A few months ago, when I had to sew face masks for my family, I made several bad prototypes before finally finding a helpful JoAnn’s Fabrics video tutorial. I rummaged through my fabric scraps, searching for the recommended 100% cotton fabrics. And because I have an embarrassing amount of unfinished sewing projects tucked away, I already possessed soft ¼ inch elastic, so I didn’t have to sew cloth strings.
I had previously posted an article about the flu pandemic of the late 1910s. Today, I searched more specifically on “influenza” and “masks” in that timeframe. If you’ve struggled with sewing a mask, I hope you appreciate these small finds.
The Face Mask: With terrible emphasis the public, as well as the profession, has had its attention drawn during this epidemic to the rise of the mask for the protection of people diseases. The surgeons while operating have used the mask during recent years to prevent disease germs from entering wounds of the patients from the mouth and nose of the surgeons. During this terrible epidemic, the proper use of a properly made mask undoubtedly protected many people from “taking” the “Spanish Flu.”
The use of the mask should become more general. At certain periods of the year, when epidemic diseases entering the body through respiratory route appear, it should be used especially by children in schools, on cars, or in moving picture theatres, etc. Of course, the mask should be properly made should be worn on same side, and should be sterilized before being again used. Measles, whooping-cough, meningitis, infantile paralysis, scarlet fever, influenza, pneumonia and tuberculosis–maybe, at least in part, held in check through this precaution. Remembering that the micro-organisms which make possible these diseases implanted and propagated in bodies of the people and disseminated therefrom to infect the respiratory passage of other bodies, every means that tends to obstruct and prevent this transplantation should be used thoroughly.
In an interesting article (Jour A. M. A. October 12th, 1918 page 1216), Doust and Lyon reported experiments with face masks and reached the following conclusions:
1 During ordinary or loud speech, infected material from the mouth is rarely projected to a distance of four feet, and usually less. A four-foot danger zone exists about the patient under these conditions.
2 During coughing, infected material from the mouth may be projected at least ten feet. The danger zone about a coughing patient has then, a minimum radius of ten feet.
3 Masks of coarse or medium gauze of from two to ten layers do not prevent the projection of infected material from the mouth during coughing. Such masks are worthless, therefore, in preventing the dissemination of respiratory infections.
4 A three layer buttercloth mask is efficient in preventing the projection of infectious material from the mouth during speaking or coughing. It is a suitable mask, therefore, be worn in connection with respiratory disease.
Then buttercloth, six by eight inches, hemmed on the edges (with four tapes), makes the best cloth mask.
From “Home Treatment of Influenza” in Good Health, 1919.
While it is hoped that there will not be a repetition of the influenza epidemic which occurred last year, yet we should be very foolish to be caught as unprepared before. Even though the majority our nurses have returned from the war, there is still a great shortage in the country, and it is highly important that every woman should prepare herself to do the things in case the disease should again invade her home or neighborhood.
That much can be done by the woman who has only a short course in nursing, is illustrated by what a group young women did last winter when influenza came to Battle Creek. There was, of course, a very great shortage nurses and the calls coming to the outpatient department of the Battle Creek Sanitarium were so numerous and urgent that those in charge of the work were all distracted because of their inability to supply the demand for assistance. The young women of the Battle Creek Sanitarium School of Home Economics were therefore invited to co-operate with the Dispensary by going into the various homes of the sick and rendering such assistance.
The first point of instruction was that of prevention. Each girl was supplied with a face mask and instructed to wear it every moment that she was in the house where the influenza prevailed. The mask consisted of three thicknesses of heavy cheesecloth, commonly known as buttercloth, the mask being large enough to cover both the nose and the mouth. This was six by eight inches in size and was fastened by strings coming from the four corners. In order to make the mask a little more comfortable, three or four small tucks were placed at each end thus a little fullness over the nose.
They were instructed always to disinfect their hands and face with a solution of bichloride of mercury, tablets of which can be obtained at any drugstore, or a weak solution of carbolic acid. In removing the mask they were to fold it with the side worn next to the face on the inside of the fold, and to lay it on a clean surface, made so by washing with a disinfectant–the mask to be replaced before again entering the room of the patient–care being taken to put the same side toward the face as had previously been worn or, a better plan still, to put a clean disinfected mask on each time. It is believed that the careful wearing of the mask was responsible for so few cases of influenza resulting among the students. Only three out of about seventy-five who were assisting in homes where the influenza prevailed, contracted the disease. One of them admitted that she had been careless in the wearing of her mask.
