DOMESTIC REMEDIES.—The following most prominent domestic remedies are arranged in different groups, according to their action : Purges : Prune jam, one or two heaping teaspoonfuls ; pure olive oil, one or two tablespoonfuls ; castor-oil, a teaspoonful to a tablespoonful, according to the age of the patient. Children can be induced to take castor oil by sprinkling the spoon with sugar ; or it may be taken with a mild drink, such as sarsaparilla, or with coffee. The many household teas, so widely used as cathartics, are not safe remedies. They usually contain senna, which, used continuously, causes disastrous results.
Styptics : Cleansing of the wound with pure, cold water ; pressing or tying of pure absorbent cotton to the bleeding place. Cobwebs are dangerous and unclean.
Stimulating Remedies : Internally : Acetic ether and Hoffmann's ano dyne, Do to 4o drops in water or on sugar every two to three hours ; spirits of melissa and infusion of camomiles, one teaspoonful ; strong, black coffee, a small cupful. Champagne cooled in ice, and soda-water with small pieces of ice, taken in spoonfuls, are useful in treating nausea and vomiting.
Externally : Vinegar ; French brandy ; Cologne water ; smelling-salts ; and spirits of sal ammoniac.
Emetics : Irritation of the pharynx with the finger or with a feather ; drinking large quantities of lukewarm water, soap water, or mustard and water. Emetics which act speedily and vigorously, such as tartar emetic, bluestone, etc., should he prescribed only by a physician.
Remedies for Diarrhea : Dry Claret (Bordeaux or Dalmatian ); thin, strained decoctions of rice, barley, or oats, in tablespoonfuls. Clysters of starch gruel (one tablespoonful of starch, mixed with a little water, and then boiled with about half a pint of water under continued stirring). Warm poultices upon the abdomen. A cathartic, such as castor-oil, is advisable in the beginning in practically all cases of diarrhoea.
Remedies to disguise Taste : Bitter powders are enclosed in wafers, or taken with jam, with fresh fruits (in a cherry or prune), in the foam of beer or in a sip of wine, soup, coffee, lemonade, raspberry syrup, soda-water, peppermint tea, etc. Bitter liquid medicines may likewise be taken mixed with these fluids. A bad after-taste (as of cod-liver oil or of castor-oil) is
sometimes removed by the chewing of a crumb of bread, a roasted coffee-bean, a piece of chocolate, or a peppermint lozenge.
Cough Remedies : Warm, semi-liquid fluids in small quantities ; marsh mallow tea, one teaspoonful to a cup of hot water, after infusing for about one-half to one hour ; malt extract, in teaspoonful doses ; lime drops ; marshmallow drops ; sal ammoniac pastilles, to be taken only if the irritation to cough is very marked. Externally : Cold compresses (which become warm) upon the throat and chest ; inhalation of steam. Warning should be given against wasting valuable time by using these cough remedies. A physician should always be summoned at the earliest possible moment, as COUGHS (which see) may often mask a serious disease.
Plaisters : Court-plaister (to be moistened with water, not with saliva), used solely to cover very small cut wounds or superficial abrasions. Sticking plaister is now usually bought ready for use, as the ordinary yellow sticking-plaister, or a very adhesive white caoutchouc plaister. Oxide of zinc plaister is also useful. It is unnecessary to warm the sticking-plaister over a flame ; pressing it slightly to the skin is sufficient to make it adhere. Cut in strips of one-half to one inch wide, it is used to fasten bandages, or to cover wounds and abrasions previously cleansed and dried, or as a pro tective covering for hard skin and callosities. If the plaister is left in place for several days, or if its use is continuously repeated for some length of time, the skin is very liable to become reddened and inflamed. A physician should be consulted as to whether the use of a plaister is permissible, and also as to whether plaisters with medicinal ingredients may be employed. Salicylic acid plaister (so-called tourist's plaister ; corn-plaister) often causes a violent inflammation of the skin. Red-lead plaister, which contains camphor, is sold as a cure-all plaister by many druggists and quacks ; it is no more harmful than ordinary sticking-plaister, but it is not any more efficacious either, and surely not in any internal disease.