Pow Wow Remedies

Salves To Heal Up Wounds

From Pow-Wows, or Long Lost Friend, by John George Hoffman we have these three recipes for a salve to heal up wounds:

  • Tobacco and Elder

Take tobacco, green or dry; if green a good handful, if dry, two ounces; together with this take a good handful of elder leaves, fry them well in butter, press it through a cloth, and you may. use it in a salve. This will heal up a wound in a short time.

  • Oak Bark and Tallow

Or go to a white oak tree that stands pretty well isolated, and scrape off the rough bark from the eastern side of the tree; then cut off the inner bark, break it into small pieces, and boil it until all the strength is drawn out; strain it through a piece of linen, and boil it again, until it becomes as thick as tar; then take out as much as you need, and put to it an equal proportion of sheep-tallow, rosin and wax, and work them together until they form a salve. This salve you put on a piece of linen, very thinly spread, and lay it on the wound, renewing it occasionally till the wound is healed up.

  • Parsley and Butter

Or take a handful of parsley, pound it fine, and work it to a salve with an equal proportion of fresh butter. This salve prevents mortification and heals very fast.

3 Pow Wow Epilepsy Cures

  • 1. Take a turtle dove, cut its throat, and let the person afflicted with epilepsy, drink the blood.
  • 2. This remedy is only effective it the subject had never fallen into fire or water:

Write reversedly or backwards upon a piece of paper: “IT IS ALL OVER!” This is to be written but once upon the paper; then put it in a scarlet-red cloth, and then wrap it in a piece of unbleached linen, and hang it around the neck on the first Friday of the new moon. The thread with which it is tied must also be unbleached.

  • 3. To cure fits or convulsions:

You must go upon another person’s land, and repeat the following words: “I go before another court–I tie up my 77-fold fits.” Then cut three small twigs off any tree on the land; in each twig you must make a knot. This must be done on a Friday morning before sunrise, in the decrease of the moon unbeshrewdly. + + + Then over your body where you feel the fits you make the crosses. And thus they may be made in all cases where they are applied.

From: Pow-Wows, or Long Lost Friend, by John George Hoffman, [1820]

Pow Wow Toothache Remedy

Stir the sore tooth with a needle until it draws blood; then take a thread and soak it with this blood. Then take vinegar and flour, mix them well so as to form a paste and spread it on a rag, then wrap this rag around the root of an apple-tree, and tie it very close with the above thread, after which the root must be well covered with ground.

From: Pow-Wows, or Long Lost Friend, by John George Hoffman, [1820]

Cure For The Toothache

Hoffman, the author of this book, has cured the severest toothache more than sixty times, with this remedy, and, out of the sixty times he applied it, it failed but once in affecting a cure. Take blue vitriol and put a piece of it in the hollow tooth, yet not too much; spit out the water that collects in the mouth, and be careful to swallow none. I do not know whether it is good for teeth that are not hollow, but I should judge it would cure any kind of toothache.

From: Pow-Wows, or Long Lost Friend, by John George Hoffman, [1820]

When Someone Is Sick…

Another Remedy to be applied when anyone is sick, which has effected many a cure where doctors could not help. Let the sick person, without having conversed with anyone, put water in a bottle before sunrise, close it up tight, and put it immediately in some box or chest. lock it and stop up the keyhole; the key must be carried one of the pockets for three days, as nobody dare have it except the person who puts the bottle with water in the chest or box.

From: Pow-Wows, or Long Lost Friend, by John George Hoffman, [1820]

Stinging Nettle For Fear, Fancies, and Fish

In the 1800’s, stinging nettles are reputed to be good for banishing fears and fancies, and to cause fish to collect.

Whenever you hold this weed in your hand together with Millifolia, you are safe from all fears and fancies that frequently deceive men. If you mix it with a decoction of the hemlock, and rub your hands with it, and put the rest in water that contains fish, you will find the fish to collect around your hands. Whenever you pull your hands out of the water, the fish disappear by returning to their former places.

