Quick Hacks You Can Use To Manage Menstruation | With Natural Products At Home – The Vintage Woman

Quick Hacks You Can Use To Manage Menstruation | With Natural Products At Home – The Vintage Woman

Quick Hacks You Can Use To Manage Menstruation | With Natural Products At Home – The Vintage Woman.



Though this is not a disease, but a healthy function, and as, from various causes, derangement of the function occurs, it is proper that it should be perfectly understood. Menstruation is the term applied to the phenomenon that attends the rupture of what is called the Graafian follicles of the ovaries and the discharge of an ova, or egg.



It is a bloody discharge from the female genitals; not differing from ordinary blood, excepting that it does not coagulate, and in its peculiar odor. The blood comes from the capillaries of the womb and vagina.



Menophania, or the first appearance of the menses, is usually preceded by a discharge of a fluid whitish matter from the vagina, by nervous excitement, and by vague pains and heaviness in the loins and thighs, numbness of the limbs, and swelling and hardness of the breasts.



The first appearance is an evidence of capacity for conception. It generally appears about the age of fourteen, but varies from nine to twenty-four years. In warm climates women begin to menstruate earlier and cease sooner than in temperate regions; in the cold climates the reverse of this holds as a general rule.



The manifestations of approaching puberty are seen in the development of the breasts, the expansion of the hips, the rounded contour of the body and limbs, appearance of the purely feminine figure, development of the voice, and the child becomes reserved and exchanges her plays for the pursuits of womanhood.



More or less indisposition and irritability also precede each successive recurrence of the menstrual flux, such as headache, lassitude, uneasiness, pain in back, loins, etc. The periods succeed each other usually about every twenty-eight days, although it may occur every twenty-two, twenty, eighteen, fifteen, or thirty-two, thirty-five, or forty days.



The most important element is the regularity of the return. In temperate climates each menstrual period ordinarily continues from three to six days, and the quantity lost from four to eight ounces. The menses continue to flow from the period of puberty till the age of forty-five or fifty.



At the time of its natural cessation the flow becomes irregular, and this irregularity is accompanied occasionally by symptoms of dropsy, glandular swellings, etc., constituting the critical period, turn or change of life; yet it does not appear that mortality is increased by it, as vital statistics show that more men die between forty and fifty than women.



It should be the duty of every mother or female in charge of a child in whom age or actual manifestations suggest the approach of puberty to acquaint her with the nature of her visitation and the importance of her conduct in regard to it. She should be taught that it is perfectly natural to all females at a certain period, and that its arrival necessitates caution on her part with regard to exposure to wet or cold.



The author has made the acquaintance of the history of many cases of consumption and other diseases which were directly induced by folly and ignorance at the first menstrual flow.



The child is often kept in extreme ignorance of the liability of womanhood occurring to her at a certain age, and, hence, when she observes a flow of blood escaping from a part, the delicacy attached to the locality makes her reticent with regard to inquiry or exposure; she naturally becomes alarmed, and most likely attempts to stanch the flow by bathing or applying cold water to the part, thus doing incalculable mischief.



This purely feminine physiological function should be well studied and understood by all females. At least, they should know that the phenomenon is a natural one, liable to disorder, and that the best interests of their general health demands care and prudence on their part to maintain regularity, etc., of the flow. Disregard of such a duty will surely entail much misery.



Excerpt From The Ladies Book Of Useful Information.



Chloe



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Delayed And Obstructed Menstruation



When the menses do not appear at the time when they may naturally be expected, we call it delayed or obstructed menstruation. It is, however, of great importance to know whether a girl is sufficiently developed to make it necessary for the menses to appear, although she may have reached the proper age.


As long as the girl has not increased physically, if she has not become wider across the hips, if her breasts have not become enlarged, and if she experience none of the changes incident to this period, an effort to force nature is positively injurious. 


In this case a general treatment will be called for. She should be required to exercise freely in the open air, retire early to bed and rise at an early hour in the morning. She should not be allowed to be closely confined to school, if attending.


Her diet should be generous but free from all rich food, which will disorder the stomach. If, however, she is fully developed, and she suffers from time to time from congestions of the head, breast or abdomen, it will be necessary to interfere.


The following are symptoms which will generally be found in these cases: Headache, weight, fullness, and throbbing in the center of the cranium and in the back part of the head; pains in the back and loins; cold feet and hands, becoming sometimes very hot; skin harsh and dry; slow pulse, and not infrequently attended with epilepsy.



Management



It is well for the patient, a few days before the period, to take a warm hip bath or foot bath twice a day, and at night, when retiring, to apply cloths wet in warm water to the lower part of the abdomen.


The bowels should be kept open by some mild catharsis, as castor oil or a pill of aloes. If there is pain and fullness of the head during the discharge, or before it, use the following:



Tincture of aconite leavesTwo drams
Tincture of belladonnaOne dram
Tincture of cantharidesOne dram
MorphiaThree grains
Simple syrupQuarter ounce


Mix. Dose: One teaspoonful three times a day. If the pain is severe it may be taken every two hours.



Between the monthly periods, if the system is weak, the following may be taken:



Precip. carbonate of ironFive drams
Extract of coniumTwo drams
Balsam PeruOne dram
AlcoholFour ounces
Oil wintergreenTwenty drops
Simple syrupEight ounces


Dose: Two teaspoonfuls three times a day. Shake the mixture before using.



Excerpt From The Ladies Book Of Useful Information.



Chloe



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Cessation Of The Menses – Menopause — Change Of Life



By the phrase, “change of life,” or, the critical period, we understand the final cessation, or stoppage, of the menses. It usually takes place between the ages of forty and fifty, although in some cases it may occur as early as thirty, and in others not until sixty.


However, we can expect the change about the forty-fifth year. The symptoms will vary according to the constitution of the woman. In some the change occurs by the discharge gradually diminishing in quantity; in others, by the intervals between the periods being lengthened.


A woman may pass this period without having any more unpleasant symptoms than an occasional rush of blood to the head, or a headache. Others, however, may have very severe symptoms arise, which will require the care of an intelligent physician.


These disagreeable sensations should receive a careful consideration and not be hushed up with the reply that these complaints arise from the “change of life” and will vanish whenever that change takes place. The foundation of serious trouble may be laid which will make the remainder of her existence a burden and cut short a life which might have been conducted to a good old age.


While this change is in progress, in probably the majority of cases there is more or less disturbance of the health. It is sometimes quite impossible to say exactly what is the trouble with the patient, except that she is out of health.


The following are some of the symptoms which may arise: Headache, dizziness, biliousness, sour stomach, indigestion, diarrhea, piles, costiveness, itching of the private parts, cramp and colic of the bowels, palpitation of the heart, swelling of the limbs and abdomen, pains in the back and loins, paleness and general weakness.



Management



Eat and drink moderately; sleep in airy, well-ventilated rooms; exercise daily in the open air, either by walking or riding; avoid violent emotions; shun exposure to wet, stormy weather, wet feet, etc.


Keep the bowels regulated with the following:


Mercurial pill, one grain; ipecac powder, one-half grain; compound rhubarb pill, three grains. Mix for a pill to be taken every night.


Or, one ounce of hicra picra, or powdered aloes with castella, mixed in a pint of gin, which should stand for four or five days, after which a tablespoonful in a glass of water may be taken every morning or second morning, as the case may be.


If the patient is large and fleshy, of full habit, the following is recommended:


Sulphate of magnesia, one and one-half ounces; compound infusion of roses, five ounces; cinnamon water, one ounce. Mix, Dose: Two tablespoonfuls once a day.


