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Head and Tooth Ache Cure: A recipe from Maryboro’s Archives

January 7, 2022

Instead of going to the dentist for a cavity or popping a few Advils, imagine living at a time when people mixed up their own home remedies…

The recipe:

Take = [equal] parts of camphor, sulphanie ether, ammonia, laudanum, tincture of cayenne & 1/8 pint oil of cloves. Mix well together, saturate with the liquid on a piece of batten and apply to the cavity of tooth. It will stop pain at once. For headache rub a little on the temples & inhale freely.

Laudanum is an opiate dissolved in alcohol, containing morphine and codeine. Once freely sold, it is now strictly controlled because it is addictive.

Camphor is chemically similar to turpentine, and can produce sensations of warmth or cold. About 2 grams is toxic, and 4 grams is potentially lethal.

Ammonia, though potentially toxic, does not typically cause problems for humans because the body does not allow it to build up in the bloodstream.

Oil of cloves and tincture of cayenne are used as herbal remedies.

Does this alternative make you feel better about going to the dentist?

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