From: Pow-Wows, or Long Lost Friend, by John George Hoffman, [1820]

Oil of Cloves as a Panacea

Very good cure for weakness of the limbs, for the purification of the blood, for the invigoration of the head and heart, and to remove giddiness, etc…

Take two drops of oil of cloves in a tablespoonful of white wine early in the morning, and before eating anything else. This is also good for the mother-pains and the colic. The oil of cloves which you buy in the drug stores will answer the purpose. These remedies are also applicable to cure the cold when it settles in the bowels, and to stop vomiting. A few drops of this oil poured upon cotton and applied to the aching teeth, relieves the pain.

From: Pow-Wows, or Long Lost Friend, by John George Hoffman, [1820]

Pow Wow Cures For Dropsy

Dropsy is a disease derived from a cold humidity, which passes through the different limbs to such a degree that it either swells the whole or a portion of them. The usual symptoms and precursors of every case of dropsy are the swelling of the feet and thighs, and then of the face; besides this the change of the natural color of the flesh into a dull white, with great thirst, loss of appetite, costiveness, sweating, throwing up of slimy substances, but little water, laziness, and aversion to exercise.

Physicians know three different kinds of dropsy, which they name:

  • 1. Anasarca, when the water penetrates between the skin and the flesh over the whole body, and all the limbs, and even about the face and swells them.
  • 2. Ascites, when the belly and thighs swell, while the upper extremities dry up.
  • 3. Tympanites, caused rather by wind than water. The belly swells up very hard, the navel is forced out very far, and the other members fall away. The belly becomes so much inflated that knocking against it causes a sound like that of a large drum, and from this circumstance its name is derived.

The chief thing in curing dropsy rests upon three points, namely:

  • 1. To reduce the hardness of the swelling which may be in the bowels or other parts.
  • 2. To endeavor to scatter the humors.
  • 3. To endeavor to pass them off either through the stool or through the water.

The best cure therefore must chiefly consist in this: To avoid as much as possible all drinking, and use only dry victuals; to take moderate exercise, and to sweat and purge the body considerably.

If anyone feels symptoms of dropsy, or while it is yet in its first stages, let him make free use of the sugar of the herb called Fumatory, as this purifies the blood, and the Euphrasy sugar to open the bowels.

A Cure For Dropsy (said to be infallible)

Take a jug of stone or earthenware, and put four quarts of strong, healthy cider into it; take two handfuls of parsley roots and tops, cut it fine; a handful of scraped horse-radish, two tablespoonfuls of bruised mustard-seed, half an ounce of squills, and half an ounce of juniper berries; put all these in the jug, and place it near the fire for 24 hours so as to keep the cider warm, and shake it up often; then strain it through a cloth and keep it for use.

To a grown person give half a wineglassful three times a day, on an empty stomach. But if necessary you may increase the dose, although it must decrease again as soon as the water is carried off, and, as stated before, use dry victuals and exercise gently.

This remedy has cured a great many persons, and among them a woman of 70 years of age, who had the dropsy so badly that she was afraid to get out of bed, for fear her skin might burst, and who it was thought could not live but a few days. She used this remedy according to the directions given, and in less than a week the water had passed off her, the swelling of her stomach fell, and in a few weeks afterward she again enjoyed perfect health.

  • Or:

Drink for a few days very strong Bohea tea, and eat the leaves of it. This simple means is said to have carried away the water from some persons in three or four days, and freed them from the swelling, although the disease had reached the highest pitch.

  • Or:

Take three spoonfuls of rape-seed, and half an ounce of clean gum myrrh, put these together in a quart of good old wine, and let it stand over night in the room, keeping it well covered. Aged persons are to take two teaspoonfuls of this an hour after supper, and the same before going to bed; younger persons must diminish the quantity according to their age, and continue the use of it as long as necessary.