Today I’ve excerpted from the 1919 article “War’s Deadlier Rival, the Flu,” by Samuel Hopkins Adams. The article oddly begins on page 16 of Collier’s Weekly and is the fourth headline down on the cover. Please, please, please do not take the numbers or the science in this article as facts. The epidemic lasted until 1920, and there has been much subsequent scientific research into its origins and overall global devastation. I merely want to offer you a contemporary account of the epidemic, as well as some images.
Current with the world war, and culminating in a mortality far above it, runs another agency of death. The pandemic of influenza has been less sensational than the flaming scourge of war; but it has been vastly more destructive. Now that its second seasonal onset has passed in this country and presumably the great majority of those liable to it have been infected, it is possible to reckon up roughly the account for the United States.
Conservatively speaking, for every American killed by the Germans, ten were killed by the flu. The total of those dying in battle or afterward from wounds is under fifty thousand. Nearly five hundred thousand had died of the epidemic up to the 1st of January. (The Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, which has compiled the only detailed figures on a large scale, reckons, on the basis of its records, that the total influenza deaths for the nation up to January 1, 1919, were upward of 470,000.) Fifty thousand more is a very moderate estimate for this spring’s recurrence; twice that number is probably nearer the truth. Even reckoning the total human cost of the war, those dead from sickness and accident as well as from wounds, influenza’s mortality record is as six to one, compared to war’s.
Compared with other epidemics in America, the present visitation stands forth in still more startling relief. Though figures for the great grippe epidemic of 1889-90 (practically the same disease as the flu) are unreliable and fragmentary, it may be safely stated to have been less than half as deadly as the present onset. But parallel this flu with a pestilence of a more sensational character, the famous “yellow jack” of 1878 which centered in New Orleans and swept through the South spreading terror and paralyzing commerce. More people succumbed in a single week of flu in Philadelphia than died in the whole course of the 1878 pest in New Orleans; and the flu deaths of one week in New York and Philadelphia together exceeded the total yellow fever mortality of the entire nation in the “plague year.”
After the pandemic of thirty years ago, influenza, while it still existed here as it did the world over, sank to a low level and stayed there until 1914. In that year the deaths from influenza rise to two typical, seasonal “peaks,” one in the early winter, another in the spring. In 1915 these “peaks” are somewhat more marked. The following year shows a still higher rise, and in 1917 there appears so decided an increase that the absence of expert medical commentary upon it is surprising. The spring of 1918 brought with it a definite epidemic in our camps. It was of a mild type and, at the time, unrecognized. So far as is now known there was no epidemic elsewhere in the world.
What happened then?
A curious but perfectly logical process. The germ which had been gathering power quite slowly in a robust and well-fed population—witness the very gradual rise of the mortality figures—was transferred to a soil far more suitable to its development, the war-harried, undernourished, abnormal peoples of Europe. It gathered momentum and virulence together.
France, where it was first introduced, did not suffer very severely in the early stages; nor did Spain, whither it was immediately transmitted, manifesting itself in May, 1918, very widely, though in mild form, and withholding its real power until the following September when it ravaged the whole kingdom. Probably through the taking of prisoners the infection crossed the French border into Germany, and here found, in the ill-fed civilian population, the ideal condition for its increase. By July its ravages were so destructive that the German medical authorities, despite the demands exercised by the war upon the medical fraternity, were holding “influenza congresses” to devise means of defense, military plans having been seriously deranged by the epidemic. By August the flu had reached its serious stage in France and all Europe became swiftly and formidably involved. There followed the return to America.
The influenza germ … , a comparatively unimportant agent of disease and death, impotent, up to that time, to raise our mortality rates to a point where any notice was attracted, came back surcharged with deadly power. It had acquired a malignity unequaled in the former history of the disease.
Before the unparalleled swiftness of its spread, methods of prevention collapsed. It could not be stopped. It could not even be checked. In one short week, the scourge swept like a driven flame across eastern Massachusetts and down into Rhode Island and Connecticut. Before the second week was over most of New England was ablaze with it, the infection was raging through eastern New York, eastern Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, and there were far-spread, unaccountable, small plague spots in Alabama, Wisconsin, Illinois, Utah, Texas, and on the Pacific Coast. Within six weeks of the time when the epidemic nature of the disease was recognized, there was no State, there was hardly a county in the whole United States, unstricken. What could our public health system do against such an onset?
