Chap. 09. Of Preparations Topical, or External.

Tho' Authors have multiplied the Titles of these Topical Preparations, yet these following are all that we think necessary for External Uses, or Outward Application.

I. Lotions, or Washes. I. Washes are made

  • 1. Of fair Water.
  • 2. Of Infusions or Decoctions.
  • 3. Of Wines.
  • 4. Of Vinegars;

of which a choice is to be made, according to the Purpose or Design for which it is intended.

II. The general Intentions of Lotions, or Washes, are five-fold, viz.

  • 1. To beautify the Skin.
  • 2. To ease Pain.
  • 3. To discuss Tumours.
  • 4. To cleanse old putrid Sores or Ulcers.
  • 5. To attract or draw-forth any Poison, Venom, or Malignity, in the Part.

III. First fair Water is used either simply by it self, as hot as the Patient can bear it, either to bathe with it, or to let the whole Arm, or Leg, to lie in it for half an Hour, or 3 quarters of an Hour, more or less, which repeat as need may require, twice or thrice a Day: It opens the Pores, abates Inflammations, and absterges old putrid Sores and Ulcers, making them apt for healing. Or it is used with Castile or Genoua Soap, a quarter of a Pound dissolved in 3 Gallons of it, by a gentle Heat. This opens the Pores, and absterges more potently.

IV. Secondly, Infusions or Decoctions. These are made of such Herbs as are appropriate to the intention, and which the Physician shall advise, in which also Castile or Genoua Soap may be dissolved, and may serve for easing of Pain, discussing of Tumours, &c.

V. Thirdly, Wine simply of it self, is used to comfort and strengthen weak Parts, discuss Tumours, ease Pain, &c. by fomenting therewith as hot as the Patient can endure it, once, twice, or thrice a Day: And so it is of use (viz. Red Wine) to cure the falling-down of the fundament. But mixed with Camphir, a Dram or Dram and half, dissolved in a little Brandy, to a Quart of Wine, it will be yet more powerful to all those Intentions, as also to prevent a Mortification.

VI. Fourthly, Vinegar, simply of itself, used hot, is excellent to ease Pain, stop Bleeding, and take away Deformities of the Skin; but used with honey dissolved in it, it absterges putrid Ulcers, and heals Ulcers of the Mouth and Throat. If it is used with dissolved Camphir, and Saccharum Saturni, it not only cleanses the Skin, but cures most of its Deformities, and also beautifies it. These are some of the things which Lotions perform; and in imitation of these Examples, you may make a thousand others, which may have admirable Effects.

II. Οils. I. They are made

  • 1. by Expression.
  • 2. By Insolation.
  • 3. By Boiling.

II. Those which are made by Expression, are either Oil Olive, which if it is made out of Ripe Olives, is said to be temperate, in respect of heat, coldness, driness, or moisture; or Oils out of Nuts, as Oil of Almonds, Sweet and Bitter, of Wall-nuts, Oil of Ben, which has that Property with it, never to grow Rank; or Oils out of Seeds, as Aniseed, Linseed, Rapeseed, &c.

III. Oils by Insolation. Take Oil Olive, or rather Oil of Ben, a Gallon of the Herbs or Flowers, or Seeds you design to make the Oil of, 24 Handfuls well bruised, mix them, cover the Pot with a Paper, and set it in the Sun (in the hottest Season) for 14 Days or more, stirring it every Day: Then having warm'd it over a gentle Fire, press out the Oil from the Ingredients in a wooden Press. Repeat this Insolation with more bruised Ingredients, three times at least, at last pressing out the Oil as before, let it stand to settle or defecate, and pour off the clear, which keep in Glass Bottles close stopt for use. Where note, that Oils by Insolation, ought to be made only of Herbs and Seeds which are hot and dry, of very thin, subtil and volatil parts, as of Cranesbil Musked, Hyssop, Lavender, Marjoram, Mint, Rosemary, Sage, Savory, Southernwood, Thyme, etc. of Aniseeds, Carraways, Coriander, Cloves, Fennel, Mace, Nutmegs, Parsly-seed, &c.

IV. Oils by Boiling. Take Oil Olive, a Gallon of the Herbs, Flowers, Seeds, &c. bruised, 20 or 24 handfuls: Boil all over a gentle Fire to Crispness and press out the Oil strongly in a wooden Press. Repeat this Coction to Crispness, and expressing at least 3 times: Then letting it defecat or settle for a Day or two, decant the clear Oil and keep it for use.

