seeds and sprigs of box in water, which, when sweeten'd, he would drink for the wind-cholick.--Others boiled daucus or wild carrot-seed with bay-leaves in water, which they sweeten'd and drank for the wind-cholick, and therefore kept them dry'd by them all the year.--Colonel ---- found the greatest benefit in taking some syrup of poppies in double anniseed-water, which would sometimes make him sleep; at another time he would take a dram of brandy, in which snake-root was infused.--Another drinks a tea for the cholick, made with wild thyme growing on the top of mole or ant hills.--A gentleman, going over to Calais in a ship wherein was Dr. Garth, was taken with a violent cholick, and desired the doctor's advice, wishing himself on shore; says the doctor it is all one for that, and order'd a tea-kettle on. When the water was hot, he drenched him with it, till it went upwards or downwards, and cured him of a wind cholick.--Another, one of my labourers, used to cure himself of a wind-cholick, by boiling the herb centory in ale or water. As much of it as the quantity of an egg, if the liquor is drank, will cure if the stomach is swelled. See its virtues in Quincy, page 101.--I myself was cured intirely of a wind-cholick, by drinking half a pint of water in a morning fasting, and so every morning by way of prevention; by which means you will not be troubled with this tormenting disease.--Or steep as many onions bruised as will lie in a quart of white-wine, and take a glass of it.
For a Stone-Cholick.--One Mr. Fennel of Leighton says, That he has taken 40 drops of balsam of sulphur for the stone-cholick, by dropping them in the middle of a glass of white-wine, which made it look like the yolk of an egg, and then went to bed. This he did once a week for some time, and it made him piss stones on the ground as big as a thetch, after being troubled with the gravel 20 years. Dr. Quincy allows from 4 to 12 drops for a dose, page 450.--A woman boiled parsley-roots, burdock-roots, and fennel-roots, in water, which when strained, she sweeten'd with syrup of marshmallows.--Another woman took as much sal prunella in powder, in a spoonful of white-wine, as would lie on a penny, for easing the stone-cholick.--Another found nothing answer better than daucus-seed for his stone-cholick. Its seeds are like carraway seeds, of which make a tea. A person vastly troubled with the gravel, being treated by a Lord in Hertfordshire with a seven-year old bottle of perry, voided almost a handful of small stones.
Wind-Cholick.--Take as many grains of paradise, powder'd, as will lie on a shilling, in a glass of ale or brandy. It has cured when a doctor could not.--A gentlewoman, by advice, took as much turmerick as would lie on a shilling in a small glass of gin, for her wind-cholick.--Another burnt a large piece of the bottom of a common glass-bottle, and while it was fery hot, quench'd it in gin, which he drank and was cured, though (as he said) he struggled for life, when all other means failed.--Another boiled winter savory in ale, then sweeten'd it with sugar, and drank it with some pepper mixt in it.--Another, a woman, my neighbour, boils wild thyme and St. John's-wort, together with carraway-seeds, and drinks it with or without sugar, as an excellent remedy for the wind-cholick and other diseases.--Another boils balm and mint in half a pint of gin, strains and sweetens: This has cured, though raw gin will not.
Promiscuous Receits for various Diseases.
PAIN in a Man's Legs and other Parts cured.--This man had great pains, particularly in his thighs and knees, and was cured by drinking now and then two years old verjuice, mixt in a glass with some brandy. If it binds you, take a little lenitive electuary, or other loosening thing.--A young woman, living in Acton parish, Middlesex, was cured of a pain in her legs, by beating oil of roses with vinegar, and bathing it in before a fire for three days together, twice each day; she cover'd them with flannel.--A wealthy person in our parish having a violent pain in his back, he tried sear-cloths and other things to no purpose, till one told him, he would pawn his life, if grains of paradise, taken in powder in a spoonful of ale, as much as would lie on a six-pence or shilling, several mornings fasting, did not cure him; and it answer'd the end.--A young fellow living near me, about 17 years of age, had a pain which was called a sciatica in his knees, to that degree as forced him to crawl about, for he could not walk, nor could hardly have any rest. This induced his parents to consult our country surgeons, who gave it as their opinion, that he was incurable; yet he was cured by his mother, who practises as a sort of doctress. She boiled wooden dishes which held about a pint, and while they were very hot, she clap'd them on camomile first laid on the knees, where they remained an hour and half; this she did every day for a fortnight, and removed the pain into his hip; here also she made the same application, and entirely cured her son.--Others rub in goosegrease on the pained part, and find a cure.--Oil of petre has cured an old ach or pain, by anointing once in two days, and keeping a flannel on the part.
For curing a Fever.--A fever attended with a cough went about the country, but was generally cured with a quart of honey mix'd with a quart of spring-water, which was to be taken a little at a time.--For a common fever, our country housewife advises to give a treacle-posset going to bed, where it sweats the party; next day she binds, under a broad rag, on each wrist, some beaten lettice and currants mixt together; or wood-sorrel, plantane-leaves, and the dry blue currants beat together; and for a drink, she gives a liquor made with wood-sorrel-leaves, five-leaf-grass, strawberry-leaves, housleek, blackberry-briary-leaves, dandelion, primrose-leaves, sage, and mint; these she makes a tea of, and so much that several bottles were flled with the same, and kept cork'd ready for drinking as wanted.--Others add to this liquor juice of lemons. This is a most cheap and efficacious method of curing a fever, for it seldom misses, even when they are light-headed, as is frequently experienced in our country.--A gentleman in Derbyshire, when he finds himself feverish, takes of pearl-barley a quarter of a pound, marshmallow-roots, liquorice, and half a pound of raisins of the sun, which he boils in a gallon of water, and makes a drink of it, for malt drink is not good in this case. This is his liquor after hard drinking; as being serviceable against cholick, fever, gout, stone, and scurvy.--For an epidemical fever, as published in a common news-paper; when the patient begins to be disorder'd, let blood immediately, and provided there be no violent pain in the head, give a vomit forthwith; during the disorder the patient must be kept warm, and lie in bed as much as possible. The drink that should be administer'd very plentifully, should be tartar-whey made thus: Let a quart of milk just boil, and then throw a quarter of an ounce of cream of tartar into it, strain it, and give it to the patient blood-warm; two quarts, at least, should be drank in a morning, and the like quantity of balm-tea in the afternoon: Beware of taking cold. If the patient is restless, syrup of poppies, and three or four drops of syrup of saffron may be added to the balm-tea; it should be the last thing taken going to bed. This has preserved many hundreds from a long sickness if not from death.--Others stamp blue currants and hops together, and apply them to the wrists as an excellent remedy.
