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#115352 11/06/03 01:55 PM
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Today's Word "Simple Simon" remided me of word seldom heard these days: "simples" meaning home remedies. Some few of the were very useful, but you can't get them now. For instance, "lunar caustic", a form of silver nitrate for cauterizing canker sores in mouth. Fortunately I haven't had one in years, but when I did, I was glad to have the lunar caustic, which was a sure cure. Here's a long list of simples:
AMERICANREVOLUTION.ORG
DOMESTIC MEDICINE


A LIST of SIMPLES, and of such MEDIClNAL PREPARATIONS, as ought to be kept in readiness for private Practice.

AGARIC

Alum

Antimony, crude-
Antimony, cinnabar of
Antimony, sulphur of

Balsam of Capivi
Balsam of Peru
Balsam of Tolu

Bark, cascarilla
Bark, cinnamon
Bark, Mezerion,
Bark, Peruvian
Bark, Winter's, or canella alba

Borax

Calamine stone, levigated

Castor, Russian

Caustic, common

Caustic, Lunar

Earth, Fuller's
Earth, Japan
Earth, Armenian bole

Earth, French bole

Extracts of gentian
Extracts of guaiacum
Extracts of hellebore, black
Extracts of hemlock.
Extracts of jalap
Extracts of liquorice
Extracts Of Peruvian bark
Extracts of poppies
Extracts of wormwood

Flowers of camomile
Flowers of colt's foot
Flowers of elder
Flowers of rosemary
Flowers of damask roses
Flowers of red roses

Fruits, almonds
Fruits, bitter apple
Fruits, cassia fistularis
Fruits, Curassao oranges of cinnamon
Fruits, figs, dried
Fruits, French prunes
Fruits, Jamaica -pepper
Fruits, Juniper berries
Fruits, nutmegs
Fruits, tamarinds

Gums, aloes
Gums, ammoniac, in tears
Gums, arabic
Gums, asafoetida
Gums, camphor
Gums, galbanum
Gums, gamboge
Gums, guaiacum.
Gums, kino
Gums, myrrh
Gums, opium

Hartshorn, calcined
Hartshorn, shavings of

Herbs, lesser centaury.
Herbs, peppermint
Herbs, spearmint
Herbs, penny- royal
Herbs, savin
Herbs, trefoil
Herbs, uva ursi
Herbs, wormwood

Lead, Litharge
Lead, white
Lead, sugar of

Lemon-peel

Mace

Magnesia alba

Manna

Mercury, crude
Mercury, AEthiop's mineral
Mercury, calomel
Mercury, corrosive sublimate
Mercury, red precipitate
Mercury, white precipitate

Musk

Oil, essential, of amber
Oil, essential, of anlse
Oil, essential, of cinnamon
Oil, essential, of juniper
Oil, essential, of lermon-peel
Oil, essential, of peppermint

Oil, expressed, of almonds
Oil, expressed, of linseed






Oil of olives, or Florence Oil

Oil of palms

Oil of turpentine,

Orange-peel

Oyster shells prepared

Poppy-heads

Resins, benzoin
Resins, flowers of
Resins, Burgundy pitch
Resins, dragon's blood
Resins, frankincense
Resins, liquid storax
Resins, white, or rosin:
Resins, scammony

Roots, birthwort
Roots, calamus aromaticus
Roots, contrayerva
Roots, garlic
Roots, gentian
Roots, ginger
Roots, hellebore, black, white
Roots, jalap
Roots, ipecacuanha
Roots, lily, white Sulphur vivum
Roots, liquorice
Roots, marshmallow
Roots, mezerion
Roots, rhubarb
Roots, sarsaparilla
Roots, seneka
Roots, squills
Roots, tormentil
Roots, turmeric
Roots, Virginian snake
Roots, wild valerian
Roots, zedoary

