Friday, 27 January 2017

4 June 1881 - Useful Hints


1. Heat a breakfast saucer to insure dryness; pour into it a wineglassful of pale brandy. Set the spirit on fire with a strip of clean lighted writing-paper, and let it burn until the quantity is reduced one third. Pour this into half a point of boiling milk; drink it when moderately warm; repeat, if necessary, but take only half the quantity at once after the first dose. Arrowroot may be substituted for milk, but whether made with water or milk, should be boiled, not merely mixed with boiling liquid.

2. Take twenty to thirty drops of elixir of vitriol, or, as it is often called, diluted sulphuric acid, in a wineglassful of cold water; three to five drops of laudanum may be added to the dose when there is great internal pain. Repeat, if needful, either with or without the laudanum, according to circumstance. The dose is a medium one for an adult. A very eminent physician, who was peculiarly successful during a terrible outbreak of cholera, told the writer that he had found this most valuable in the early stages of that terrible disease and in diarrhoea.


1. One of the best possible remedies for rheumatism is a soda bath. Dissolve 2 oz sesqui carbonate of soda, or a 1/4 lb of common washing soda, in an ordinary warm bath. Remain in it fifteen to twenty minutes, adding hot water from time to time, so as to keep up the temperature to the last. The bath may be repeated after an interval of three days, or a single affected limb may be bathed daily.

2. Rheumatic pains in a joint may often be much relieved, or even cured, by the application at the outset of spirits of camphor. Pour a little into the hand, and rub the part night and morning; the spirit dries almost instantly. In applying a mustard poultice, always interpose a bit of old transparent muslin between it and the skin. After removing the poultice cover the place inflamed by the mustard with a piece of cotton wadding. It gives great comfort.


Amongst the simple domestic remedies which should always be kept within reach may be classed dried camomile flowers. A strong decoction of these, used as a hot fomentation, is extremely soothing. The following are instances of  the value of camomile. A dear little boy had a gathering under the nail of the great toe. His mother stewed camomile flowers, put them in a bowl, and immersed the child's foot in the decoction. She packed the flowers above and around the ailing toe, and as they cooled changed them for hot ones. So long as the child's foot was in the water he suffered little pain; so at bed-time it was packed in a mass of the stewed flowers in a flannel bag. He fell asleep, and in the morning it was found the gathering had broken and the toe was comparatively well. A boil on the cheek and a large gathering inside the mouth and neuralgic pains in the face have been similarly relieved by fomenting with a strong decoction of camomile flowers. The following is an excellent way of applying this simple remedy. Make two flannel bags and fill them; but not so tightly as to make them hard, with boiled flowers. Squeeze one bag and apply it, as hot as can be borne, to the painful part, and cover with two or three thicknesses of warm dry flannel to keep in the  heat. When getting cool, change with the second bag, which should be kept steaming hot between two plates in an oven. Being freshly wrung through the strong decoction after use, and again to put steam in the oven, a supply of hot bags will be kept up. The heat is retained much longer than in the case of fomentations with flannels merely wrung out of the hot decoction and applied. The writer has so often experienced relief and been soothed from pain to rest by the above method of using camomile that she cannot speak too highly of its value as a domestic remedy.


Plunge the upper part of the face in a bowl of clean, cold water, opening and shutting the eyes two or three times in the water, so that they have a cold bath every morning. The sensation is neither painful nor unpleasant, but the effect is very beneficial.


Seared milk, prepared as follows:- Stir a cup of new milk with a red hot poker till nearly boiling; let the milk settle, then strain it through muslin, leaving all bits of dust behind, and, when lukewarm, apply with a bit of soft linen to the inflamed eyes. In using eye lotions take a separate rag for each eye, and only pour out as much of the lotion as you are likely to require at one time. Wash and rinse the rags or lint each time after using, so that you may always begin with a perfectly clean piece. The seared milk may be used very often, and is an excellent application, especially  for the tender eyes of infants.


The simple distilled water without any mixture – is an admirable cosmetic. After exposure to a burning sun, wet the corner of a towel with elder flower water, and dab it lightly over the face. The heat and smarting will be immediately allayed, and freckles prevented. A rag wetted with it will remove the smarting caused by nettle stings, and is also a very cooling and pleasant application to a tender skin after washing. It may be used twice daily.


At the end of a meal a good deal is tea is often left in the pot. Perhaps the readers of THE GIRL'S OWN PAPER may care to know what we do with such "leavings." We pour it into a large bottle and give it to a poor old woman, who is thankful to be thus saved the expense of providing herself with her favourite beverage. If the cork is left out the tea will keep perfectly through the day, and the old woman sends for it in the afternoon. It is easily warmed up, and she finds it has a far better flavour than what she used to buy for herself.

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