Washington newspapers carried display advertisements, calling for volunteer gravediggers, and a local sash and door factory was commandeered by the District authorities and set to turning out coffins at top speed. Three hundred dollars a week was offered in Albany for trained nurses, with no takers. In Alabama relief parties going out through the country found whole families dead in remote houses, so suddenly smitten that they had been unable to get help. This occurred also in the rural districts of western Pennsylvania, the worst stricken section of the country, where in the six weeks of the epidemic’s height 1 per cent of the population died of it, a figure unequaled in American mortality records. Starvation threatened in many cities owing to the crippling of local traffic and the helplessness of the sick; but here the local Red Cross organizations, happily keyed up to a war basis of efficiency, were able to save the situation by a system of central food supply and volunteer deliveries. In the opinion of the highest health authorities, the war emergency alone enabled the country to come through the flu emergency without far greater disaster; since we were organized physically to meet special conditions, and braced, mentally and psychologically, to endure the strain and resist the panic which might otherwise have beset us.
Mystery enshrouds various manifestations of the disease. Its greatest fatality was among those in the strongest years of life; between the ages of twenty and forty, when the human organism is supposed to exhibit the highest form of resistance. Why this should be so, science cannot tell. It was markedly more deadly to men than to women. For what reason? No reason which the experts can agree upon
What underlies this phenomenon? Something beyond present determination. The experience of the military camps shows, very broadly speaking, that, attacked by flu, the husky athlete died, the undervitalized indoor man recovered; the country boy succumbed, the city boy got well: just the reverse of what might be expected. The fact that very few people beyond the age of forty-five died suggested that this portion of the population had had the grippe in the great epidemic of 1889-90, and so were immunized. But if immunity is the explanation, why have deaths of children under fifteen, in the present epidemic, been so few, comparatively? Certainly they are not immunized by any former attack. Another phase of the mystery! The typical, and most formidable, phenomenon of the pestilence has been its “explosive” quality. In a great majority of the cities and smaller communities the infection, after entering, developed slowly for a brief period and then “exploded” into an appalling mortality for two or three weeks, when it swiftly subsided, an added feature being that the explosions were, generally speaking, nearly simultaneous over a great part of the country, taking place in mid-October and up through early November.
Susanna’s Note: World War I ended in November 1918.
Boston, at the height of the epidemic, showed a death rate about six times its normal; Philadelphia, ten times its normal; Baltimore, about eight and a half times its regular mortality, and Washington about the same. New Orleans, with a high regular death rate, multiplied that by more than six. Pittsburgh went to six times the standard rate. Albany rose to six times the normal, San Francisco to five times, New York to about the same, and Chicago to four times. But while this was typical, other cities exhibited no explosive phenomena whatever. Instead they showed a general level, markedly higher than the normal, but never shooting up to a decided “peak.” Herein was another peculiar feature. Why should New Orleans have blown its figures sky-high while Atlanta maintained a steady rate which hardly rose to one-quarter of the New Orleans high figure? What caused Chicago to explode, whereas the maximum at Grand Rapids never rose above double the normal rate, and Milwaukee kept her epidemic in hand almost as well? Why should Pittsburgh rise to six times its standard, and Columbus to only three times its normal? How explain the fact that Philadelphia’s high figure was two and a half times that of New York?
To one clue to the puzzle, thus far developed from any authoritative source, has been brought out by Dr. Raymond Pearl of the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, working in collaboration with the United States Public Health Service. It is found that, almost invariably, the cities which showed the explosive flu rates have regularly an abnormal number of deaths from the common organic causes: that is, tuberculosis, heart disease, and kidney ailments.
Where the population is of weak organic constitution, the epidemic spreads and kills swiftly, as in Boston, Baltimore, Washington, Albany, New Orleans, and notably Philadelphia. Where the mortality from these standard causes is low the flu failed to make severe inroads, as in Birmingham, Grand Rapids, Columbus, Atlanta, and Milwaukee. It remains to be seen whether this showing, which appears quite definite and convincing in this country, is borne out by the reports (if they are ever forthcoming) from other parts of the world. General figures for the world epidemic are not yet available. Perhaps they never will be. The civilized world was too preoccupied with war to keep mortality records. In general, it is known that the destruction wrought by the pandemic varied in different countries only according as the people were strong or weak, for reasons of food supply, proper housing, and general condition, to resist it. One of the foremost of American hygienists, who has traveled in Europe studying conditions since the armistice, told me that in his opinion one year of flu and its sequelae killed more than four years of war in the combatant countries of Europe. Geographically there seems to have been no limit to the spread. Wherever ships touched, there the influenza was disseminated.