Saffron

Sal ammoniac, crude
Sal ammoniac, Volatile

Salt, Epsom
Salt, of Glauber
Salt, of hartshorn
Salt, nitre, purified, or prunel
Salt, Polychrest
Salt, Rochel
Salt, of tartar

Seeds, anise
Seeds, carraway
Seeds, cardamom
Seeds, coriander
Seeds, cummin
Seeds, mustard
Seeds, sweet fennel
Seeds, wild carrot

Senna

Spanish flies

Sperma ceti

Spirits, aethereal, or aether
Spirits, of hartshorn
Spirits, of lavender, compound
Spirits, of nitre
Spirits, of nitre dulcified
Spirits, of sal ammoniac
Spirits, of sea salt
Spirits, of vinegar
Spirits, of vitriol
Spirits, of wine rectified
Spirits, volatile aromatic

Steel, filings of
Steel, rust of, prepared
Steel, soluble salt of

Sulphur vivum
Sulphur vivum, balsam of
Sulphur vivum, flowers of

Tar
Tar, Barbadoes

Tartar, cream of
Tartar, emetic
Tartar, soluble
Tartar, vitriolated

Tin prepared

Tutty, levigated

Turpentine, Venice

Verdegrise

Vitriol, green
Vitriol, blue
Vitriol, White

Wax, white
Wax, yellow

Woods, guaiacum
Woods, logwood
Woods, sassafras
Woods, saunders, red

Zinc, flowers of













#115353 11/06/03 02:24 PM
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Proactively answering the unasked question:

http://www.jackowitch.com/herbhistory2.html

It's there in the first paragraph.


#115354 11/06/03 02:47 PM
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i didn't see oil of clove on the list, for tooth ache, and what i miss is mercuric oxide, a pale yellow cream for treating styes in the eye. (a small portion of a small tube was all you needed, but now its considered to 'unsafe'.)

i grow mint (and mint tea is great for an upset stomache), and have many of the spice (whole) to grind fresh when needed. (nutmeg, mace, allspice, cinnamin, peppers, (sea salt) and i have an assortment of oils, (linseed, grape, walnut, almond, ) but non of the cautics!

i remember reading a story about a scorned woman who threw blue Vitriol in her rivals face.. and i had to look it up. part of me wondered just where she would get something like that... certainly there were no stores that sold such caustic things around in my childhood. (though i do remember hardware stores that had barrels of turps, and you could get your can refilled for less than buying a new can).



#115355 11/06/03 03:06 PM
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Seems like a nice link Faldage;

Two factoids that they seem to have got wrong: Ibn Sina (Avicenna) was a Persian physiscian, not an Arab. And the Arabs got their knowledge of medicine from India. Ayurveda, numerology and astronomy were some of the Indian sciences that were imported by the Arabs in and around the eight century CE. More than fifteen texts of medicine including one dedicated to veterinary science alone, were translated with the help of the Brahmins, shortly after the Arabic invasion of Sind.

Have only skimmed through the details in the link; shall read later tonight. And if they have clarified what to me seem like glaring errors, I do apologise for jumping the gun, as it were.


#115356 11/06/03 03:32 PM
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I din't read the whole thang. Just posted it for the answer to the question (as yet unasked) "why do they call them simples?"


#115357 11/06/03 03:44 PM
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Dear maahey: Your post told me something I didn't know before. It makes it easier to understand why the Arabs' contributions to science came to such an abrupt end. I had assumed it was due to stifling effect of their clergy, just as Italian science was strangled by the Church.


#115358 11/06/03 03:50 PM
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One thing that must not be forgotten. All herbal remedies are very much limited in their usefulness for lack of any practicable way of measuring the amount of active ingredient thereof.
You'd be very much surprised to learn how hard it was to standardize the effective yet safe dose of digitalis, which is far and away the most effective originally herbal remedy.


#115359 11/06/03 11:57 PM
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Would that be Sherlock Holmes, "The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton" (or whichever short story it was that had that despicable fellow in it)?


