Australian enquiry book of household and general information/Medical
RULES FOR HEALTH.
THERE is no greater blessing in this world than perfect health. When one bears this in mind the wonder is so many foolish people are to be seen and heard of every day, who are doing their utmost to lose this great blessing. It would be almost impossible to enumerate all the ill-habits to which people are liable, but we can mention a few rules which go a long way towards securing health. First and foremost of these comes—be regular in habit, rise directly you wake, take a cold bath or shower if you can stand it, if not, a tepid bath, as it is actually necessary for health that the whole of the body is cleansed every day, or twice a day. Follow the bath by friction with a rough towel, after that if you have time massage for twenty minutes the whole of the body. This will soon take away any nerve troubles that may be hanging about one.
Let your first meal consist of ripe fruit and as early as possible, after which take a short sharp walk for half an hour, or less if you fear fatigue or have to go to business after breakfast. Let your breakfast be plain and wholesome. A plate of oatmeal porridge with milk, an egg lightly boiled, or a chop or steak grilled or fried. Don't drink too much with your meal, one cup of good coffee, cocoa, or tea is sufficient.
Keep the feet well protected from cold and damp, and if at all inclined to chest troubles wear flannel underwear all the year round.
Dinner in the middle of the day is best for those who are inclined to be delicate at all, but as this is not always convenient to men of business they should have a light lunch at midday, a bit of bread and cheese, or plate of vegetable soup, fish or something equally light. In hot climates I believe people are the better for having only two regular meals per day, breaking their fast about twelve o'clock with a little ripe fruit. I have heard many men say they had better health when only taking two regular meals in the day than when they take three or four. When you establish this custom the dinner at night should not be later than six, so as to leave plenty of time for digestion before bedtime. And the meal should be a generous one, beginning with soup, and fish if possible, well cooked meats and plenty of vegetables, followed by light puddings and stewed fruit. But a delicate person should not touch dessert, be it fresh or dried fruits. Let him eat as much as he can during proper hours and none later than five o'clock. It is a mistake eating between meals and particularly for a delicate man or woman; because by constantly eating you keep the digestive organs always at work instead of allowing them to rest sometimes. After dinner have a cup of coffee in preference to tea unless, of course, you dislike it, then a cup of hot milk without sugar, or a glass of cold water is preferable to tea. Acid drinks are a mistake except to very strong digestions. Unsweetened they are excellent taken , and first thing in the morning for biliousness there is nothing better than lemon and salt; the lemon peeled, cut up, dipped in salt and eaten, or if that is not liked, squeeze the juice of a lime or lemon into hot water and drink it. If those people who waken with foul breath or bad taste in their mouth would sip a breakfast cup of hot water (as hot as they can bear it) they would soon get rid of it. It is also excellent in cases of indigestion, and also it acts like a charm upon the man who has been indulging over night, when he wakens with what is commonly called "a head on him," a feeling of nausea and general badness and discomfort. He should get a cup of hot water, the hotter the better, and sip it with a spoon; the juice of a lemon in it will make it more palatable or failing that a spoonful of salt. Then he can turn in for half an hour more, and when he wakes again tumble into his bath and finish the cure under the shower. This is better than all the drugs in the world.
The teeth should be brushed once or twice at least every day, and don't worry and fret, nothing interferes more with the digestion than worrying. Keep, or try to keep, an even disposition. Temper shows as plainly on the face as disease. When inclined to fret over trifles begin to count and keep it up till 500, by which time you will find your thoughts distracted to another channel, and above all keep the hands and minds occupied, there is nothing so hurtful to man or woman as idleness. Children and young girls should never be without a piece of work in their pockets, crochet, knitting, wool, anything, if only an iron holder to stitch, that they can take out at odd moments, say while waiting for meals, while waiting to go out, while talking to visitors, all these moments should be filled up. Teach the boys to draw, paint, model, make furniture for their sister's dolls, netting, or work (the latter is excellent work for boys). There are lots of things the boys can do to occupy themselves during the evenings while mother, or one of their number, reads aloud.
Let sleeping rooms be well ventilated and thoroughly aired, never sleep in an impure room. Do not go to bed directly after studying hard, or if you do, take some light book, a novel, a magazine story, and read for a few minutes before trying to sleep, as the brain is apt to dwell upon the work last done unless distracted from it before sleep. A few turns up and down the verandah before going to bed is beneficial after studying hard. If after all sleeplessness ensues then try a wet bandage. Dip an ordinary rough towel in water, wring slightly and fasten it round the body over the region of the heart, and at once, over the towel wrap a flannel or flannel bandage so as to quite cover the towel. The effect in most cases is perfectly magical. I have been advocating these cold bandages to mothers at intervals for several years, both personally and in my newspaper writings. I have found them such a benefit, a God-send I may say, when I have had a restless fractious child that I would have all mothers to know of them, and I am sure that after one trial no mother will be without them at hand. I have used them successfully at all ages and seasons of childhood, from infants teething to lads over wearied with study, and have always found them work like a charm. Some people keep a length of linen or thick twill sheeting for the under bandage, but I consider the towel best as it is always handy, is the exact length required to go round easily, and is not so cold as the plain material. For the outside two yards of good flannelette folded to the right width makes as good a wrap as a better flannel. Doctors usually advise oiled silk for the outside bandage, but the flannelette answers the purpose just as well. Often merely putting a cold bandage round the left wrist will induce sleep. In using it with an infant, the whole towel is too large, so a piece should be torn from an old one and instead of dipping it in cold water (which would be too great a shock to a baby) wring it out of warm or tepid water, put it on as quickly as possible and the flannel over it before it gets cold. It is advisable to put the infant into a flannel night dress, or else wrap it in a warm shawl, and no matter how restless or feverish the baby is (provided it is not really in ill health or suffering from any pronounced fever) it will very soon become soothed and drop off to sleep. Try it upon yourself some night when restless and irritable and you will be astonished at its effect, and the delightfully soothing sensation that gradually overcomes you.
I believe many of the light attacks of fever which come upon one so suddenly, could be avoided if hot and cold baths and these packs were more resorted to at the time when the fever is first felt coming on. After a long ride, or any severe exertion, nothing restores one more quickly than a hot bath just before bed time and a pack, next morning you awake quite refreshed. I have known severe cases of neuralgia yield to the following treatment:—I may mention that the patient had come off a six months droving trip, through weeks of heavy rains, floods, and general misery, he was so crippled with rheumatism that he had to be lifted from his horse and helped into the house; there was no doctor within 45 miles, so my remedy for neuralgia was had recourse to on the principle that it couldn't kill, and if it would do no good it would do no harm—they first gave him a vapour bath (improvised with cane chair, a bucket of hot water, and a few red hot bricks), one teaspoonful of flowers of sulphur internally, and put him into a pack and to bed, lastly a cup of hot milk with about two tablespoonsful of rum in it. He slept for four or five hours that night which was more than he had done for a week he said. Next day he was given another vapour bath, another spoonful of sulphur, and as much hot milk as he could take, for diet nothing but slops (as he politely termed them), consisting of soup with plenty of celery and other vegetables in it, also celery boiled in rice water, and administered as medicine every hour or two a tablespoonful at a time. He was packed again that night, and next morning another spoonful of sulphur, and the same diet, with hot milk to drink as before. He was much better by this time but was still kept in bed, that night he was dosed with pills of some sort to carry off the effects of the sulphur, and, by the end of ten days, he was perfectly free from neuralgia, rheumatism, or any other 'ism, and as far as I know he has never been troubled with them again. Directly he feels twinges of his enemy he to sulphur and vapour baths at once.
