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My mom's recipes.
See More of my vintage
collection of 1940's, 1950's,
1960's  Cake Recipes
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No matter what happened, our mothers loved and took care of us with all the knowledge
they processed.  Sacrifices we didn't understand then, we hold dear in our memories
now.   If only we had listened to everything they had to say, our lives would have been
richer and we would have been better off.  "Mom, you were right and I was wrong."

The piece written by Robin isn't intended to provide a "cure" for what ails you.  This is just
a smattering of remedies they used way back when.   I've included vintage black n white

The following is for amusement only, R
obin has had no medical training.  Intended as
entertainment only.

Home Remedies Or Medicines From Olden Times
Robin L. Wallace
Read, "The Story of the Missing
Cookie Jar" by PenVampyre.  A
delightful little Christmas story with
mouthwatering warm tasty recipes
for the most wonderful time of the

Read "
Santa and the Magic Key",
plus recipes for your holidays.  A
story by PenVampyre

Easter eggs, bunnies and other
Read "
Easter and Where NOT to
Hide Eggs"  Memories of Easters
past and a few vintage recipes.

Logan's Halloween Story -The
original story won first place in
sixth-eighth grade division of
Southeastern Middle School, 2005
by Logan Lyon, alas, no recipes.

Food and Genealogy A story By
Robin L. Wallace.  Our lives, our
families, our very history's are
defined by the foods we eat.

Family Reunion Recipes
"The Fourth of July and Other
(With Apologies to Jean Shepherd)
By Robin L. Wallace

A short story by Suellen Fry.  
Memories of my father and his
version of Kickapoojoyjuice.

Memorial Day Recipes - "For me,
Memorial Day was the day when we
went out where relatives were buried
in the tiny, local cemeteries and
thoroughly cleaned up each
gravesite, carrying away branches
that may have fallen in the

Grandma Irwin's Story of Courage
Swit Tater Biskits Recipe.

Thanksgiving Day recipes and story
from the past.

College Foods and Other Mistakes I
Have Eaten.
  With the drugs available to us in the modern era, it's easy
to become arrogant about some of the practices used in
medicine over the last several hundred years.  Granted,
quackery and lack of knowledge concerning basic medical
principles we accept now did exist, but it's becoming evident
that some of our "modern" cures, tied to a whole raft of side
effects and complications are, in some cases, worse than the
original disease they are supposed to treat.  Too often we
have become dazzled by the ads put out by modern
pharmaceutical companies, and rush to our doctors to
demand that we be given the latest, greatest drug that we
have seen advertised on television.  We have forgotten that
there were some older medical practices are still can work in
the modern day.  How many people remember the fact that
penicillin came out of the use of moldy bread as .a poultice
used to cure infections or the use of alcohol and honey
dating as far back as the ancient Egyptians as antiseptics to
prevent the worsening of wounds because they are natural
And of course, what listing of old fashioned recipes would be complete without a
recipe for chicken soup?

Chicken Soup
1 chicken, cut up
1 onion, cut up
2 carrots, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 tablespoon Bell
's Poultry Seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
Noodles or 1/2 cup rice (optional)
Put chicken in a pot and cover with about 1 1/2 quarts of water.  Cook chicken
over a medium heat for about 45 minutes or until done. Check chicken a couple of
times during cooking and skim off any foam.
Remove chicken from stock and set aside to cool.  If there is any foam remaining,
strain broth through a wire strainer and return to pot.  Add celery, carrots and
onions and cook until tender.  Remove skin and bones from chicken.  Break up
chicken into pieces and return to the stock and vegetables.  Add poultry seasoning
and salt and pepper to taste.
Add noodles or rice last and cook until done.
NOTE: If using rice, be sure to add another cup of stock made with a cup of warm
water and 1 chicken bouillon cube

I hope this overview of old home remedies has given you some useable alternatives
for the next time you
're ill.
Lime juice sore throat remedy
juice of a freshly squeezed lime
Mix the lime juice with an equal amount of honey.  You
can drink this 2
to 3 times a day, or as needed.

To clear congestion:
5 to 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
8 ounces milk
Cook garlic and milk until it's thick.  Cool and drink.

Ginger tea to fight Flu
1 small ginger root, peeled and sliced
24 ounces water
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
Boil ginger root for half an hour over low heat.  Take off
heat and allow to steep for 10 more minutes.  Strain,
reserving liquid.  Add in brown sugar and mix well.  Drink
when sufficiently cooled.