#115360 11/07/03 03:03 AM
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Dear wofahulicodoc: search for "Sherlock Holmes vitriol face" brought up The Case of the Illustrious Client, in which super villain Adelbert Gruner gets vitrol in the face thrown by Kitty Winter, whom he had seduced, ruined, and discarded. Only thing blue in the story a rare Chinese ceramic treasure used as bait to get Dr. Watson into the villains house, so Holmes could break in and steal the villain's record of his having a hobby of previous infamies.

In case anybody is still interested, here's the URL:
http://members.fortunecity.com/beatlesound/holmes/illustrious_client.htm


#115361 11/07/03 03:07 AM
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It just came to me that the rationale for name "simples" is that they were typically single substances, whereas, a hundred years ago, a typical prescription might have a dozen ingredients.


#115362 11/07/03 02:26 PM
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of troy wrote:
...and have many of the spice (whole) to grind fresh when needed. (nutmeg, mace, allspice, cinnamin,...

Likely you know this, but I was surprised to find out some time ago that nutmeg is an hallucinogen if taken in high enough dosage.

http://www.drugtext.org/library/books/recreationaldrugs/nutmeg.htm

Of course, many plants can be toxic if too much is ingested. One of my favorite Herbal references is "The Herb Book" by John Lust. An oldie, but goodie.


#115363 11/07/03 03:33 PM
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nutmeg is interesting, (there is a book on The Nutmeg Wars-- a period of european expansion into the eastern spice islands, (and for domination of the sea/trade roots.)

the american test kitchens (which have a show on PBS) had a little aside about fresh nutmeg.. its the 'spice' in 'old spice'-- nutmeg was commonly used in perfumes, especailly men's scents, along with bay (as in bay rum) and it is effective as an antideodorant for stinky feet/shoes.

My son has a nugmeg shaver-- it sort of looks like a pepper mill, but it has a blade/planer type arrangement, to shave of super thin sheet of nutmeg (that crumble to dust at the merest touch!)


#115364 11/07/03 06:18 PM
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Dear pf troy: the first nutmeg wars started when unethical entrepreneurs in Connecticut started peddling wooden nutmegs.

"The Nutmeg State: Nutmeg, the powder used for seasoning foods, is ground from the seed of the fruit of the Nutmeg Tree, Myristica fragans. A couple of stories exist as to the origin of this nickname. One story has it that this nickname came about as a comment on the ingenuity and shrewdness of the citizens of the state. In a story, perhaps originated by Sam Slick, it is claimed that the people of Connecticut were so ingenious and shrewd that they were able to make and sell "wooden" nutmegs to unsuspecting buyers. A variation on this story maintains that purchasers did not know that the seed must be ground to obtain the spice and may have accused yankee peddlars, unfairly, of selling worthless "wooden" nutmegs. It may be that these wooden nutmegs were whittled by idle sailors on ships coming from the spice island and sold as souvenirs."

#115365 11/08/03 07:42 PM
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The Nutmeg Wars sounds like an intriguing book. I'd like to check it out.

Have you read, "Salt: A World History", by any chance? I enjoyed that book as well. Books based on "little" subjects that turn out to have great importance in world history seem to be popular right now. One of my favorites that I read recently is a book called, "The Secret Life of Dust", by Hannah Holmes. I cannot recommend this book enough for the sheer fun tidbits of information Holmes shares...but then I'm a geek, so take it for what it's worth.


#115366 11/08/03 08:20 PM
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Here's a URL with a lot of information about nutmeg:
http://www-ang.kfunigraz.ac.at/~katzer/engl/generic_frame.html?Myri_fra.html


#115367 11/08/03 08:54 PM
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That's a useful resource, wwh. Thanks! I'm a shameless collector of websites and have just book-marked this one for my botany collection. Thank you!


#115368 11/08/03 09:07 PM
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oh yes, i loved Salt! i haven't read The Nutmeg Wars yet, but i also recommend Botony of Desire by Michael Pollen... you'll never look at an apple or a tulip (bulb or flower) the same again..


