Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 33.djvu/190

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Southern Historical Society Papers.

light and comfortable for our soldiers on the coast. Their corn and flour sacks, in the absence of anything better, furnish ready-made pillow ticks. Our negroes are busily employed making light, durable and handsome palmetto hats for our soldiers. A bed made from the downy swamp plant, which our people call 'cat's tail,' took a premium at a late agricultural fair in South Carolina."

I enumerate a few more medicinal uses that were made of some of the products of our Southern fields and forests by our physicians and housewives, and will close.

Phytolacca decandra, or poke, was largely used in diseases affecting the scalp and in ulcers, eruptions, itch and hemorrhoids. Knot grass was considered a powerful astringent in diarrhoea and uterine hemorrhages. Water pepper, says a writer at Manchester, South Carolina, was used in his family in 1862 in dysentery, and every case was improved and cured. Mountain laurel was employed with claimed success in rheumatism, gout and glandular enlargements. Black alder used as wash in cutaneous troubles. Holly leaves used as an emetic, and. birdlime made from the middle bark. Love vine used as a laxative tea. Pinckneya pubens, Georgia bark, useful in intermittent fevers. It is said that "Dr. Fair detected a considerable amount of cinchonine in it, but was prevented from continuing his examination."

Woodbine was given in asthma, and a decoction of the flowers administered to calm the pain of colic following childbirth. A decoction made by pouring boiling water over the leaves, flowers or berries of the elder bush was used as a wash for wounds to prevent injuries from flies. Sea myrtle was used in popular practice in South Carolina as a palliative in consumption and coughs, a strong decoction given several times a day. Ragweed used in whiskey in place of quinine in Maryland. Catweed employed in popular practice in diseases of the chest and bowels. Hound's tongue employed in domestic practice as a mucilaginous drink, and the roots made into a poultice in case of bruises, sprains, etc. Gravel root given as an emetic. Horse nettle used as an aphrodisiac among the negroes. Virginian silk used as a diuretic decoction in gonorrhea. The buds and inside bark of the long-leaved pine and bits of pine steeped in gin were favorite domestic remedies in coughs and colds, and as a diuretic.

What I have here collected has been put together in a busy