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A Guide To Health | by Benjamin Colby



If the last century is an example to learn from, it will be many frantic years before we "irregulars" bring about the re-ordination of mainstream medicine back into the vitalist center. In that context, as well as for some of its surprisingly sound observations, this popular little book from 150 years ago can serve as a parable for our present perceptions of the early-stages of medical decline. --Michael Moore

TitleA Guide To Health, Being An Exposition Of The Principles Of The Thomsonian System Of Practice, And Their Mode Of Application In The Cure Of Every Form Of Disease
AuthorBenjamin Colby
PublisherMilford, N.H. John Burns
Year1846
Copyright1846, Benjamin Colby
AmazonA Guide To Health: Being An Exposition Of The Principles Of The Thomsonian System Of Practice, And Their Mode Of Application In The Cure Of Every Form Of Disease
A Guide To Health Book Cover

A Guide To Health, Being An Exposition Of The Principles Of The Thomsonian System Of Practice, And Their Mode Of Application In The Cure Of Every Form Of Disease

-Editor's Note
Quaint and antiquarian though this book may seem, Colby, a more polished voice than his mentor, Samuel Thomson, was dealing as best as possible with the arrogant, hubristic and mechanistic disarray of...
-Preface
In presenting to the public this little volume, advocating and explaining a system of Medical Practice, diverse from the popular system of the day--a system against which there exists much unfounded, ...
-Preface To The Second Edition
The rapid sale of the first edition of this work, of one thousand copies, has induced the author to revise, correct, and enlarge it, and by the advice of those who were competent to judge of its merit...
-Part I. Chapter I. The Science Of Medicine
What is it? What are the principles on which it is founded ? and what are the results of those principles, carried out in practice? Science is knowledge. The science of medicine is a knowledge of the ...
-Chapter II. Brief Review Of Different Theories Of Medicine
If medical works have been wanting in facts, they have abounded in theories. Dr. James Graham, the celebrated Medico-Electrician, of London, says of medicine, It hath been very rich in theory, but...
-Chapter III. The Effect Of The Remedies Used By The Medical Faculty
Notwithstanding the darkness, uncertainty and doubt in which medical science is involved--its incapability of answering the desired object of such a science; if its remedial agents were innocent, ther...
-The Effect Of The Remedies Used By The Medical Faculty. Continued
The following Hymn on Calomel, says Smith, is to be sung on certain occasions; as the following: 1st. When any one or more are convinced of its dangerous and ruinous nature, when applied under the ...
-Chapter IV. The Homeopathic System
As this system of practice is different in many particulars from the allopathic or old school system, and is gaining the attention of the American people, it may be expected that we should give it a p...
-Chapter V. Hydropathy, Or The Cold Water Cure
There is no individual who appreciates the value of cold water, both as the most natural and healthy drink for man and beast, and as a valuable remedial agent, than we do; but we are not prepared to a...
-Chapter VI. The Thomsonian System
This system of medical practice, unlike most other systems, is the result of experience. Facts were first established, and then a theory based on such facts. Without facts it is as impossible to estab...
-Chapter VII. The Testimony Of Old School Physicians In Its Favor
Notwithstanding the medical faculty as a body violently persecuted Dr. Thomson, and ridiculed his system of practice, some of the most candid and humane had the magnanimity to express their conviction...
-Part II. Chapter I. Health
Health--the poor man's riches, and the rich man's bliss. A State of health consists in the power of all the different organs to perform, in an easy and regular manner, all their proper offices.. Th...
-Health. Part 2
Exercise It is a law of our nature that a certain amount of active exercise in the open air must be taken every day in order to be perfectly healthy; and it is supposed that the amount necessary to...
-Health. Part 3
It has been imagined by persons ignorant of the mechanism and physiology of the human frame, that females cannot bear much exercise or exposure to atmospherical vicissitudes, and that passive exercis...
-Chapter II. Disease
Medical theorists have arranged diseases into different orders, classes, and kinds, according to their symptoms, giving to each a different name, and recommending for each a different mode of treatmen...