#115369 11/08/03 09:27 PM
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I also recommend Botony of Desire by Michael Pollen

Pollen?! Isn't that interesting? I wonder if his choice of interests was influenced at all by his last name?

Thanks for the book recommendation.


#115370 11/09/03 10:02 PM
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...The Case of the Illustrious Client, in which super villain Adelbert Gruner gets vitrol in the face...

Thanks. You're right. Charles Augustus Milverton was another arch-villian, a blackmailer actually, and he got his from another wronged woman (who shot him).

Your investigations led me to find http://www.geocities.com/fa1931/british/conandoy/milverto.html.
Apparently the full text of ALL the Sherlock Holmes stories in available on line !


#115371 11/10/03 02:26 PM
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Ipecac wasn't listed. I heard a report on NPR that ipecac will no longer be available--just caught the end of the report. I don't know whether it has been found to be dangerous, but ipecac has been widely used as an antidote for poisoning. Did anyone catch the whole NPR report?


#115372 11/10/03 10:48 PM
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Didn't catch the NPR broadcast but...

What's its etymology?
From what language originally? Did we get many other words from that source?
And what a great anagram target it makes! Capice?!

And BTW it's _always_ been dangerous. Comes in two strengths, y'see, one therapeutic but the other (CAUTION: NEEDS TO BE DILUTED BEFORE USE) quite toxic.

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Here is a long article about ipecacuanha,from Brazil, so a Portugese word:
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/i/ipecac07.html#his


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Thanks, wwh.

Capice.


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Non capisco "capice". Capisce?


#115376 11/11/03 01:15 AM
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Croton oil. A laxative of extreme potency. A highschool chum told me about Balzac short story, where French King put croton oil into wine, and would not let afflicted courtiers depart until they were desperate. So they all perched on first stone wall they could find.
Alas I never knew name of the story, and can't find it
Perhaps in Comedie Humaine.
From AHD
croton oil

NOUN: A brownish-yellow, foul-smelling oil obtained from the seeds of a tropical Asian shrub or small tree (Croton tiglium) and formerly used as a drastic purgative and counterirritant. Its use was discontinued because of its toxicity



#115377 11/11/03 10:50 PM
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Crotons are lovely plants--lovely multi-colored, thick leaves..

Why did this king want to make the courtiers so miserable? What was the motive given in the story, wwh?


#115378 11/12/03 12:34 AM
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As I said, a chum in highschool told me about it, mentioning only that it was one of the Droll Tales. The king was a bit of a sadist. Etiquette very positively barred the attending nobles from leaving until the King gave them permission to do so, fully intending that all should have soiled themselves before they could get home.
Actually, I think that croton oil, even in the very small effective dose, would be very readily detected, and the wine would be dumped into the potted petunias, if there were any handy. One of the substances found in the oil is
valeric acid, which is one of the things that makes garbage smell so bad.
I spent hours trying to see if I could find the story, but no luck. Sob,sob!


#115379 11/12/03 06:43 PM
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Thanks for the Droll effort, wwh.


#115380 12/12/03 10:45 PM
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from Brazil, so a Portuguese word

more likely a native word, probably Tupi-Guarani.


#115381 12/13/03 12:46 AM
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American Academy of Clinical Toxicology:
"Syrup of ipecac should not be administered routinely in the management of poisoned patients. In experimental studies the amount of marker removed by ipecac was highly variable and diminished with time. There is no evidence from clinical studies that ipecac improves the outcome of poisoned patients and its routine administration in the emergency department should be abandoned. There are insufficient data to support or exclude ipecac administration soon after poison ingestion. Ipecac may delay the administration or reduce the effectiveness of activated charcoal, oral antidotes, and whole bowel irrigation. Ipecac should not be administered to a patient who has a decreased level or impending loss of consciousness or who has ingested a corrosive substance or hydrocarbon with high aspiration potential."


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