Once upon a time, plants and other natural substances were the only medicine sources available. Apothecaries — the pharmacists and chemists of the past — with knowledge passed down over the centuries from dozens of cultures, experimented with concoctions to aid healing and cure diseases. While we can look at some of these medicinals warily, we cannot deny the simple fact that present-day medications would not exist without these discoveries. And, as some will adamantly proclaim, herbal remedies are superior to many modern synthetic compounds. Whatever a person’s opinion on homeopathic therapies versus traditional, the continued survival of the human race proves the veracity of ancient treatments. Just giving respect where it is due!
Here are a few remedies that might help some of you. Who knows? LOL! Using a couple of online sources, but primarily this excellent medical text: Dr. Nicholas Culpeper’s Complete Herbal, published by Richard Evans of London in 1814 —
ONE HUNDRED ADDITIONAL HERBS, WITH A DISPLAY OF THEIR Medicinal and Occult Qualities; Physically applied to THE CURE OF ALL DISORDERS INCIDENT TO MANKIND. Rules for Compounding medicine according to the true SYSTEM of NATURE. FORMING A COMPLETE FAMILY DISPENSATORY, AND NATURAL SYSTEM OF PHYSIC… “The Lord hath created Medicines out of the Earth; and he that is wise will not abhor them,” Ecclesiastes 38:4
Pepperwort, also called Dittander, is very successful for the sciatica, or any other gout or pain in the joints, or any other inveterate grief. The leaves hereof to be bruised, and mixed with old hog’s grease, and applied to the place, and to continue thereon four hours in men, and two hours in women, the place being afterwards bathed with wine and oil mixed together, and then wrapped up with wool or skins, after they have sweat a little. It also amends the deformities or discolourings of the skin, and helps to take away marks, scars, and scabs, or the foul marks of burning with fire or iron. The juice hereof is by some used to be given in ale to drink, to women with child, to procure them a speedy delivery in travail.
Modern names include: lepidium, garden cress, maca, and peppergrass.
Marigold strengthens the heart exceedingly. The juice of Marigold leaves mixed with vinegar, and any hot swellings bathed with it, instantly gives ease, and assuages it. The flowers, either green or dried, are much used in possets, broths, and drink, as a comforter of the heart and spirits, and to expel any malignant or pestilential quality which might annoy them. A plaister made with the dry flowers in powder, hog’s-grease, turpentine, and rosin, applied to the breast, strengthens and succours the heart infinitely in fevers, whether pestilential or not.
Buck’s Horn Plantain The leaves bruised and applied to the place, stop bleeding. The herbs bruised and applied to warts, will make them consume and waste in a short time. Also called: herbastella, sanguinaria, minutina.
Lavender is of a special good use for all the griefs and pains of the head and brain that proceed of a cold cause, as the apoplexy, falling-sickness, the dropsy, or sluggish malady, cramps, convulsions, palsies, and often faintings. It strengthens the stomach, and frees the liver and spleen from obstructions, provokes women’s courses, and expels the dead child and after-birth. The flowers of Lavender steeped in wine, helps them to make water that are stopped, or are troubled with the wind or cholic, if the place be bathed therewith. A decoction made with the flowers of Lavender, Hore-hound, Fennel and Asparagus root, and a little Cinnamon, is very profitably used to help the falling-sickness; to gargle the mouth with the decoction thereof is good against the tooth-ache. Two spoonfuls of the distilled water of the flowers taken, helps them that have lost their voice, as also the tremblings and passions of the heart, and faintings and swooning, not only being drank, but applied to the temples, or nostrils to be smelled unto; but it is not safe to use it where the body is replete with blood and humours, because of the hot and subtile spirits wherewith it is possessed. The chymical oil drawn from Lavender, usually called Oil of Spike, is of so fierce and piercing a quality, that it is cautiously to be used, some few drops being sufficient, to be given with other things, either for inward or outward griefs.
Primrose roots are used as a sternutatory ( for the head; the best way of using them is to bruise them, and express the juice, which being snuffed up the nose, occasions violent sneezing, and brings away a great deal of water, but without being productive of any bad effect. Dried and reduced to powder, it will produce the same effect, but not so powerfully. In this state it is said to be good for nervous disorders, but the dose must be small. A drachm and a half of the dried roots, which are taken up in autumn, acts as a strong, but safe emetic.