To improvise a vapour bath, place an ordinary cane chair over a bucket of hot water, let the patient be seated on the chair and a blanket be wrapped entirely round and over him, head and all if he can bear it, wrap another blanket round to cover in the bucket. Have three or four bricks in the fire, and when very hot place first one, and as that cools then the other in the bucket. The steam will be very hot but the patient must try and bear it. Sulphur can be added to the water, if a sulphur bath is desired.
Most women require a rest in the middle of the day, and are the better for it. Particularly do they require it in warm climates. Between 1.30 o'clock and 2.30 is the best hour to take, and if it is done regularly you will soon find that you cannot do without it just at that hour. If you can only get ten minutes sleep you will rouse up again quite refreshed. In the very hot weather it is a good thing to have a cold bath after one's mid-day rest. It is a mistake to lie down fully dressed, everything that is the least tight should be taken off and a loose dressing gown put on. If you only lie with closed eyes, without sleeping, you will be the better for the rest. Most women can drop off to sleep for a few minutes if the house is quiet and the room darkened, and none but tired mothers know the real enjoyment of that hour, and how they look forward to it through the heat and work of the morning.
MANAGEMENT OF THE SICK.
ALMOST every mother has sickness in her house some time or other. If she has many little ones she must expect to have a certain amount of illness. Fevers, colds, measles, etc., are all liable at any time to attack one or other of a large family. In this climate the great thing is to know how to keep the sick room cool without draughts, and the best disinfectants to use.
I would say to every mother, if you employ a doctor put implicit faith in him, and listen to none of his detractors. Give him every assistance, listen attentively to all his orders, and carry them out to the very letter. Though the medical man has full charge of the patient, and the ordering and directing of his or her treatment there are many details that must be left to the attendant, and which a doctor takes for granted are seen to—such as the ventilation of the room, the regular use of disinfectants, &c., &c. In fever the use of disinfectants is actually necessary for the safety of the others in the household, and also to purify the sick-room. In one long case of fever, when I was chief nurse, I found that sheets wrung out of carbolic acid and water and hung up to the windows, acted as an excellent disinfectant, and also cooled the bedroom. I used a cupful of carbolic to about three quarts of water. Another cheap disinfectant in cases of typhoid is sulphate of iron and carbolic acid. I think the proportions are two ounces of sulphate to a pint of water, and a teacupful of carbolic to a gallon of water. Condy's fluid should always be kept in the room and the hands of the nurse, or any attendants who touches the patient, should be washed in it. This last, though it seems a very trifling precaution, is, in reality, of great importance. For instance, a mother who is attending one child with fever, and directly after handling, dressing, lifting, or otherwise touching the patient, she goes from the room and picks up her baby, or touches any other member of the family, she may impart to them to them the germs of the fever. These may not for nine days afterwards, but, all the same she will have carried them. But if she cleanses her hands in Condy’s fluid, she minimises the danger. For my own part, I do not think an attendant can be too particular in cases of typhoid, it is such a terrible disease. In the first place, when nursing fever patients, I never left the sick room without divesting myself of all the clothes I wore in there, and putting on (after a bath in which Condy’s fluid was used) clean linen, &c., which had all been held over sulphur fumes, and I wore nothing but cotton. Woollen materials, I believe, are more liable to carry infection. I wore my hair gathered under a calico cap. All bed clothes, soiled clothing, &c., were boiled in water in which there was chloride of lime. Food, drinks, &c., were all handed through a window. All excrement from the patient was burnt at once, and I would impress upon all who have the charge of typhoid patients that they cannot be to particular in this matter. The neglect of this precaution is the cause of most cases where households have two or more patients ill with the same disease. There is no use of burning it half an hour later, or even ten minutes after; it must be done at once. My plan for doing this was a very simple one. An old oil or nail drum is kept outside the window, just at a distance where it would not be offensive; put the excrement into this on a pile of dry leaves and pieces of short wood, which have had a little kerosene over them, then pour a little more kerosene over the whole and set light to it. It will all burn away without any trouble. But do it yourself, do not trust to another; it is an unpleasant duty and therefore they may shirk it. Rinse out all utensils with Condy’s fluid; or make a mixture of the following in a wine bottle:—two ounces of sugar of lead and two ounces of nitric acid (fluid ounces), shake it well, and it will then be ready for use. A few drops of this poured into any utensils that is offensive will cleanse it. For removing offensive odours from the room, a clean cloth moistened with the mixture diluted with a little water can be suspended at the foot of the bed for a few moments, and all smells will go. Nothing stale must be allowed to remain in a sick room, neither drink, food, nor anything at all. Many people are fond of having a small table beside the bed with cooling drink ready for the patient. It is much the best plan to let it stand in another room. Another matter I am very particular about myself is to have no unnecessary and hangings; they all catch and retain the disease. Dresses hanging about, chintz hangings to the beds, table, &c., let all be removed. Have no superfluous drapery or hangings at all, and, if possible, have the bed moved into the middle of the room so that there is a passage of air all round and under it. Unless the patient is very weak, or the doctor forbids it, he or she should be sponged all over once a day, every part, even to the feet. Another thing—clean sheets, pillow cases, &c., are necessary every day; that is, of course, unless there is extreme weakness, and then the doctor will know best. As each sheet, night dress, &c., is taken off, it must be put into water—not by-and-bye, in an hour or five minutes, but at once. A tub should be ready—half filled with water—to which there has been chloride of lime added. Any linen that has got stained should at once have a few drops of the disinfectant mixture or Condy poured on it. The same should be done with any body linen that is stained.
When the patient leaves the sick room it must be thoroughly fumigated and cleansed. Close all windows, the chimney ventilators and doors. Get a pan of hot ashes, and on them sprinkle fifty grains of mercuric chloride, place in the centre of the room, and leave at once, closing the door. Do not return for four or even five hours, and then re-enter with a cloth over mouth and nose, and throw open the windows, open doors, &c. After a night, or at least some hours, burn some sulphur in a pan in the same way, but without closing up the whole place. This process kills all kind of vermin, as well as the typhoid germs. The nurse or attendant should be just as careful of her own health as of her patients, for, if a mother, she must bear in mind that she has other claims upon her. Above all things, she must live regularly. Let her have a cold or tepid bath every day, and clean linen if possible. Her diet should be generous and nourishing, never should she fast too long, or if possible allow herself to become over tired. A nurse makes the greatest mistake when she takes stimulants in place of her proper meals, if she cannot eat, or feels too anxious to sit down to table; then let her take something in place of the ordinary food; an egg, either beaten up with a little warm milk and drunk right off, or break it into a wineglass, add a little salt, and swallow it whole without breaking the yolk; even a drink of milk will stay the stomach for a time. Too much tea is not good for anyone who has to sit up alone much at night, it causes nervousness, and is, I feel convinced, a fruitful source of neuralgia and nervous headache.