-Chapter III. The Unity Of Disease
The doctrine of the unity of disease, as advocated by Thom-sonians, has not generally been understood, and therefore the medical faculty have endeavored to bring the Thomsonian system into disrepute b...
-Chapter IV. The Causes Of Disease
We stated in the first chapter that health was secured by obeying the physical laws of our nature; and in the second chapter, that disease was a deviation from a state of health, or an obstruction or ...
-Chapter V. The Effects Of Disease
We have said that disease was an obstruction or diminution of vital energy, caused by a violation of the laws of nature. The effects of this obstruction are various, depending on the organ obstructed ...
-Chapter VI. Treatment Of Disease
We have so long been accustomed to consider the most prominent symptom attending any form of disease to be the disease itself, to destroy which all our efforts should be employed, that it will be some...
-Part III. Materia Medica
Having mentioned the indications necessary to be accomplished in the cure of different forms of disease, we will now describe the articles calculated to answer each of these indications, and arrange t...
-Relaxants
Relaxants are those substances that have the power of relaxing muscular fibre, and alleviating spasm. The best and most powerful is Lobelia Inflata. ...
-Lobelia Inflata
Common name--Indian Tobacco, Puke-Weed, Eyebright (not to be confused with Euphrasia), etc. Lobelia Inflata is a common herb, growing plentifully in pastures, stubble fields, by the roadsid...
-Crawley, Or Fever Root
(Corallorhiza odontorhiza, C. maculata and others: Coral Root) This plant occupies high, sandy banks, in sandy woods. The leaves spring forth all around the bottom of the stem, at the top of the ro...
-Boneset
The Leaves and Flowers. (Eupatorium perfoliatum) This plant is also called thoroughwort, Indian sage, feverwort, sweating plant, etc. It grows plentifully in almost every part of the United Stat...
-Stimulants
Stimulants are substances capable of increasing the action or energy of the living body. Pure, diffusible stimulants act in harmony with the laws of life, and therefore assist nature in her efforts to...
-Cayenne Capsicum
The Pods and Seed-Vessels. The Cayenne most commonly used by Thomsonians is imported from Africa and the West Indies, being more permanent and gently stimulating than the American Cayenne. It is so...
-Ginger
The Root. Ginger is obtained from the East and West Indies. It is a perennial shrub, growing about three feet high. Care should be observed in purchasing it, as it is generally mixed with other art...
-Prickly Ash
The Bark and Seed Vessels. (Zanthoxylum americanum and others) This shrub is found in the Southern, Middle, and Western States, growing in rich and commonly wettish soil, to the height of from t...
-Pennyroyal
The Herb. (Hedeoma pulegioides) This plant, which the God of nature has scattered over almost every part of this country, is one of the most valuable of the Thomsonian Materia Medica. Its qualit...
-Canada Snakeroot
The Root. (Asarum canadensis--Wild Ginger) This plant is found in almost every part of the United States, particularly in the Northern and Eastern States, in the woods, and dry, shady places. Th...
-Astringents
Astringents are those substances that, when taken internally or applied externally, contract the muscular tissue, or make it more dense and firm. They depend for their astringency on tannin, a substan...
-Bayberry
(Myrica cerifera) This shrub grows most plentifully in towns bordering on the sea, although it is found in the interior, in neglected fields, and on the side of stony hills. It grows in the New Eng...
-Bethroot
The Root. Trillium Spp. Wake Robin The bethroot is found in damp, rocky woods, delighting in a rich soil, and grows from one to two feet high, surmounted at the top with three leaves. It blooms ...
-Sumach
The Bark, Leaves, and Berries. (Rhus glabra--Smooth Sumach) The common upland sumach rises to the height of from five to ten feet, producing many long compound leaves, which turn red in autumn. ...
-White Pond Lily
The Root. (Nyphaea odorata) This herb grows in low wet grounds, and ponds and pools of water, as indicated by its name. The leaves are large, round, and cleft from the edge to the stem in the...
-Red Raspberry
The Leaves. (Rubus strigosus and others) The red raspberry is so well known that it needs no description. The leaves are a valuable astringent, useful in bowel complaints, and for external appli...