In British India five million victims died a heavier toll in few short weeks than the bubonic plague had taken in twenty years, all told. China reported a devastating onset shortly after. The South African’s went down before it as if it were cholera. It swept the European armies, both in camp and at the front. Even Switzerland’s well-fed, carefully housed troops developed it so generally that from 75 to 90 percent of the total fell ill. The contagion was shipped to Australia and New Zealand and thence was diffused throughout the South Sea Islands. In German Samoa between 80 and 90 percent of the populace was down at the same time and more than half the Government officials died. An infected steamship touched at Rio de Janeiro in October. Within a week there had developed from that one source between two and three hundred thousand cases. Within six weeks there were upward of 700,000 cases. The city was paralyzed. The whole medical, hospital, and burial machinery collapsed. Traffic stopped. There was no street-car service. Deliveries even of food were abandoned. A correspondent writes me that it was a common thing to see driverless cabs being drawn about the streets by starving horses in search of fodder! All South America was subsequently infected.
Barcelona, Spain, reported 1,200 deaths daily when the scourge was at its height. The medical expert of the London “Times” estimated that the twelve highest weeks of the pandemic represented a loss of 6,000,000 lives in all; but at the time of his reckoning many countries were still untouched or unreported. Not since the “black death” of the Middle Ages has there been anything to compare with the flu’s ravages.
Is that an exciting blog post title or what? Total clickbait 🙂 I’m at home today, sick on the sofa. Perhaps I need a bit of bark or snakeroot from Jonathan Webb’s medicine chest.
Jonathan Webb, a chemist and apothecary in Salem, Massachusetts, sold family medicine chests to his customers in the early 1800s. A medicine chest was typically a wooden cabinet specifically designed to house medicine bottles and containers that were filled and labeled and/or numbered by the chemist. The preface of Mr. Webb’s 1818 volume, Particular Directions for a Family Medicine Chest is quite self-explanatory as to the purpose of his medicine chest.
Families would use
the medicines in this chest and what grew in their gardens and surrounding lands
to make popular remedies for their ailments. There are numerous old books
containing recipes for these remedies that were composed of ingredients that
were common to people then but sound rather exotic to the modern reader… or
maybe just to me. What interests me about this little volume is that it’s
essentially directions about how to use the medicines in Mr. Webb’s chest. The
information is a little more contained that what I’ve found in other books.
Sadly, I don’t have an image of Mr. Webb’s actual medicine chest, but I found this image in the Library of Congress. This is a medicine chest that was stolen from the White House during the War of 1812 by a sailor but later returned to the White House by the sailor’s descendants during Franklin Roosevelt’s administration.
Below is an image of a fancier medicine chest from London.
Let’s focus on Mr.
Webb’s humble chest and its contents. The box has over 50 items, but I’m going to
highlight a few here.
No. 3. TINCTURE OF GUAIACUM. Good for weakness, or pain, faintness at the stomach, and for sudden cramp-like and rheumatic pains. Dose, 25 drops, once or twice a day, on sugar.
No. 5. OPODELDOC. This is a very good application for strains, bruises, &c. A little of it should be poured on a warm hand, and rubbed on the part affected; when rubbed in dry, more must be used, and the rubbing continued for some time, and the part immediately after should be covered with warm flannel.
No. 6. LAUDANUM— BE careful ! ! Good to ease pain, and procure sleep; to check the excessive operation of pukes or purges. It is given in doses from 15 to 30 drops, in tea, wine, or water. The above dose is for an adult; more may be given if the case is an extreme one. It should never be given in large doses, unless by direction of the physician. In all cases, caution is necessary.
No. 7. SPIRITS OF
LAVENDER. This may be given oil
sugar, or in a little wine. Dose, from 30 to 80 drops, in cases of languor,
lowness of spirits, and faintness.
No. 10. BALSAM DROPS.
Good in a bad cold, or in a high burning fever. Shake the phial, and
give 20 or 30 drops in a little herb tea, and if necessary, repeat it two or
three times a day. Keep the person warm in bed, and they will produce a free
and gentle sweat.
No. 11. ELIXIR VITRIOL. Dose, from 15 to 25 drops, in a glass of water. It is good for weakness at the stomach, checks night sweats, attendant on hectic fevers, and makes an excellent gargle for inflammatory sore throats. It may be given to advantage with a decoction of any kind of Bark. It will often answer as a tonic medicine where bark fails.
No. 19. RHUBARB POWDERS. This is a gentle purge, operating without violence. In diarrhea, or in any bad purging, where gentle physic is necessary, one of these powders, (No. 19) may be given in molasses or syrup in the morning, and worked off with water gruel.