HEADACHES, BILIOUSNESS, NEURALGIA, &c.
There are several kinds of headaches, all equally distressing to the one afflicted. For some of them there is really no cure save time and patience, but by a proper regard to the general health they can often be prevented. Sick or bilious headache is the most common. The patient generally wakes with it in the morning, and it is accompanied by a feeling of nausea and inclination to yawn. The pain increases as the day advances, till at last something sets in, and a quantity of bile is discharged from the stomach. Though the attack is most distressing, and makes one very miserable while it lasts, I don’t know but it is worth going through and enduring, for the sake of the delightful feelings of renewed health and spirits one experiences next day, when all the bile is out of the system. One is always conscious of the approach of an attack, and it can be warded off by a dose of medicine—pills, castor oil, anything in short that will thoroughly move the bowels. Hot water is one of the very best remedies for bile. Directly you awake in the morning take a cup of water as hot as you can bear to sip it slowly; then lie down again for a while. In a short time it will act upon the bowels, and the head will be relieved. Hot water, taken in this way, is an excellent thing for dyspepsia, but for this it must be taken about twenty minutes before each meal, and remember, as hot as you can possibly bear to sip it, otherwise it will be useless, or may produce vomiting. The effect of the hot water is to cleanse all the parts, passages, tubes, &c., through which the food has to pass, and thus prevent the feeling of discomfort and pain called indigestion. It is not really so very unpleasant, and can be improved by pouring the water on to a small slice of lemon, and then remove it, and steadily sip the water. For a bilious attack give the yolk of an egg beaten up well, and let the patient swallow it down in one mouthful and lie still awhile. The egg appears to collect all the bile together, and bring it away at once. It has an extraordinary effect, for hardly anything, save bile comes up. One wants an hour or two’s sleep after a bilious attack. Some people take a little spirits and water, but they do not agree with all, in many instances turning acid on the stomach, and laying the foundation for another headache. A few drops (according to circumstances) of chlorodyne taken in a little water, and a good drink of water taken after it, is better than any spirits or anything else. One should always drink freely after taking chlorodyne: it prevents any unpleasant after effects. For people who are constitutionally bilious nothing is better than lemons eaten with salt. It is good for children as well as adults, but must be taken regularly every morning, and the best way is to suck the juice and then eat the rest with salt. One lemon every morning is sufficient. But there are headaches from other causes than biliousness. Constipation often produces acute headache, which is only relieved by an aperient, or an enema Those who suffer constantly from constipation cannot do better than try the hot water before breakfast, or, if they object to that, small doses of aloes taken every morning for a time and gradually decreased till regularity is established, will generally effect a cure. Young girls are very apt to neglect this ailment, I can hardly call it a disease, as it frequently occurs through laziness and is allowed to go on through a silly dislike or shyness about speaking of it to their mothers or a medical man. Let me impress upon all young girls the fact that regularity of the bowels is necessary if they would enjoy good health and clear complexions. Many of the muddy complexions come from no other cause, and it is a fruitful source of headache. For immediate relief, an enema of salt and warm water should be administered, and if the sufferer objects to the regular dose of medicine, the enema given regularly will often establish a cure.
Headaches that result from the sun are best taken to a medical man at once, as there are so many complications that can ensue from unskilful treatment or neglect. If no doctor is available, a dose of medicine can do no harm, and, if possible, apply iced cloths to the back of the neck, or let the tap flow over it.
Nervous headache often comes from over excitement or weakness. A dose of sal volatile may help to cure it, or a few drops of ammonia in a wine glass of water, but the patient must keep quiet, and, if possible, sleep. Ten grains of anti-pyrine taken in a little water is an almost certain cure for any headache. Lie down for a few moments after taking it.
For nervous headaches a small cup of strong coffee, into which the juice of a lemon has been squeezed. Tea should not be taken at such times, as it is likely to aggravate nervousness, and all nervous disorders.
Neuralgia is often called headache when it attacks the nerves about the forehead, just as it is called toothache when the side of the jaw is affected. In reality, it is a distinct disease, and one very common to both sexes. One cure is a teaspoonful of flowers of sulphur in half a cup of milk three mornings running, on the fourth take a dose of aperient medicine. The sulphur will need blending carefully, or it will be unpleasant to drink, as it is so dry. Be careful not to take cold while it is in the system, and wear no jewellery, or it will become blackened. It is almost a certain cure; indeed, I have never known it fail, even in very severe cases. Anyone very liable to catch cold would be the better for remaining in bed while taking it, as it opens all the pores of the skin. Quinine is also very good for neuralgia, taken in small doses in the form of pills. I have always found a better effect from two grains at a time than four or five in cases of acute neuralgia. The quinine is perhaps quicker in its effects than the sulphur, but the latter is more lasting, and its action upon the whole system is good.
DIARRHŒA, DYSENTERY, &c.
The most common causes of these complaints are improper food, such as unripe or over-ripe fruit, change in the weather, and bad smells from decaying animal or vegetable matter. People in this country are so careless about such matters, and so used to bad drainage and offensive smells, that, when an epidemic of diarrhœa or dysentery breaks out, it is hard to convince them the disease has originated in their midst, they are so used to thinking no harm will come from this drain, or that cesspool. Perhaps some day when a regular epidemic of cholera sweeps through the whole colony, a system of drainage will be instituted. As it is, every now and then typhoid, diarrhœa, and dysentery make their appearance, and tax the energies and talents of our best medical men to get rid of them. Impure water is another fruitful source of all these complaints, for which reason all water for drinking should be either filtered or boiled. Many people imagine that because they use nothing but iron tanks, their water must be all right; but such is not the case, for frogs are as apt to get in and die or be drowned there as in a swamp, unless a perforated wire strainer is fitted to each; even then they frequently get under. It is a mistake to stop a sudden attack of diarrhœa at once, as, in many instances, it may be nature relieving herself, and when the cause is expelled from the bowels, it will stop, But when it continues for some days with violent pain, and at last vomiting, then it is time to resort to means for cure. Nearly every one knows of chlorodyne, burnt brandy, and other simple cures. But of all cures, I have seen the best results from dried pomegranate skin. It must be very dry. Then boil it gently in water till it is as dark as strong coffee, strain into a basin or jug, and take about two tablespoonsful in boiled milk several times daily. The effect is wonderful. Even in bad cases of dysentery I have seen it effect a cure. When dysentery sets in, a medical man should at once be sent for. There is another simple remedy for dysentery, the white of an egg well beaten, and taken three or four times a day. In young children, this is generally very successful; but only a teaspoonful should be given every quarter of an hour.