-Witch Hazel
The Leaves. (Hamamelis virginiana) This shrub grows on high lands and the stony banks of streams, from New England to Carolina and Ohio, from eight to ten feet high. Properties And Uses As...
-Hemlock
The Bark. (Tsuga canadensis) This is a well-known astringent, being commonly employed in tanning leather. A decoction of the bark is useful given by injection for bowel complaints, and for the pile...
-Tonics
Tonics are those substances, that when applied to the living body, increase the strength by rendering the muscular tissue firmer and more compact. They should usually be combined with stimulants, unle...
-Golden Seal
The Root. Golden seal grows in great abundance in Ohio and the Western and Southern States, but is seldom found in the Northern and Eastern. It is sometimes called Ohio kucuma, yellow puccoon, etc....
-Poplar
The Bark. (Populus alba) This noble tree, which is found throughout the United States, is so well known that it needs no description. It is the common white poplar of Maine and New Hampshire. It...
-Balmony
The Herb. (Chelone Glabra--Turtlehead) This herb is found in low, damp places and rich, shaded soils in all parts of the United States It is called bitter herb, snake head etc. The flowers are r...
-Unicorn
The Root. (Chamaelirium Helonias, and variously as both True Unicorn Root and False Unicorn Root?!) The unicorn grows abundantly in Pennsylvania, New York, and Connecticut, and may be found ...
-Wintergreen
The Root and Leaves. (Gaultheria procumbens) This evergreen is found on pine plains and in light shaded soils, in all parts of the United States. It blossoms in midsummer. It is called pipsissiw...
-Gum Myrrh
(Commiphora Spp.) This gum exudes from the body of a small tree growing in Arabia Felix and Abyssinia. As the juice exudes, it hardens and adheres to the bark. There are two kinds of myrrh to be fo...
-Barberry
The Bark. (Berberis vulgaris) This shrub grows plentifully in the New England States, and is found usually in rocky or stony fields, rising to the height of eight or ten feet. The berries are ob...
-Laxatives
Laxatives are those medicines that increase the peristaltic motion of the bowels, without purging or producing a fluid discharge. ...
-Bitter Root
Bark of the Root. (Apocynum androsaemifolium--Dogbane, Canadian or Indian Hemp Bitter root is found in all parts of the United States where the soil is light and sandy. The root is perennial, fr...
-Butternut
The Inner Bark. (Juglans Cinerea) This tree is too well known to need any description, being found in rich, moist, rocky soils, near streams, in almost all parts of the country. The inner bark o...
-Dandelion
The Leaves and Roots. (Taraxacum officinale and others) This plant is too common to need description, growing almost everywhere, on improved lands that are not plowed, as pastures, meadows, yard...
-Diuretics
Diuretics are those medicines, that, when taken internally, increase the action of the urinary apparatus. ...
-Queen Of The Meadow
The Root. (Eupatorium purpureum and E. fistulosum--Gravel Root, Joe Pye Weed) Queen of the meadow, or gravel root, has long, fibrous roots white or brownish color. It grows from three to six fee...
-Coolwort
The Leaves. (Pilea Pumila Richweed) This herb is found in woods, on shady banks, and in rich cedar swamps, where the ground is not very wet. The leaves are heart-shaped, divided into lobes, and ...
-Juniper
The Fruit (Juniperus communis) This shrub is so well known as to need no description. The berries, the only part used, are ripe in August. It grows in abundance in all the New England States border...
-Expectorants
Expectorants are medicines that promote the discharge of matter from the lungs, whether it be mucus, pus, or any other morbid accumulation. The best expectorant known is lobelia. ...
-Skunk Cabbage
The Root (Symplocarpus Foetidus Dracontium) This plant is found plentifully in the Northern and Middle States. It grows in wetlands, having many fibrous roots, sending up many large, bright gree...
-Pleurisy Root
The Root. (Asclepias Tuberosa Butterfly Milkweed) This plant is sometimes called butterfly weed, flux root, white root, etc. It is a beautiful perennial plant, flourishing best in a light sandy ...
-Nervines
Nervines are those medicines that have a soothing influence, and quiet the nerves without destroying their sensibility. They are beneficial in all cases of extreme irritability, restlessness, and inab...