No. 23. SUGAR OF LEAD. Sugar of Lead, dissolved in equal parts of vinegar and water, makes a good wash for inflammatory swellings, caused by bruises and sprains and broken bones — one moderate spoonfull of the powder (or one of these powders) to a pint of liquid. Apply a rag dipped in it to the part, and repeat it often enough to keep it moist. When the skin is broken, omit the vinegar.
No. 25. HEALING SALVE.— (“Turner’s Cerate,) This salve, spread on a linen rag, is proper to be applied to sores, burns, scalds, or any slight disorder of the skin. It is also proper to skin over wounds, after they have been filled with flesh by No. 24, and to dress blisters.
No. 26. POWDER FOR PROUD FLESH. (Red Precipitate.) A most excellent remedy for spongy or
proud flesh. Sprinkle on enough to
cover the proud flesh, then lay on a piece of dry lint just large enough to
cover the sore, and a pledget of Basilicon over the whole.
No. 27. DIACHYLON PLASTER. This plaster answers very well for slight
wounds or sores, and to be spread on a rag, to be applied over other dressings,
to keep them on the wounds.
No. 29. BARK, (Yellow.) Bark is an excellent tonic medicine, in convalescence from Typhus fevers; also in intermittent fevers and chronic rheumatism. It is much more effectual in the form of powder, where the stomach will hear it. Dose, one teaspoonfull every two or three hours, in a little wine or pure water. In extreme cases, it has been taken to the extent of one or two ounces in twenty-four hours. In cases of extreme debility, where putrid symptoms are threatened, it maybe taken to any extent the stomach will bear. When it is used in the form of decoction, pour one quart of boiling water upon an ounce of the bark, and boil away to a pint. Dose, from’ one to three table spoonfulls, every three or four hours.
No. 31. FLOWERS OF SULPHUR. Dose, one drachm in molasses; it is a good
opening medicine in piles, and eruptions of the skin. In chronic Rheumatism and
Gouty complaints, a teaspoonfull of this medicine, with half the quantity of
Ginger powder, in a glass of milk every morning, is an excellent remedy. Mixed
with hog’s fat, it makes a very good Ointment for Itch,
No. 33. BLISTERING SALVE. To be spread on soft leather, and applied to any part of the body, first rubbing the part with warm vinegar till it looks red; let the plaster remain on about twelve hours, or longer if not well drawn. After the plaster is removed, slit the raised skin, and dry up the water with a linen rag, and dress it with salve, (No. 25) twice a day. Blisters are proper in nervous fevers. When the patient is delirious, apply one to the back of the neck. They are likewise proper in convulsions and inflammation of the eyes. A Blister applied to the back of the neck, will sometimes remove a violent headache.
No. 36. SNAKEROOT. Virginia Snakeroot makes an excellent stimulant infusion, and determines to the skin. It is given in low fevers, either by itself, or decocted with Bark. One ounce will make one quart of tea. Dose, half a gill — when it is steeped with bark, add a quarter of an ounce of the root to an ounce of Bark.
No. 37. CALOMEL. (Mercury.) This is a very useful and efficacious medicine, but requires caution and judgment in its administration; it is a preparation of Mercury; and strict attention to the directions should be adhered to, or mischief may be produced by it. After bleeding, blistering, &c. one or two grains of this medicine may be given in molasses every six or eight hours, till the disease abates, unless the looseness or weakness of the patient, (both of which it increases) forbids its longer use. It is also very good in bad pleurisies. Calomel has been used for worms by a celebrated empiric, in doses of five grains each, and in some instances it has proved efficacious.
No. 41 ARROW ROOT. This is a very delicate and nutritious article, and may be taken in every complaint where nourishment is wanted. First wet a tablespoonful of the powder with a little cold water, that it may be reduced to a paste; then pour on half a pint of boiling water, stirring it at the same time, and it is done. It may be given in milk, coffee, or chocolate.
No. 43. SQUILL PILLS. From two to three of these Pills may be considered a Dose — taken at bed time, or twice a day. This is a powerful medicine in promoting expectoration, and increasing the secretion of urine; hence it is a valuable medicine in chronic Coughs and Asthmatic affections, attended with viscid phlegm, and in dropsical complaints.