WHOOPING COUGH AND CONVULSIONS.
There is no actual cure for whooping cough. Like fever, measles, etc., it has to run its course, and the most one can do is to alleviate the violent paroxysms of coughing which are so terrible to witness, and so exhausting to the sufferer. For this purpose keep a small bottle of ammonia handy, and the moment the fit is approaching the worst, uncork your bottle and draw it quickly across beneath the nostrils, and it will arrest it at once, but the ammonia must only be entrusted to responsible hands. The mother or head nurse should be the only one to attempt this treatment. The ammonia must be in a stoppered bottle, and very strong, or it will be useless for the purpose. Just draw it quickly across—no more. It has the effect of making the patient catch his or her breath suddenly, and so arrest the cough. Chlorodyne is very useful in severe cases of whooping cough, where the sufferer is over five or six years of age. But I would never suggest its being given save at night, or when the cough has been troublesome at night, and the child is worn out and needs sleep. Then give a few drops of chlorodyne (according to age of patient) in water, and a good draught of water after it. When a child becomes black in the face, as the saying is, often a smart pat on the back will bring it to. If not, and the fit is really very bad, half a glass of cold water thrown in the face will be sure to have the desired effect. The use of the ammonia does away with all this, and there is not the least danger about it, provided you do not let the child get too strong a whiff. Salad oil and sugar mixed is a good thing to soften the cough; or, better than that, is ipecacuanha powder and sugar mixed together, and given in a small pinch now and then, when the cough is troublesome. It must not be given too often, or the child will be sick. The best quantity to mix is about a teaspoonful of ipecacuanha to two of sugar, and keep it in a dry place. Whooping cough is very seldom dangerous—never, except in infants. Then, if they are very young or delicate, it is liable to produce convulsions or some other complication, and a medical man should always be called in. In many children a paroxysm of coughing brings on bleeding at the nose, and in some cases retching, but neither will do any harm. Very often the child who is sick with the cough gets over it quickest. As a rule whooping cough lasts three or four months; I have known it to continue for six. A change to the seaside will nearly always take it away. In fact, any change is beneficial, and will, in nine cases out of ten, cure it completely.
Convulsions come from various causes, teething chiefly in young children, but very often it is almost impossible to find a cause. Infants are liable to so many indescribable and invisible ailments, that at most one can only guess a reason for these terrifying fits. First and foremost, I would recommend calmness and presence of mind in the mother or nurse. Nervous people are so apt to lose their heads when they see a child in a fit, and thus precious time is lost, whilst perhaps they faint, scream, or do something equally stupid. If possible, send at once for a medical man, and while awaiting his arrival, wrap a towel round the head as cold as possible, get hot water as soon as you can. But, as these seizures generally take place in the night, and when there is no hot water available, some little time elapses before it can be procured. In the meantime the wet towel may effect a recovery. I have seen it do so several times. If not, put the child into a hot bath, still retaining the cold towel on the head. If the child is young, be sure the water is not too hot; if you can bear your elbow in it it is right. This way of testing the temperature of a bath is not generally known. It is simple and reliable, for if you can bear the tip of the elbow in the water the youngest infant can safely be put into it. Sometimes it is sufficient to plunge the feet only into hot water, in which a tablespoonful of mustard has been mixed. A dose of medicine should be given as soon as possible, or better still, an enema; for very often convulsions are caused by a sluggish state of the bowels. When this is known or suspected to be the case, an enema of warm soapy water, and a of castor oil should be administered at once. The pain from cutting teeth often results in a fit of convulsions. Then, if not within reach of a doctor to lance the gums, the mother or nurse can safely do it with a sharp lancet, or, failing that, the small sharp blade of a penknife. Sometimes rubbing the gums with a silver thimble will rub them through. When the patient is past the teething age, convulsions may result from over-feeding, or improper food, and then, as soon as consciousness is restored, give an emetic of ipecacuanha wine—a teaspoonful every quarter of an hour—till the desired effect is produced. Though very terrifying to witness, convulsions are not necessarily dangerous or fatal, though of course they are sometimes; a great deal depends upon the cause of the seizure. I have seen the wet towel on the head successful in restoring consciousness several times, without any other treatment, so I recommend it to mothers whose little ones are liable to convulsions. But, as I mentioned before, I do not advocate the doing without a doctor.
The great thing in cases of poisoning is presence of mind. Do not lose your head, and common sense will suggest a remedy. More lives have been lost through sheer fright in the bush than poisons have caused. As a matter of course, the treatment must be prompt in all cases where poisons has been swallowed, and as in most cases there is no prospect of obtaining a medical man in time, whoever is in charge must remember that he is in the place of responsibility, and in a manner answerable.
If strychnine has been taken, make the patient swallow a quantity of oil, no matter what kind; if you have not got sweet oil give any you have. Strychnine is the most difficult poison to counteract, and unfortunately it is the one generally taken by would-be suicides. Arsenic is also much used by this class of lunatics. The symptoms of poisoning by arsenic, that is when taken in a quantity, either by mistake or for purpose of suicide, are—heat and violent pain in the stomach, followed by vomiting yellow, green, and bloody matter; violent thirst, purging, quick pulse, though small and irregular; breathing difficult; speaking painful; skin cold and clammy. Sometimes there are convulsions and cramps, but these latter symptoms are speedily followed by death. For treatment give warm water, lime water, linseed tea, or anything to cause vomiting. Some people are made sick very easily; others cannot vomit at all, save with great difficulty. It is best to ask the patient this before trying anything, as he may know something that will make him sick. I have seen leeches applied to the bowels, and all that part of the stomach fomented with hot flannels. One of the best emetics, of course, is ipecacuanha powder or wine, and warm water and mustard. If there is a stomach pump it will save much trouble. If any length of time elapses before any effect is arrived at, an enema should be given of warm gruel. Rust, I believe, is another good thing to give. All these remedies are intended for a case of sudden poisoning by arsenic; for the slow, lingering poisoning by the drug, only a medical man can treat.