If there are nervous symptoms prominent, give valerianate of zinc, eight grains; tincture of valerian, two drams; orange flower water, three and a half ounces; syrup of red poppies, two drams.


Mix. Dose: A tablespoonful every six hours.



Excerpt From The Ladies Book Of Useful Information.



Chloe



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Suppression Of The Menses — Amenorrhea



By suppression is meant a disappearance of the menses after they have become established, and may be either acute or chronic. It is caused by cold caught during the flow, by exposure to night air or by wetting the feet; fear, shocks, violent mental emotions, anxiety, fevers and other acute diseases.


Chronic suppression may be either a consequence of the acute, or caused by delicate health; also, from diseases of the ovaries or womb. It may also be occasioned by an imperforate hymen, in which case it must be cut open by a physician.



Management



When the suppression is caused by some disease in the system, that disease must be cured before the menses will return. For sudden suppression, use the warm sitting-bath or foot bath. Apply cloths wet in warm water to the lower part of the abdomen, and drink freely of warm water.


If the suppression is chronic and the patient is delicate, in the interval between the menses use the shower or the full bath of cold or tepid water, rubbing the body briskly with a coarse towel, especially around the abdomen, loins, and genital organs. As soon as the discharge has ceased, a warm hip bath will generally bring it on. If there is much inflammation of the uterus give the following:



Tincture aconite leavesTwo drams
Sweet spirits of nitreOne ounce
Simple syrupThree ounces


Dose: One teaspoonful every two or three hours.



If the discharge cannot be brought on, wait until the next period. A few days before the term the bowels should be freely opened and kept open until the period for the discharge has arrived. A pill of aloes and iron is one of the best that can be given.


Give from one to three pills daily. If there is no evident reason for the discharge not appearing, such as pregnancy, inflammation of the neck of the womb, and the woman is suffering from the suppression, use the following:



CaulophyllinOne dram
Extract aconiteEight grains
AloesTen grains
Sulphate of ironTen grains


Make into forty pills. Dose: Two or three pills, taken night and morning.



The remedies should always be taken a few days before the period arrives for the menses. If the chronic suppression is the result of any acute disease, the health must first be re-established, otherwise it would be wrong to force the menses. When this has been done, immediately before the return of the period a warm hip bath should be taken every night for six nights, and one of the following pills taken three times a day:



Fresh powdered ergot of ryeFifty grains
Barbadoes aloesTwelve grains
Essential oil of juniperTwelve drops


Make into twelve pills with syrup or mucilage, washing down each pill with a cupful of pennyroyal tea.



Excerpt From The Ladies Book Of Useful Information.



Chloe



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Profuse menstruation — Menorrhagia


By menorrhagia we understand an immoderate flow of the menses. There is no fixed amount of blood which is lost at the menstrual period, but it varies in different women. It will average, however, from four to eight ounces. The quantity discharged may be estimated by the number of napkins used.


Each napkin will contain about half an ounce, or one tablespoonful, so that eight napkins would contain four ounces; twenty, ten ounces; etc. In some females the discharge may be excessive without impairment of the general health.


Some females are predisposed to uterine hemorrhages, from a relaxed or flabby state of the texture of the uterus. Frequent childbearing, abortion, high living, too prolonged and frequent suckling, may induce flooding. Among the exciting causes we may mention overexertion, dancing, falls, lifting heavy weights, cold, and mental excitement.


Management


The patient must lie down on a hard bed, and abstain from all stimulating food and drinks. The room should be cool and she should be lightly covered with bedclothes. Soak the feet in warm water, and if the flowing is excessive apply cloths wrung out in vinegar and water to the lower bowels.


The hips must be elevated higher than the head. Only in extreme cases should plugging be resorted to. This may be done by pieces of linen, about four inches square, thrust into the vagina until it is full, and a bandage applied between the legs. Cold hip baths and vaginal injections of cold water will be beneficial when the hemorrhage is slight.



Use also the following:
Diluted sulphuric acidTwo drams
Syrup of orange peelTwo ounces
Cinnamon waterOne ounce

Mix. Dose: A teaspoonful in a wineglassful of water two or three times a day.


If there is much pain administer the following every two or three hours:



MorphiaQuarter grain
CayenneFour grains
RosinFour grains

Mix. Give in blackberry syrup.



Excerpt From The Ladies Book Of Useful Information.



Chloe



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Painful Menstruation — Menstrual Colic — Dysmenorrhea


Dysmenorrhea means a difficult monthly flow, and is always preceded by severe pains in the back and lower part of the abdomen. It is caused by taking cold during the period; fright, violent mental emotions, obstinate constipation, sedentary occupations, smallness of the mouth and neck of the womb.



Females subject to this trouble are generally relieved by marriage. The symptoms are severe bearing-down pains in the region of the uterus, like labor pains; restlessness, coldness, flashes of heat, with headache; aching in the small of the back, lower part of the abdomen, and thighs; the discharge is scanty, and contains shreds of fiber and clotted blood.



Home Management



The patient should immediately go to bed and cover up warmly. Stimulating food and drinks should be avoided. Use a warm foot bath and sitting-bath, with hot poultices of hops or cloths wet in hot water applied to the abdomen.



In the interval of the menses, take active exercise, with a tepid hip bath three nights in the week, injecting some of the water high up in the vagina. Keep the bowels open by a pill of aloes and myrrh, and take a small teaspoonful of the volatile tincture of guiacum three times a day, in water. On the approach of the period, take the following at night:



CalomelThree grains
OpiumOne grain


In the morning a dose of caster oil, and on the appearance of the menses, the Dover’s Powder and mixture as before. Repeat this treatment, in each interval, until permanently relieved.



The following is recommended by an eminent physician, to be taken a few days before the period:



Acetous tincture of colchicumThree drams
MagnesiaOne dram
Sulphate of magnesiaThree drams
Distilled mint or cinnamon waterFour ounces


Mix. Dose: A small wineglassful every two or three hours until it operates. This should be preceded the night before by a small dose of blue pill.



Excerpt From The Ladies Book Of Useful Information.



Chloe



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To Have Elegant Hair


Every girl should have thick, magnificent hair. It is essential to clip the ends of the hair once a month after a child is four years of age. Ammonia and warm water is an excellent wash for the hair and scalp, and gives life and vigor to it when all other articles fail.




Wild Rose Curling Fluid 


Take two drams (avoirdupois) dry salt of tartar; (carbonate of potassa) powdered cochineal, half dram; liquor of ammonia and spirit de rose, each one fluid dram; glycerine, one-fourth ounce; rectified spirit, one and one-half imperial fluid ounces; distilled water, eighteen ounces; digest with agitation for a week, and then decant or filter. The hair to be moistened with it, and then loosely adjusted. The effect occurs as it dries.




To cause the Hair to grow very thick 


One of the most powerful stimulants for the growth of the hair is the following: Take a quarter of an ounce of the chippings of alkanet root, tie in a scrap of coarse muslin, and suspend it in a jar containing eight ounces of sweet oil for a week, covering it from the dust.


Add to this sixty drops tincture of cantharides, ten drops oil of rose, sixty drops of neroli, and sixty drops oil of lemon. Let this stand twenty days, closely corked, and you will have one of the greatest hair-invigorators and hair-growers that this world has ever produced.




Lola Montez Hair Coloring 


This celebrated woman published the following, and claimed that it was as harmless as any preparation that would really color the hair: Ten grains of gallic acid, one ounce of acetic acid, one ounce of tincture of sesgurichloride of iron. Dissolve the gallic acid, sesgurichloride, and add the acetic acid. Wash the hair with soap and water; when dried, apply the dye by dipping a fine comb in it and drawing through the hair so as to color the roots thoroughly. Let it dry, then oil and brush well.




