It is plainly seen by an inquiring mind that, aside from the selection and preparation of food, there are many little things constantly arising in the experience of everyday life which, in their combined effect, are powerful agents in the formation (or prevention) of perfect health. A careful observance of these little occurences, an inquiry into the philosophy attending them, lies within the province, and indeed should be considered among the highest duties, of every housekeeper.
That one should be cautious about entering a sick room in a state of perspiration, as the moment you become cool your pores absorb. Do not approach contagious diseases with an empty stomach, nor sit between the sick and the fire, because the heat attracts the vapor.
That the flavor of cod-liver oil may be changed to the delightful one of fresh oyster, if the patient will drink a large glass of water poured from a vessel in which nails have been allowed to rust.
That a bag of hot sand relieves neuralgia.
That warm borax water will remove dandruff.
That salt should be eaten with nuts to aid digestion.
That it rests you, in sewing, to change your position frequently.
That a little soda water will relieve sick headache caused by indigestion.
That a cupful of strong coffee will remove the odor of onions from the breath.
That well-ventilated bedrooms will prevent morning headaches and lassitude.
A cupful of hot water drank before meals will relieve nausea and dyspepsia.
That a fever patient can be made cool and comfortable by frequent sponging off with soda water.
That consumptive night-sweats may be arrested by sponging the body nightly in salt water.
That one in a faint should be laid flat on his back, then loosen his clothes and let him alone.
The best time to bathe is just before going to bed, as any danger of taking cold is thus avoided; and the complexion is improved by keeping warm for several hours after leaving the bath.
To beat the whites of eggs quickly add a pinch of salt. Salt cools, and cold eggs froth rapidly.
Hot, dry flannels, applied as hot as possible, for neuralgia.
Sprains and bruises call for an application of the tincture of arnica.
If an artery is severed, tie a small cord or handkerchief above it.
For bilious colic, soda and ginger in hot water. It may be taken freely.
Tickling in the throat is best relieved by a gargling of salt and water.
Pains in the side are most promptly relieved by the application of mustard.
For cold in the head nothing is better than powdered borax, sniffed up the nostrils.
A drink of hot, strong lemonade before going to bed will often break up a cold and cure a sore throat.
Nervous spasms are usually relieved by a little salt taken into the mouth and allowed to dissolve.
Whooping cough paroxysms are relieved by breathing the fumes of turpentine and carbolic acid.
Broken limbs should be placed in natural positions, and the patient kept quiet until the surgeon arrives.
Hemorrhages of the lungs or stomach are promptly checked by small doses of salt. The patient should be kept as quiet as possible.
Sleeplessness, caused by too much blood in the head may be overcome by applying a cloth wet with cold water to the back of the neck.
Wind colic is promptly relieved by peppermint essence taken in a little warm water. For small children it may be sweetened. Paregoric is also good.
For stomach cramps, ginger ale or a teasponful of the tincture of ginger in a half glass of water in which a half teaspoonful of soda has been dissolved.
Sickness of the stomach is most promptly relieved by drinking a teacupful of hot soda and water. If it brings the offending matter up, all the better.
A teaspoonful of ground mustard in a cupful of warm water is a prompt and reliable emetic, and should be resorted to in cases of poisoning or cramps in the stomach from over-eating.
Avoid purgatives or strong physic, as they not only do no good, but are positively hurtful. Pills may relieve for the time, but they seldom cure.
Powdered resin is the best thing to stop bleeding from cuts. After the powder is sprinkled on, wrap the wound with soft cotton cloth. As soon as the wound begins to feel feverish, keep the cloth wet with cold water.
Eggs are considered one of the best remedies for dysentery. Beaten up slightly, with or without sugar, and swallowed, they tend by their emollient qualities to lessen the inflammation of the stomach and intestines, and by forming a transient coating on those organs, enable Nature to resume her healthful sway over the diseased body. Two, or at most, three eggs per day, would be all that is required in ordinary cases; and, since the egg is not merely medicine, but food as well, the lighter the diet otherwise, and the quieter the patient is kept, the more certain and rapid is the recovery.
Hot water is better than cold for bruises. It relieves pain quickly, and by preventing congestion often keeps off the ugly black and blue mark. "Children cry for it," when they experience the relief it affords their bumps and bruises.
For a sprained ankle, the whites of eggs and powdered alum made into a plaster is almost a specific.