-Lady's Slipper
The Root (Cypripedium calceolus and others) This valuable plant has various names--(American) valerian, nerve root, yellow umbil, etc. There are three or four species of lady's slipper, as ...
-Scullcap
The Herb. (Scutellaria latiflora) This plant grows in damp places, and by the side of streams. It has a small fibrous root, stem four cornered, and from ten inches to two feet high. The flowers ...
-Demulcents
Demulcents are those medicines that possess soothing mucilaginous properties, shielding the surface or membrane from the contact of any irritating substance. ...
-Slippery Elm
The Bark. This tree, which grows in the Northern and Eastern States, attains to the height of about thirty feet, trunk slender, dividing in numerous branches, furnished with a rough and light-color...
-Comfrey
The Root (Symphytum officinale) This plant is cultivated in gardens, and may be found growing spontaneously by road sides. It grows from three to four feet high, with yellowish flowers. Properti...
-Synopsis of the Medical Properties Of Plants Used Occasionally
Camomile (Matricaria camomila)--An infusion drank warm is useful in pulmonary complaints, and in all cases of debility; applied as a fomentation in glandular swellings. Mayweed (Matricaria co...
-Directions for Gathering and Preparing Medicines
The remedies used for the cure of disease should be gathered with much care, and by persons who have a sufficient knowledge of the roots and plants they wish to gather, to be a guarantee against any m...
-Part IV. Formulas. Chapter VIII. Compounds
The principal objects in combining medicines are, to increase their strength, accomplish different indications at the same time, or to render them more pleasant and agreeable. A large number of the co...
-Composition Powder
Take of bayberry (Myrica) ...................... 2 lbs. ginger (Zingiber) ............................ 1 lb. Cayenne ..................................... 2 oz. cinnamon ........................
-Spiced Bitters
Take of poplar bark (Populus spp.) ............ 2 lbs. golden seal (Hydrastis) ................... 8 oz. prickly ash bark (Zanthoxylum) ...... 12 oz. ginger (Zingiber) ..........................
-Diarrhoea Powders
Take of bayberry (Myrica) ...................... 4 oz. golden seal (Hydrastis) ................... 4 oz. rhubarb (Rheum) ........................... 4 oz. saleratus (sodium bicarbonate).........
-Female Restorative
Take of poplar bark(Populus alba) ............ 5 lbs. cloves ......................................... 8 oz. cinnamon ................................... 8 oz. bethroot .........................
-Female Strengthening Syrup
Take of comfrey root ........................... 4 oz. elecampane root ......................... 2 oz. hoarhound .................................. 1 oz. Boil them in three quarts of water do...
-The Mother's Cordial
Take of partridge-berry vine, dried (Mitchella repens)..1 lb. high cranberry or cramp bark (Viburnum opulus)4 oz. unicorn root (Chamaelirium) ................ ............................ 4 oz. ...
-Female Powders
Take of gum myrrh (Commiphora) ............ 4 oz. Cayenne ..................................... 4 oz. unicorn ....................................... 4 oz. tansy ................................
-Compound For Canker
Take of bayberry (Myrica) ...................... 4 oz. white pond lily ........................... 4 oz. Cayenne ..................................... 1 oz. loaf sugar ..........................
-Anti-Dyspeptic Powder
Take of Cayenne .................................. 2 oz. golden seal (Hydrastis) ................... 2 oz. saleratus (sodium bicarbonate)........... 1/2 oz. Dose Half a teaspoonful, when w...
-Pills.--No 1
Take of lobelia seed ............................. 4 oz. Cayenne ..................................... 4 oz. valerian ...................................... 4 oz. slippery elm ..................
-Pills.--No 2
Take of butternut extract ...................... 2 oz. rhubarb (Rheum) ........................... 2 oz. Cayenne ..................................... 1 oz., cinnamon ..............................
-Injection Powder
Take of bayberry (Myrica) ...................... 4 oz. Cayenne ..................................... 1 oz. lobelia herb ................................ 4 oz. slippery elm ......................
-Elder Salve
Take the white-pithed elder sticks, run them quickly through hot embers, and the cuticle will easily slip off. Then scrape off the green bark, and make a strong decoction. Put into a quart of this, a ...