Hair Restorative 


Four drams oxide bismuth, four drams spermaceti, four ounces pure hog’s lard. The lard and spermaceti should be melted together. When nearly cool, stir in the bismuth and perfume. Prevents the hair from turning gray, and restores gray hair.





For Bald Heads 


A most valuable remedy for promoting the growth of the hair is an application, once or twice a day, of wild indigo and alcohol. Take four ounces of wild indigo and steep it about a week or ten days in a pint of alcohol and a pint of hot water, when it will be ready for use. The head must be thoroughly washed with the liquid, morning and evening, application being made with a sponge or soft brush.


Another excellent preparation is composed of three ounces of castor oil, with just enough alcohol to cut the oil, to which add twenty drops tincture of cantharides, and perfume to suit. This not only softens and imparts a gloss to the hair, but also invigorates and strengthens the roots of the hair.




Excellent Hair Wash


Take one ounce of borax, half an ounce of camphor; powder these ingredients very fine and dissolve them in one quart boiling water. When cool the solution will be ready for use. Dampen the hair frequently. This wash effectually cleanses, beautifies, and strengthens the hair, preserves the color, and prevents early baldness. The camphor will form into lumps after being dissolved, but the water will be sufficiently impregnated.




To Cure Baldness 


Cologne water, two ounces; tincture of cantharides, two drams; oil of lavender or rosemary, of each ten drops. These applications must be used twice a day for three or four weeks, but if the scalp becomes sore they may be discontinued for a time or used at longer intervals.


When the hair falls off, from diminished action of the scalp, preparations of cantharides are excellent. The following will cause the hair to grow faster than any other preparation: Beef marrow (soaked in several waters, melted and strained), half a pound; tincture cantharides (made by soaking for a week one dram of powdered cantharides in one ounce of proof spirit), one ounce; oil of bergamot, twelve drops.




Stimulants for the Hair 


Vinegar and water form a good wash for the roots of the hair. A solution of ammonia is often used with good effect for the same purpose. For removing scurf, glycerine diluted with a little rose-water will be found of service. Any preparation of rosemary forms an agreeable and highly cleansing wash.


The yolk of an egg beaten up in warm water is a most nutritious application to the scalp. A very good application is made in this way: Take an ounce of powdered borax and a small piece of camphor and dissolve in a quart of boiling water. The hair must afterwards be washed in warm water.


Many heads of hair require nothing more in the way of wash than soap and water. The following recipe will strengthen the hair and prevent its falling out: Vinegar of cantharides, half an ounce; eau de cologne, one ounce; rose-water, one ounce. The scalp should be brushed briskly until it becomes red, and the lotion should then be applied to the roots of the hair twice a day.





For Keeping the Hair Crimped or Curled in Summer


A quarter of an ounce of gum tragacanth, one pint rose-water, and five drops of glycerine; mix and let stand over night. If the tragacanth is not dissolved, let it remain half a day longer; if it is thick add more rose-water and let it remain for some hours. If then it is a smooth solution, nearly as thin as glycerine, it is fit for use. Dampen the hair before crimping or curling.




To Bleach the Hair


It has been found in the bleaching of hair that gaseous chlorine is the most effectual. The hair should be cleaned for that purpose by a warm solution of soda and washed afterwards with water. While moist it is put into a jar with chlorine gas introduced until the air in the jar looks greenish. Allow it to remain on for twenty-four hours, and then, if necessary, repeat the operation.




A New French Remedy for Baldness 


Croton oil, one of the best French remedies for baldness, is employed by simply adding to it oil or pomade, and stirring or agitating the two together until admixture or solution is complete. The formula adopted by the eminent French physician who introduced this remedy, and who speaks in the most confident and enthusiastic way of the success attending its use, is: Take croton oil, twelve drops (minims); oil of almonds, four troy grains. Mix. A little is to be well rubbed on the scalp twice a day. Soft down, we are assured, appears in three weeks.




For Improving the Hair 


Palma Christi oil for thickening the hair: Take one ounce of Palma Christi oil, add oil of lavender or bergamot to scent it. Let it be well brushed into the hair for two or three months, particularly applying it to those parts where it may be most desirable to render the hair luxuriant. This is a simple and valuable oil, and not in the hands of any monopolist.




To Dye the Hair Flaxen 


We have heard the following is effective: Take a quart of lye prepared from the ashes of vine twigs, briony, celandine roots, and tumeric, of each half an ounce; saffron and lily roots, of each two drams; flowers of mullein, yellow stechas, broom, [and St. John’s wort, of each a dram. Boil these together and strain off the liquor clear. Frequently wash the hair with the fluid, and it will change it, we are told, in a short time to a beautiful flaxen color.




To Make the Hair Grow and to Prevent It from Falling


The following recipes are selected from a work published some years ago in Paris, entitled “Manuel Cosmetique des Plantes”:—


Take the roots of young vines, the roots of hemp, and young cabbages, of each two handfuls. Dry, and then burn them. Make afterwards a lye with the ashes. Before the head is washed with this lye it must be rubbed with honey, and continue both for three successive days.


This will not only make the hair grow, but restore it upon bald places, under certain habits and constitutions of body. Pulverize some parsley seed, and use it as hair powder for three nights at the commencement of the year, and it will prevent your hair from falling.




To Make the Hair Grow Quick


Dip, every morning, the teeth of your comb in the juice of nettles, and comb the hair against the grain.




Mixture for Shampoo 


Bay rum, one pint; tincture of cantharides, one dram; carbonate of ammonia, one half dram; salts tartar, one half dram. Mix.




To Prevent the Hair Falling Out


Boxwood shavings, six ounces; proof spirit, twelve ounces; spirits of rosemary, two ounces; spirits of nutmeg, one half ounce. Mix.

Wash for Scald Heads


Take one half ounce of sulphate of potassa, one pint of lime water, one ounce of soap liniment. Mix, and apply to the head two or three times a day.



Excerpt From The Ladies Book Of Useful Information.



Chloe



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The care of Teeth


The influence which the teeth are capable of exercising on the personal appearance is usually known and admitted. The teeth have formed especial objects of attention, in connection with the toilet and cosmetic arts, from almost the earliest ages of the world to the present time.


History and tradition, and the researches of archaeologists among the remains of the prehistoric nations of the East, show us that even dentistry may trace back its origin to a date not very long subsequent to the “confusion of tongues.”


We are told that the ancient Welsh took particular care of their teeth, by frequently rubbing them with a stick of green hazel and a woollen cloth. To prevent their premature decay, they scrupulously avoided acid liquids, and invariably abstained from all hot food and drink.


Europeans pride themselves on teeth of pearly whiteness; but many Asiatic nations regard them as beautiful only when of a black color. The Chinese, in order to blacken them, chew what is called “betel” or “betel nut,” a common masticatory in the East.


The Siamese and the Tonquinese do the same, but to a still greater extent, which renders their teeth as black as ebony, or more so. As the use of the masticatory is generally not commenced until a certain age, the common practice is to stain the teeth of the boys and girls with a strong preparation of it, on the former attaining the age of ten or twelve.


Keeping the lips apart and breathing through the mouth instead of the nose, and, particularly, sleeping with the mouth open, are habits which are very prejudicial to the teeth and gums. In this way the mouth forms a trap to catch the dust and gritty particles floating in the atmosphere, which soon mechanically injure the enamel of the teeth by attrition.


