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Pages of the Past: The Herbalist's Shelves

Old herbal remedies from times past
Kathleen Halloran
March/April 1999
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The Meyer family grew and gathered so many herbs early in this century that they could say with confidence to the readers of their almanac/catalog: “If you do not see what you want, send for it anyway.”

They also offered a dizzying array of blends and preparations for every ailment and condition of the time. Here’s a sampling of their products from the pages of The Herbalist Almanac.

Juniperole: “It is a handy household remedy that should be in every home. We have never heard of or seen a remedy that so quickly relieves that heavy feeling in the chest caused by phlegm that stubbornly refuses to be expelled.”

Sunola for sunburn and freckles: “It is a scientific preparation for the prevention of sunburn and freckles. No lady should be without it. Has a tendency to overcome unpleasant body odors. Made in Pink, White and Brunette.”

Honey-Cherry-Balsam Compound: “The finest cough syrup our famous Herbalist has been able to produce. . . . Wonderful for singers and speakers.”

Oriental Breath Wafers: “These wafers are indispensable to lovers, clerks, salesmen, solicitors, barbers, waiters, etc., and in fact anyone coming in close contact with the public where an offensive breath may be the innocent cause for loss of business.”

Bronchial Candy Lozenges (“absolutely harmless”) and Elm-Mint Lozenges (“they will be found most pleasing when used after excessive smoking”).

Eucamint Pain Relief: “It banishes pain quicker than any liniment modern science has yet produced to our knowledge.”

Ironite: “This universal remedy has hundreds of uses. It may be used freely and with good results as an external application on any sore, pimple, ulcer, boil or rash, irritation, inflammation or eruptions on man or beast. It cannot do harm.”

Lilac Bouquet Hair Dressing: “A pomade for stiff, straight and kinky hair. Makes it lay as it is combed. Gives the hair a rich lustrous appearance so much desired by fastidious dressers.”

Great Spirit Tea for Fevers: “This is truly a great remedy containing botanicals that could be found in the pocket of the Indian Medicine Man as well as the medicine chests of many of the early settlers.” It contained boneset, juniper berries, elder flower, wild ginger, and sweet flag.

Material from The Herbalist Almanac is still available in a number of ­compilations from Meyerbooks Publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, IL 60425. Titles by the Meyer family include The Herbalist Almanac: A 50-year Anthology, Old Ways Rediscovered, and The Old Herb Doctor.

Click here for the original article, Page from the Past.

Kathleen Halloran, a freelance writer who lives in Laporte, Colorado, is the former editor of The Herb Companion, sister publication of Herbs for Health.

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