Old herbal remedies for coughs and colds

_Expectorant Pills._

Take of dried root of squills, in fine powder, 1 scruple; gum ammoniac, lesser cardamom seeds in powder, extract of liquorice, each 1 drachm. Form them into a mass with simple syrup. This is an elegant and commodius form for the exhibition of squills, whether for promoting expectoration, or for the other purposes to which that medicine is applied. The dose is from 10 grains to 1 scruple, three times a day.

_Napoleon's Pectoral Pills._

The following recipe was copied from one in the possession of the late Emperor of France, and was a very favorite remedy with Napoleon for difficulty of breathing, or oppression of the chest arising from a collection of mucus in the air cells and vessels of the lungs, and in the gullet. Considerable benefit has been derived from it in many similar cases. Take of ipecacuanha root, in powder, 30 grains; squill root, in powder, gum ammoniac, in powder, each 2 scruples; mucilage of gum arabic, sufficient to form a mass. To be divided into 24 pills; two to be taken every night and morning.

_dr. Ratcliff's Cough Mixture._

Mix together 4 drachms of syrup of squills; 4 drachms of elixir of paregoric; 4 drachms of syrup of poppies. Of this take a teaspoonful in a little tea or warm water, as occasion requires.

_dr. Munro's Cough Medicine._

Take 4 drachms of paregoric elixir, 2 drachms of sulphuric ether; 2 drachms of tincture of tolu. Mix, and take a teaspoonful night and morning, or when the cough is troublesome, in a little milkwarm water.

_Simple Remedy for Coughs._

Take of boiling water, half a pint; black currant jelly, a desertspoonful; sweet spirits of nitre, a teaspoonful. Mix the jelly in the water first till it is quite dissolved, and add the nitre last. Take a desertspoonful of the mixture at night, going to bed, or when the cough is troublesome. The mixture should be made and kept in a teapot, or other covered vessel.

_Remedy for Chronic Cough._

The following is very serviceable in common obstinate coughs, unattended with fever. Take of tincture of tolu, 3 drachms; elixir of paregoric, 1/2 an ounce; tincture of squills, 1 drachm. Two teaspoonsful to be taken in a tumbler of barleywater going to bed, and when the cough is troublesome.

_For Coughs in Aged Persons._

In the coughs of aged persons, or in cases where there are large accumulations of purulent or viscid matter, with feeble expectoration, the following mixture will be found highly beneficial: Pour gradually 2 drachms of nitric acid, diluted in half a pint of water, on 2 drachms of gum ammoniac, and triturate them in a glass mortar, until the gum is dissolved. A tablespoonful to be taken, in sweetened water, every two or three hours.

_Cough Emulsion._

Take of oil of almonds, 6 drachms; milk of almonds, 5 ounces; rose water, gum arabic, and purified sugar, equal parts, 2 drachms. Let these be well rubbed together, and take two tablespoonsful four times a day, and a teaspoonful upon coughing. This is far preferable to the common white emulsions formed by an alkali, which, uniting with the oil, produces a kind of soap, and readily mingling with the water, forms the white appearance observed, and is commonly disgusting to patients, and unpleasant to the stomach; whereas this suits every palate, and removes that tickling in the throat so very distressing to patients.

_Emulsion for a Cold, etc._

Take of milk of almonds, 1 ounce; syrup of tolu, 2 drachms; rose-water, 2 drachms; tincture of squills, 16 drops. Make into a draught. Four to be taken during the day. This is an admirable remedy in colds, and also in chronic cough, as well as in asthma.

_Gargle for Thrush._

Thrush or aphthae in the mouth, will be greatly benefited by the frequent use of the following gargle: Mix together 20 drops of muriatic acid (spirits of salts); 1 ounce of honey of rose; and 4 ounces of decoction of barley.

Another.--Make a gargle of 2 drachms of borax; 1 ounce of honey of roses, and 7 ounces of rosewater. To be used three or four times a day.

_Gargle for Sore Throat._

Take of decoction of bark, 7 ounces; tincture of myrrh, 2 drachms; purified nitre, 3 drachms. Make into a gargle. This is a sovereign method to disperse a tumefied gland, or common sore throat. By taking upon such occasions a small lump of purified nitre, putting it into the mouth, and letting it dissolve there, then removing it, and applying it again in a few seconds, and swallowing the saliva, I have, says dr. Thornton, for many years prevented a sore throat from forming.

_For Putrid Sore Throat._

Take of decoction of bark, 6 ounces; diluted muriatic acid, 1 drachm; honey of roses, 1 ounce. Make into a gargle. To be used, mixed with port wine, frequently during the day.

_For Inflammatory Sore Throat._

Take of nitre, 2 drachms; honey, 4 drachms; rosewater, 6 ounces. Mix. To be used frequently.

Another.--Dissolve 2 teaspoonsful of alum in 1 pint of sage tea.

Another.--Take of muriatic acid, 20 drops; glycerine, 1 ounce; water, 3 ounces. Mix.

_For Ulcerated Sore Throat._

The chlorate of potassa, in cases of putrid ulcerated sore throat, has been used with the most decisive success. Its internal exhibition more effectually allays thirst and abates fever than any other medicine; and, when applied as a gargle to inflamed or ulcerated sore throats, it has been found to disperse the inflammation and to deterge the ulcers more effectually than the infusion of rose-leaves with the sulphuric acid, the gargle generally resorted to in those cases. The chlorate of potassa may be given in the dose of from 20 to 30 grains in a half glass of water, three or four times a day. For the purpose of gargling the throat, 4 drachms of the chlorate may be added to half a pint of water.

Return to The Household Cyclopedia of General Information