Reading through The Prudent Housewife, some medical treatments sound whimsical while others appear dangerous. For a sprain, The Prudent Housewife advises a soak in warm vinegar, and then applying a paste of stale beer grounds, oatmeal, and hog’s lard every day until the pain and swelling go away. Hiccups call for a tasty sounding syrup of liquid cinnamon on a lump of sugar, while heart burn requires a glass of water or chamomile tea with scraped chalk. To rid of giddiness, people would drink 20 drops of castor oil mixed in water, and “the smoke of tobacco blown into the ear is an excellent remedy” for an ear ache.
The century book and home physician, an illustrated cook book from 1897 that contains medical receipts.