Asthma.—There are two distinct kinds of asthma, chronic and spasmodic. With the former the patient is affected with every change of the weather, any sudden draught, puff of wind, or even the air from a fan will sometimes bring on an attack. Spasmodic asthma comes often from a severe cold. It is better known to many people as hay fever, simply because it is very prevalent at the harvesting season, the fine dust from the dry hay causing it, by choking the bronchial tubes and air passages to the lungs. People liable to these sudden attacks should never, if possible, mix dry linseed, mustard, or any fine meal at all; it is bound to induce an attack, nor should they sweep a carpet unless the nostrils are protected by a handkerchief tied over them. It sounds almost absurd to say that such things will bring on hours, and even days, of suffering, but, nevertheless, it is a fact, and though the old adage says "Asthma never kills," still it is a very unpleasant ailment to suffer from in any form. For spasmodic asthma or hay fever there seems to be no cure; it just has to take its course. The sneezing is most distressing, and for that reason all draughts must be avoided. The patient should be kept in one room, with a fire, if possible. When the chief symptoms are difficulty of breathing and sense of tightness in the chest, some benefit may be derived from taking from five to ten drops of hydrocyanic acid in a tablespoonful of water every two hours, for three or four times. There are several kinds of cigarettes prepared for asthmatic people, and to some they give more relief than any other treatment. The best of these are Joy's cigarettes, to be had from all chemists; there are others, the names of which I forget, but any chemist will have them. Blotting paper, soaked in a solution of saltpetre and water, dried in the air, and then the fumes inhaled while it burns on a plate, often gives relief. Sometimes an emetic, composed of ten grains of ipecacuanha and one grain of tartar emetic, mixed in a cup of warm water, if given in the early stages of the attack, and followed up for some hours by nauseating doses of antimony and squills, as in the following mixture: Antimonial wine one ounce, water four ounces and a half, tincture of squills three drachms; mix, and give a tablespoonful every hour, so long as the urgency of the symptoms continue. This treatment is very severe, and should never be resorted to unless the patient is strong, and can bear the retching. But, as a rule, it is successful getting rid as it does of all the phlegm and clogging substances at once. In slight and simple cases of asthma a dose of chlorodyne will often arrest it. The asthma of old age is a very different matter, and requires different treatment. Instead of debilitating the patient it is necessary to support and stimulate under the exhaustion of the paroxysms. For this purpose the body should be kept very warm, hot bottles being applied to the feet, the chest rubbed a few minutes with hartshorn and oil, linseed poultices applied to the chest and back, in which a little mustard is mixed, being the best; hot coffee, or small doses of brandy and water, must be given occasionally. But, in bad cases, a medical man should be called at once.
Asthma Mixture.—Dover's powder half a drachm, carbonate of ammonia one scruple, peppermint water six ounces; mix, and add spirits of lavender, tincture of squills, and sulphuric, either of each one drachm dose, from one to two tablespoonsful every three or four hours.
Sprains and Rheumatism.—Beat up one egg with half a pint of vinegar, one ounce of turpentine, and a quarter of camphor. Beat all together, then put in a bottle and shake well. Leave it a few hours, and it will be ready for use. It can be rubbed in two or three times a day.
Sores on the Feet.—When the feet become blistered and sore, as is often the case from long walking or bad boots, make an ointment of mutton suet and salicylic acid, melt the suet in a small jar in the oven, drop in a few drops of the acid, and beat all together. It can be scented if liked. Use frequently.
Mustard Poultices.—For a poultice as a rule, a certain amount of flour is mixed with mustard to prevent its being too severe; but if the mustard is mixed with the white of an egg it will not blister the most delicate skin. A sponge is the best mustard carrier. Mix the poultice in a basin till the proper consistency, then soak a clean open sponge in it, or, rather, take the soft mass up with the sponge, lay it in the centre of a clean handkerchief or muslin cloth, tie the corners neatly, and now apply the smooth convex surface to the skin. The great benefit gained by using a sponge is that it can be warmed and moistened, and applied three or four times, and so saves the trouble of making new poultices — a matter of consideration during the night hours. The mustard does not destroy the sponge; it can be washed clean in warm water.
Mustard Emetic.—Mix a tablespoonful of mustard in half a pint of warm water till quite dissolved. Do not drink it right off, but very slowly, often stopping a minute or two. Take a cupful of plain warm water after it, and very soon it will have the desired effect.
Lime Water is one of the most simple, and yet most useful, of medicines; it is good for children as well as adults. In the former it preserves the teeth, strengthens the bones, and kill worms, besides helping the digestion, and being good for general health. In adults it is a remedy for scrofula, diabetes, whites, and many other ailments. In every household there should be a bottle for general use. The following is a good quantity to make at a time:— Take two ounces of lime and two quarts of distilled or boiled water; slack the lime with a little of the water, then pour in the remainder of the water, stir for a few minutes and cover the vessel, letting it stand for four or five hours. Keep the solution, with the undissolved lime, if possible, in glass stoppered bottles, pouring off a certain quantity for use at a time into another bottle. Only the clear water is used. A good plan is to have the bottle placed on the breakfast table every morning, and let each child have a teaspoonful in a little milk to drink before the meal. It is a capital thing to wash the mouth and teeth with, after cleaning the latter. Infants fed on cows' milk should always have a few drops of lime water added to every bottle.
A Good Tonic.-Infuse one pint of horehound in a pint of water for two or three hours; strain, and bottle for use. Dose: One tablespoonful every morning.
Sewing Up Wounds—Every woman who expects to live in the bush or at a distance from a town and doctor, should learn how to put a stitch into a wound, or to sew up a cut, as through lack of such knowledge a child may be marked for life. It is a very simple process only requiring a little nerve at the outset. Take a very fine cambric needle with about three inches of silk thread in it. Wait till the bleeding has ceased, and then take up a stitch in the skin only, not the flesh, and be sure you draw only towards the cut right and left, so as to bring the edges together. If you draw from the cut it will open it and be a very painful operation, but properly done there should be little or no pain. Tie the threads together, that is the ends of the threads, when you have taken the one stitch. Then put in another stitch if necessary. It all depends on the length of the wound and whether it is inclined to gape or not. Sometimes it is necessary to put in two or three in a small cut, at others one is sufficient. About every quarter of an inch in a big wound should be right, then bind it up carefully and dress every day. The stitches may be taken out as soon as the cut has begun to heal. In putting stitches in a wound in a dog, cat or any other animal it is as well to use stronger silk as they are more restless than human beings and more liable to burst the wound afresh.
To Stop Hiccough.—For an adult a teaspoonful of sugar moistened with pure vinegar. For a child or an infant less accordingly. The application of a bit of ice, or a very cold flannel to the lobe of the ear will often stop severe hiccough. Or, press both fingers into the ears and take a drink of water.
Bleeding at the Nose as a rule is quite harmless, indeed, in some constitutions it counteracts other and more dangerous attacks of illness. So long as the patient feels well there is no occasion to use any preventative. But if the patient feels light-headed, headache or weakness after the attacks, then it is as well either to consult a medical man or use the remedies you know. A wet towel laid suddenly across the shoulders or on the spine between the neck and shoulders will often stop it. A key dropped down the back, or cold water poured from a jug down the spine. A piece of brown paper folded and placed under the upper lip will stop the bleeding at once.
Coffee as a Stimulant.—To the brain worker, the student, or the night nurse, coffee is a far better stimulant than all the hot spirits and water in the world. If those men who have to pore over long rows of figures late and early would only take a cup of strong well made coffee, instead of the whisky to which they fly so often, they would find their brains clearer, fresher, and more rested, while the body would be better nourished. The whisky only stimulates for a few moments, the effect then wearing off and leaving the mind heavy and the body hot and irritated. The coffee acts equally and evenly to brain and body and the effect is more lasting. Hot milk is even a better stimulant for the brain but it does not agree with every constitution.