On the subject of cleanliness in connection with the teeth and mouth, it may be said that the mouth cannot be too frequently rinsed during the day, and that it should be more particularly so treated after each meal. Pure cold water is the best for the purpose. It not only cleans the teeth and mouth, but exerts a tonic action on the gums, which warm water, or even tepid water, is deficient in.


When cold water cannot be tolerated, tepid water may be employed, the temperature being slightly lowered once every week or ten days until cold water can be borne. Every one who abhors a fœtid breath, rotten teeth, and the toothache, would do well to thoroughly clean his teeth at bedtime, observing to well rinse the mouth with cold water on rising in the morning, and again in the day once, or oftener, as the opportunities occur.


With smokers, the use of the toothbrush the last thing at night is almost obligatory if [they value their teeth and wish to avoid the unpleasant flavor and sensation which teeth fouled with tobacco smoke occasion in the mouth on awakening in the morning.


As to tooth powders or pastes to be used with the brush, the simplest are the best. Plain camphorated chalk, with or without a little finely powdered pumice stone or burnt hartshorn, is a popular and excellent tooth powder.


It is capable of exerting sufficient friction under the brush to ensure pearly whiteness of the teeth without injuring the enamel, whilst the camphor in it tends to destroy the animalcula in the secretions of the mouth, whose skeletons or remains constitute, as we shall presently see, the incrassation popularly called “tartar.”


Recently-burnt charcoal, in very fine powder, is another excellent tooth powder, which, without injuring the enamel, is sufficiently gritty to clean the teeth and remove the tartar from them, and possesses the advantage of also removing the offensive odor arising from rotten teeth and from decomposing organic matter.


The charcoal of the heavy hardwoods, as lignum-vitae, boxwood, oak, are the best; and these, as to quality, range in the order given. Still more valuable as a dentifrice is areca nut charcoal, which, besides possessing the properties of the other vegetable charcoals in an eminent degree, has valuable ones peculiar to itself.


Some dentists, and some persons in imitation of them, in order to whiten the teeth, rub their surfaces with hydrochloric acid, somewhat dilute; but the practice is a most dangerous one, which, by a few repetitions, will sometimes utterly destroy the enamel and lead to the rapid decay of all the teeth so treated.


Should the teeth be much discolored, and ordinary tooth powder prove ineffective, a little lemon juice used with the brush will generally render them perfectly white. It should only be employed occasionally, and the mouth should be well rinsed with water afterwards.


A little of the pulp of an orange, used in the same way, is also very effective and safe, as are also ripe strawberries, which may be either rubbed on the teeth with the fingers or applied with the brush. The last form, perhaps, the very best natural dentifrice known. Besides possessing singular power in whitening and cleaning the teeth and rapidly removing tartar, they destroy the offensive odor of rotten teeth and impart an agreeable fragrance to the breath.


The importance of a judicious attention to the teeth, in connection with health, cleanliness, and personal comfort and appearance, cannot be too often alluded to and enforced. It is no exaggeration to say that, taking the whole community, there are few, very few, who clean their teeth, or even wash their mouths, once a day.


With the masses the operation, if performed at all, is confined to the Sabbath day, or to holidays; whilst refined, educated, and cleanly persons regard the operation of cleaning the teeth as a daily duty, as necessary as washing the face and hands. The dirty and vulgar—the two words are here synonymous—wholly neglect it, and too often even consider it as unnecessary, effeminate, and absurd.


The consequences of the careless performance, or the neglect, of this really necessary personal duty are not long in being developed. Passing over the degradation of the other features, the offensiveness of the breath, often to a degree which renders the individual un-companionable, and the unfavorable impression which, like other marks of uncleanliness, they convey of the taste and habits of their possessor, as the immediate effects of habitually neglected and dirty teeth, let us look at the more distant, but not less certain, ones:


In cases of ordinary toothache, even severe ones, chewing a small piece of really good pellitory will often give relief in a few minutes. Chewing a piece of strong, unbleached Jamaica ginger will often do the same in light cases. The celebrated John Wesley recommended a “few whiffs” at a pipe containing a little caraway seed mixed with tobacco as a simple and ready means of curing the toothache. I can bear testimony to the fact that in some cases it succeeds admirably.


Scarcely anything is more disagreeable, and in marked cases, more disgusting, than fœtid breath. It is unpleasant to the person that has it, and it renders him unfit for the society of others. The cause of stinking breath may generally be traced to rotten teeth, diseased stomach, or worms.


When the first are the cause, the teeth should be thoroughly cleansed and then “stopped” in the manner already indicated; or, when this is impracticable, the offending tooth, or teeth, may be removed and replaced by artificial ones. When this cannot be done, or is inconvenient, the evil may be greatly lessened by the frequent use of an antiseptic tooth powder, areca nut charcoal or camphorated chalk.


Dirty teeth, even when quite sound, always more or less taint the breath. When a foul or a diseased stomach is the cause, mild aperients should be administered; and if these do not succeed, an emetic may be given, scrupulous cleanliness of the teeth being observed, as in the former case. When worms are the cause, worm medicine, under medical direction, will be necessary.




To Cure Foul Breath 




When bad breath is occasioned by teeth, or any local cause, use a gargle consisting of a spoonful of solution of chloride of lime in half a tumbler of water.




To Have White and Beautiful Teeth




An article known as “The Queen’s Tooth Preserver” is made as follows: One ounce of coarsely powdered Peruvian bark, mixed in half a pint of brandy for twelve days. Gargle the mouth (teeth and gums) with a teaspoonful of this liquid, diluted with an equal quantity of rose-water. Always wash off the teeth after each meal with water. Also, twice a day, wash the teeth with the ashes of burned bread—bread burned to ashes.




For Decayed Teeth




There is nothing better than two scruples of myrrh in fine powder, one scruple of juniper gum, and ten grains of alum, mixed in honey. Apply often to the teeth.




To Cure Toothache

Take equal parts of camphor, sulphuric ether, ammonia, laudanum, tincture of cayenne, and one-eighth part oil of cloves. Mix well together. Saturate with the liquid a small piece of cotton, and apply to the cavity of the diseased tooth, and the pain will cease immediately.




Premium Tooth Powder

Six ounces prepared chalk, one-half ounce cassia powder, one ounce orris; mix well.




Mouth Pastilles for Perfuming the Breath


First: Extract of liquorice, three ounces; oil of cloves, one and a half drams; oil of cinnamon, fifteen drops. Mix, and divide into one-grain pills.


Second: Catechu, seven drams; orris powder, forty grains; sugar, three ounces; oil of rosemary (or of cloves, peppermint, or cinnamon), four drops. Mix, and roll flat on oiled marble slab, and cut into very small tablets.




Feuchtwanger’s Tooth Paste


Powdered myrrh, two ounces; burned alum, one ounce; cream tartar, one ounce; cuttlefish bone, four ounces; drop lake, two ounces; honey, half a gallon. Mix. Reduce the proportion for a small quantity.




Fine Tooth Powder


Powdered orris root, one ounce; Peruvian bark, one ounce; prepared chalk, one ounce; myrrh, one-half ounce. Mix.




To Remove Offensive Breath


For this purpose, almost the only substance that should be admitted to the toilet is the concentrated [solution of chloride of soda. From six to ten drops of it in a wineglassful of spring water, taken immediately after the operations of the toilet are completed.


In some cases, the odor arising from caries is combined with that of the stomach. If the mouth be well rinsed with a teaspoonful of the solution of the chloride in a tumbler of water, the bad odor of the teeth will be removed.