Emetic (to induce vomiting)
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
8 ounces warm water
Mix mustard into warm water.  Drink immediately.  
Should induce vomiting within five minutes or less.
Cayenne pepper gargle
5 shakes of Cayenne Pepper
1 cup of hot water

Mix pepper in liquid and gargle every 15 minutes with the
spicy elixir.  You may swallow a tiny bit each time. Gargling
with cayenne can cause a strong burning sensation in the
lips and tongue. Try keeping milk or yogurt in your mouth
after gargling until the burning disappears.
*You can substitute herbal tea, a saline mixture or lemon
+If you do not have Cayenne pepper you can use 10-20
drops of Tabasco sauce in a glass of warm water, and the
effect will be the same. If you do not have access to
Cayenne or Tabasco, then chili peppers, hot paprika or
white pepper are equally useful. All these pungent spices
contain capsaicin, which dulls the pain and has anti-viral

CAUTION: Cayenne pepper is a natural blood thinner, so do
not take it before surgery or dental treatment without
consulting your physician.

Spicy gargle #2
1/2 ounce  fresh ginger, grated (an equal amount of
powdered ginger may be substituted)
1 cup water
Juice of 1 freshly squeezed lemon
Equal amount of warm water
1 tablespoon honey
1 pinch Cayenne pepper (optional)
Simmer the grated fresh ginger root or ginger powder in a
cup of water for ten minutes. Strain and add the fresh
lemon juice and/or honey and a pinch of Cayenne pepper, if
desired. Use as a gargle every 30 minutes.
Wild Oregano gargle
2-3 drops of Wild Oregano (Origanum vulgare) Essential Oil
8 ounces hot water
Mix Oregano oil in hot water. Gargle several times a day as

Raw garlic gargle
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
Mix crushed clove of raw garlic with  honey and fresh
squeezed lemon juice. Take 1 teaspoon from the mixture
several times a day.

Apple Cider vinegar gargle
2 tablespoons of organic Apple Cider Vinegar
1 cup of hot water, as hot as you can stand it
1 tablespoon honey
Mix all ingredients and gargle or drink it as hot as possible .
Fig/milk gargle
2 tablespoons honey
8 ounces milk (optional)
4 figs, cut in half
Boil figs in milk over low heat until softened.  Strain
mixture and mix in honey.  Drink when cool enough to

Herbal gargle #1
1 teaspoon marshmallow root
1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger root
1 cup (8 ounces) water
4 ounces lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt

Simmer marshmallow root and ginger root in 8 ounces
water for 10 minutes in a covered pot. Remove from the
heat, leave covered and steep for an additional 10
minutes. Strain, add honey and/or lemon and 1/2
teaspoon of salt(if desired) and gargle about every 30
There seem to me many, many recipes for gargles to help a sore throat.  Most
viruses and bacteria are susceptible to acids, alkalines, or salt.  Whereas bacteria
can develop a resistance to antibiotics (antibiotics don’t work on viruses, so
make sure to have the infection cultured to determine if the source is viral or
bacterial before taking an antibiotic), this is not the case with most home
remedies.  Remember that salt based and baking soda based gargles can be
drying, so have some water handy to drink or gargle with after you use them.

Saltwater gargle:
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 pint of warm water
Mix together. Gargle every 30 minutes.

Onion gargle
1 large yellow onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
Water to cover
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons honey
4 ounces apple cider vinegar (optional)
4 ounces lemon juice (optional)
8 ounces milk (optional)
Chop onions and garlic and place in a pan.  Cover with 16 ounces of water and
simmer over a low heat for 30 minutes.  Take off heat and strain, reserving liquid.  
Add salt, honey, lemon juice and/or cider vinegar.  Gargle with about 2 tablespoons
every 30 minutes,
NOTE: Some old recipes call for milk rather than lemon juice or vinegar.  If you
choose to use this, be sure NOT to add either the lemon juice or vinegar.  It will
curdle the milk, and cause immediate nausea.
Salt poultice for bug bites
1 tablespoon salt
Water or alcohol
Mix salt with enough water or alcohol to form a paste.  Hold in place over bite with a
large pad and adhesive tape.  Change daily until bite disappears.
Homemade arthritis rub:
1 large horseradish root, washed and peeled
1 bottle of gin*
After peeling, cut the horseradish root into small pieces and place in a bottle.  Fill the
bottle with enough gin to cover the root.  Cover and store the bottle in the fridge for at
least 5 days so the root can steep in the gin.  Drain off the gin and reserve.  Puree the
horseradish until smooth.  If the paste is too dry, use a little of the reserved gin to
moisten the mixture to form a smooth paste that can be rubbed on affected areas.
*Some sources indicate that if you don’t have Gin, Schnapps or Vodka can be
substituted, but gin is the best in this case because the juniper berries that gin is made
from have anti-inflammatory properties.