III. Ointments and Liniments.

1. Ointments are made three ways, viz. first by making the Ingredients into an Oil by the former Section.
Secondly, Of the Ingredients themselves by Insolation.
Thirdly, Of the Ingredients by Coction or Boiling.

2. The first way, by making the Ointment of the Oil. Take a strong oil made of the designed Herbs, 2 Quarts; Strasburg, Venice, or Chio Turpentine, Bees Wax, of each 12 Ounces: melt and mix them well together, and put the Mass into Gally Pots for use.

3. The second way by Insolation. Take such Roots, Herbs, Flowers, Seeds, &c. which are hot and dry, of very thin, subtil and volatil parts, bruised, eight handfuls; hogs Lard, four Pounds: Beat them well together in a Stone Mortar, with a Wooden Pestle; put the Mass into a broad Stone or Earthen Glazed Pot, tye it over with a Paper, and insolate it for 14 Days, or for want of a hot Sun, digest it as long in a mild Sand heat, that the Lard may be all that time perfectly melted; and whilst hot, strain out the matter by pressing. Repeat this Insolation or Digestion, 3 or 4 times, in the same manner and at length, take the expressed Substance, and add thereto; Venice or Strasburg Turpentine, Bees Wax, of each 8 Ounces: melt and mix them over a gentle Fire without boiling, and keep the Ointment for use.

4. The third way, by Coction or Boiling. Take of the bruised Ingredients 8 handfuls; Hogs Lard, 4 Pounds, boil over a gentle Fire to Crispness, and strain out by pressing: Repeat this work 3 or 4 times and lastly, to the expressed Matter, add Turpentine, Bees Wax, of each 8 Ounces; boil and mix, and keep the Ointment for use.

5. Sometimes Pouders are added to Ointments for particular Uses, the chief of which, are of Aloes, Birthwort-Roots, Camphir, Coloquintida, Opium, Rosin, Scammony, Stavesacre, Tobacco, &c. of Minerals, Burnt-Alum, Burnt-Lead, Flowers of Sulphur, Mercurius Dulcis, Saccharum Saturni, Turbith Mineral, Red Precipitate, White Precipitate, Verdigrise, &c.

6. Liniments, They are Soft Ointments, and made in all respects as Ointments are, saving, that they are generally made without Wax or with only the half quantity of Turpentine and Wax.

IV. Balsams.

  • 1. These are Artificial, and made in Imitation of the Natural, by mixing such Ingredients together as may constitute a body of equal Density or Substance.
  • 2. Take Oil of the Ingredient you would add to your Balsam, as strong oil of hypericon, or strong Oil of the yellow of Orange Peels by Insolation, 10 Pints; Oil of Nutmegs by Expression, Balsam of Peru, choice Chio Turpentine, of each 4 Pounds; mix, melt over a gentle Fire, and keep it for use.
  • 3. Take Oil of Ben, 12 Pounds; Chio Turpentine, 6 Pounds; Balsam of Peru, 5 Pounds; Oil of Nutmegs, 4 Pounds: mix and melt over a gentle Fire, and keep it close stopt for use.

V. Pouders.

  • 1. Those intended in this place, are only such as are for External use, applicable to the Eyes, stopping Blood, Wounds, Ulcers, &c.
  • 2. They are made of Ingredients perfectly dried, and then reduced to a subtil kind of flower, either by grinding in a Mill, or beating in a Mortar, and so passed thro' a fine Searce.
  • 3. Pouders for the Eyes, as Alabaster calcined and levigated, or Lapis Calaminaris calcined and levigated, or Flints calcined, beaten and levigated; any of which Pouders being blown into the Eye, consume Pearls, Films, &c. so also fine Pouder of Rice, which with ones Finger may be daily and several times a day rubbed upon Films, Pearls, &c which in time wears them off.
  • 4. Pouders for stopping Blood, are chiefly Catechu, Vitriol calcined with fine Bole and Camphir; Pouder of Puffs or Fuss Balls, of Mans Blood, of, Alcanet Root, &c.
  • 5. Pouders for digesting, cleansing, and healing old Ulcers, as Aloes, of Rosin, of Scammony, of Tobacco, which two last things are without comparison.