  • Or:

Take young branches of spruce pine, cut them into small pieces, pour water on them and let them boil a while, then pour it into a large tub, take off your clothes, and sit down over it, covering yourself and the tub with a sheet or blanket, to prevent the vapor from escaping. When the water begins to cool let some one put in hot bricks; and when you have thus been sweating for a while, wrap the sheet or blanket close around you and go to bed with it. A repetition of this for several days will free the system from all water.

The following Valuable Recipes, not in the original work of Hoffman, were added by the publisher.

Cure For Dropsy

Make of the broom-corn seed, well powdered and sifted, one drachm. Let it steep twelve hours in a wineglass and a half of good, rich wine, and take it in the morning fasting, having first shaken it so that the whole may be swallowed. Let the patient walk after it, if able, or let him use what exercise he can without fatigue, for an hour and a half; after which let him take two ounces of olive oil, and not eat or drink anything in less than half an hour afterward. Let this be repeated every day, or once in three days, and not oftener, till a cure is effected, and do not let blood, or use any other remedy during the course.

Nothing can be more gentle and safe than the operation of this remedy. If the dropsy is in the body it discharges it by water, without any inconvenience; if it is between the skin and flesh, it causes blisters to rise on the legs, by which it will run off; but this does not happen to more than one in thirty: and in this case no plasters must be used, but apply red-cabbage leaves. It cures dropsy in pregnant women, without injury to the mother or child. It also alleviates asthma, consumption and disorders of the liver.

From: Pow-Wows, or Long Lost Friend, by John George Hoffman, [1820]

Sweet Oil

Sweet oil (another term for olive oil) possesses a great many valuable properties, and it is therefore advisable for every head of a family to have it at all times about the house in order that it may be applied in cases of necessity. Here follow some of its chief virtues:

It is a sure remedy, internally as well as externally, in all cases of inflammation in men and animals.

Internally, it is given to allay the burning in the stomach caused by strong drink or by purging too severely, or by poisonous medicines. Even if pure poison has been swallowed, vomiting may be easily produced by one or two wine-glasses of sweet oil, and thus the poison will be carried off, provided it has not already been too long in the bowels; and after the vomiting, a spoonful of the oil should be taken every hour until the burning caused by the poison is entirely allayed.

Whoever is bitten by a snake, or any other poisonous animal, or by a mad dog, and immediately takes warmed sweet oil, and washes the wound with it, and then puts a rag, three or four times doubled up and well soaked with oil, on the wound every three or four hours, and drinks a couple of spoonfuls of the oil every four hours for some days, will surely find out what peculiar virtues the sweet oil possesses in regard to poisons.

In dysentery, sweet oil is likewise a very useful remedy, when the stomach has first been cleansed with rhubarb or some other suitable purgative, and then a few spoonsfuls of sweet oil should be taken every three hours. For this purpose, however, the sweet oil should have been well boiled and a little hartshorn be mixed with it. This boiled sweet oil is also serviceable in all sorts of bowel complaints and in colics; or when anyone receives internal injury as from a fall, a few spoonfuls of it should be taken every two hours; for it allays the pain, scatters the coagulated blood, prevents all inflammation and heals gently.

Externally, it is applicable in all manner of swellings; it softens, allays the pain, and prevents inflammation.

Sweet oil and white lead, ground together, makes a very good salve, which is applicable in burns and scalds This salve is also excellent against infection from poisonous weeds or waters, if it is put on the infected part as soon as it is noticed.

If sweet oil is put in a large glass, so as to fill it about one-half full, and the glass is then filled up with the flowers of the St. Johnswort, and well covered and placed in the sun for about four weeks, the oil proves then, when distilled, such a valuable remedy for all fresh wounds in men and animals, that no one can imagine its medicinal powers who has not tried it. This should at all times be found in a well-conducted household. In a similar manner, an oil may be made of white lilies, which is likewise very useful to soften hardened swellings and burns, and to cure the sore breasts of women.

From: Pow-Wows, or Long Lost Friend, by John George Hoffman, [1820]

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