She is tolerably well…she would tell you herself that she has a dreadful cold in the head at present; but I have not much compassion for colds in the head without fever or sore throat.
Jane Austen to Cassandra, February 8, 1807
Imagine a time before Sudafed and Benedryl. A time when there was no Tylenol Cold and Flu or Robtussin. What would you do if you caught a cold? Read through Jane Austen’s novels and you will see everyone from Miss Bates to Mrs. Bennet worrying and plotting about catching a cold. Beyond chicken soup, most people would be forced to grin and bear it, but even then, Regency apothecaries had their cures.
Dr. Twiton’s Recipe for a Cold:
Take volitile salt of ammonia 32 gms– salt of Petre 40 gms. Put them in a marble mortar to a fine powder, then add one oz of Syrup of Balsam and on oz of oyl of sweet almonds, add 6 ozs of pump water. The whole of the above will make four draughts, one of which should be taken three times in 24 hours and to the night one add one dram of paragoria.
-From Martha Lloyd’s Household Book
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