Cure-All, Old Style

THE following remedies were culled from a notebook of physicians’ prescriptions of more than one hundred years ago. The Atlantic reader to whom we are indebted for the collection assures us that her grandparents tried out the remedies not only upon themselves but upon their two children.

For a Bleeding at the Nose

If putting a Key down the back, etc. does not stop the bleeding, catch a frog, open his mouth & let the person smell at it. This has succeeded when other remedies have failed.

Smelling of Fox-glove will stop the bleeding.

For the Gout

Wear oiled silk stockings over fine worsted ones, day and night.

Cure for Cancer

Sheep sorrel (leaf like that of a clover), express the juice on a pewter plate; expose it to the sun until it assumes the consistency of salve; apply this as a plaster to a cancer, and change it occasionally as necessity may require. It will fully & entirely extract the cancer. If the disease be really the cancer the application will cause pain; if not, no pain will ensue.

For Fever and Ague

Bone-set tea is recommended as a cure for fever & ague, if taken on the approach of the fit. If it fails the first, it will surely succeed the second trial. A strong tea of it, taken before breakfast (a gill or a half pint as the person can bear) will strengthen the stomach & sharpen the appetite more than any other bitters. In cases of bilious cholic it has been known to give immediate relief.

For Cholera Morbus or Dysentery

Take 6 cents worth of isinglass, and simmer it down in about half a pint of water on a slow fire, till it is all dissolved, & when done, add a little milk & sugar to make it palatable. Give the patient a half cup full immediately, & a spoonful every hour afterwards. Many have found it a sovereign remedy & a radical cure.

For Rheumatism

To one handful of red pepper, add a small portion of garlic; put this into one quart of Apple Brandy, & boil it down to a pint. Take one teaspoonful.


The common strawberry is a natural dentifrice & its juice without any previous preparation whatever dissolves the tartareous encrustation on the teeth & makes the breath sweet and agreeable.

For a Sprain

Take tar and spread it on a cloth — and take West India molasses, boil it, and when the scum rises, take the scum and spread it over the tar — then apply it blood warm. It will afford almost immediate relief.