Good Remedy for Acute Sore Throat.—Use hot water inside and out, outside by means of thick flannels wrung out and applied, with a few drops of turpentine sprinkled on. Keep a cover over the wet flannel. This can be applied twice a day, or oftener if relief is needed, and in the meantime gargle with water as hot as can be borne, and drink hot water and milk, or hot tea, till a profuse perspiration is induced.
The Pulse.—In infants the average pulse is 120 per minute. In manhood 80. At sixty or sixtyfive it is small, about 60. The pulse of females is quicker than that of males.
Scalds and Burns.—In cases of severe scalds or burns, the essential thing is to exclude the air from the injured member at once, and as completely as possible. To do this plunge the injured part into warm water, or water sun-warmed will do, but it must not be too cold. Then, as quickly as may be, cover with flour to the depth of an inch if possible, withdrawing the burned part from the water only as the flour can be applied, thus preventing the great pain. The water allays the pain, and is not injurious if not used too cold. The blisters should never be opened or cut; if left the water under them will absorb, and leave little or no scar; if broken they will be sore. Lime water and sweet oil well beaten to a cream is a splendid cure. Spread the cream thickly on a piece of wadding (cotton wool) and bind round the part affected.
A Black Eye or Bruise.—Wring out a flannel in water as hot as possible and apply it to the part affected and the bruised blood will dissolve away. Hot water should be used for bruises too. Or, rub gently with salid oil for ten minutes and then with spirits of turpentine.
Blows and Bruises.—Fresh butter is one of the very best ointments to apply to a severe blow to prevent discolouration. It must be applied directly, or as soon as possible. Vaseline is also good, but not equal to fresh unsalted butter. In some instances, when put on at once, the bruise does not turn colour in the very least, and at the end of an hour or two there will be no trace of the injury.
How to Brush the Teeth.—Most people brush across the teeth from right to left, but this manner of brushing will not dislodge the accumulations from between them. The brush should be placed against the teeth at the gums and then rotated towards the masticating surfaces of the double teeth, and the mouth should be rinsed with tepid water. Lime water is excellent for rinsing the teeth, and for those who suffer with acidity soda and water is best. Common salt is one of the best tooth powders one can use.
Sarsaparilla.—A good blood mixture.—Take four or five ounces of the root, slice it down and put into four parts of water, simmer for four hours. Take out the roots and beat them or pound them to a mash, put them into the liquor again and another pint of water and boil it down to two pints. When cool strain and bottle for use. The dose is a wineglassful three times a day.
Another.—Get from the chemist three penny worth of spirits of camphor, and the same of acitate of lead. Mix together and paint the affected parts three or four times a day.
To Remove Surplus Hairs from the Face or Body.—Take as much sulphide of sodium (crystalised) as will lie on a three penny piece, one teaspoonful of powdered quick lime, one teaspoonful of starch. Mix while dry and then make into a paste with water. Apply to the parts and scrape off after two or three minutes with a blunt knife or razor. For delicate skins two minutes is quite long enough to leave the paste on.
Cure for Sleeplessness.—A wellknown medical authority advises those troubled with wakefulness to try hot water. I had reason to test his advice lately and with most satisfactory results. After drinking or sipping a glass of hot, not warm, water, I fell into the most peaceful and restful sleep. The water can be heated over the gas or a kerosene lamp, it need not boil only just become quite hot.
Another cure.—To people troubled with insomnia a cold bandage across the eyes and temples will nearly always afford relief and induce sleep.
Another cure.—A hop pillow will often produce sleep when young children suffer. A wet bandage round the wrist, over the pulse, often has the desired effect. If wakefulness comes from over study, or brain work, a cold bandage on the back of the head at the base of the skull, will have a soothing effect. One of the most disagreeable remedies is a fresh bruised onion tied round the neck.
To Cure a Whitlow.—Some people despise what they call old women's cures and medicines, though in many instances they have saved lives where medical skill has failed. I do not know that the remedy I am about to give would come under the title of an "old wife's cure", but it was certainly given to me by an old wife, and I saw her apply it with truly marvellous effect. A whitlow is one of the most painful of gatherings, and as this recipe is so simple any one can try it. Make a strong lye with wood ashes and water. Stir the ashes and water together, let them settle and then with some of the lye mix a linseed poultice and apply to the whitlow, continuing the treatment till the long thread or core is drawn out of the gathering. These poultices have a very soothing effect.
To Cure Whitlow. No. 2.—A poultice of sulphur and water applied at the first symptom of heat and pain will often dispurse the gathering, particularly if a course of sulphur taken internally is persevered with for a week or more. To begin with, half a teaspoonful is a good dose, gradually increasing it to a whole spoonful, every second morning. Care must be taken not to get cold while the sulphur is in the system.
Linseed Tea.—This is one of the best remedies for colds, particularly for children who cough a good deal at night. To prepare it put three tablespoonsful of fresh bruised linseed into a jug with some liquorice, also broken up small, and pour over it about one pint and a half of boiling water. Cover the jug and let it stand for some hours. Then strain and add the juice of two lemons and sugar to taste. Let the patient drink freely of it on going to bed, and through the night if the cough is troublesome. It has a soothing effect and is considered nourishing.
Earache.—A few drops of chloroform on a piece of cotton wool put into the bowl of a clay pipe and the vapour blown through the stem into the ear will generally cure the most severe earache.
Salt and Water.—Salt and water is an excellent medicine for children, or, indeed, for adults. It is good for indigestion, biliousness, flatulency and many other simple disorders. Half .
a teaspoonful dissolved and taken in a glass of cold water, and taken before meals will do good in indigestion. For biliousness it should be taken directly you wake in the morning. It is also good for clearing the complexion.
To Strengthen the Voice.—Many people who sing are subject to frequent soreness of the throat, or rather a tenderness. An excellent remedy for this is to gargle the throat with salt and water. One good teaspoonful to a teacupful of cold water, and use night and morning, or oftener if necessary.
To Purify the Air in Newly-painted Rooms.—Place a bucket of cold water in the centre of the room, the colder it is the better. In the case of any foul air in a room, the bucket of water will purify it, absorbing all the expired gases. In bedrooms the water jug, in a smaller degree, absorbs the gases and bad air. Hence all water for drinking should be covered.
Milk as a Stimulant.—After hours of bodily exertion, after hours of immersion in cold water, or when suffering from great bodily fatigue, or even mental exhaustion, there is nothing that will restore one so quickly or thoroughly as a cup of hot milk. Brandy or any other spirit will have effect at once, and revive tired nature no doubt, but the after effect is by no means good or pleasant, the body becomes hot and feverish, the brain clouded and heavy, while after a cup of hot milk the energy is restored, the intellect brightened, and one's strength renewed. Try it.
