This section of the book is from "The Complete Herbalist" by Dr. O. Phelps Brown. Also available from Amazon: The Complete Herbalist: The People Their Own Physicians By The Use Of Nature's Remedies.
NUTRITIVE FLUIDS. -- Below will be found directions for preparing three nutritious fluids, which are of great value in all diseases, either acute or chronic, that are attended or followed by prostration, -- debility, whether general, or of certain organs only, derangement of the digestive organs, weak stomach, indigestion, heartburn, or sour stomach, constipated bowels, torpidity or want of activity of the liver, thin or poor blood. They are highly nutritious, supplying to the blood in such a form that they are most easily assimilated, the various elements which are needed to enrich it, and thus enable it to reproduce the various tissues of the body that have been wasted by disease. In cases where the stomach has become so weakened and sensitive that the lightest food or drinks cannot be taken without causing much uneasiness and distress, these fluids are invaluable. They strengthen the stomach and neutralize all undue acidity, while, at the same time, they soothe the irritation by their bland and demulcent qualities. When carefully and properly prepared, according to the direction following, they very nearly resemble rich new milk in color and consistency, while their taste is remarkably pleasant. Care should be taken that all the ingredients are of the best quality. Soft water must be used in all cases. Fresh rain-water is to be preferred, but spring water may be used if perfectly soft. Hard water will cause the fluids to be of a yellow color, and if the milk is old, they are apt to separate.
Fluid No. 1. -- Put one pint of new milk (the fresher the better) and two pints of soft water in a vessel perfectly free from all greasy matter, over a slow fire. Rub two even tea-spoonfuls of superfine wheat flour and two tea-spoonfuls of carbonate of magnesia, together with a little milk, into a soft batter, free from lumps; add this to the milk and water as soon as they begin to boil. Boil gently for five minutes -- no longer, stirring constantly. Pour into an earthen or glass dish to cool, adding, at the same time, two tea-spoonfuls of loaf sugar, and one tea-spoonful each of saleratus and table salt, rubbed fine; stir until cold. The fluid must not be allowed to remain in a metallic vessel of any kind, and it must be kept in a cool place.
Fluid No. 2. -- Put one pint of fresh milk and two pints of soft water in a vessel over a slow fire. Rub together with a little fresh cream into a soft batter, free from lumps, one table-spoonful each of good sweet rye flour, ground rice, and pure starch -- which add to the milk and water as soon as they begin to boil. Boil for five minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the fire, and add three tea-spoonfuls of loaf sugar and one tea-spoonful each of saleratus and salt. Observe the same precautions as in No. 1.
Fluid No. 3. -- Put in a vessel, over a slow fire, one pint of fresh milk and two pints of soft water. When they begin to boil, add one table-spoonful of wheat flour, two table-spoonfuls pure starch, and two tea-spoonfuls of carbonate of magnesia, rubbed together with a little milk into a soft batter, free from lumps. Boil gently for five minutes, stirring constantly. Pour into an earthen vessel to cool, and add one tea-spoonful of the best gum arabic, dissolved in a little warm water, one tea-spoonful each of saleratus and table salt, and one table-spoonful of pure strained honey. Stir until cold. The same precaution must be observed as in preparing No. 1.
Directions. -- One half pint or less of these fluids may be taken at a dose, and at least three pints should be taken during the day, and the amount gradually increased to two or three quarts. Commence with No. 1, and use two weeks: then use No. 2 for the same length of time, after which No. 3 is to be used for two weeks. Continue their use as long as necessary, taking each for two weeks before changing. In all the diseases enumerated above, the use of these fluids, in connection with proper herbal remedies, will ensure a speedy restoration to health.
GUM, ACACIA RESTORATIVE. -- Take two ounces of pure white gum Arabic, -- procure the lump, the powdered is very apt to be adulterated, -- pulverize it well, and dissolve by the aid of a gentle heat in a gill of water, stirring constantly. When it is entirely dissolved, add three table-spoonfuls of pure strained honey. Let it remain over the fire until it becomes of the consistency of a jelly. The heat must be very gentle, it must not boil. If desirable, flavor with lemon or vanilla. This will be found a very pleasant article of diet for delicate stomachs. When the articles used are pure it will be transparent and of a light golden color. This will be borne by the weakest stomach, when everything else is rejected. It is highly nutritious.
MALT INFUSION. -- Infuse one pint of ground malt, for two hours, in three pints of scalding water. The water should not be brought quite to the boiling point. Strain, add sugar, if desired; flavor with lemon-juice. This is an excellent drink in inflammatory fevers, acute rheumatism, etc.
PEAS. -- Take young and fresh shelled green peas, wash them clean, put them into fresh water, just enough to cover them, and boil them till they take up nearly all the water. Season with salt, pepper, and butter. This dish, if prepared according to directions, and eaten warm, will not harm any invalid -- not even one suffering from diarrhoea.
MILK. -- In some cases where a milk diet is advisable, owing to the peculiar condition of the patient's stomach, it will cause distress. This is frequently the case when there is undue acidity. In such cases let it be prepared in the following manner, and it will be found to set well: -- Take a tea-cupful of fresh milk, heat nearly to boiling; dissolve in it a tea-spoonful of loaf sugar; pour into a large-sized tumbler, and add sufficient plain soda-water to fill it. Prepared in the above directed manner it will be perfectly free from all unpleasant effects.
SOUPS FOR THE CONVELESCENT. -- To extract the sterength from meat, long and slow boiling is necessary; but care must be taken that the pot is never off the boil. All soups should be made the day before they are used, and they should then be strained into earthen pans. When soup has jellied in the pan, it should not be removed into another. When in danger of not keeping, it should be boiled up.
EGGS. -- In cases of extreme debility, eggs are most excellent. They should never be boiled hard. The best way to prepare them is to beat them well with milk and sugar. Where it will be appropriate to the case, add some fine pale sherry wine.
MILK FOR INFANTS. -- Fresh cow's milk, one part; water, two parts; sweeten with a very little loaf sugar. When children are raised by hand, it is always necessary to dilute the milk. As the child advances in age, the proportion of water stated above may be gradually lessened.
WATER GRUEL. -- Corn or oatmeal, two table-spoonfuls; water, one quart. Boil tea for fifteen minutes, and strain. Add salt and sugar to suit the taste of the patient. This should be used freely, during and after the operation of cathartic medicines.