Anti-inflammatory for arthritis or joint pain:
1 box raisins (the non-sulfited real kind are best
1 bottle gin
Break up raisins so they are separated and place in a jar that has an airtight lid.  Cover
the raisins with gin.  Cover the jar tightly and allow the raisins to soak for a week.  When
done, drain off gin and store in the refrigerator.  Eat a small handful of the raisins once
or twice as needed to help relieve arthritis or joint pain.
GARGLES: Common gargles may be made of figs boiled in milk and water,
with a little sal-ammoniac (the archaic name for the chemical compound
ammonium chloride, also been used in the past in bakery products to give
cookies a very crisp texture, although that application is rapidly dying due
to the general disuse of it as an ingredient); or sage-tea, with honey and
vinegar mixed together. A sore throat maybe gargled with it two or three
times a day.

Mustard Plaster recipe
2 tablespoons of dry mustard (try not to use black mustard)
6 tablespoons flour
Add enough water, egg whites, olive oil or mineral oil to make a smooth
Spread on cheesecloth, diaper cloth, flannel, old dish towel or something
like that. Fold the cloth in half and put it on your chest for about 20
minutes (never longer than 30).
Mustard plasters should not be used on children under the age of 6. Black
Mustard should not be used in patients suffering from ulcers, venous
problems, or kidney disease, or those less than six years of age.
PLASTERS: Common plaster is made of six pints of olive oil, and two
pounds and a half of litharge (one of the natural powdered mineral forms of
lead oxide, PbO) finely powdered. A smaller quantity may of course be made
of equal proportions. Boil them together over a gentle fire, in about a gallon
of water, and keep the ingredients constantly stirring. After they have boiled
about three hours, a little of the salve may be taken out, and put into cold
water. When of a proper consistence, the whole may be suffered to cool, and
the water pressed out of it with the hands. This will serve as a basis for
other plasters, and is generally applied in slight wounds and excoriations of
the skin. It keeps the part warm and supple, and defends it from the air,
which is all that is necessary in such cases. Adhesive plaster, which is
principally used for keeping on other dressings, consists of half a pound of
common plaster, and a quarter of a pound of Burgundy pitch melted
together. Anodyne plaster is as follows. Melt an ounce of the adhesive, and
when cooling, mix with it a dram of powdered opium, and the same of
camphor, previously rubbing with a little oil. This plaster generally gives ease
in acute pains, especially of the nervous kind. Blistering plaster is made in a
variety of ways, but seldom of a proper consistence. When compounded of
oils, and other greasy substances, its effects are lessened, and it is apt to
run, while pitch and rosin render it hard and inconvenient. The following will
be found the best method. Take six ounces of Venice turpentine (produced
from the Western Larch Larix occidentalis and from which camphor is
distilled), two ounces of yellow wax, three ounces of Spanish flies (the dried
and powdered bodies of the Cantharis vesicatoria, a beetle found in Southern
Europe whose chief derivative is cantharidin, an active irritant which when
applied to the skin causes a feeling of heat and burning in a few hours) finely
powdered, and one ounce of the flour of mustard. Melt the wax, and while it
is warm, add the turpentine to it, taking care not to evaporate it by too
much heat. After the turpentine and wax are sufficiently incorporated,
sprinkle in the powders, and stir the mass till it is cold. When the blistering
plaster is not at hand, mix with any soft ointment a sufficient quantity of
powdered flies, or form them into a plaster with flour and vinegar.
Onion gargles, or onion teas were often used to cure sore throats, be
they of viral or bacterial origin.  More often than not, the boiled juice
obtained from big yellow onions, was mixed with salt and/or garlic juice
to complete the recipe.  Onions are high in sulphur, a natural component
of sulpha antibiotics, and garlic, in addition to being a good antiseptic
against both viruses and bacteria, has proved to help boost the immune
system and lower cholesterol.  In some older cookbooks, the onion was
also mixed with figs, honey, milk, vinegar and/or a tea made of sage
leaves.  Some also called for the addition of ammonia salts, but taking
this internally is too hazardous.

 What follows are original recipes taken from The Cooks and
Housekeepers Complete and Universal Dictionary by Mary Eaton, first
published in 1822.  Like many other books of its kind, it was specifically
aimed at new wives and those women likely to be employed as chief
housekeepers in wealthy households.  I have left the directions exactly as
they originally appeared, adding definitions for unknown or ingredients
that are dangerous in boldfaced type.  Following the original recipes are
modern versions of some which can be used more safely if you wish to
try the older remedies yourself.
Mustard plasters are made of a mixture of dry mustard powder and a small
amount of flour, mixed with water, mineral oil, olive oil or egg white to form
a paste, and are applied to the chest or abdomen to stimulate healing. In
times past and present, the mixture was spread onto a layer of cotton or
flannel cloth and applied to the chest or back. The paste used in the plaster,
when made correctly, often resembles the Chinese mustard sauce now
regularly served with eggrolls in many American Chinese restaurants.  The
mustard paste, itself, should never make direct contact with the skin, just
the cloth on which it is spread. Leaving a mustard plaster on the bare skin
for too long will lead to burning, blisters, or potentially even ulcers. A
mustard plaster should never be left on for longer than 30 minutes. Applied
externally, Black Mustard is used in the treatment of bronchial pneumonia
and pleurisy. Some old sources suggest that the mustard powder be
blended with egg white rather than water or oil to prevent blistering of the

