Timeless Tips from Homemakers of the Past is an ongoing series highlighting useful and thought provoking tidbits from the generations of homemakers who have gone before us. Our goal at Sheep Among Wolves is to provide a forum for Good and Great literature, and to help you in your quest for godly, high-quality resources. It is our hope that these Timeless Tips will be an aid and encouragement to you as you strive to follow the example of Titus 2, and become a keeper of the home.
Great bloggers earn their reader’s trust. They do this by transparent honesty. When they post a mosquito bite cure which they have never tried, they candidly confess the truth. They tell the reader, with touching sincerity, the melancholy fact that they have actually not been bitten by a mosquito since they read about this cure in Miss Leslie’s Ladies’ House-Book.
In fact, I can already vouch for one half of Miss Leslie’s mosquito bite cure from past experience, and I am rather looking forward to trying the second part, if I should happen to run afoul of any bites over the summer.
This is an all-natural remedy which according to our 1840’s homemaking manual, is not just an alleviation, but a cure—it draws the venom out of the bite, rather than just soothing the itch. So if you’ve beaten me to a mosquito bite this year, here’s a simple remedy you might want to try.
Before You Start: Don’t Scratch It!
“If you have sufficient resolution to refrain from rubbing a mosquito bite, and your blood is in a good state, it will seldom inflame or continue troublesome.”
The question of how general health might impact mosquito bites is an interesting one, and the author does suggest addressing this issue as a cure for mosquito problems. But for those of us who, whether from health or “insufficient resolution,” do experience troublesome bites, the author has also included the best “remedy for mosquito bites” that she is aware of.
Miss Leslie’s Mosquito Bite Cure
“We know no better remedy for mosquito bites than salt and vinegar, which if applied immediately and before the skin is broken by rubbing, will speedily extract the venom, allay the irritation, and cause the swelling to subside without leaving any mark or trace.
“In mosquito season, it is well to keep in your closet a little bottle of vinegar, and a cup of salt, with a small plate or saucer to mix them on.”
How To Apply Miss Leslie’s Cure
You Will Need:
- a spoon
- a dish for mixing
Step 1: Mix The Vinegar and Salt. “Moisten some of the salt with sufficient vinegar to form a paste, (it must not be thin or liquid)…”
Step 2: Apply To The Mosquito Bite. “…then plaster it on thick all over the bite.”
Step 3: Allow The Mixture To Dry. “Let it stay on till it falls off of itself, and then if necessary, renew the application.”
Miss Leslie also adds a postscript remark regarding a further use for this mosquito remedy:
“It is said that a paste of salt and vinegar, if immediately applied, has been known to extract the poison from the bite of a snake. At least it may be well to try it, till other remedies can be procured.”
With which common sense I would have to agree!
Give It A Try
Vinegar and salt are two common household substances which are always on hand, and are quick and easy to apply. They are a gentle, non-chemical cure, safe to use with little children, and not at all harmful if swallowed. In fact, many people find fish and chips difficult to swallow without them!
While I’m not quite certain that I’ll take Miss Leslie’s advice to keep a bottle of vinegar and a cup of salt in my bedroom closet, I am confident that I just might be able to muster “sufficient resolution” to keep from scratching my next mosquito bite until after I’ve applied a liberal dose of vinegar and salt.
For other Timeless Tips from homemakers of the past, take a look at:
Unless otherwise referenced, the quotations in this article were taken from Miss Leslie’s Ladies’ House-Book by Eliza Leslie.
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- How To Create The Perfect Sewing Box – Timeless Tip #6