Rye Tooth Powder

Rye contains carbonate of lime, carbonate of magnesia, oxide of iron, manganese, and silica, all suitable for application to the teeth. Therefore, a fine tooth powder is made by burning rye, or rye bread, to ashes, and grinding it to powder by passing the rolling-pin over it. Pass the powder through a sieve, and use.




Camphorated Chalk


This favorite tooth powder is easily made. Take a pound of prepared chalk, and with this mix two drams of camphor very finely powdered, and moisten with spirits of wine. Thoroughly mix.




To Remove the Yellow Color from Teeth


Take of dry hypochlorite of lime, one-half dram; red coral, two drams. Tincturate and mix thoroughly. This powder is employed in the following manner: A new brush is slightly moistened, then dipped in the powder and applied to the teeth. A few days after the use of this powder the teeth will acquire a beautiful white color.




Camphor Paste


Take one ounce of oil ammoniac, four drams of camphor. Let the above be very finely powdered, then mix it with sufficient honey to make it into a smooth paste; triturate it until entirely smooth. This is a most excellent paste for preserving and beautifying the teeth.




Preservative Tincture for the Teeth and Gums


Take four drams of camphor, one ounce of tincture of myrrh, one ounce of tincture of bark, and one ounce of rectified spirits of wine; mix them, and put 30 or 40 drops in a wineglassful of water. Pour a little of this upon your brush before you apply it to the powder, and when the teeth are clean, wash the mouth, teeth, and gums with the remainder. It will in ordinary cases prevent toothache.




Powerfully Cleansing Dentifrice


Take fine powder of pumice stone, four drams; fine powder of cuttlefish bone, four drams; add one scruple of subcarbonate of soda. Mix them well together, color and scent according to taste, and then pass it through a fine sieve.




Infallible Cure for Toothache


Take alum, reduced to an impalpable powder, two drams; nitreous spirits of ether, seven drams. Mix, and apply them to the tooth. This is said to be an infallible cure for all kinds of toothache, unless the disease is connected with rheumatism.




Mixture for Decayed Teeth


Make a balsam with a sufficient quantity of honey, two scruples of myrrh in fine powder, a scruple of gum juniper, and ten grains of rock alum. A portion to be applied frequently to the decayed tooth.




To Whiten and Beautify the Teeth


Take gum tragacanth, one ounce; pumice stone, two drams; gum arabic, one ounce; cream of tartar, one ounce. Dissolve the gums in rose-water, and adding to it the powder, form the whole into little sticks, which are to be dried slowly in the shade, and afterwards kept for use. Use on the brush like soap.




Excerpt From The Ladies Book Of Useful Information.



Chloe



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The beauty of the human mouth and lips, the delicacy of their formation and tints, their power of expression, which is only inferior to that of the eyes, and their elevated position as the media with the palate, tongue, and teeth, by which we communicate our thoughts to others in an audible form, need scarcely be dilated on here.


The poet tells us that:


“The lips of woman out of roses take

The tints with which they ever stain themselves.

They are the beautiful, lofty shelves

Where rests the sweetness which the young hours make,

And which the earnest boy, whom we call Love,

Will often sip in sorrow or in play.

Health, when it comes, doth ruddiness approve,

But his strong foe soon flatters it away!

Disease and health for a warm pair of lips,

Like York and Lancaster, wage active strife:

One on his banner front the White rose keeps,

And one the Red; and thus with woman’s life,

Her lips are made a battle-field for those

Who struggle for the color of a rose.”


A beautiful mouth is one that is moderately small, and has a well-defined and graceful outline; and beautiful lips are gracefully molded, neither thick nor thin, nor compressed nor lax, and that are endowed with expression and are tinted with the hues of health.


The ladies of Eastern nations commonly heighten the hue and freshness of their lips by means of cosmetics, a practice which in Western Europe is only adopted on the stage, and occasionally by courtesans and ladies of the demimonde.


Chapped lips most frequently occur in persons with pale, bluish, moist lips and a languid circulation, who are much exposed to the wind or who are continually moving from heated apartments to the external air. East and north-east winds are those that generally produce them.


The occasional application of a little cold cream, lip salve, spermaceti ointment, or any other mild unguent, will generally prevent them, and remove them when they have already formed. A still more elegant and effective preventive and remedy is glycerine diluted with about twice its weight of eau-de-rose, or glycerinated lip salve or balsam.


The moist vesicular eruption of the lips, referred to above, may also generally be prevented by the use of glycerine, or any of the preparations just mentioned. After its accession, the best treatment is to freely dust the affected portion of the lips with violet powder, finely powdered starch, prepared chalk, or French chalk or talc reduced to an impalpable powder by scraping or grating it.


The following formulas of preparations are all valuable for beautifying and preserving the beauty of the lips:—




White Lip Salve 


Take half a pound spermaceti ointment, liquify it by the heat of warm water, and stir in one-half dram neroli or essence de petit-grain. In a few minutes pour off the clear portion from the dregs (if any) and add twenty drops of oil of rose. Lastly, before it cools, pour it into jars.




Lip Salve 


This indispensable adjunct to the toilet is made by melting in a jar, placed in a basin of boiling water, a quarter of an ounce each of white wax and spermaceti; flour of benzoin, fifteen grains; and half an ounce of oil of almonds. Stir till the mixture is cool. Color red with two-penny worth of alkanet root. Splendid for keeping the lips healthy and of a beautiful crimson color.




French Lip Salve 


Lard, twenty-six ounces; white wax, two ounces; nitre and alum in fine powder, of each one-half ounce; alkanet to color.




German Lip Salve 


Butter of cacao, one-half ounce; oil of almonds, one-quarter ounce; melt together with a gentle heat, and add six drops of essence of lemon.



Excerpt From The Ladies Book Of Useful Information.



Chloe



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Beautiful eyes are the gift of nature; but even those of the greatest beauty may owe something to the toilet, while those of an indifferent kind are very susceptible of improvement. We entirely discountenance any tampering with the eye itself, with a view to giving it luster or brightness.




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The sight has often been injured by the use of belladonna, preparations of the calabar bean, eyebright, and other substances having a strong effect on the eyes. But without touching the eye itself, it is possible to give the effect of brightness, softness, etc., by means of the eyelids and eyelashes.


Made-up eyes are by no means desirable, and to many are singularly displeasing; but the same may be said of made-up faces generally. Some ladies are, however, persuaded that it adds to their charms to give the eyes a long, almond shape—after the Egyptian type—while very many are persuaded that the eye is not seen to advantage unless its apparent size is increased by the darkening of the lids. Both [these effects are produced by kohl, a black powder, which may be procured at the chemist’s, and is mixed with rose-water and applied with a camel’s-hair brush.




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To Cure Weak Eyes


It is well to have on the toilet table a remedy for inflamed eyes. Spermaceti ointment is simple and well adapted for the purpose. Apply at night, and wash off with rose-water in the morning. Golden ointment will serve a like purpose. Or, there is a simple lotion made by dissolving a very small piece of alum and a piece of lump sugar of the same size in a quart of water.


Put the ingredients into water cold and let them simmer. Bathe the eyes frequently with it. Sties in the eyes are irritating and disfiguring. Foment with warm water; at night apply a bread and milk poultice. When a white head forms, prick it with a fine needle. Should the inflammation be obstinate, a little citerine ointment may be applied, care being taken that it does not get into the eye, and an aperient should be tried.