A Man cured of a Scarlet-Fever by his Wife.--In March, 1747-8, many men, women, and children had the scarlet fever in and about Gaddesden; my next neighbour, a man in good circumstances, looked frightfully red with this malady, and to cure him his wife gave him a weak treacle-posset, and treacle and sometimes honey in his drink. This drove out the fever, by a gentle sweating, into a rash or scurf, and in time he recovered without bleeding, for this woman's notion is, that the disease cannot so well be drove out, if they take the strength of the blood away. But this is contrary to the notions and practice of the famous Dr. Boerhaave and Dr. Dover, who are recorded for bleeding plentifully in all fevers, for giving air immediately to their patients; for tearing off all blisters, and for indulging the sick person with all manner of cooling and diluting liquors, see page 107, in Dr. Dover's Last Legacy, where is shewn the cure of Sir John Dinely Goodyere, who, though under a most violent fever, was presently thus cured.--Some lay beef steaks or sheeps lights to the feet, for drawing down the fever.--N. B. Some of our country women think nothing exceeds a tea made of the aforesaid leaves, and binding powder of white resin about each wrist for curing any fever. It is used even to lying-in women.
Cramp.--This malady causes exquisite pain, especially to persons in years. My neighbour, having a fractured leg that confined him to his bed, tells me, he suffered more pain from the cramp than from the fracture. It is thought to be wind in the blood, and for immediate relief some jump out of bed to walk on the floor.--Others rub their foot, leg, or thigh as hard and as fast as they can with their hand, for the cramp generally begins in the great toe, and runs up to the calf of the leg, and sometimes higher.--Others tie their garter about their foot or leg going to bed, to prevent it.--Some report, that wearing roll-brimstone in the breeches pocket is good for the cramp; but I think there is little or nothing in it.--The next seems valuable, which is, to tie an eel-skin pretty tight about a leg or arm, for it is said to be an excellent remedy for the cramp.--And so is Hungary water, rub'd on the part subject to the cramp, at going to bed.
Pain in the Stomach.--A woman, my neighbour, had it two days together, so that her stomach swell'd, but was cured by mixing three spoonfuls of gin with three spoonfuls of mint water, and burning it; when the flame was extinguished, she sweeten'd it, drank it, and was cured by three doses of it.--Another woman, my neighbour, that had been many years troubled with a great pain at her stomach, was advised by my brother-in-law, the late Captain Henry Dodson, who had been Governor of Cape-Coast-Castle in Africa, to take as much gunpowder as would lie on a shilling in a spoonful of brandy, which she did three mornings running, and it answer'd.--A correspondent wrote to me, that an acquaintance took a tea spoonful of gunpowder in a glass of white-wine, which work'd gently and quickly, and carried off a great deal of watry humour.
Loss of Appetite.--Mr. C--h, a wealthy person, at Dunstable, being sick, so that he could hardly eat any thing, was advised to steep a handful of camomile, a handful of wormwood, and a handful of rue, in two quarts of ale, a night and a day, and to drink a quarter or half a pint at a time of the liquor. He did so, and received a perfect cure. The same drink he takes now and then in his health, by way of prevention.--I know a young surgeon in London, who brought an old gentleman to eat two mutton steaks for supper, that has lost his appetite before, and took several six shillings of him for quart bottles of a liquor, wherein to my knowledge rue was a chief ingredient.
Rising of the Lights.--If you put a little flower into water, and drink it in common, it will keep them down, else they are apt to rise and cause fts.
To stop Looseness.--Boil deal shavings in milk, and take half a pint at a time, made strong of the shavings, three or four times a day; it is a leisure cure.--Or boil a sheet of writing paper in three pints of milk, which will make it thick; strain, and eat it with loaf-sugar and it is an excellent cure.--Or mix salt with water, and drink, if you can bear it, half a pint at a time; and if it offers vomitting, hold the vinegar bottle to the nose.--A woman in our neighbourhood tells me a certain person used to gather sloes about a week after Michaelmas, when they are just fit for it, before the frost takes them: These he put into quart bottles, and buried them under ground for half a year, then took them out, and drained out their juice, which was bottled with lump sugar, and thus became like claret for stopping a looseness, and for other occasions.--Or mix verjuice and brandy in equal parts; heat it, and take two or three spoonfuls at a time, which will effect a cure.
Scurvy.--A person having the nettle-spring or scurvy, which comes out in the skin, as if stung with nettles, being a high degree of the scurvy, a surgeon at Hempstead advised the party to take three spoonfuls in one day of nettle juice naked in a spoon at morning, noon, and night, for some time.--Or take the same quantity of juice of scurvy-grass naked, a spoonful at a time, in a glass of cyder or other liquor. The scurvy-grass juice is more pleasant than the nettle juice.--Dr. Morton, a famous physician of Greenwich-Hospital, used to do wonders by making men swallow a spoonful of this naked juice at a time. Our late parson Mr. Dodgson would scratch till his arms almost bled, and said, nothing relieved him more at forty-five years of age, than steeping scurvy-grass in table-beer, and sometimes eating it on bread and butter, and when he was bound (being of a costive constitution) he was relieved by lenitive electuary.
