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Author: T. J. Ritter
Release Date: January 1, 2006 [EBook #17439]
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*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK MOTHER'S REMEDIES ***
Some of the suggestions in this book may be helpful or at least have a
placebo effect. Beware of the many recipes that include kerosene (coal
oil), turpentine, ammonium chloride, lead, lye (sodium hydroxide),
strychnine, arsenic, mercury, creosote, sodium phosphate, opium, cocaine
and other illegal, poisonous or corrosive items. Many recipes do not
specify if it is to be taken internally or topically (on the skin). There
is an extreme preoccupation with poultices (applied to the skin, 324
references) and "keeping the bowels open" (1498 references, including
I view this material as a window into the terror endured by mothers and
family members when a child or adult took ill. The doctors available (if
you could afford one) could offer little more than this book. The guilt of
failing to cure the child was probably easier to endure than the
helplessness of doing nothing.
Note the many recipes for a single serving that involve lengthy and
labor-intensive preparation. Refrigeration was uncommon and the
temperature of iceboxes was well above freezing, so food had to be
and usage are unchanged. Page headers are retained, but are moved to the
beginning of the paragraph where the text is interrupted. Page numbers are
shown in brackets [ ].
The author claims the material is directed toward non-medical "family"
members, but many passages are obviously copied from medical textbooks.
The following glossary of unfamiliar (to me) terms is quite lengthy and
does not include incomprehensible (to me) medical terms and many words and
names I could not find in several reference books. The book's own 16 page
dictionary is on page 893.
These entries are absent or brief in the original dictionary on page 893. A short cooking dictionary is on page 831. Check there for items not found here.
White crystalline compound, C6H5NH(COCH3), formerly used to relieve pain
and reduce fever. It has been replaced because of toxicity.
Various, usually poisonous perennial herbs of the genus Aconitum, having
tuberous roots, palmately lobed leaves, blue or white flowers with large
hoodlike upper sepals, and an aggregate of follicles. The dried leaves
and roots of these plants yield a poisonous alkaloid that was formerly
used medicinally. Also called monkshood, wolfsbane.
Caused by partial or total failure of adrenocortical function;
characterized by a bronze-like skin color and mucous membranes, anemia,
weakness, and low blood pressure.
At the discretion of the performer. Giving license to alter or omit a
Alternating periods of chills, fever, and sweating. Used in reference to
the fevers associated with malaria.
blazing star, and unicorn root )
Bitter American herb of the Bloodwort family, with small yellow or white
flowers in a long spike (Aletris farinosa and A. aurea).
European perennial herb (Alkanna tinctoria) having cymes of blue flowers
and red roots. The red dye extracted from the root. Plants of the
Eurasian genus Anchusa, having blue or violet flowers grouped on
Double sulfates of a trivalent metal such as aluminum, chromium, or iron
and a univalent metal such as potassium or sodium, especially aluminum
potassium sulfate, AlK(SO4)2 12H2O, widely used in industry as
clarifiers, hardeners, and purifiers and medicinally as topical
astringents and styptics.
Acrid poisonous compound containing two lactone groups; obtained from
plants of the genus Anemone and genus Ranunculus, containing the
Localized, blood-filled dilatation of a blood vessel caused by disease
or weakening of the vessel wall.
Aromatic Mediterranean herb (Pimpinella anisum) in the parsley family,
cultivated for its seed-like fruits and the oil; used to flavor foods,
liqueurs, and candies.
antipyrine (antipyrin, phenazone)
Analgesic and antipyretic (reduces fever) C11H12N2O formerly used, but
now largely replaced by less toxic drugs such as aspirin.
Cavity or chamber, especially in a bone. Sinus in the bones of the upper
jaw, opening into the nasal cavity.
Poisonous white crystalline alkaloid, C17H17NO2, derived from morphine
and used to induce vomiting.
Perennial herbs of the genus Arnica. Tincture of the dried flower heads
of the European species A. montana, applied externally to relieve the
pain and inflammation of bruises and sprains.