 Mustard oil (also used in the production of nitrogen mustard gas -- a toxic
gas that was used as a chemical weapon on troops during World War I and
caused irreparable damage to lung tissues and breathing passages) can
cause irritation to mucous membranes, and excessive internal use has been
known to cause stomach problems and kidney irritation. Be very careful
when you use a mustard plaster, though.  Breathing in the vapors of a
mustard plaster can trigger sneezing, coughing, asthma attacks, and/or eye
While not used very often in the United States any longer, mustard
plasters, also known as sinapisms, are in common use in Russia and other
Post-Soviet countries. It is still a common belief there that mustard
plasters stimulate the immune system, relieve pain and also have an
anti-inflammatory effect. They are often used to treat the common cold, a
runny nose, rheumatism and problems with the respiratory system.
One of the best cures for skin irritations (and which still has a preparation that is sold
commercially by the Averno company) is colloidal oatmeal used in a warm bath, or as a
poultice placed on the skin.  The commercial preparation, sold as a fine powder, is a
natural non-irritant, and works to soothe the skin and wash away any irritating
substance that can cause inflammation or reddening.  In the olden days it was often
used either conjunction with or instead of calamine lotion to treat such things as
poison oak and poison ivy.  I can remember when I was about nine or so, I got into
poison ivy one summer at Girl Scout camp.  The camp nurse didn't have access to
calamine lotion, so I spent the next two weeks painted up with a poultice of oatmeal.  It
took a little longer to work than the calamine lotion might have, but work it did, and
ended up coming out with no scarring of the skin where I might have otherwise.  I had
to use it so often over the years to clear up various skin irritants that I have found I
can no longer stand the smell of just plain oatmeal as a result.  If the oatmeal is spiced,
like for cookies, I have no problem, but the scent of the oatmeal in the bath leaves me
cold.  I just never could get over the faint oatmeal aroma coming from the water
coupled with a slightly slimy feel the bath left on my skin.
Mustard plaster recipes.
Growing up I was privy to the combined knowledge of my Great-Grandmother Wallace
and my Grandmother Irwin.  For more modern techniques I could look to both of my
parents and an aunt (all trained as Registered Nurses), not to mention the father of a
high school chum who ran the local pharmacy up until the time most drugs started
coming prepackaged directly from the pharmaceutical companies and he was asked to
retire.  Neither my parents or my friend's father (who was able to compound almost
anything he sold at the pharmacy) pooh-poohed some of the "old-time" remedies,
choosing instead, to use those they knew worked and would not cause any kind of harm
to the one they were used on.
Onion gargles or onion teas.
"Old-time" remedies I still make use of to this
day include painting mosquito bites with full
strength ammonia, making a poultice out of
salt and water or alcohol to draw the venom
out of spider and other insect bites, drinking
a hot lemonade toddy with honey and whisky
to cure chest congestion, and when not
taking it in capsule form orally, using
powdered burdock root as a treatment for
acne.  People who practice holistic medicine
have also found, likewise, that many
homeopathic cures work better than their
"traditional" (read that as anything
contemporary doctors might use) cousins do.
Common plaster recipes for dressing.
And who in my generation or those before
me could ever forget the use of mustard
plasters to break up chest congestion?  
Anyone who experienced one usually did
submit to another voluntarily, and the
removal of plasters was so awful they
made it into popular culture via the comics
or early cartoons.   If not enduring the
plasters, there were those of us who were
made to drink noxious concoctions like
onion gargles and the "spring tonics"
based on black strap molasses or other
equally nauseating ingredients that were
combined and boiled up for hours or days
on the stove and were fed to you at the
end of the winter supposedly to help
rebuild your constitution following the
ravages of winter elements on your general
health.  Although I'm sure there is some
sort of medicinal benefit to it, one of the
worst for me was the forced intake of cod
liver oil.  No matter how hard I tried, I just
couldn't get it past my tongue, and more
often than not, it proved to be a surefire
emetic (substance that induces vomiting).  
To this day my stomach instantly turns
any time I get a whiff of it.
Salt poultice for bug bites.
Homemade arthritis rub recipes.
Saltwater gargle.
Raw garlic gargle
Acids alkalines or salt recipes
home remedies from the past
Spicy gargle recipes
Cayenne pepper in a natural blood thinner
Chicken Soup
Ginger tea
Gargles of boiled milk and figs
sate tea with honey and vinegar
O, the following is for the IDIOTS, who in today's world are thinking we were in any way doctors or dispensing
Some people today are so...............well, just "plain ignorant", as my mother would say.