Another Receit.--Boil two handfuls of fumitory and two handfuls of elder-flowers with sugar for a common drink; this with an issue is said to be serviceable. Bruise twenty millepedes or hoglice in a mortar, and moisten them with white-wine, which squeeze through a muslin rag. Take half a quarter of a pint every morning for a month of this juice or liquor; it is not only excellent for all scrophulous tumours and inveterate ulcers, but also for palsies, epilepsies, and all nervous distempers, and therefore strengthens the optick nerves of the eyes.
An antiscorbutick Cordial Elixir.--Take of the best nutmeg-grained rhubarb (not Indian) grosly bruised and a little toasted, one ounce, of the best English saffron and cinnamon each a quarter of an ounce, plain spirit of scurvy-grass six ounces, cut the saffron small, beat the spice to a gross powder, and put the whole into a bottle with a glass-stopple; after it has stood a week, shake the bottle now and then, and begin to take a tea-spoonful or two (pour'd off clear) in a dish of tea every morning. N. B. In this medicine you enjoy all the virtues of the rhubarb and those in an exalted degree; inasmuch as its purgative quality is somewhat restrained, and by the assistance of the scurvy-grass spirit does the easier insinuate itself into the blood, and thereby becomes a more powerful alterative and sweetener of the juices.--If you pour boiling water on coltsfoot-flowers in an earthen pot, and cover them, then let them stand till cold, strain off, and boil the liquor with sugar to a syrup, it is deemed a good antiscorbutick.
An excellent Receit for scorbutick Humours.--Take Æthiops mineral prepared without fire, native cinnabar finely levigated half an ounce, fine loaf sugar and gum guaiacum of each two drams, fine Turkey rhubarb and crabs eyes prepared each one dram, oil of sassafras-wood twelve drops; mix according to art, and divide the powder into twelve equal parts, of which take one in a little white-wine daily two hours before dinner, and likewise before supper. This is an excellent remedy indeed for destroying the scurvy, given me by my intimate acquaintance, a London physician.--A woman's legs broke out in blotches and scabs, so that she could hardly go, but was perfectly cured by steeping scurvy-grass in ale, and taking a little more than half a quartern fasting.
An Antiscorbutick Electuary.--Take medicinal antimony six drams, Æthiops mineral one ounce, rhubarb in powder one dram, conserve of the yellow rind of Seville oranges and lenitive electuary each one ounce; mix with syrup of cloves, and take two drams three times a day.
A sharp scorbutick Humour in the Skin.--Dr. ---- ordered a man Æthiops mineral and Northaw water, but an apothecary at Enfeld put it by, and gave him cinnabar of antimony, sugar, and powder of crabs eyes and claws.
A Wen cured.--Mrs. Roberts, of Shedham, about two miles from Gaddesden, having a wen many years almost under her chin, and as big as a boy's fist, could never get it reduced, till by advice she smoaked tobacco, and from time to time rubbed the wen with the spittle of it; this by degrees wasted the wen, and entirely cured it.
A swelled Arm that wasted, cured.--After a fever, a man's arm swell'd, upon which the late Serjeant-Surgeon Green advised to quench some lime twenty-four hours in water, and apply it as a poultice, and when dried to wet it again, or apply new; it shrivelled the skin at first, but it reduced the swelling. Yet such a lime poultice must not be put to any sore; but lime-water is often applied to keep back humours from flowing to the part of a broken shin, or other wound. This man is my neighbour who received this benefit.
To draw out a Thorn.--Hang up the gall of a barrow-hog, and it will drop some of it out; that which remains and dries, spread on a linen rag, and apply it; it seldom fails.--Or apply a piece of adder's-skin.
To cure Shingles.--Take the black coom that is made by oiling or greasing bells in a steeple, and anoint with it.--A young woman of good fortune at Gaddesden had the shingles, so as to have blisters half round her body, but was cured by mixing the blood of a black cat's tail with juice of housleek and cream, and anointing warm three times a day.
Sore Mouth.--Take burnt allum powder, and mix it with honey; rub a little now and then on the part, and it will cure.--Or take honey of roses, a little tincture of myrrh, some strong sage tea, and red wine; mix and rub the mouth, and now and then use syrup of mulberries.--A woman my neighbour, troubled with a sore mouth, could not get it cured, till a surgeon told her it proceeded from the heat of her stomach, and that nothing would cure but a tea made of cooling herbs, and it answer'd accordingly.
Chilblains and Kibeheels--Mr. Boyle says have been cured by strewing on the sore part, powder of dried sliced quincies,--Or rub hogslard before the fire on the chilblain or kibe; then lay over the same a piece of bladder, or (better) the skin of a hog's flair. But some boil chickweed, and first wash the part with the strained water, for which reason they gather and keep chickweed dried by them.--A man and his children near me are much troubled with kibe-heels, but are always cured by rubbing oil of turpentine on them, before a fire, just before they go to bed, whether the kibes be broke or not broke.--But the kibe-ointment, mentioned in Quincy's Dispensatory, page 458, seems to be a most excellent sort for this purpose.
Canker.--A girl, about twelve years of age, that being daily employed to sew straw hats (which is most of the womens work in our part of Hertfordshire) used to put her brass thimble into her mouth, which bred many white cankering blisters on her tongue, gums, and lips, was cured by anointing the outside of her jaws, chin, and lips, three days together, with stale goose-grease, and binding a rag of the same over the parts.--Or stamp rue, sorrel, briar-leaves, and sage, and boil their juice with allum and a little honey, clear it of the scum, and wash with it the canker'd places now and then.
