I am an avid collector of old books. I enjoy reading nonfiction books that are roughly one hundred years old or so. In doing so, you’re not only able to learn what things were like in that era, but you can learn a LOT of things that are no longer taught!
One such book I’ve enjoyed reading many times over is “Mother’s Remedies” by Thomas Jefferson Ritter. I got my free copy on Amazon, for the Kindle reader. This is a resource I turn to often. You can get your own copy… completely FREE for your Kindle reader… by clicking here!
I’m going to share a few things I have found to be helpful myself and it may be beneficial to you as well. Keep in mind*** I am not a doctor, and I am not telling you to treat yourself with these remedies! If you have a recurring cold, I advise you to seek the attention of a doctor.
Now, on to a few of Mother’s Remedies.
A Word About Colds
If you want to treat a cold on your own, with home remedies, don’t wait until it has set in to do so. Breaking it up right away is the goal, and one way to do this is to take a very hot bath right before bed. You can also try a foot bath with mustard powder added in, and follow that with a piping hot drink.
It may sound old-fashioned, but it is scientific, to be sure. Nine of every ten colds can be attributed to clogged pores!
Benjamin Franklin once said, more than one hundred years ago, that all colds are caused by air that isn’t pure, overeating and a lack of exercise.
Some Good Cold Remedies
Molasses-Vinegar Syrup: One good remedy for colds, taken early on, is Molasses-Vinegar syrup. To make this remedy, combine 1/2 cup of good quality molasses, one heaping tablespoon of butter, and one tablespoon of vinegar. Boil these together until butter melts and is thoroughly blended with the other ingredients.
Dose: Take one teaspoon every hour or so until relieved.
This very old remedy is a good one!
Lemon & Mustard: Make a piping hot cup of lemonade, unsweetened or sweetened only with honey, and drink it while soaking the feet in a very hot foot bath mixed with mustard powder (about 3 tablespoons or so). If taken at the very onset of the cold, this remedy is quick to break it up.
The idea behind the hot foot bath along with the hot drink is to create a good blood circulation. Many colds begin in the head and drawing blood away from the head, the congestion is quickly broke up.
Hops or Catnip Poultice: Put a little hops or catnip, of good quality and not mixed with other chemicals or additives, in a muslin bag and steam it until very hot. Place the bag, once cooled enough not to burn, on the throat and lungs.
The cure is in the fact that the hot poultice works to draw the congestion away and throughout the body, ridding it. Both local and general sweating will occur, and this is good for getting rid of the cold.
Simple Honey: Eat honey right from the spoon. It is very soothing and helps more times than it doesn’t. Adding horehound or lemon increases its effectiveness. This is especially good for children because they almost always enjoy honey. Do not give to babies under 1 year of age, however.
Lard & Turpentine: For this remedy, melt 1/2 a cup of lard and combine with 1 1/2 teaspoons of turpentine. Rub this on the chest and cover with a flannel cloth.
This remedy works when the cold starts in the chest and can be used while taking a hot foot bath, as described above. You can also apply the remedy and then go directly to bed, covering up nice and warm.
For a Sore Throat
Prior to the onset of any actual pain, you may feel a sore throat coming on in a variety of different ways. You might feel dryness or stiffness in the throat, or the area around the angle of the jaw and outside of the neck may be tender.
A day or two after these symptoms come on, you may notice an increase of mucous, causing you to clear your throat or cough more.
Sore Throat Gargle: Combine 1 teaspoon each of baking soda and salt in one pint of very warm water. Gargle often, as it not only soothes the throat but acts like an antiseptic, cleaning all the parts it touches.
Sore Throat Gargle #2: Combine 2 tablespoons of salt, 2 tablespoons of honey, and 3 tablespoons of vinegar. As a gargle, use every couple of hours until relief is established.
You can also use this recipe externally. Simply wet a cloth, wring it until it isn’t dripping and bind it around the neck, tightly, covering it with a dry cloth. If using externally, it’s best to do so at night.
Sore Throat Gargle #3: combine one glass of very warm water with 1 tablespoon of vinegar, 1 teaspoon of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of alum and mix very well. Gargle several times a day until relieved.
Kerosene: While certainly not the most aromatic of solutions, you can dip a flannel cloth in kerosene (better known in the old days as “coal oil”), and wrap the throat tightly. For some people, this is the go-to remedy, forsaking all others because this one gets rid of a sore throat the best.
These are just a few of the remedies from this book. I hope you’ve enjoyed looking them over. I’ll have more for you in the next posting on old remedies!