To Improve the Eyelashes


Many people speak highly of this secret. Trim the tiny points slightly, and anoint with this salve: Two drams of ointment of nitric oxida of mercury, and one dram of lard. Mix the lard and ointment well, and anoint the edges of the eyelids night and morning, after each time, with milk and water. This will restore the lashes when all other remedies fail. It is not known in this country, and is a valuable secret.





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To Cure Weakness of Eyes


Sulphate of copper, fifteen grains; camphor, four grains; boiling water, four ounces. Mix, strain, and when cold make up to four pints with water. Bathe the eyes night and morning with a portion of the mixture.



How to Have Beautiful Eyelashes


The effect of the eyes is greatly aided by beautiful eyelashes. These may be secured to a certain extent by a little care, especially if it is taken early in life. The extreme ends should be cut with a pair of small, sharp scissors, care being taken to preserve the natural outline, not to leave jagged edges.


Attention to this matter results in the lengthening of the lashes. Dyeing them is another expedient often resorted to for increasing their effect. A good permanent black is all that is needed, and for this use Indian ink. As an impromptu expedient to serve for one night, a hairpin held for a few seconds in the flame of a candle, and drawn through the lashes, will serve to color them well, and with sufficient durability.




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It need scarcely be [added that the hairpin must be suffered to grow cold before it is used, or the consequence may be that no eyelash will be left to color. Good eyebrows are not to be produced artificially. It is possible, however, to prevent those that are really good from degenerating through neglect. When wiping the face dry after washing, pass a corner of the towel over the forefinger and set the eyebrows in the form you wish them to assume. And when oiling the hair, do not forget to oil the eyebrows also.



To Cure Watery and Inflamed Eyes


Foment frequently with decoction of poppy heads. When the irritation and inflammation occur, a teaspoonful of cognac brandy in four ounces of spring water may be used three or four times in the course of the day as a strengthening lotion.



General Care of the Eyes


The eyes, of all the features, stand pre-eminent for their beauty and ever-varying powers of expression, and for being the organs of the most exalted, delicate and useful of the senses. It is they alone that “reveal the external forms of beauty to the mind, and enable it to perceive them, even at a distance, with the speed of light.


It is they alone that clothe the whole creation with the magic charms of color, and fix on every object the identity of figure. It is the eyes alone, or chiefly, that reveal the emotions of the mind to others, and that clothe the features with the language of the soul.





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Melting with pity, or glowing with hope, or redolent with love, benevolence, desire, or emulation, they impart to the countenance those vital fascinations which are the peculiar attributes of man.” “And when the mind is subdued by fear, anxiety or shame, or overwhelmed by sorrow or despair, the eyes, like faithful chroniclers, still tell the truthful story of the mental disquietude.


And hatred, anger, envy, pride, and jealousy, ambition, avarice, discontent, and all the varied passions and emotions that torment, excite or depress the human soul, and find a resting place in the human breast, obtain expression in the eyes.


At one moment the instruments of receiving and imparting pleasure, at another the willing or passive instruments of pain, their influences and changes are as varied and boundless as the empire of thought itself.” Through their silent expressions the mind reveals its workings to the external world in signs more rapid and as palpable as those uttered by the tongue.


It is “the eyes alone that stamp the face with the outward symbol of animation and vitality,” and which endue it with the visible “sanctity of reason.” The eye is, indeed, the chief and most speaking feature of the face, and the one on whose excellence, more than any other, its beauty depends.








Theories have been based on even the peculiar color of the eyes. Thus, it is said that dark blue eyes are found chiefly in persons of delicate, refined or effeminate mental character; light blue eyes, and more particularly gray eyes, in the hardy and active; hazel eyes, in the masculine, vigorous, and profound; black eyes, in those whose energy is of a desultory or remittent character, and who exhibit fickleness in pursuits and affection.


Greenish eyes, it is asserted, have the same general meaning as gray eyes, with the addition of selfishness or a sinistrous disposition. These statements, however, though based on some general truths, and supported by popular opinion, are liable to so many exceptions as to be unreliable and valueless in their individual applications.


Shakespeare is said to have had hazel eyes; Swift, blue eyes; Milton, Scott, and Byron, gray eyes. Wellington and Napoleon are also said to have had gray eyes.


A beautiful eye is one that is full, clear, and brilliant; appropriate in color to the complexion, and in form to the features, and of which the connected parts—the eyelids, eyelashes, and eyebrows, which, with it, in a general view of the subject, collectively form the external eye—are also beautiful, and in keeping with it.


To increase the beauty and expression of the eyes, various means are occasionally had recourse to, nearly all of which, except those herein mentioned in connection with the eyelashes and eyebrows, are not merely highly objectionable, but even dangerous.


Thus, some fashionable ladies and actresses, to enhance the clearness and brilliancy of their eyes before appearing in public, are in the habit of exposing them to air slightly impregnated with the vapor of prussic acid. This is done by placing a single drop of the dilute acid at the bottom of an eyecup or eyeglass, and then holding the cup or glass against the eye for a few seconds, with the head in an inclined position.




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It has also been asserted, and I believe correctly, that certain ladies of the demimonde rub a very small quantity of belladonna ointment on the brow over each eye, or moisten the same part with a few drops of tincture of belladonna. This produces dilation of the pupil, and gives that peculiar fullness and an expression of languor to the eyes which, by some, is regarded as exceedingly fascinating.


The use of these active medicinals in this way must be manifestly injurious; and when frequent, or long continued or carried to excess, must necessarily result in impaired vision, if not in actual blindness.


The following means of repairing and restoring the sight, which has for some time been going the round of the press, being based on scientific principles, may be appropriately inserted here:


For nearsightedness, close the eyes and pass the fingers, very gently, several times across them outward, from the canthus, or corner next the nose, towards the temple. This tends slightly to flatten the corner and lens of the eye, and thus to lengthen or extend the angle of vision. The operation should be repeated several times a day, or at least always after making one’s toilet, until shortsightedness is nearly or completely removed.




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For long sight, loss of sight by age, weak sight, and generally for all those defects which require the use of magnifying glasses, gently pass the finger, or napkin, from the outer angle or corner of the eyes inward, above and below the eyeball, towards the nose. This tends slightly to “round up” the eyes, and thus to preserve or to restore the sight. It should be done every time the eyes are washed, or oftener.



Excerpt From The Ladies Book Of Useful Information.




Chloe



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The hair is not only invaluable as a protective covering of the head, but it gives a finish and imparts unequalled grace to the features which it surrounds. Sculptors and painters have bestowed on its representation their highest skill and care, and its description and praises have been sung in the sweetest lays by the poets of all ages.



Whether in flowing ringlets, chaste and simple bands, or graceful braids artistically disposed, it is equally charming, and clothes with fascination even the simplest forms of beauty. O wondrous, wondrous, is her hair!A braided wealth of golden brown,That drops on neck and temples bare.


If there is one point more than another on which the tastes of mankind appear to agree, it is that rich, luxuriant, flowing hair is not merely beautiful in itself, but an important, nay, an essential, auxiliary to the highest development of the personal charms.



Among all the refined nations of antiquity, as in all time since, the care, arrangement and decoration of the hair formed a prominent and generally leading portion of their toilet. The ancient Egyptians and Assyrians, and other Eastern nations, bestowed on it the most elaborate attention.




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The ancient Jews, like their modern descendants, were noted for the luxuriance and richness of their hair and the care which they devoted to it. Glossy flowing black hair is represented to have been the glory of the ancient Jewess, and in her person to have exhibited charms of the most imposing character; whilst the chasteness of its arrangement was only equalled by its almost magic beauty.