To fasten Teeth.--Drop five or six drops of tincture of myrrh into a tea-cup of water, and wash the teeth with it, for fastening them.--Or make use of allum, as one of the best of things to kill the scurvy in the gums and fallen teeth; make a wash of it, by dissolving a bit of it in water with a little brandy in it.--Or first wash with a tea-cup of water, wherein is mixt a little brandy and a few drops of tincture of myrrh; then roll in the mouth a bit of allum. This I do, and it ought to be done, every morning.--Or put two grains of salt of vitriol, a quarter of an ounce of tincture of myrrh, a bit of allum as big as a horse-bean, and half an ounce of honey of roses, into half a pint of claret; put a teaspoonful of this into a spoonful of water, and wash the teeth; the vitriol whitens, and with the rest fastens.
To cure the Tooth-ach.--Dip a little lint in tincture of myrrh, and put it in or upon the tooth; it is an excellent remedy.--Or stamp a little rue, as much as can be put into the ear, on that side the tooth achs, it will cause a noise, but makes a cure in an hour's time.--Tobacco ashes will clean and whiten teeth well.--A certain cooper burns the rind of ashes, wets them, puts them on leather, and lays it behind his ear, to raise a blister; which cures the tooth-ach, or other pain in the head.
How a young Woman lost several of her Teeth.--She tells me, that for curing her tooth-ach she smoaked henbane-seed; secondly, a mixture of tobacco and brimstone; thirdly, gunpowder and salt, in a rag held on the tooth; fourthly, salt and pepper; fifthly, spirits of wine; sixthly, spirit of hartshorn: These at times she smoaked, and applied, to the loss of several of her teeth. Some say, spirit of soot used once a month cures the scurvy in the gums.
Madam Howard's Diet-Drink.--This gentlewoman lived in London, and for preventing the breed of the scurvy and other diseases took an excellent method, by making a diet-drink in the following manner, viz.--She used to have a pin of brown ale brought to her house from a brewhouse, that held four gallons and a half; the ale she emptied into an earthen upright steen, and then soaked in the same, scurvy-grass leaves, gentian-root, snake-root, and wormwood. These she now and then squeezed, and after three days she strained off, and put the ale into the vessel again; then she cut some Seville oranges, and squeezed their juice into it, and after putting in some guaiacum chips she bung'd up the cask, for drinking this medicated ale at discretion. She sometimes only pared the oranges, and put them in whole. This is an excellent diet-drink for all degrees and shapes of the scurvy whatsoever.--Another of our farmers wives says the following is an excellent cheap diet-drink for the scurvy, which is made by boiling figs, liquorice, scurvy-grass, and water-cresses in ale.--Another says, take one ounce of sliced liquorice, two ounces of juniper-berries, and two scruples of salt of tartar, steeped in a quart of ale; then take four spoonfuls in a pint of ale.--A diet-drink is made and sold by a country doctress for the scurvy, rheumatism, and other diseases; she steeps mountain-flax, dwarf-elder, and buckbean, in ale, a night and a day.
The travelling Beggars Way of clearing their Bodies of Nits, Lice, and Fleas.--I believe I may affirm it for truth, that no county in England is so much frequented by beggars as Hertfordshire; and upon asking them of their method of curing the several diseases they are incident to more than others, they tell me that, for clearing their bodies of lice, they boil copperas in water with hogslard, and by rubbing it over their bodies, no lice have power to bite them; on the contrary, it will make them forsake the cloaths they wear, and not damage their skin.--Another says, he is clear of lice by anointing the waistband of his breeches with oil of russel, but this I doubt.--To clear the head of lice, first open and part the hair here and there, then cover the bole of a lighted pipe of tobacco with a linen rag, and blow the smoak into the places, which will make the lice crawl to the outmost parts of the hair, where they may be easily combed out.--To prevent and destroy fleas, boil brooklime, or arsmart, or wormwood, in water, and wash the room.--Or lay the herbs in several parts of the room.
To destroy Worms in the human Body.--A man cured of little white maw-worms. This man lived near me, and being much troubled with these worms, he took near half a pint at a time of salt water for four mornings together fasting, and it made him void great quantities of these worms, to the curing of him for some years.--Give to a girl twelve years old, that has worms, a teaspoonful and half of elixir proprietatis in water-gruel: It kills worms, and cures the green-sickness.--Bruise green tansy, and give a spoonful of its juice every day to a boy or girl: It is excellent to kill worms.--One of our labourers, having the small white worms, took a spoonful of sugar fasting, and in a few minutes after he took seven drops of oil of vitriol in half a pint of small beer, and in an hour or two's time, vomited worms to the quantity of a handful; then he drank half a pint of strong beer and vomited more worms, and so a third time; at last half a pint staid with him, and in three days after he took nine drops of the oil, which did not move him; three years after he was cured by the same.
To destroy Worms.--Give to a boy or girl a spoonful of the juice of rue now and then.--It is certainly true, that a dram of gin has cured several men, women, and others, of worms, in our parish, by taking it three mornings fasting.
To stop a Looseness or Flux.--A man given over for death, was cured of a violent looseness by eating an egg (boiled or roasted very hard) shell and all.--Another recovered by drinking now and then half a quarter of a pint of old verjuice.--Another stops a looseness by boiling blackberry leaves in small beer.
The Evil cured by Advice of a Beggar.--A girl at Gaddesden, having the evil in her feet from her infancy, at eleven years old lost one of her toes by it, and was so bad that she could hardly walk, therefore was to be sent to a London hospital in a little time: But a beggarwoman coming to the door, and hearing of it, said, that if they would cut off the hind leg, and the fore leg on the contrary side of that, of a toad, and wear them in a silken bag about her neck, it would certainly cure her; but it was to be observed, that on the toad's losing its legs, it was to be turned loose abroad, and as it pined, wasted, and died, the distemper would likewise waste and die; which happened accordingly, for the girl was intirely cured by it, never having had the evil afterwards.