Remedy for Sea Sickness.—About a week before going on board begin taking bromide of sodium in doses of 25 grains in water, three times a day, after meals. Unless taken before hand it is useless, as to prevent the sickness it must impregnate the system, and it must be continued as long as rough water is experienced. By taking this the worst sailors have avoided the horrors and discomforts of sea sickness. To Treat Ingrowing Toe Nails.— When not very much ingrown this can be remedied by cutting a triangular piece out of the centre of the nail and in time the corners will grow out. Another way is to insert a little pad of cotton wool under the nail as near the ingrowing part as possible, pushing it down a little further each day, till eventually the affected part is lifted from the flesh.
Ring Worm is a very unsightly disease, more generally affecting children. Almost everyone knows its appearance, so I need not describe it. Many people, when their children get it, wonder how they have caught it, and assure themselves that they have not been with any children who have it, but they are not aware that it is often contracted from dogs and cats. Pet dogs who are much handled very often get ring worms, and children take it from them. One of the very best remedies for it is hot white vinegar applied frequently, and as hot as can be borne. In the early stage, when it is not of long standing, use a lotion made from sulphate of zinc half a drachm, acetate of lead fifteen grains, water six ounces; wash the affected parts frequently, and if not successful, try nitrate of silver one drachm, diluted nitric acid half ounce; paint the spots with this and leave it for about a quarter of an hour, and then well wash the parts with warm water and cover with lint dipped in cold water, and oiled silk over that again. If possible the ring worm should always be kept covered, to prevent spreading. When it attacks the head let all the hair be shaved off at once, it will never be got rid of thoroughly unless this is done, then apply an ointment made as follows: One drachm of sulphate of zinc, mixed with an ounce of simple cerate, rub this into the spots and wash the head daily in warm water, soap and soda. In many instances ring worm comes from dirt. A child who has a warm bath every day, and the pores of whose skin are kept open and free from perspiration will seldom catch it, and if it does will soon get rid of it. But a child whose skin is not clean will take the diseases quicker and retain it a long time. All cloths used in dressing ring worms should be burnt, and the towels kept separate. It is not a very serious thing so long as it does not get into the hair, but once it attacks the head it may remain months, even years.
Another Cure is to wash with a solution of borax, and dust with the powder.
Another Cure.—Burn a piece of note paper on a plate and apply the oil which adheres to the plate.
To Stop a Tooth.—Very often in the bush one would be glad to know how to stop a tooth to prevent it going farther, till one can pay a visit to a dentist, or for the sake of comfort. I once saw an old bushman stop his little girl's tooth, and so effectually that it never ached again, and was a useful grinder for long, long after. He mixed some clean bone dust — obtained from filing it from a leg bone of a sheep — with thick mastic varnish into a stiff paste. Then having well cleaned out the cavity, scraped out as much of the decayed part as possible and dried the inside well with little pieces of cotton wool, and filled in the cavity with the mixture. One can do it for oneself, with the aid of a looking glass, but it is best to get a friend to do the filling in, as it is awkward for oneself. Ivory dust would be better than bone if it could be obtained.
Soap for Sores and Old Wounds.—Cut up or shred about half a pound of either white curd or castile soap, and gradually mix in with it one ounce of flowers of sulphur. A mortar is the best thing to use for mixing them, as the pestle will pound them well together. Then stir in one fluid ounce of rectified spirits (strongly coloured with alkanat) and when this mass is well beaten together and quite smooth, drop in enough attar of roses to scent it pleasantly, or if liked, any other scent can be used. This quantity will make two large cakes of soap. And before using it be sure and remove all gold or silver ornaments from the person, or the sulphur in the soap will turn them black.
Another very good application for tender feet is a powder made of subnitrate bismuth one teaspoonful, the same of powdered starch, two teaspoonsful of eucalyptus powder. Bathe the feet nightly in salt water, adding a little alum.
Another.—When the feet are tender and tired from long standing and walking, relief may be obtained by bathing them in warm salt and water,—a large handful of salt to a gallon of water as hot as can be borne. When the water becomes cool, dry them on a rough towel, always rubbing upwards. Neuralgia of the feet has been cured by this treatment night and morning.
Another.—Take one drachm and a half of magnesia daily (internally).
Another.—Dissolve as much washing soda as the water will take up. Wash the warts with the solution for a minute or two, and let them dry without wiping. Repeat three or four times a day. Cactus juice applied frequently is also a cure.
Bites of Reptiles and Insects. — Take two ounces of oil of turpentine and four ounces of olive oil. Mix these together, and rub on the parts affected two or three times a day. Hornet stings are cured by an application of vinegar. Spirits of turpentine are also good. In any bite from insects tobacco juice well rubbed in is beneficial, particularly in bites from spiders. If the part is made to bleed freely, all the better; it should be sucked and then the tobacco juice rubbed in, Bee stings are cured by an application of the blue bag, or ordinary baking soda. In sucking a wound that is known to be poisonous, the mouth should be half filled with water first,and rinsed out after every mouthful is put out.
A Wasp Sting.—This can be cured at once by the application of a slice of onion, or its juice rubbed in. A bee sting can be cured by the same application. And if in the mouth or throat slowly chew and swallow the juice of the onion. If the wasp or bee leaves its sting behind extract it by pressing the hollow barrel or pipe of a key round it till it hurts. On removing the key the sting will be found lying outside, or it can be lifted with a pin or needle.
Hot Fomentations.— It is very necessary for every one to know how to apply these excellent and often recommended remedies, which must always be very hot. Take a thick piece of flannel and let it lie for a minute or two in the scalding water, then have ready a thick bath towel and wring the flannel in that very tightly, shake out and apply at once. If turpentine is ordered, sprinkle it on after wringing.
Tonic.—At the height of summer most people are the better for a tonic, and, instead of running to the doctor, they can make one for themselves, as follows:—Get a bottle of really good port wine, and buy six penny worth of Peruvian bark. Divide the wine into two bottles, putting half in each. Now put the bark into one; let it stand two or three days, and begin to take a wineglassful every day, filling up from the other bottle as the tonic gets too bitter. This is an excellent remedy for neuralgia.
Perspiration.—People who perspire very freely should always keep on their washhandstand a small bottle of ammonia and use a few drops in all water in which they wash. It does away with all the unpleasant odour of perspiration. Ten drops is enough in a large basin of water, and twice that in the bath.
The very weakening night sweats in consumption may be to a certain extent controlled by an ammonia bath daily, and the use of a powder made of three parts salicylic acid, ten of starch and 87 of Venice talc. The skin should be first sponged with a wash made of weak alcohol and a little tannin in it; then the powder applied at once. In the morning wash off in the bath and apply again. The above recipe was given me by an experienced hospital nurse.
Unpleasant Perspiration.—With many people excessive perspiration amounts to almost a disease. The worst form is when the feet perspire and become offensive. The only remedy for it is to soak the feet frequently in warm water, washing them well with soap, and then rinse them in warm water to which chloride of lime has been added. A little chloride of lime should be mixed with all the water used for washing in, and under the arms, and all parts of the body likely to become offensive, should be sponged with a stronger solution. When it becomes very distressing a medical man should be consulted. If neglected, the sufferer becomes a burden to herself and every one around her.