VI. Emplasters, and Cerats, or Cerecloths.

  • 1. Emplasters are made first with Oil Olive. Secondly with Hogs Lard or some other Fat or Grease, adding the other proper Ingredients.
  • 2. First with Oil. Take Oil Olive a Quart, some proper Gum or Gums, from 10 to 16 Ounces, Bees-Wax 4 Ounces, melt, mix, and boil to the Consistence of an Emplaster.
  • 3. Where turpentine, and any proper Pouders of Vegetables are added, Bees-Wax will be needless, and if any proper Juices be added, it is to be boiled to the Consumption of the Juices.
  • 4. Some Mineral Pouders, as Red Lead, White Lead, Litharge, &c. being added to the Oil with Vinegar, will sufficiently bring the Oil to the Body of an Emplaster, without the addition of Gums or Wax, by a pretty long boiling and constantly stirring, with a wooden Spatula till it is perfected.
  • 5. Secondly with hogs Lard, or some other Fats or Greases. It is made altogether as the former, save in this case it needs much less boiling, and a smaller quantity of Gums or Pouders.
  • 6. Cerats or Cerecloths. They are soft Emplasters, which will spread without melting in a Pan, or the help of Fire; being for the most part made with Oil Olive, and in a much larger quantity.
  • 7. The Emplaster being brought to its due Consistency, it is then made up into Rowls, and so kept for Use.

    VII. Cataplasms, Pultices. They are made with Oil or Fats, adding the boiled Pulps of Roots, or Figs, and the other proper Ingredients according to the Intention; as baked or boiled white Lilly Roots, Turneps, Onions, Garlick, Leeks, Comfrey Roots, &c. and so bringing it to a due Consistency with Flower of Oatmeal, Barley-Flower, Orobus-Meal, Crumbs of White Bread, Milks, &c. boiling all to a due softness.

    2. Some Pultices are made to discuss Tumors which will not probably break, some to ease Pain, some to allay Inflamations, and some to Maturate Tumors which tend to breaking; so that according to the Intention of the Cataplasm, such ought the Ingredients to be to answer the same.

    3. It ought to be laid on as hot as the Patient can well endure it; and to be renewed 2 or 3 times a day, or as often as the Nature of the Malady afflicting requires it.

    VIII. Clysters.

    • 1. They are Liquids made with Posset drink, or Meat Broths, with the addition of such other Ingredients as are proper to the Intention of Cure.
    • 2. The chief Purposes for which they are used are, First, to ease Pain in the Bowels from the Colick or sharp Humors. Secondly, for the Cure of Fluxes of the Belly, and Bloody fluxes. Thirdly, to remedy Costiveness, Fourthly, to purge the lower Bowels.
    • 3. Clysters for easing Pain, are made with Carminative Decoctions adding half, 3 quarters, or an Ounce of Strasburgh Turpentine, well mixed with 1 or 2 Yolks of eggs, and then with the Decoction, and so exhibited something more than Blood warm.
    • 4. For the Cure of the Bloody Flux or other Fluxes of the Belly; to a strengthening Decoction in Whey, a quarter Part of Brandy ought to be added, and the Clyster to be several times repeated: If the Flux is Inveterate, and not easy to be stopt 6, 8, or 10 Grains more or less of Laudanum, ought to be dissolved in the Brandy and mixt with the Decoction.
    • 5. For an extream Costiveness. The Clyster ought to be made of Lubrificatives, as a Decoction of Althea Roots, in which a small Quantity as 2, or 3 Drams of Castile, Genoa, or Venice soap ought to be dissolved, or a quarter part of Oil to be mixed therewith, well seasoned with Table Salt.
    • 6. For purging the Belly and giving Stools. It may be made of Carminative Decoctions, or Meat Broths, or Posset-drink; to a Pint of which, a quarter of a Pound of brown Sugar or Honey, and half an Ounce of Salt are to be added, and dissolved in the same, without the Addition of any Oil; because Oil will Obtund the points of the Salts, and so hinder the Operation or Working.
    • 7. As to the Quantity to be exhibited at a time, to little Infants, give a quarter of a Pint or 6 Ounces; to Children from 5 to 10 Years Old, half a Pint, to bigger Children from 10 to 16 Years Old, 3 quarters of a Pint; to Men and Women, from a Pint, to a Pint and half.

    Botanologia, or The English Herbal, was written by William Salmon, M.D., in 1710.
    This text has been proofread by Peppercat / Nick Jones.