Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Recipes for Every Emergency!

In addition to recipes for food, Common Sense in the Household contains many interesting tidbits related to health and hygiene.

Take these two items. (You may want to print a copy to put in your first aid kit.)

Let's look at the one on blood flow first. Do you think the author stored a collection of cobwebs in a bin somewhere in case of nasty cuts? Or did she scurry around house and barn, grabbing handfuls wherever she found them?

Can you imagine the state of the injury after a few days of being bound up with cobwebs and brown sugar?


Now on to the second remedy.

I'm imagining an ash tray filled with twists of saltpeter encrusted paper, at the bedside of some poor asthmatic. Could the smoke possibly have been helpful, acting as a primitive nebulizer? The author seems to have personal knowledge of efficacy. Perhaps she uses the treatment herself.

I'm no fan of pharmaceutical companies, but reading this stuff sure makes me grateful for the local drug store.


  1. Methinks I'd start with the laudanum.

  2. And I'm guessing you mean orally. From her description it sounds topical, which I've never heard before.

  3. My great grandmother spoke often about how they used to use cobwebs, sawdust and sugar when they would cut themselves. I remember a story in specific where she recalled her brother being severely injured at their family sawmill and them just packing the deep wound with sawdust and cobwebs, wrapping it up to walk home and her mom changing the "dressings". It healed without much of a scar!

    1. These days we'd consider that treatment a recipe for certain death! Amazing how things have changed, and so quickly.