Nor was this luxuriance, and this attention to the hair, confined to the gentler sex, for among the pagan Orientals the hair and beards of the males were not less sedulously attended to. Among the males of Judah and Israel, long flowing ringlets appear to have been regarded as highly desirable and attractive.


The reputed beauty and the prodigious length and weight of the hair of Absalom, the son of David, as recorded in the sacred text, would be sufficient to startle the most enthusiastic modern dandy that cultivates the crinal ornament of his person. Solomon the Wise, another son of David, conceived the beauty of hair sufficiently dignified to express figuratively the graces of the Church.




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The hair, though devoid of sensibility and unsusceptible of expression under the influence of the will and the ordinary mental feelings, like the mobile portions of the face, and though it may be popularly regarded rather in the light of a parasitic growth than as an essential portion of the body, is capable of being affected by the stronger emotions and passions, and even of aiding their expression in the features.


Who is there that, at some period or other of his life, if only in childhood, in a moment of sudden terror or horror, has not experienced the sensation popularly described as “the hair standing on end?” Or who is there that, at some time or other, has not witnessed the partial erection of the hair in children or females under like violent emotions, or seen the representation of it in sculptures or paintings?


Those passions, so aptly styled by Gray the “vultures of the mind,” frequently affect with wonderful rapidity the health of both the body and the mind, which wreck the hair soon sympathizes with and shares. Instances are recorded in which violent grief in a few weeks has blanched the hair and anticipated the effects of age; and others in which intense terror or horror has affected the same with even greater celerity, the change having occurred in a few days or even in a few hours.




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Besides daily attention to the hair, something else is necessary to insure its cleanliness and beauty and the perfect health of the skin of the head from which it springs. For this purpose the head should be occasionally well washed with soap and water, an abundance of water being used and great care being subsequently taken to thoroughly rinse out the whole of the soap with the water in which the head has been washed.


The water may be either tepid or cold, according to the feelings or habit of the person; and if the head or hair be very scurfy or dirty, or hard water be used, a few grains of soda (not potash or pearlash) may be advantageously added to the water. This will increase its detersive qualities.


After the hair has been washed, which should be done quickly, though thoroughly, it should be freed as much as possible by pressure with the hands and then wiped with a soft, thick towel, which should be done with care, to avoid entangling it. After laying it straight, first with the coarse end of the dressing comb and then with the finer portion, it may be finally dressed.







In ordinary cases once every two or three weeks is often enough to wash the hair and head. The extreme length of ladies’ hair will sometimes render the process of washing it very troublesome and inconvenient. In such cases the patient and assiduous use of a clean, good hairbrush, followed by washing the partings and the crown of the head with soap and water, may be substituted.


The occasional washing of the head is absolutely necessary to preserve the health of the scalp and the luxuriance and beauty of the hair when much oil, pomatum or other greasy substance is used in dressing it.


Medical writers have frequently pointed out the ill effects of the free or excessive use of oily or greasy articles for the hair; but their warnings appear to be unheeded by the mass of mankind. Some object to their use altogether. There are, however, exceptions to every rule, and some of these exceptions are noticed elsewhere in this volume. The ill effects referred to chiefly occur from their being used when not required, and in excess, and are aggravated by the neglect of thorough cleanliness.




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To improve the growth and luxuriance of the hair, when languid or defective, the only natural and perfectly safe method that can be adopted is to promote the healthy action of the scalp by increasing the vigor of the circulation of the blood through its minute channels.


For this purpose nothing is so simple and effective as gentle excitation of the skin by frequent continued friction with the hairbrush, which has the convenience of ease of application and inexpensiveness. The same object may be further promoted by the application of any simple cosmetic wash or other preparation that will gently excite or stimulate the skin or exercise a tonic action on it without clogging its pores.


Strong rosemary water or rosemary tea, and a weak solution of the essential oil of either rosemary or garden thyme, are popular articles of this kind. They may be rendered more stimulating by the addition of a little ammonia or a little spirit, or both of them. The skin of the head should be moistened with these on each occasion of dressing the hair, and their diffusion and action promoted by the use of a clean hairbrush.




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Aromatized water, to which a very little tincture or vinegar of cantharides (preferably the former) has been added, may also be used in the same way, and is in high repute for the purpose. When the skin is pale, lax, and wrinkled, astringent washes may be used. Strong black tea is a convenient and excellent application of this kind.


When the skin and hair are dry, and the latter also stiff and untractable, a little glycerine is an appropriate addition to each of the preceding washes or lotions. The occasional use of a little bland oil, strongly scented with oil of rosemary or of origanum, or with both of them, or with oil of mace, or very slightly tinctured with cantharides, is also generally very serviceable when there is poorness and dryness of the hair.


When the hair is unnaturally greasy and lax (a defect that seldom occurs), the use of the astringent washes just referred to, or of a little simple oil slightly scented with the essential oil of bitter almonds, will tend to remove or lessen it.




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All the articles named above promote the glossiness and waviness of the hair, and are also among the simplest, safest, and best applications that can be employed when the hair is weak and begins to fall off.


To impart some degree of curliness or waviness to the hair when it is naturally straight, and to render it more retentive of the curl imparted to it by papers or by other modes of dressing it, various methods are often adopted and different cosmetics employed.


The first object appears to be promoted by keeping the hair for a time in a state intermediate between perfect dryness and humidity, from which different parts of its structure, being unequally affected in this respect, will acquire different degrees of relaxation and rigidity, and thus have a tendency to assume a wavy or slightly curly form, provided the hair be left loose enough to allow it.







For this purpose nothing is better than washing the hair with soap and water, to which a few grains of salt of tartar (carbonate of potash) have been added; or it may be slightly moistened with any of the hair washes mentioned in the last paragraph, in each half-pint of which a few grains of the carbonate (say ten or twelve), or a teaspoonful [of glycerine, has been dissolved.


The moistened hair, after the application of the brush, should be finally loosely adjusted as desired with the dressing-comb. The effect occurs as the hair dries. When oils are preferable to hair washes, those strongly scented with the oil of rosemary, to which a few drops of oil of thyme or origanum may be added, appear to be the most useful.


To cause the hair to retain the position given to it in dressing it, various methods and cosmetics are commonly employed. When the arrangement is a natural one and the hair healthy and tractable, the free use of the hairbrush will usually be sufficient for the purpose. When this is insufficient, the application of a few drops of oil, or, better still, moistening the hair with a little simple water, will effect the object satisfactorily.




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In very elaborate and unnatural styles of dressing the hair, and to cause it to remain in curl or to retain its position during dancing, or violent exercise, bandoline and cosmetique or hard pomatum are the articles commonly employed in fashionable life.


Mild ale or porter has a similar effect, and is often substituted for the preceding expensive cosmetics. The frequent use of any of these articles is objectionable, as they clog up the pores of the skin and shield both it and the hair from the genial action of the atmosphere, which is essential to their healthy vigor.


They should, hence, be subsequently removed by carefully washing the head with a little soap and tepid water. Their use may be tolerated in dressing for the ballroom, but on no other occasion. Simple water skillfully employed, as noticed elsewhere, is the best and safest mixture, and under ordinary circumstances is amply sufficient for the purpose.




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The practice of artificially changing the color of the hair, and particularly of dyeing it, has descended to us from remote antiquity, and though not so common in Western Europe as formerly, is still far from infrequent at the present day.


This might be inferred from the multitude of nostrums for the purpose continually advertised in the newspapers, and from the number of persons who announce themselves as practicing the art, even though the keen and experienced eye did not frequently detect instances of it, as it now does, in the hair and beards of those we see around us.


