Old Cough Remedies
(Submitted by Amanda Gallatin)
In the 19th century, common homeopathic cough remedies were mixtures of sugar and aromatics (like lemon or licorice) that were reduced to soothing syrups. These concoctions worked in the same way as modern cough drops, which often contain honey and peppermint to calm the throat.
The next time you feel a tickle in your throat, perhaps try one of these old “prescriptions” from an 1879 cookbook.
- Drop a fresh, unbroken egg in lemon juice. When dissolved, sweeten and give a spoonful occasionally.
- Boil one ounce licorice root in one-half pint of water until reduced by half. Then, add one ounce gum Arabic and one ounce loaf sugar. Take a teaspoon every few hours.
- Boil three lemons until soft. Slice them and combine with a pound of brown sugar. Stew the lemons and sugar until they form thick syrup. When cool, add one tablespoon of almond oil.
Source: Recipes were adapted from the “1879 Cookbook” appendix of Calling All Cooks Two, 1988, Copyright by Telephone Pioneers of America Alabama Chapter No. 34
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