The Evil in a Girl's Eye helped.--Another Gaddesden girl having an hereditary evil from her father in her eyes, her parents dried a toad in the sun, and put it in a silken bag, which they hung on the back part of her neck; and although it was thus dried, it drawed so much as to raise little blisters, but did the girl a great deal of service, till she carelessly lost it.--But I am humbly of opinion, no medicine known by man exceeds that of quicksilver water for curing the King's-evil. The cure of which I think likewise would be made very short, if the patient would exercise his body with some labour, and live on a milk diet, while he or she is drinking the water.
Pain in the Head cured.--Mr. Gadbury, of Dunstable, kept his bed almost a year for it, and got a wry neck in the time; at last, by the advice of Dr. Freeman of Amptill, he was cured by the use of the following powder given in ale: He baked red sage and egg-shells together, of which he made the powder. Mr. Gadbury was alive in 1739.--Another, who is my particular acquaintance, took lavender drops every night he went to bed, to the number of sixty, in water, ale, or wine; but best of all dropt on loaf sugar, letting it gradually dissolve in the mouth, because by that means it soaks more immediately into the nerves, and gives a more sudden supply to the spirits.--Another takes thirty drops in water several times a day. In the decays of age, and convulsive or apoplectic shocks, such as bring on palseys and loss of memory, this is a most excellent medicine, as Dr. Quincy very well observes at page 363 of his Dispensatory.--I know a woman, who for the pain of her head snuffs some of these spirits up her nose very frequently.
Sneezing.--It comes by cold taken in the head or other parts, and is very troublesome, and the more so, when it lasts some time: A good cure is, to dose the body with a hearty drink of wine, or other strong liquor, till it is thoroughly heated, but not with naked spiritous liquor, nor to the excess of drunkenness.--Or rub your head now and then with Hungary-water, and drink nothing that keeps your body open.--Or wash always your head with cold water in a morning.
Small-Pox.--They at first are generally taken with a pain in the head and back, coldness of feet, or vomitting.--The case of Miss Howard of London, under the care of a most eminent doctor of physick: At first she was thought to have only a cold, and so they gave her a raisin posset made to sweat her, but in three days the small-pox came out, after bleeding for a fever as they thought.--The doctor said, it is best to bleed on the apprehension of the small-pox, because it prevents their being vastly full, and prevents a fever joining them. She was kept always full of drink, either panado or gruel, and sometimes a little Sack and toast, with saffron steep'd in it, to drive the small-pox from the heart, or a Naple-bisket sopt in it; but no meat was allow'd till the pox was turned, which commonly is in nine or twelve days; then she had a little fish, or boiled chicken; and during all this time she had cordial powders in juleps given her every four hours, till they were turned and she out of danger. She was kept warm almost like as in a bagnio, and did not keep out of bed longer than till the bed was made; at last they wash'd her face with warm Sack and butter [or anoint with chopt rue boiled in hogslard] to shoal off the pocks, and prevent their pitting.
To prevent catching the Small-Pox.--Drink, if you are going into any danger, a quarter or half a pint of rue tea without sugar; or hold a piece of rue in your mouth. This is an excellent antidote, and of infinite service to man and beast, in many shapes; particularly for cleansing the blood, and thinning it, for the better preparing the body to be easily cured of the small-pox. A piece in the mouth defends against the damage of any ill scents.
Deafiness.--A tinker was cured by fleaing a hedgehog, taking out the guts, roasting the body without basting, and saving the dripping or fat, of which he dropt three drops into his ear at night, the same in the morning, and so for two days, when it cured him.--Or boil one or more adders in a small pot, save the grease, which will be almost as thin as oil, and drop one or two drops into the ear going to bed, repeating the same several times.--The late ---- How, Esq; Recorder of St. Albans, being exceeding deaf, he shaved his head every day, and every night and morning rubbed it with Hungary-water, till he was perfectly cured by it.--Another is said to take oil of almonds, water in a jack-hare's bladder, and swan's grease, beating up 15 drops of each of these together, and dropping 15 drops into each ear going to bed, and so every night for a week. In the mean while, put white melilot on two bits of leather, and lay fresh ones to the ears every night.
Sore Eyes.--A woman having sore eyes dissolved fine loaf sugar in water, and it did her vast service.--Another did better by dissolving some white vitriol in spring water with loaf sugar, because the thickness of the sugar-water guards against the sharp vitriol: A little of this water dropt into the eye, or besmear'd by a feather with it, does great service.--The juice of green wheat takes spots out of the eyes.--Milk hot from the cow is a sovereign remedy for blood-shot or other sore eyes.--If you put the vitriol in sugar'd water, a bit as big as a large pea is sufficient for a two ounce bottle. It is an excellent water.
To take away Wrinkles from the Face.--Mix fine wheat meal in hot bean-flower water.
A Wine good for the Palsey.--Take woodlice or millepedes bruised, half a pint; vipers just killed, skinned, and freed from their entrails and fat, two, three, or more; horse-radish sliced and bruised, one ounce and a half; sharp-pointed dock-root, half a pound; juniper berries whole, four ounces; gentian sliced, six drams: Infuse these in a gallon of mountain wine, and take two ounces twice a day. This is the prescription of a professor of physick in London.--One of our country-men tells me, that he has the yellow flowers of the lady-finger grass distill'd for the palsey, and finds a great benefit by washing his face and hands with the distilled liquor, and by drinking a tea made with rosemary and lavender.--Spirit of lavender taken on loaf sugar, to the quantity from twenty to one hundred drops, is of such efficacy for this purpose, that by some they are called palsey drops.
