Five Bizarre Medical Practices

From my research log: Five Bizarre Nineteenth Century Medical Practices*

19th century medicine

Does a child have a bloody nose? Try dropping a key down his back between his clothes and skin.  It should swiftly remedy the problem.  It does not, however, have the same effect on adults.

Got a cold? Dip some flannel in boiling water, sprinkle it with turpentine, and lay it on your chest.

Do not visit a sick person if you are sweating or hungry.  These both leave you more susceptible to contracting the illness.

For Concussions: Call for the surgeon who may apply leeches if the brain gets inflamed. Antibilious pills (strong laxatives) may be given to clear the liver and promote better blood circulation. If the patient is unable to keep food down, an injection of equal parts milk and whiskey can be injected into the rectum.

And lastly, for a drowning victim, rub the body dry, clear the mouth, raise the head, and place in a warm bath.  Tickle the nose with a feather or use smelling salts.  When the victim starts to come to, give him a little wine or brandy. And whatever you do, do not hang the victim upside down by his ankles.

*obvious no-duh statement: do not try these at home, or anywhere else for that matter!

Sources:

19th Century Historical Tidbits

Discovering Lewis and Clark

The Book of Household Management

Medical Home Remedies: As Treated by 19th and 20th Century Doctors

Jane Austen’s World

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