Martha Washington’s Cure for Respiratory Ills

Indian Turnip

     One of the duties of the mistress of the home was to treat the injuries and illnesses of the household.  Martha Custis Washington was known for her proficiency as a household manager.  As a young widow with children, she even managed the business dealings of her plantations which was uncommon for the time.  Although she didn’t want to leave Mount Vernon to move to New York to become the first First Lady, she supported her husband (as she always had) and was a gracious hostess to all.  Check out her recipe for respiratory illnesses.

     Take the wild or Indian Turnip when it is in blossom or has the fruit on it, wash and cut it in thin slices Run a thread thro it, and hang it in the chimney corner to dry quickly but do not let the fire come to it – when it is very dry power it in a mortar – the potion to take as much as will lay on the point of a knife when the difficulty of breathing or coughing come on make it in to a bolus with honey – it may be repeated as often as the stomack will bear till it gives ease.

For more information:   http://marthawashington.us/items/browse?tags=medicine

Tomorrow, George Washington in his own words on the right to carry and when weapons should be used.  Rita Bay

2 Comments

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2 responses to “Martha Washington’s Cure for Respiratory Ills

  1. Steve

    Wonder if the cure works…anxiously awaiting for tomorrows post.

    • Hi Steve, Several sources listed it as a cure but who knows. I can promise the Saturday post on George Washington ideas on the Second Amendment and the right to carry will not be disputable. Rita Bay

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