Baby Powder

The old substitutes were any powdered starch or powdered clay (no coarser particles; chew a small pinch to be sure). If a clay tastes gritty, settle the coarser particles by mixing into cold water; pour off the suspension, dry, and grind. Many country women simply powdered the nests of mud-dauber wasps. The Indians used cattail fluff to dry babies. Dried and ground lichens make a good substitute for talcum powder; after sealing in a jar with flower petals, lichens retain this fragrance for a long time.