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Palsy Pleurisy Potassium Perspiration Poison Ivy Poultice Powder Pregnancy Pyorrhea

DISCLAIMER: These pages are presented solely as a source of INFORMATION and ENTERTAINMENT and to provide stern warnings against use where appropriate. No claims are made for the efficacy of any herb nor for any historical herbal treatment. In no way can the information provided here take the place of the standard, legal, medical practice of any country. Additionally, some of these plants are extremely toxic and should be used only by licensed professionals who have the means to process them properly into appropriate pharmaceuticals. One final note: many plants were used for a wide range of illnesses in the past, but be aware that many of the historical uses have proven to be ineffective for the problems to which they were applied.

The following is an old remedy which has no dosage directions.
One ounce, taken as needed, should be sufficient.

1 oz each of lavender, rosemary and cinnamon
½ oz each of nutmeg and red sandalwood
16 oz brandy

Combine ingredients and allow to steep for 7 days out of direct light. Strain.

  1. Mix equal parts of Sage, Hyssop and the rind of Walnut. Steep 2 tbsp in ½ cup boiling hot water for 10 minutes. Take ½ cup 2 hours before going to bed.
  2. Combine 12 parts Sage leaves, 4 parts Buck bean, 2 parts Boneset, 2 parts Rosemary. Steep 1 tsp in 1 cup boiling hot water for 5 minutes, then strain. Taken before retiring for the night.

  1. Combine equal parts of Linden flowers, Elder flowers, Mullein flowers and Chamomile. Steep 1 to 2 tsp in ½ cup boiling hot water and drink hot.
  2. Combine 4 parts Elder flowers, 2 parts Boneset, 2 parts Black birch leavess and 2 parts Watermint. Steep ½ tsp of the mixture in 2 cups boiling hot water for 3 to 5 minutes and strain. Drink hot before retiring for the night.

4 tsp pleurisy root
3 tsp elecampane root
2 tsp elder flowers
2 tsp thoroughwort
3 tsp licorice root
4 tsp comfrey root (not currently recommended for internal use)

Mix well and divide into 10 equal portions. Add one dose to 3 cups of boiling water, cover and boil slowly for about 2 to 3 min. Let stand for 10 minutes, then strain and take 1/3 in the morning, noon and at night either before or after meals.

4 parts pleurisy root
3 parts spotted cranebill
3 parts licorice
2 parts elderflowers
2 parts boneset
1 part Irish moss

Boil ¾ tsp mixture slowly in 3 cups water, covered; let stand for 10 minutes and strain. Take 1 cup morning, noon and night.

2 parts anise seed
3 parts chamomile flowers
5 parts nettle
5 parts coltsfoot leaves and flowers

Steep 4 tsp in 1½ cups boiling hot water. Take 1½ cups a day sweetened with honey, warm, in mouthful doses.

A very serious problem for many of us, but the first line of defense is a bottle of Dawn dish liquid. The trick is to get rid of the oils before they have a chance to bond with the skin. If you have any suspicion at all that you have come into contact with it, immediately wash with the Dawn (straight from the bottle, don't cut with water), then rinse with tepid water. Repeat two more times. I have never had this fail me yet, and have also seen tree removal crews do the same thing after having encountered some in their work. Even after the rash has begun, washing with Dawn will help to dry it.

If you missed the opportunity to wash off the oils and have developed a rash, then it will necessary to bring in the heavy guns. I have received the best results by using a decoction of Sweet fern during the weepy stages, followed by use of calomine lotion once it has begun to dry. No doubt the amount of tannin in the Sweet fern contributes greatly to its drying power, but there seems to be more to the action than that for other plants yield good amounts of tannins as well, but fail to have the effect that the Sweet fern does.

NOTE: Heat will stop itching for a longer period of time and more effectively than cold.

Gather a branch or two of Sweet fern (Comptonia peregrinis). Using scissors, clip both leaves and stems into approximate 1-inch pieces into a saucepot. Add distilled water to cover and bring to a boil. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes, then strain. The liquid can be saved for future use by pouring into ice cube trays. When the cubes are set up, remove them and store in a plastic bag in the freezer. When needed they merely need to be melted and heated in a small pan. The decoction should be applied to the affected site as hot as can be tolerated. Use cotton balls to apply.

  1. The juice of fresh Jewelweed used immediately after exposure can help to neutralize the oils of the poison ivy. Jewelweed juice can be preserved for future use by freezing in ice cube trays and removing them when set up. Store in plastic bag in the freezer. Can also be helpful with the itch of stinging nettle (Yellow dock is better) and insect bites.
  2. Dissolve 1 tsp salt in ½ cup water and blend in 2 or 3 tsps of fine cosmetic clay till a thick paste, but is still spreadable. Apply.
  3. If you live near the ocean, then bathing the affected parts in the sea water is highly effective in drying it.
  4. Around the eyes use aloe gel, but do not get it into the eyes.

Natural sources are grapes, tomatoes, bananas and plantain.


¼-inch outer peelings (including skins) of 3 potatoes
1 bunch of fresh parsley (chopped)
3 scrubbed (unpeeled) carrots cut into rounds
a handful of beet greens (chopped)
2 med. onions (chopped)
5 cloves garlic (crushed)
other green leafy vegetables of your choice (chopped)
2 quarts of water

Wash and prepare the vegetables. Simmer in water in a large covered pot for 30 to 40 minutes. Strain if you wish to have the broth seperate. Excess broth can be store in the fridge for upto 2 days.

4 oz slippery elm bark powder
4 oz fenugreek seed powder
8 oz flax seed powder

Mix with hot water till a stiff smooth paste is obatained and apply as needed.


All herbs should be avoided when pregnant unless taken under the supervision of a doctor or midwife. It is best to follow good dietary guidelines as suggested by the doctor and to take the prescribed prenatal vitamins. Essential oils should definitely be avoided. Ginger tea can help to control nausea, but only as directed by a physician. Seek counsel on the matter first since no two pregnancies and expecting mothers are ever exactly alike.

Used after birthing for the relief of episiotomies. Can also be used with the additon of Osha root for genital herpes although the use of a lemon balm preparation is more likely to be effective. Can also be used for hemorrhoids.

¼ cup white oak bark
¼ cup goldeseal root powder
¼ cup comfrey root
¼ cup witch hazel bark
2 quarts distilled water

Stir herbs into water and soak for 15 minutes. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and strain, then cool to as hot as is tolerable on the skin. Spread a towel on the floor to catch drips and put the basin on it. Add the herb solution to the basin and sit in it for 15 to 20 min. Repeat twice daily.

©1998 by Ernestina Parziale, CH