Teas.--Bohea and green are generally allowed to be unwholesome herbs; if drank to excess, they hurt the nerves (bohea especially) and cause various distempers, as tremors, palseys, vapours, fits, &c. And as lime and allum are employed in making loaf sugar, their corroding natures are likewise of very ill consequence when used immoderately; therefore cream, &c. is very necessary to qualify these bad properties. I know a gentlewoman who in her last dish of tea puts six or more lavender drops, to prevent the rise of vapours. Others boil archangel or nettle flowers in milk, to drink with their tea.--Some very judiciously make use of quicksilver-water instead of raw water for their tea.--A gentleman of my acquaintance, for avoiding the pernicious effects of loaf sugar, made use of white sugar-candy.--Another used all powder'd sugar.--A gentlewoman, a great lover of green-tea, drank it morning and afternoon, but was forced to leave it off, because it raked her stomach, and bred the cholick, being (as she thought) of a feeding nature; and therefore betook herself to ale-hoof or ground-ivy tea.--A surgeon of Barkhamstead, taking me into his garden, pointed to his balm and his sage, telling me these were his tea.--Another surgeon, named Keston, of Hempstead, said that green tea is the worst of things for the cholick and dead palsey. And I remember, the Barkhamstead surgeon said, that both bohea and green grow on one tree, are of a poisonous nature, and that the men who work on them have their hands blister'd by the oil, which is very hot.--Artificial tea may be made with saintfoin leaves, honeysuckle, the leaves of the white and black thorn and new hay.
Tea Caudle.--Sir Kenelm Digby, in his book called the Closet, tells us, that a Jesuit who came from China, in 1664, told Mr. Waller, that there they make an infusion or caudle of tea (green, I suppose) by putting a pint of scalding water on a drachm of tea, with two yolks of eggs beat up with fine sugar; the tea being first made, must be poured on the eggs and sugar, which being well stirred together should be drank hot. He says, that this infusion presently satisfes all rawness and indigence of stomach. In England, the Jesuit said, we let the hot water stand too long soaking on the tea, which makes it extract into itself the earthy parts of the herb; but by letting it remain a smaller time, you have only the spiritous part of the tea, that is much more active, penetrative, and friendly to nature.--Sir Kenelm says, Mr. Waller found the Jesuit's character of tea exactly answer.--And I say, I was in hopes I had sufficiently laid open the same hint on account of brewing malt liquors, in my treatise intituled The London and Country Brewer; but notwithstanding the great importance the same is of to men's health and pleasure, I find it passes, with too many, as if it was a tale of a cock and a bull.--Or you may mix the eggs with some white-wine and grated nutmeg, and heat and stir it over a fire, with the tea, as the right way.--Again, as tea is of such a pernicious nature to health, the stronger it is made, the greater damage it does. For my own part, as I drink near half a pint of quicksilver-water almost every morning, when I am to drink bohea or green tea I put into the quicksilver water some drops of spirit of hartshorn, or of lavender, as a defence against the ill effects of tea.--A young woman, seemingly about thirty-five years of age, whom I saw at Otters-Pool, near Watford, on her crutches, told me she boarded there for a month, to try if plunging once a day in this excellent natural cold bath would cure her of a dead palsey, that took her on one side; which she imputed to drinking tea in excess, that she was tempted to, as she lived in a service where she was not debar'd from it.--Another, that lived with a merchant in London, had tea in such plenty, that she thereby fell into a consumption and died.--A girl of seven years old, in my neighbourhood, fell into the jaundice, by drinking daily a large quantity of tea.--A gentlewoman said, if she drinks bohea tea, it gives her a trembling and head-ach; therefore she drinks green.--A gentleman, a hard drinker of spiritous liquors, was forced (because he must not leave them off all at once) to mix brandy with his tea.--An apothecary said, if green tea is laid on raw liver, it will eat into it.--Drinking too much tea breeds an asthma and stoppage at the stomach.
Diabetes.--The late Nath. Bent, who kept the great Bull-Inn at Redburne in Hertfordshire, by tippling punch and six-penny stale strong beer, although a man of the largest size, fell into that lamentable disease a diabetes; and declared to me, that he thought none of the doctor's medicines did him so much service as smith's forge-water. I ask'd him, why he did not make use of Bristol or some other astringent well-waters; he answer'd, that it was his opinion, nothing exceeded the smith's water and isinglass. He lived several years after this malady seized him, and told me he thought himself well of it. He died I think in April, 1749, of a complication of distempers, a man of considerable worth, and deserving of a good character.--Diabetes cured by acidulated chalybeate waters, as related in Dr. Hales's Philosophical Experiments, p. 154.--Or see an excellent receit for it, at page 511, in Quincy's Dispensatory.--I remember a yeoman of a middle age was so often blooded for some distemper, that it brought him under a diabetes, and killed him.--One that is a surgeon and physician in London tells me, that the Hot-Well water of Bristol, and that of Islington, cures this distemper; but he says, to supply this, and make a liquor superior to either of them for this distemper--To two quarts of water put a scruple of salt of steel, and a little lump of lime, which is to settle a night, and then to be pour'd off; of this, drink half a pint two or three times a day.--But besides this, a diet-drink ought to be made use of; for which, boil guaiacum chips to a strong decoction, and add to the same a gallon of water, wherein two pounds of lime are infused; let it stand 24 hours and pour off; then add two ounces of sassafras chips, a nutmeg sliced, a quarter of an ounce of cinnamon, two ounces of liquorice, and half an ounce of coriander seeds; bruise them, and steep them in the liquor four or five days, and drink of it two or three times a day.
