On Slave Medicine
When the slave became sick we most time had the best care take of us. Maser let our old mammy doctor us and she used herbs from the woods, such as: cami weeds, peach tree leaves, red oak bark, for fever chills and malaria and yes one more weed: privet weed for T.B. or things that way that the white doctor could not cure. Yes if we got a leg or arm broken Maser would have the white doctor with us, but that was about all for our negro mammy was one of the best doctors in the world with her herb teas. When she gives you some tea made from herbs you could just bet it would do you good.
~ John Mosely, born 1851 in Texas
FEVERSORES —PLASTER SALVES, BLACK SALVE
Sweet oil, linseed oil, and red lead pulverized, of each 1 oz. (or in these proportions). Put all into an Iron dish over a moderate fire, stirring constantly, until you can draw your finger over a drop of it on a board when a little cool, without sticking. Spread on cloth and apply as other salves. From Dr. Chase's Recipes or Information for Everybody, 1866.
Alcohol 1 qt.; gum guaiac 1 oz.; gums myrrh and camphor, and cayenne pulverized, of each 1/2 oz. Mix. Shake occasionally for a week of 10 days and filter to let settle for use. Apply freely to surface.
Wahoo, bark of the root, and elecampane root, of each 2 ozs.; spikenard root, and tamarack bark (unrossed, but the moss may be brushed off,) of each 4 ozs.; mandrake root 1/2 oz.; blood root 1/4 oz.; mix alcohol 1 pt., with sufficient water to cover all, handsomely, and let stand 2 or 3 days; then pour off 1 qt., putting on water and boiling twice, straining the two water and boiling down to 3 pts.; when cool add 3 lbs. of honey, and alcoholic fluid poured off, with tincture of wine of ipecac 1 1/2 ozs.; If the cough should be very tight, double the Ipecac in warm water, rubbing them thoroughly with a coarse towel, and, twice a week, extending the washing and rubbing to the whole body.