Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Nineteenth Century Medicine . . . and More
Having had TB years ago, I was impressed and amazed at Dr. Chase’s advice on the disease. At a time when most TB patients were shut up in darkened rooms with no exercise or fresh air, Dr. Chase suggested a walk outside in a clear environment, beginning with a few yeards and working up to a half mile or so each day. He also suggested a diet which made total sense today. Let me share some other quotes with you:
Page 77 and 78 list several treatments for Ague. One is "Ague Medicine Without Quinine. Mrs. Wadsworth, a few miles south of this city, has been using the following Ague mixture over twenty years curing, she says, more than forty cases without a failure. She takes Mandrake root, fresh dug, and pounds it; then squeezes out the juice to obtain 1 ½ tablespoons, with which she mixes the same quantity of molasses, is divided into three equal doses of 1 tablespoon each to be given two hours apart, commencing so as to take all an hour before the chill."
I have no idea how you know the chill is coming an hour before it arrives.
Page 116 lists treatment for "Burns—Salve for Burns, Frost-bites, Cracked Nipples, Chapped Lips, etc. Equal parts of turpenine, sweet oil, and beeswax; melt the oil and wax together, and when a little cool, add the turpentine and stir until cold, which keeps them evenly mixed. Apply by spreading upon a thin cloth—linen is best."
Dr. Chase’s book contains food recipes, substitutions, calculating interest, tanning, dyes, training a horse, and building furniture. Some of his treatments sound worse than the disease. Others treat incurable diseases of the times, and I wonder if they merely offered hope to the hopeless. However, if one could only take one or two books on the trip West, I think this one would have been a good choice.
If any authors need a remedy from this book, just email me and I’ll check out what Dr. Chase says. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll be happy to explore for you.