Authentic Confederate Receipt Book


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Anna Elizabeth Henry

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#7
I'd have to say the remedies are the most interesting in the book. This one was the most peculiar. Can't say I ever thought of gargling with milk as the main the ingredient with turpentine...:confused:

GARGLE FOR SORE THROAT, DIPHTHERIA OR SCARLET FEVER.--

Mix in a common size cup of fresh milk two teaspoonfuls of pulverized charcoal and ten drops of spirits of turpentine. Soften the charcoal with a few drops of milk before putting into the cup. Gargle frequently, according to the violence of the symptoms.
 
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#8
I have to dig a little to find where I put a file but it's from a Florida in the 1850's and it's his book of a few food recipes but mostly medicinal recipes for all the ailments of the day including STD, among everything else.the file shos the actual photo of each item written in his hand along with the translation.it is really interesting but it is a little strange.I asked my doctor about some of them and he thought some one was trying to poison you.
 
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north central florida
#9
I have to dig a little to find where I put a file but it's from a Florida in the 1850's and it's his book of a few food recipes but mostly medicinal recipes for all the ailments of the day including STD, among everything else.the file shos the actual photo of each item written in his hand along with the translation.it is really interesting but it is a little strange.I asked my doctor about some of them and he thought some one was trying to poison you.
I found where it was located but it has no url that I can find,so do this:
Do a Google search: florida physicians journal
Click on :Florida Memory-Physician's Journal
The site will come right up and you can explore pages 1-126.
There is a lot of strange remedies shown.
 
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Anna Elizabeth Henry

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#10
I have to dig a little to find where I put a file but it's from a Florida in the 1850's and it's his book of a few food recipes but mostly medicinal recipes for all the ailments of the day including STD, among everything else.the file shos the actual photo of each item written in his hand along with the translation.it is really interesting but it is a little strange.I asked my doctor about some of them and he thought some one was trying to poison you.
Yeah, medicine back in the day was kind of sketchy at best. Bleeding people, leaches (leaches do have legit medical uses, but not the way they used them at the time) and remedies containing mercury and other harsh purgatives were very common. I read a book years ago about 18th century medicine, scary stuff. A lot of the problems were they just didn't know why people were sick and made assumptions that your blood was "tainted" hence the bleeding to clear out the toxins.
 

James B White

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#11
I think it helps to understand period medicine in context. In the period, an eclectic doctor might agree with some folk remedies, but a mainstream doctor would be less likely to appreciate the wisdom of folk medicine. Homeopaths and hydropaths would disagree with both, as well as each other. The old Thompsonian root doctors would disagree with anyone who relied solely on humoral medicine, because they knew the underlying issue was heat, not humors, but they'd be dying out from old age or better education. Everybody would disagree with patent medicines sold through the newspapers, except those making a profit from them or those who thought they'd been helped.

If one sees medicine merely as something strange back then, one is missing a lot of information and understanding about what drove medical theories. For example, bleeding and mercury, or at least mercury, was right at the center of controversy, where old met new. Check out US Surgeon General Hammond and what happened when he didn't support mercury and tartar emetic:

https://wikipedia.org/wiki/William_A._Hammond

On 4 May 1863 Hammond banned the mercury compound calomel from army supplies, as he believed it to be neither safe nor effective (he was later proved correct). He thought it dangerous to make an already debilitated patient vomit. A "Calomel Rebellion" ensued, as many of his colleagues had no alternative treatments and resented the move as an infringement on their liberty of practice. Hammond's arrogant nature did not help him solve the problem, and his relations with Secretary of War Stanton became strained. On 3 September 1863 he was sent on a protracted "inspection tour" to the South, which effectively removed him from office. Joseph Barnes, a friend of Stanton's and his personal physician, became acting Surgeon General.

Hammond demanded to be either reinstated or court-martialed. A court-martial found him guilty of "irregularities" in the purchase of medical furniture (Stanton "used false data"). Hammond was dismissed on 18 August 1864.


Yet Hammond was recommending the continued use of mercury in cases that would appall modern doctors, who weren't trained by 19th century teachers. The Civil War was just at the point where there was no single, reliable theory of medicine for everyone to rely on. The humoral theory had been pretty much abandoned, killed off by homeopaths, hydropaths, and even Thomsonians and their ilk, whose patients were doing as well or bettter. But the treatments that were easily explained by humoral theory couldn't just be abandoned for nothing (like the hygienists proposed), so they doctors continued using them, relying on a "watch and wait" philosophy rather than the dramatic attack of humoral medicine.

The medical community was poised for a new theory like the germ theory of disease to explain it all, though they still had to be dragged kicking and screaming into the future, as always.

Don't get me started on period medicine! Can you tell? :wavespin: But I do think it's something that is too easy to reject as stupid, the way modern beginners at history laugh at those funny clothes, or the clueless men who lined up and advanced across a field, or silly Lincoln and his officers who rejected machine guns because they wasted bullets. As students of history learn more, it becomes less funny, more understandable, and more intriguing.
 
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