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Mrs. Lavenderís Herbal Book

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Posted by Murrisk on July 02, 2004 at 21:57:57:

I have obtained an old copy of Mrs. Lavenderís Herbal Book (First Edition Mellifont Press Limited) from a nice Castlebar person. Written when Mrs. Lavender was in her 70ís (born around 1850-1860), the book appears to date from around the 1920ís (based on references in the text). She makes many references to her grandmotherís herbal recipes which probably means many of the recipes date from the late 1700ís or earlier. Iím curious to know if anybody remembers this little book in their homes. Apparently Mrs. Lavender had a special recipe page in a London periodical called Smart Novels and one could write to her for health advice C/O Smart Novels. The book seems to be a compendium of her advice to readers. A book with the same name, with a release date of April 1, 2003, is available through Amazon. Perhaps a re-issue? Second hand copies are also available online.

Chapter I of the book is titled ďConstipation. The chief foundation of our modern ills." In it she says (and I am deleting much): "There is so much hurry and bustle that nearly all women and girls neglect themselves dreadfully. Constipation is present, either as cause or effect, in nine-tenths of the illnesses of our daily life. Indigestion, flatulence, giddiness-these are but a few of the symptoms; while my young friends consult me as to complexion troubles - enlarged pores, blackheads, pimples, yellow skin, dull eyes, restless nights with many dreams, heavy sleep in the mornings that makes them loath to get up when the alarum goes off. And to everyone of them I just say.....Its Constipation my dear. Cure that, and youíll have your troubles pass"!

I wonder if the pun was intentional. I know of families in Castlebar who were "purged" once a week, whether needed or not, so maybe Mrs. Lavender was right.

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