176 Southern Historical Society Papers.
It was quite an industry, I am told by an Atlanta lady, Mrs. Marcus A. Bell, for the country people to raise castor oil beans. The crushed beans were boiled and the oil skimmed off. She said that the grandmothers of those days revived the traditions of Colo- nial times. They made their own dyes and coloring matter from the roots and barks of native woods. Dog-wood, sumac and the roots of pine trees were largely used, and indigo was cultivated in the gardens. Instead of paregoric, fennel-seed tea was given to the babies.
For rash they used red-oak bark and alum. Goose grease and sorghum, or honey, was a standard remedy for croup, backed up with turpentine and brown sugar. Sassafras tea was given in the spring and fall as a blood medicine. Adults' colds were doctored with horsemint tea and tea from the roots of broom sedge. For eruptions and impure blood, spice-wood tea was given. Wine was made from the berries of the elder bush. For diarrhoea, roots of blackberry and blackberry cordial; and so, also, was a tea made from the leaves of the rose geranium. Mutton suet, sweet gum and the buds of the balm of Gilead was a standard salve for all cuts and sores. Balsam cucumber was widely used as a tonic, and was considered a specific remedy in burns. Catnip, elecampane, and comfrey root and pennyroyal were in every good housewife's pan- try, in which, also, was the indispensable string of red peppers, a bag of sage leaves and of "balm." Calamus root lor colic in babies was a common dose. The best known standard Georgia tonic was dogwood, poplar and wild cherry barks, equal proportions, chip- ped fine and put in whiskey and taken wineglassfull at meal times; it is still used in large quantities from "Yamacraw to Nickajack." In hemorrhages, black haw root was commonly used. All the white mustard we had was raised in our gardens.
She learned from experience that barks were best gathered while the sap was running, and when gathered the outer and rougher portion should be shaved off and the bark cut thinly and put in a good position in the shade to dry; that the roots ought to be gath- ered after the leaves are dead in the fall, or better, before the sap rises; that seeds and flowers must be gathered only when fully ripe, and put in a nice dry place, and that medicinal plants to be secured in the greatest perfection should be obtained when in bloom and carefully dried in the shade.
I here append a list of substitutes that were used by druggists and