A very handy little filter may be made as follows:—Take a large flower pot and into the hole at the bottom, fit a piece of new sponge, not too tightly. Pound up some charcoal very fine,you can always find plenty round a burnt stump or log. Over the sponge put a layer of this, from an inch to two inches in depth. Cover this again with a layer of sand the same thickness, and on that put another layer of coarse gravel to the depth of nearly three inches. Place the flower pot on top of a large jar, and pour cold water in slowly and let it drain through.
To Keep a Slow Fire in a Sick Room— Clean out the grate thoroughly and cover the bottom with a piece of paper, then pile in the cinders and coal to the level of the top bar keeping all close and the largest to the front. Now light the fire with paper and wood on top, and it will burn downwards instead of up, lasting for hours without any more fuel.
REMEDIES FOR COUGHS AND COLDS.
For a Severe Cold.—Children may be given ten to fifteen drops of sweet spirits of nitre at bed time, followed by a good drink of warm lemonade.
An Old-fashioned Cough Mixture. —Boil one ounce of flaxseed in one pint of water. Strain and put in one ounce of sugar candy, two tablespoonsful of honey and the juice of three or four lemons. Boil all together, when cool take a tablespoonful now and then through the day as the cough is troublesome.
Cold and Cough Mixture.— Make about a pint of flaxseed tea, add to it a piece of liquorice (half a stick), half an ounce of ipecacuanha wine, half an ounce of paregoric. Let the liquorice be melted before the other ingredients are added. The dose is a small dessertspoonful every now and then, when the cough is troublesome. This has often proved successful when other remedies have failed.
Cure for a Cold.— Into two quarts of water put one teaspoonful of linseed, a quarter of a pound of raisins, and two ounces of liquorice. Let it simmer slowly over the fire till reduced to half the quantity; add to it a quarter of a pound of pounded sugar candy, two tablespoonsful of rum, and one of white vinegar or lemon juice. The rum and lemon juice should be put in just as it is taken, otherwise the mixture becomes flat. The dose is half a pint, made warm, taken at bed time. The worst cold is generally cured by this remedy in two three days.
HINTS FOR HEALTH.
WOUNDS FROM RUSTY NAILS, OR STONE BRUISES. — Gather a couple of handfuls of peach leaves, pound them to a pulp, and apply as a poultice.
FOR FACEACHE.— A hot iron covered with thick flannel held to the face, or make a lotion of half a pint of rose water, and three tablespoonsful of strong wine vinegar. Rub the affected parts three or four times a day, or soak a piece of linen and bind it on, with flannel over it.
FOR CRAMP. — Wear a piece of common cotton wick round the limb liable to cramp, or failing the wick, a piece of new unbleached calico will answer the purpose, but it must be worn constantly as in rheumatism. Many men wear several skeins of red silk round their waist. Some say the virtue lies in the red dye, anyway, the effect is wonderful, and so is that of the cotton wick in cramp.
FOR HEARTBURN.— Half a teaspoonful of common salt taken in a wine glass of water.
FOR OFFENSIVE FEET.— Bathe in warm water, in which a few drops of ammonia have been added, or else a weak solution of salicylic acid. A small quantity of this acid powdered into the boots is also a preventative of unpleasantness.
To Remove Tartar from the Teeth.—Tincture of iodine, carefully used.
HAVING taught swimming for the last three years, I may be considered competent to give a few instructions on paper. Very many people say "Oh, I'll never learn to swim, I'm too old," or "too stout," or "too thin," or "too weak," as the case might be, and so they never try. As a matter of fact everyone can learn to swim, old or young, strong or weak, stout or thin. It merely means a little more, or a little less time, according to the nerve and nature of the swimmer. During the three or four seasons I have been teaching swimming there have been very nearly 500 pupils under my tuition, and I may say that out of that number there have not been more than ten who did not eventually learn, and become expert in the water, in fact many of my pupils have become very much better swimmers than myself. Nervousness is never against a pupil in the beginning, for my best swimmers have often been the most timid and the hardest to teach at first. For my own part I would far rather teach a nervous child than one who is over confident, and I would rather take a pupil who knows nothing at all, than one who tells me she knows something about it, or she can swim a little. In the latter case one generally has to break off a bad style or bad action before beginning to teach the right. The best age to learn is from eight to twelve years of age, though I have had very apt pupils at five and six years. Any one can teach him or herself to swim, they only want confidence, perseverance and patience, but it is best to have some assistance from another person even though they be quite ignorant of the art themselves. There is really no reason why two girls should not teach each other to swim if they follow the directions set down here.
THE STROKE.—The breast stroke is the most natural way to swim, and certainly the most graceful for a woman. It is the stroke the frogs use, and any one about to learn should catch a frog, put him into a tub, and study his actions when swimming, for that is the action every swimmer has to imitate. The action with the arms is so simple that it really needs no teaching. My practice is always to show the pupil this arm stroke before taking her into the water at all, dividing it into three positions, first, second, and third. First, the arms close to the sides, hands extended, with fingers close together, and the palms turned slightly out; second, the arms extended to the front, palms turned out; and third, the arms swept round in the stroke. Having taught her the positions, make her do the three in one motion, about 17 to the minute. Once she can do this take her into the water. Opinions differ very much as to the best depth in which to teach. Most teachers prefer it reaching to the arm pits; some go even beyond that and say it is best to take a pupil out of her depth at once. I do not agree with either of these theories, and though, perhaps, singular in my opinion, I think I am justified in holding it, having been a most successful teacher of girls, in turning out 101 expert swimmers out of 110 pupils. Water should be just deep enough for the pupil to float in and where she cannot possibly fear drowning. With young children it is best to let them get quite familiar with the water and accustomed to the depth. I cannot speak too strongly against the practice of dipping children against their will, frightening them in fact. There is no necessity for the head to be submerged at all, so long as the top is wetted a little that is all that is needed for health's sake. It is best for all purposes that the head should be wetted but the system of forcibly dipping a child under when it least expects it is unwise and cruel, and it makes it very much harder to teach that child to swim, for her confidence is destroyed and instead of attending to the instructions she is expecting and dreading another ducking. I may say I have been most successful with young children, and I have found it the best, or only way, to play with them at first, and until they gain confidence in me. Another thing I have noticed that if a pupil gets a fright in the beginning, or just as she is commencing to swim, it invariably puts her back, perhaps prevents her trying again for weeks, and here it is that my belt and pole have been so useful, as with them the most nervous must feel safe. In teaching children, and, indeed, many of an older growth, it is advisable instead of at once insisting upon their getting into the correct frog kick, to allow them to kick both feet together and splash, that is to raise both feet making the action more from the knees than the hips. My reason for adopting this mode was because I found it came more naturally at first, and also I noticed that directly they could swim they instinctively dropped the feet and took the proper frog kick. Invariably has this been the case, directly a girl can swim well she ceases to splash and adopts the natural motion of the frog. Grown up people have sometimes learnt it at once, but in most cases I have found it best to teach them to splash first.