My ancient “Vitalogy Book of Food and Harmless Home Remedies”, written by two doctors in 1904, gives some fascinating information about the use of Spider’s Web, Araneas Tela as, an oral remedy. It is, apparently, a natural remedy that not only was used in helping to heal cuts and wounds, but was also recommended for treating asthma, fever and ague.
This Vitalogy Book of Food and Harmless Home Remedies really does seem to have some wonderful recipes in it. However, I wonder about the safety of some of the given remedies. No different to the questionable use and safety of some modern-day medicines, I guess.
Whilst I have never ever tried taking a spider’s web orally, I have often snatched down a nice, lengthy cobweb to wrap around a cut on myself or my children. Cobwebs for wounds is a common old folk-lore remedy. Cobwebs have properties which help to stem bleeding, which makes them a great first-aid tool, especially if you do not have plasters or other help at hand.
Merrilyn’s new book is out on Amazon:
Although I might try putting a spider’s web around a cut or wound, swallowing pilules of spider web as an experiment does not appeal to me. But, if for some reason I was suffering a life-threatening asthma attack, stuck out in the country with no reliable medicine, I might even try swallowing a spider’s web, if I could find one, in the hope that it might avert the attack.
So – for your information, I quote this excerpt which comes from the pens of ‘Vitalogy’ Doctors Wood and Ruddock. Nowadays, I guess we call ‘Vitalogy’ Naturopathy, or Holistic Medicine. Doctors Wood and Ruddock copyrighted their health manual in 1904. My copy of the book was published by the ‘Vitalogy Association’ of Chicago, Illinois, in 1923. The Queen Mother, who was a great fan of homeopathic medicine, and my Grandma Edie, would have been just four years old when this book was written, and 23 when my copy was published.
Doctors Wood and Ruddock say, in ‘Vitalogy’, p.582-3:
‘The cobweb of the spider is said to be almost a specific for fever and ague. When rolled into an ordinary-sized pill, two or three will be generally sufficient to effect a cure, but more may be taken if necessary, and to be used every two or three hours.
Some physicians give it in about five-grain doses. For consumption, where it has been used, it is said to have produced surprising effects.
It is also very valuable in asthma.
Applied externally, it will check the bleeding of wounds. The brown or black spider produces for the purposes above indicated the best web, and it is usually found in cellars, dark out-houses and barns.
It is recommended in wakefulness, spasms and nervous excitement, and generally produces the most delightful state of bodily and mental tranquility. (WARNING – THIS SOUNDS LIKE A SEDATIVE. REMEMBER THAT NOT ALL SPIDER’S WEBS MAY BE SAFE TO USE AS ORAL MEDICINE. SOME OF THOSE AUSSIE ONES MIGHT BE LETHAL, SINCE MANY OF THEIR SPIDERS ARE SO POISONOUS) It is given in doses of four and five grains, in the form of pills, three times a day.