1800,  Beauty and Hygiene,  Browse By Era,  Browse by Subject,  Colonial & Georgian

Wintertime Maladies

When winter gets here it likes to dry our skin. Most of us can relate since we still suffer with chapped lips and dried hands, the very same things our ancestors have dealt with through the centuries. Only today we grab the bottle of lotion for our hands and burt’s bees wax, or chapstick, to ease our irritated lips. Interestingly the book “A New System of Domestic Cookery” published in 1807 gives the following recipes for chapped hands and lips. This year makes these recipes exactly 200 years old. So here is what they used so ever long ago for their wintertime maladies.

Paste for Chapped [written chopped in book] Hands, and which will preserve them smooth by constant use.
Mix a quarter of a pound of unsalted hog’s lard, which has been washed in common and then rose-water, with the yolks of two new-laid eggs, and a large spoonful of honey. Add as much line oatmeal, or almond-paste, as will work into a paste.

For chapped [written chopped in book] Lips.
Put a quarter of an ounce of benjamin, storax, and spermaceti, twopenny-worth of alkanet root, a large juicy apple chopped, a bunch of black grapes bruised, a quarter of a pound of unsalted butter, and two ounces of bees-wax, into a new tin sauce-pan. Simmer gently till the wax, &c. are dissolved, and then strain it through a linen. When cold, melt it again, and pour it into small pots or boxes; or if to make cakes, use the bottoms of tea-cups.