The Healthfulness of warm Drink.--The late Dr. Crawley, of Dunstable, gave a strict charge to his cook-maid never to drink cold small beer when she was hot, be it in summer or winter; for that as her business greatly exposed her to heats, it would much endanger her health to drink cold small beer when she was hot. Warm drinks are by physicians said to be most beneficial to health; and although beasts drink cold water, yet it does them no good, till warm'd in their stomach. Warm drink allays thirst better than cold, and distributes, and better helps the digestion of our food; which leads me to present my reader (as a warning on this account) with the following case.--A very industrious honest farmer, named John Gurney, having taken a farm at Nor-Marston in Buckinghamshire, that was left in a most foul weedy condition by the last tenant, laboured almost incessantly to plow and get it clean and sweet, to that degree, as obliged him often to drink cold small beer when he was hot, which made him grow sickish, lose his appetite, and was so faint that he could not hold his work. Upon this, his wife carried his water to Dr. Crawley aforesaid, who said to her, Woman are you willing to be a widow ? No sir, says she. But I tell you (says he) you will be one, for no man can cure him; for I find by his water, he has drank too much cold small beer when he was hot, and thereby so mixed his grease with his blood, that there is no remedy for him. Accordingly the doctor's saying proved true, for he afterwards pined away by degrees, not being able to retain his water (notwithstanding he consulted several physicians) which caused him to slink much, and after languishing a year, two, or more, he died, leaving a widow and five children, with a stock thought to be worth 500 l. to the great grief of all his relations and acquaintance.
Earwig, how one got into a Girl's Ear, and cured.--My chairwoman told me, that when she was a girl about twelve years of age, riding in a cart to field in harvest-time, she laid herself down to dose, when an earwig crept into her ear, and presently caused it to swell, making her deaf to every thing but a terrible noise in it, and was in great pain by its stinging the part; being had in about an hour's time to Dr. Crawley of Dunstable, he syringed her ear, and by that means got out the earwig, saying, that if she had stay'd a little longer, he could not have done it, because the ear would have swell'd up; also that in twenty-four hours time it would have bred. When it came out, it was alive, and he said it bites at mouth and stings at tail; her ear was afterwards much swell'd.--It is said, that the juice of rue put into the ear will kill an earwig in it, if the party goes to sleep and lies on the contrary ear, and that when it has killed the earwig, the juice will come out.
A Cat cured Pain.--It is said, that a gentlewoman having a swelled tumid hand, put her finger into a cat's ear, and within two hours was delivered of her pain; but the cat was so pained, that two men could hardly hold her.
A Purge.--A country capital physician takes one ounce of manna several mornings together, as the best purge to keep him in health, in water-gruel.--Another says, dissolve half an ounce of the best manna in thin water-gruel, strain it through a fine rag, and add of the best tincture of rhubarb made in white wine, an ounce or two; tincture of cardamom-seeds, made according to Bates, twenty drops; mix them, and take what you think may answer your constitution.--The hiera picra purge is endued with such excellent qualities, that it is wrote of in several books, and therefore I cannot well help doing the same here, and the rather, because I know a physician that makes it the chief physick for his own body. They sell it at the apothecaries, druggists, and chymists, in powder. One says it may be taken from two to three drachms in Rhenish-wine, with an ounce of the syrup of mugwort, at night going to bed.--Another, I think, directs better, to put an ounce and a half of this powder into a quart of Madeira wine; and after it has been steeped three or four days, to pour off the fine part for use; then to take three, four, or five spoonfuls going to bed, or in the morning. A strong constitution wants no confinement nor alteration of diet, nor does it gripe like most other physicks. For a purge, the tincture of hiera picra is said to be the best that can be taken; it is an agreeable bitter, and never gripes. One ounce will carry off all the foulness of humours, and prevent a great many disorders.
For a Vomit.--If you have a heaviness and foulness of stomach, and that you are more costive than usual, drink plentifully of green-tea, till all the slime be got off your stomach. It is a fine gentle vomit, and greatly relieves all scorbutick diseases.
Bite of a mad Dog.--Mr. Daniel Puttinham, of Gainsford, near Harrow, in Middlesex, told me, December 9, 1746, that several persons were bit about him, as supposed by dogs that had run from London. The cure, he says, is absolute, if a person will every morning plunge himself over head and ears in a pond for a month together, and every other day for a fortnight after.--A man bit by a mad dog, about a week after, was had to the salt water; when he saw it, he snapt with his teeth, and started, which made the boatman say, it was too late; however, being dipt heartily it stopt the malady just where it was; but whenever at water, he started and snapt with his teeth.
To cure a Dog bit by mad Dog.--Tie up and bleed him in the neck-vein, pin and tie it about with thread, and give the dog as much white hellebore powder as will lie on a six-pence or a shilling in milk, but next time in flesh.--It is a sure cure.
Measles.--One of my neighbours had three of his children down at once of the measles; they came out very red in the face, upon which he gave his boy the quantity of a nutmeg of Venice treacle.
Whitloe cured.--A person having a whitloe on the top of the thumb, when it was towards a ripeness, soap mixt with chalk was put to draw it to a head, and when it was broke, melilot salve was applied; and after that, the cure was finished with an old woman's healing salve.
Coffee --Is said to dry up crudities of the stomach and to comfort the brain, is very serviceable after a debauch of strong liquors, and so it is for those persons troubled with defluxions of rheum from the head to the stomach; but it is hurtful to dry constitutions, and is apt to hinder sleep. There are two sorts of coffee sold by grocers and druggists in London, and at shops in the country: The first are generally so honest, as to declare their difference, and sell the Turkey for 4 s. 6 d. per pound, and the West-India for 3 s. 6 d. I have therefore reason to warn my reader against this coffee imposition, that I may assuredly say is carried on by too many, especially in the country, where people are most ignorant; I mean for selling the West-India coffee for Turkey coffee, either alone or in a mixture.--The right way to make coffee, is to heat the berries in a fire-shovel, till they sweat a little; then grind them, and put the coffee-pot over the fire with water; when hot, throw the water away, and dry the pot by the fire, then put the powder into it, and boiling water immediately over the same; let it stand three or four minutes, and pour off the clear. By this means the hot water meets the spirit of the coffee, and will therefore be stronger than any boiled coffee; whereas if you boil coffee as the common way is, the spirit goes away, so that it will not be so strong nor quick to the taste; for, obtaining the spirit is the main thing to be desired. To experience the truth of this, boil the coffee half an hour, or a little more, and let it stand a while, it will be of a vinegar taste, and the stronger you make it of the coffee, the sourer it will be, because the spirit evaporates away in the boiling so long, and if the spirit of any liquor is gone, it soon becomes acid.
