Sacred Texts  Americana  Index  Previous  Next 

Pow-Wows, or Long Lost Friend, by John George Hoffman, [1820], at


Sweet oil possesses a great many valuable properties, and it is therefore advisable for every head of a family to have it at all times about the house in order that it

p. 67

may be applied in cases of necessity. Here follow some of its chief virtues:

It is a sure remedy, internally as well as externally, in all cases of inflammation in men and animals.

Internally, it is given to allay the burning in the stomach caused by strong drink or by purging too severely, or by poisonous medicines. Even if pure poison has been swallowed, vomiting may be easily produced by one or two wine-glasses of sweet oil, and thus the poison will be carried off, provided it has not already been too long in the bowels; and after the vomiting, a spoonful of the oil should be taken every hour until the burning caused by the poison is entirely allayed.

Whoever is bitten by a snake, or any other poisonous animal, or by a mad dog, and immediately takes warmed sweet oil, and washes the wound with it, and then puts a rag, three or four times doubled up and well soaked with oil, on the wound every three or four hours, and drinks a couple of spoonfuls of the oil every four hours for some days, will surely find out what peculiar virtues the sweet oil possesses in regard to poisons.

In dysentery, sweet oil is likewise a very useful remedy, when the stomach has first been cleansed with rhubarb or some other suitable purgative, and then a few spoonsfuls of sweet oil should be taken every three hours. For this purpose, however, the sweet oil should have been well boiled and a little hartshorn be mixed with it. This boiled sweet oil is also serviceable in all sorts of bowel complaints and in colics; or when anyone receives internal injury as from a fall, a few spoonfuls of it should be taken every two hours; for it allays the pain, scatters the coagulated blood, prevents all inflammation and heals gently.

Externally, it is applicable in all manner of swellings; it softens, allays the pain, and prevents inflammation.

Sweet oil and white lead, ground together, makes a

p. 68

very good salve, which is applicable in burns and scalds This salve is also excellent against infection from poisonous weeds or waters, if it is put on the infected part as soon as it is noticed.

If sweet oil is put in a large glass, so as to fill it about one-half full, and the glass is then filled up with the flowers of the St. Johnswort, and well covered and placed in the sun for about four weeks, the oil proves then, when distilled, such a valuable remedy for all fresh wounds in men and animals, that no one can imagine its medicinal powers who has not tried it. This should at all times be found in a well-conducted household. In a similar manner, an oil may be made of white lilies, which is likewise very useful to soften hardened swellings and burns, and to cure the sore breasts of women.

Next: Dropsy