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Mother's Remedies Over One Thousand Tried and Tested Remedies from Mothers of the United States and Canada   By: (1855-)

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[Transcriber's Notes]

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 related terms).

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.

There are many recipes for foods I fondly remember eating as a child.

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 consumed quickly.

Many recipes use uncooked meat and eggs that can lead to several diseases.

Obvious typographical errors have been corrected but contemporary spelling 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.

I recommend the article on "hydrophobia" (page 241) as an interesting history of the Pasture treatment.

Don Kostuch

Transcriber's Dictionary

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.

acetanilide (also acetanilid) White crystalline compound, C6H5NH(COCH3), formerly used to relieve pain and reduce fever. It has been replaced because of toxicity.

Aconite 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.

actinomycosis (lumpy jaw) Inflammatory disease of cattle, hogs, and sometimes humans, caused by actinomyces; causes lumpy tumors of the mouth, neck, chest, and abdomen.

Addison's disease 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.

ad libitum At the discretion of the performer. Giving license to alter or omit a part.

affusion Pouring on of liquid, as in baptism.

ague Alternating periods of chills, fever, and sweating. Used in reference to the fevers associated with malaria.

aletris farinosa (Colicroot, star grass, blackroot, 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).

algid Cold; chilly.

alkanet 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 elongated cymes.

allyl Univalent, unsaturated organic radical C3H5.

aloin Bitter, yellow crystalline compound from aloe, used as a laxative. alum 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... Continue reading book >>

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