To make artificial Coffee.--Bake a piece of bread in an oven to a burnt crust, afterwards scrape it to a powder, and it will have a taste very near true coffee. Or take wheat and parch it in a fire-shovel, or better on a tin plate over a clear fire, till it is black, then grind it, and it will imitate coffee both in smell and taste. The best way to keep roasted coffee-berries, is in some warm place. The powder ram'd well in a tin pot, and kept in a warm place, will keep well above a month.--Coffee poured on one or two yolks of eggs, and then just boiled up over a fire, will, with sugar, drink a little like chocolate.
Cutting and curing Corns.--I know a man and his wife who when they cut their corns so to the quick, as to make them almost or quite bleed, always rub some spirit of wine on them, which prevents their festering, or bringing on a mortification.
Chopt Hands.--Wash them in chamberlye, and when dried by the fire rub them with hogslard, and wear gloves going to bed.
To relieve a Traveller's Feet.--Let him heat his feet every night before a fire very well, and it will draw out the fery heat which they have contracted by walking in the day.--Or wash your feet with white-wine vinegar at night.--Or put an egg in each shoe when you walk.
Tobacco --Is an herb by some accounted wholesome, by others unwholesome. Tobacco, says Dr. Archer, physician in ordinary to King Charles, smoaked in a pipe, is very attractive of moist and crude humours, as water and phlegm out of the head and stomach; and thus it makes a pump of the mouth, for the benefit of some few, and detriment to the health of many others.--It is not good (says he) for those that are of a hot, dry, and cholerick constitution, nor for sanguine people, who are not troubled with rheums distilling upon the lungs. It is bad for the teeth for two causes, from its own heat from a burning oil with the smoak convey'd to the mouth, and from the frequent flux of rheum from the head to the teeth.--It is (says he) bad for the eyes, because the smoak carries such a hot oil with it, that weakens the eyes by its force upon the brain, drawing from the optick nerve.--It is good where cold and famine cannot otherwise be helped, for it heats the body, and defrauds the stomach by offending it, and so there may be the less appetite or craving for food. If chewing it is good for any, it is for those that have cold rheums distilling from the head; on this account I heard a physician say it is excellent, because it alters its cold nature into a hot one, and thus prevents its damaging the stomach and lungs; it is also by its smoak very serviceable in preventing contagious distempers, and therefore is commonly thus made use of by surgeons and others in hospitals, &c. Now to improve this narcotick herb, drop a few drops of oil of anniseeds into an ounce of it, it gives it a pleasant taste, and endues the smoak with several wholesome properties.
Too much Physick does Harm.--A physician said, It washes off the mucus of the guts, and then the meat passes too quick through them, because they are deprived of their retentive quality. I am credibly informed, that a gentlewoman in Staffordshire took the Scotch pills so frequently, that they occasioned this misfortune and killed her.
The Case of a Child of three Years old, which had liked to have died by catching cold in the Measles.--The measles in this child appeared very full, but by the indiscretion of the nurse he had like to have died; for in the height of the distemper she let the child go to the door with a few of its garments on, which gave the air a power to strike the measles in, so that for two days and a half it was doubted whether the child would live, till a gentlewoman of Dunstable advised to give it now and then some strong drink wherein some marygold-flowers had been boiled, and after boiling, to sweeten it with treacle. This was done accordingly, and it brought the measles out again, to the recovery of the child.
Sir Hans Sloan's Eye-Salve.--A most effectual medicine for soreness, weakness, and other distempers of the eyes, is faithfully prepared according to Sir Hans Sloan's receit, printed in his sixpenny pamphlet, p. 4, where he says, he found it so surprisingly beneficial, that by the right use of it not one in five hundred missed of a cure.--And again, p. 7, he says, it has cured many whose eyes were covered with opake flms and cicatrices left by inflammations and apostumes of the cornea, many of whom were so totally deprived of sight, as to be under a necessity of being led to him; yet after some time could perfectly find their way without a guide. This liquid or thin salve is to be applied with a small hair pencil, the eye winking or a little open'd. A bottle of Sir Hans Sloan's salve is from one shilling to two shillings each.--A certain elderly man, in London, was so dark sighted, that he could not distinguish persons in the street, yet recover'd his sight by sewing a thin piece of lead, about the bigness of a crown-piece, to his perriwig.--Another, by washing his head daily, held his sight to a great age.
The Character of a Lord's great and unparallel'd Charity. Not a great many miles from Gaddesden now lives a nobleman, who although he was not bred a physician, extends his charity in a very uncommon manner; for he not only visits the sick in the most contagious illness, but supplies them with medicines at his own cost. He has condescended to walk through a workhouse, out of his own parish, to assist the distressed diseased people, and where he will not venture on his own judgment, he consults a physician at his own expence. Another instance of his charity happened to my knowledge; a poor woman lying ill of a desperate fever, her husband could get no nurse to attend her, for fear of catching the distemper, yet this excellent nobleman went to her in the greatest extremity, and gave her medicines at his own cost: An example, I hope, that will induce some others to imitate.