No. 44. ASSAFOETIDA PILLS. This is a most valuable remedy. Its action is quick and penetrating, and it affords great and speedy relief in spasmodic, flatulent, hysteric, and hypochondriacal complaints, especially when they arise from obstructions in the bowels, Assafoetida promotes digestion, and enlivens the animal spirits, &c. From one to three of these pills may be given for a dose.
Aside from bottles of
substances, there are other useful items in this chest. Okay, I admit, I added
these screenshots purely because of the gorgeous period handwriting in the
Today I’m posting the catalog from Dominicus Hanson’s Apothecary, Book and Variety store in New Hampshire from 1854. The catalogue is in public domain and was digitized by Google.
I thought it would be easier to use images instead of text for this blog post. I was crazy. However, I listened to several music podcasts and found some great musicians, so I guess the time was well spent.
The children are home from school, and everything is crazy in my household. Because my blog has the lowest priority, the poor thing hasn’t been updated in weeks. So, I asked my friend Nancy Mayer if I could excerpt pages from her Regency Researcher website and she graciously agreed.
What would Jane Austen’s family have had in their medicine chest? What would they do when traveling?
Savory & Moore of Bond Street, London, made many mahogany medicine chests for people of the ton, outfitting them with silver topped bottles. Some of the other contents might be a mortar and pestle for grinding various roots and seeds, a scale and weights for weighing ingredients, a piece of marble on which to mix a salve, a set of measures, a dosage spoon, and a plaster iron.
Several medicines and medical procedures are mentioned in the novels of Georgette Heyer, and others, which are unfamiliar to modern day writers. Miss Heyer mentions only those medicines and medical practices that she could discover, from diarists, letter writers, and physicians of the day as actually having been used.
Most of these, except for bloodletting and the tincture of laudanum, were draughts, gruels, and medications that a woman could brew up herself in a still room. Though the richer ladies left more and more of such tasks to apothecaries and doctors, many still prided themselves on being able to provide such remedies from the domestic medicine chest. In many ways, the women who knew the old secrets of the still room were better able to protect their families than those who sought out the most popular and prestigious doctor of the day. Culpepper’s herbal compendium couldn’t have killed as many people as the doctors and their nostrums did.
Those unfortunate enough to need a remedy when away from home and their own supply, had to depend on others to provide it unless they had their medicine chest with them.
A housewife could whip up a bottles of saline draughts, barley-water, lemonade, jars of calves’ foot or pork jelly, as well as blisters and plasters. The apothecary or doctor provided the laudanum, the mercury and the calomel.
For centuries the most popular pain-reliever was a tincture of opium in alcohol. Laudanum was prescribed for all classes of diseases and was regularly used for sleeping draughts.
Laudanum, according to Dr. Thomas Sydenham’s formula, consisted of: 2 oz strained opium, 1 oz saffron, 1 dram cinnamon and cloves dissolved in a pint of canary wine.
Though the addictive quality of opium was known, it was the major ingredient in most of the medicines of the day, even that given to teething children. Both de Quincy and S.T. Coleridge were addicted to opium. Despite de Quincy’s well known confession and description of his addiction, opium continued to be used. Doctors and apothecaries did, however, start issuing warnings about not taking more than the prescribed dose.
Mercury, even then known to be poisonous, was used as an ingredient in calomel- a laxative mixture- and as a treatment for venereal diseases.
A saline draught, made from a distillation of the bark of the willow tree boiled in white wine, gave patients salicylate, a main ingredient of aspirin.
A saline draught, made from a distillation of the bark of the
willow tree boiled in white wine, gave patients salicylate, a
main ingredient of aspirin.
Bark (Peruvian or Jesuit’s ) which contained quinine was also used for fevers and in many other medicines.
Recipe for a Mouthwash
6 oz. tincture of Peruvian bark mixed with
1/2 oz. sal ammoniac. Shake well.
Rub on teeth and gums. Rinse mouth well. This will treat and
The diet of a sick / injured person is likely to include servings of barley-water and/or barley gruel.
2 qts. water
1/4 lb. pearl barley
Boil together. Strain. Boil half the liquid away. Add 2 spoons
of white wine and sweeten to taste.
However, it is likely that the barley-water recommended by the doctor in Fredericka for Felix was made from a second receipt which does not include any wine.
Barley Water 2
Wash and cleanse 2 oz. of whole barley
in hot water, then boil in 5 pints water and 1/4 oz of cream
of tartar until barley opens. Strain and cool.
Barley Water 3 or Barley Gruel
Boil 1/4 lb. pearl barley with stick cinnamon in 2 quarts of
water until the water is reduced to half. Strain. Add 1 pint
red wine and sweeteners.