Dr. Elliotson* relates a case of Ichthyosis which completely yielded to its local application. No other remedy was used, and Dr. Elliotson considers that the cure was solely attributable to the oil. In Scabies, it has also proved successful. Dr. Da Luz mentions two such cases. In one, the cure was effected in six, and in the other in seven days. The whole body was daily anointed with Olive Oil, and washed with warm soap and water, twice or thrice a week. This constituted the sole treatment. (See Adeps.)
1927. As a preventive of the Plague, Olive Oil has, for a long period, enjoyed great repute. In 1797, it was observed by Mr. Baldwin, the British Consul in Egypt, that among the million of inhabitants who died of plague in that country in the space of four years, not a single oilman, or dealer in oil, had suffered. Sir J. M'Grigor§ remarked that all the men employed in applying oil to the camels' feet, during the Egyptian campaign, escaped the plague; and Mr. Jackson || states that the Coolies employed in the oil stores of Tunis smear themselves with oil, and are rarely affected with the plague, when it rages in that city. It is also stated by Luigi.¶ of Pavia, that during the twenty-seven years that he was an attendant at the pest-house at Smyrna, he found frictions with oil more efficacious than any other medicine, both as a prophylactic and as a means of cure. In addition to these facts, it may be added, that when the plague, or a disease closely resembling it, ravaged the northern provinces of India, in 1815 and in 1819, other facts of a similar nature were recorded by Mr. M'Adam and Mr. White.** The latter gentleman justly observes, that if the disease be communicated by the touch, there can be no more powerful antidote than oily friction; but where the infection is received by the breath, it will prove efficacious only in so far as it invigorates the general system, and enables it to resist the influence of the disease.
1928. The other therapeutic uses of Olive Oil are, 1, as a laxative in Abdominal Inflammation; 2, as an emollient enema in Dysentery; 3, as an antidote to the Poison of venomous Snakes; 4, as an external application in Ascites and Anasarca, and also in Burns and Scalds. In none of these respects does it require separate notice.
* Lectures, p. 4S3. Zeitschrift fur die Ges. Med., Oct. 1838.
Duncan's Annals, 1707. § Medical Sketches, 1804.
|| On the Commerce of the Mediterranean, p. 46.
¶ Quoted in Cyc. Pract. Med., art. Plague.
** Trans. of Med. Phys. Soc. of Bombay, vol. i. pp. 169 - 185.