The recent rage after light auburn or reddish hair in fashionable life has, unfortunately, greatly multiplied these instances. The consideration of the subject, however, in its ethical relations does not come within the province of the present work, and I shall confine myself to pointing out how the color of the hair may be changed in the safest and most satisfactory manner.




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To change the color of the hair various methods and preparations are employed. The principal of these are intended to darken it, but sometimes the contrary is aimed at. Whichever object is desired, it is necessary that the article or preparation employed to carry it out be not of a caustic or irritant nature, capable of injuriously affecting the delicate skin to which it is applied, or that it may be liable to come in contact with, as is the case with many of the nostrums vended for the purpose.


Some of the substances that necessarily enter into the composition of hair strains and hair dyes, or that are used in connection with them, possess these objectionable properties in a high degree, and can, therefore, only be safely employed in a state of proper dilution and combination. If any doubt exists respecting such an article, it is a wise precaution to regard it with suspicion and to test its qualities before applying it for the first time.


This may be done by placing some of it on the soft skin of the inner side of the wrist or fore-arm, and allowing it to remain there as long, and under the same conditions, as it is ordered to be left in contact with the hair or skin of the head or face. In this way the injury or loss of the hair, sores, and other serious consequences that too often follow the use of advertised and ill-prepared hair dyes may be generally avoided.




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To gradually darken the shade of the hair on these principles, provided its normal sulphur be still secreted by the hair-bulbs and be still present in its structure, it will, therefore, generally be sufficient to occasionally employ a weak solution of any of the milder salts of iron as a hair wash.


The menstruum may be water, to which a little spirits and a few drops of oil of rosemary to increase its stimulating qualities have been added. In applying it, the head being first washed clean, care should be taken to thoroughly moisten the whole surface of the hair and the skin of the head with the wash; and its absorption and action should be promoted by the free use of a clean hairbrush.


Wine is the favorite solvent for the iron; ale and beer are also sometimes so employed. Most of the fashionable ferruginous hair washes also contain a few grains of acetate of copper or distilled verdigris, the objections to which have been already pointed out.




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The daily use of oil or pomatum, with which a few grains of carbonate of lead, lead plaster, or trisnitrate of bismuth, have been blended by heat and careful trituration, has generally a like effect on the hair to ferruginous solutions; so also has a leaden comb, but its action is very uncertain.


None of these last are, however, safe for long-continued use. Atrophy of the scalp, baldness, and even local paralysis, have sometimes, though rarely, been caused by them.


When the normal sulphur of the hair is absent, or deficient, the preceding substances fail to darken the hair. In this case the desired effect may often be produced by also moistening the head, say twice a week, with water, to which a little sulphuret of potassium or hydrosulphuret of ammonia has been added.


When it is desired to dye or darken the hair more rapidly, as in a few hours, or even a few minutes, plumbite of lime, plumbite of potassa, or nitrate or ammonia—nitrate of silver—is usually employed. The first is commonly produced by the admixture of quicklime with oxide of lead (litharge), carbonate of lead, or acetate of lead. These ingredients should be in appropriate proportions, but very generally the reverse is the case in those of the shops.




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It may be laid down as a rule that when the lime is in greater proportion than about two to one of the oxide, and to the corresponding equivalents of the other substances mentioned, or when the lime has not been prepared in a proper manner, the compound is not safe, and very likely to prove injurious to the skin and hair-bulbs, and perhaps to act as a depilatory.


The effects of these lead dyes arise partly in the way previously described and partly by direct chemical action between the sulphur of the hair and the lead which they contain, sulphuret of lead being formed in the surfacial portion of the hair. It is on the last that their more immediate effect depends. If there be no sulphur in the hair, they will not darken it.


After the necessary period of contact, they should be gently but thoroughly removed from the hair and skin by rubbing them off with the fingers, and by the use of the hairbrush, the head being then washed clean with tepid water. Should the tint imparted by them not be deep enough, or be too fiery, it may be darkened and turned on the brown or black by moistening the hair the next day with a very weak solution of sulphuret of potassium, or of hydrosulphuret of ammonia.




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None of the compounds of lead stain the skin, an advantage which has led to a preference being given to them by many persons who are clumsy manipulators, and to the more extensive use of them than of other hair dyes. The salts of silver above referred to are more rapid in their action as hair dyes than those containing lead.


It is only necessary to wash the hair quite clean and free from grease, then to moisten it with a weak solution of one of them, and, lastly, to expose it to the light, to effect the object in view. Sunlight will fully darken it in a few minutes, but in diffused daylight it will take two or three hours, or longer, to acquire the deepest shade.


To avoid this delay and inconvenience, the common practice is, a few minutes after applying the silver solution, to moisten or wet the hair with a solution of sulphuret of potassium, or of hydrosulphuret of ammonia. The effect is immediate, and the full depth of shade which a silver solution of the strength employed is capable of imparting is at once produced.




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A few minutes later and the hair and skin may be rinsed with tepid water, gently wiped dry, and the hair finally adjusted with the comb. The effect of its application, its rapid action, and the satisfactory nature of the effect produced, all tend to render a solution of nitrate of silver the favorite hair dye of those who have sufficient skill and steadiness of hand to use it properly.


It will be useful here to inform the inexperienced reader that all solutions and compounds which contain nitrate of silver stain the skin as well as the hair, if they be allowed to touch it.


These stains may be removed, when quite recent, by rubbing them with a piece of rag or sponge wetted with a weak solution of potassium, of hydrosulphuret of ammonia, or of iodide of potassium; but as this is attended with some trouble and inconvenience, the best way is to avoid the necessity of having recourse to it.




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The hairdressers commonly adopt the plan of smearing hard pomatum or cosmetique over the skin immediately surrounding the hair to be operated upon, in order to protect it from the dye. By very skillful manipulation, and the observance of due precautions, the hair may be thoroughly moistened with the silver solution without touching the adjacent skin; but this can only be done when the hair of the head is under treatment by a second party.


In reference to the tone and shades of color given by the substances commonly employed to dye the hair, it may be useful to state that the shades given by preparations of iron and bismuth range from dark brown to black; those given by the salts of silver, from a fine natural chestnut to deep brown and black, all of which are rich and unexceptional.


The shades given by lead vary from reddish-brown and auburn to black; and when pale or when the dye has been badly applied or compounded, are [generally of a sandy, reddish hue, often far from agreeable. However, this tendency of the lead dyes has recently led to their extensive use to impart that peculiar tint to the light hair of ladies and children which is now so fashionable. Other substances, hereafter referred to, are, however, preferable, as imparting a more pleasing hue.







The reddish tint produced by lead, as already hinted, may be generally darkened into a brown, more or less rich, by subsequently moistening the hair with a weak solution of either sulphuret of potassium or hydrosulphuret of ammonia.


The favorite compounds for external use in baldness, and, perhaps, the most convenient and best, are such as owe their stimulating quality to cantharides or Spanish flies, or to their active principle, cantharidine. This application of these drugs has received the sanction of the highest medical authorities, both in Europe and America.


The leading professional hair-restorers now rely almost exclusively on cantharides, and all the more celebrated advertised nostrums for restoring the hair contain it as their active ingredient.


Oils and pomades, very strongly impregnated with the essential oil of garden thyme (origanum) and rosemary, and lotions or liniments containing ammonia with a like addition of these essential oils, probably come next in the frequency of their use as popular restoratives of the hair in actual and incipient baldness.




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Excerpt From The Ladies Book Of Useful Information.



Chloe



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