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Magazine Editorial

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Abstract Potions, Lotions, Tonics and Teas Linda Glovach, 1977, Prentice Hall 117 pages, hardback This is a collection of over 100 recipes for herbal home remedies, each preceded by an introduction of their good effects. Each page has one recipe with instructions to use a few simple ingredients to make the lotion/drink , and a small pen drawing illustration. The author has combined her interest in American folk traditions with her love of gardening to present this compendium. The potions, tonics and teas are all beverages, and the lotions are liquid preparations – skin lotions, creme rinses and shampoos, for which there are 23 recipes. The American author uses ingredients readily available in the US and also here in India; most are spices, herbs, fruits, milk/buttermilk, honey and vegetable oils. An example of a potion called Tranquility has ingredients of skim milk powder, fresh fruit, honey that are combined with water in a blender, which when drunk produces effects of composure and confidence (p.28). A recipe for Papaya tea requires ½ tsp. of dried papaya leaf in boiled water, strain and add honey to taste to aid digestion (p.93). There are 27 potion recipes for medicinal purposes; 25 tonic recipes for refreshing, restoring and giving strength, and 26 tea recipes made from dried leaves of various herbs and spices. Many copies of the book are available through US second hand book dealers for a little over US$2 plus postage. ______________ Dr.Goodenough’s Home Cures and Herbal Remedies: Presenting the most honoured medicine of 1904 Compiled and edited by Dr Josephus Goodenough 1982, Avenel Books, New York (revised edition of The favourite medical receipt book and home doctor. 1904) 758 pages, hardback “An almanac of the treatments of rare value, patent and secret preparations, and medical things worth knowing” compiled by Dr Goodenough together with contributions from 84 ‘leading’ doctors in many countries as well as the USA of their most successful remedies. This is a fascinating insight into the state of medical knowledge in 1904. In those days, every household had a home medical book to be consulted for sources of healing. Dr Goodenough’s interest was to produce a comprehensive reference book that was practical, pragmatic and provided an understanding of the sources of illnesses and a means to cure them. The main sections of the book are concerned with diseases, accidents and emergencies, poisons, herbal remedies, miscellaneous recipes/advice for example for making cosmetics, dealing with household repairs. In all, 325 herbal remedies are displayed in alphabetical order by the common name of the herb (the most complete at the time of publication in 1904). A detailed description of the plant is followed by the method of extracting the medicinal properties, e.g. extract, tincture, infusion, decoction, bitters, powders, etc., and the dosage is given for the various ailments that it can heal. There are 16 colour plates of important plants. An example from the herbal remedies is the use of onion: Roasted and split, onions are applied to boils and tumors in which pus is forming. They ease the pain and hasten the formation of the pus. The juice pressed out and made into a syrup with sugar is given to children for colds, croup, etc. As a food they are recommended in dropsies, suppression of urine, gravel, etc. (p.579) The book is available on Amazon.com for up to US$10 plus postage.
Volume No. Honey Bee 25(2) 20, 2014

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