Sunday, April 14, 2013


FOR DYSENTERY. -- Dissolve as much table salt in  pure vinegar as will ferment and work clear.  when the foam is discharged cork it up in a bottle, and put it away for use.  A large spoonful of this in a gill of boiling water is efficacious in cases of dysentery and cholic.

CURE FOR CHILLS. -- The plant, commonly called hoarhoand, is said to afford a certain cure.  Boil it in water, and drink freely of the tea.

GARGLE FOR SORE THROAT, DIPTHERIA, OR SCARLET FEVER. -- Mix in a common size cup of fresh milk two teaspoonfuls of pulverized charcoal and ten drops of spirits of turpentine.  Soften the charcoal with a few drops of milk before putting into the cup.  Gargle frequently, according to the violence of the symptoms.

TO RELIEVE ASTHMA. -- Take the leaves of the stramonium (or Jamestown weed,) dried in the shade, saturated with a pretty strong solution of salt petre, and smoke it so as to inhale the fumes.  It may strangle at first if taken too freely, but it will loosen the phlegm in the lungs.  The leaves should be gathered before frost.

SIMPLE CURE FOR CROUP. -- If a child is taken with croup apply cold water suddenly and freely to the neck and chest with a sponge or towel.  The breathing will instantly be relieved, then wipe it dry, cover it up warm, and soon a quiet slumber will relieve the parent's anxiety.

CURE FOR CAMP ITCH. -- Take iodide of potassium, sixty grains, lard, two ounces, mix well, and after washing the body well with warm soap suds rub the ointment over the person three times a week.  In seven or eight days the acarus or itch insect will be destroyed.  In this recipe the horrible effects of the old sulphur ointment are obviated.

The Confederate Receipt Book, 1863. I am wondering (based on the reference to sulphur) if camp itch is a polite euphemism for lice.


Packrat said...

All sound awful.

Shay said...

I'm gagging at the thought of charcoal and turpentine, myself.

marjoryt said...

or bedbugs

The old Southern prevention against chigger lice and mosquitoes - take the handle of a teaspoon, flip it over, and insert into a bottle of powdered sulfur. About 1/4 of a tsp. will load on the spoon. Take internally at least 1 time per day. I HATED doing this as a child in the 1960s, but it did seem to work.

Anonymous said...

Since a heavy layer of grease or oil will kill lice, the lard probably would work for "camp itch" by itself.

Shay said...

I wonder if washing 3x per week might have been what killed the "itch."

Shay said...

marjory -- so, if you taste like sulphur, bugs won't bite you?

It makes sense in a way.

Lady Anne said...

Late to this party...head lice and body lice are two different creatures. While head lice are icky, they are not dangerous. Body lice carry typhus, which has a twenty-five percent mortality rate, and these lice LOVE dirt, crowding and general misery. One of the symptoms is a skin rash, so it may have been "camp itch". And you're right - washing three times a week would clear it up, with or without the grease.