-Healing Salve
Take of beeswax .................................. 1 lb white turpentine ......................... 1 lb. balsam fir ................................... 1 lb. fresh butter ..........................
-Adhesive And Strengthening Plaster
Take of rosin ........................................ 2 lbs. beeswax ..................................... 2 1/2 oz. mutton tallow ............................. 2 1/2 oz. camphor ..............
-Anti-Spasmodic Tincture,. Or Third Preparation Of Lobelia
Take of lobelia seed, pulverized .......... 1 lb. Cayenne ..................................... 4 oz. valerian ...................................... 4 oz. Holland gin ..........................
-Dysentery Or Cholera Syrup
Take of white pond lily, root ............... 4 oz. green peppermint plant .............. 8 oz. bayberry (Myrica) ......................... 4 oz. Boil in one and a half gallons of water down ...
-Worm Syrup
Take of butternut bark (Juglans cinerea)....4 oz. sage (Salvia spp.)............................. 2 oz. gum myrrh (Commiphora) ............... 2 oz. poplar bark(Populus alba) ............... ...
-Emetic Powder
Take of lobelia, herb ............................ 4 oz. lobelia, seed ............................... 4 oz. bayberry (Myrica) ......................... 2 oz. Cayenne ...........................
-Stimulating Liniment
Add 1 oz. oil hemlock, 1 oz. oil cedar, 1 oz. oil spearmint, to a pint of the antispasmodic tincture. Useful in all cases of pain, not attended with inflammation and paralytic affections. ...
-Cough Powder
Take of Cayenne .................................. 1/4 oz. lobelia, herb ............................... 1 oz. slippery elm (Ulmus fulva) .............. 2 oz. skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus) ......
-Cough Drops
Take of lobelia herb ............................. 4 oz. hoarhound (Marrubium) ................. 2 oz. comfrey ...................................... 2 oz. elecampane (Inula) ...................
-Tincture Of Myrrh
Take of gum myrrh (Commiphora) ............ 4 oz. alcohol ....................................... 1 qt. Infuse for twelve days, and strain. This is an excellent wash for offensive ulcers, and fo...
-Tincture Of Lobelia
Take of lobelia, herb ............................ 4 oz. alcohol ....................................... 1 pt. water .......................................... 1 pt. Infuse twelve days, and s...
-Tincture Of Cayenne:
Take of Cayenne .................................. 4 oz. alcohol or vinegar ...................... 1 pt. Infuse for ten days, and strain. Used in all cases of paralysis for bathing, and for rheu...
-Compound Tincture Of Myrrh. Or Hot Drops
Take of gum myrrh (Commiphora) ............ 12 oz. Cayenne ..................................... 1 oz. fourth proof brandy ................... 1 gal. Put them into a jug or glass demi-john, a...
-Stimulating Conserve
Take of golden seal (Hydrastis) ................ 2 oz. poplar bark (Populus alba) .............. 2 oz. prickly ash (Zanthoxylum) .............. 2 oz. cinnamon ...................................
-Tincture Of Fir Balsam
Take of fir balsam (Abies balsamea) ........... 1 oz. alcohol ....................................... 1 pt. Shake them well together. To be applied to fresh wounds, burns, and ulcers. A teaspoon...
-Essences
Take, of the essential oil of the essence you wish to make, one ounce, alcohol one pint, shaking them well together. ...
-Pile Ointment
Take of hemlock bark, finely pulverized, one ounce, fresh lard six ounces; mix them together thoroughly. It may be confined to the parts by means of a bandage, and a piece of cotton. ...
-Diuretic Syrup
Take of queen of the meadow (Eupatorium purpureum)...4 oz. juniper berries (Juniperus communis)4 oz. cleavers (Galium aparine)................ .................... 4 oz. burdock root or seed (Arcti...
-Head-Ache Snuff
Take of bayberry (Myrica) ...................... 1 oz. blood root (Sanguinaria) ................. 1/2 oz. sassafras bark ............................. 1 oz. Finely pulverized and mixed. ...
-Blood Root. Smelling Salts
Take of pearlash ................................... 1 oz. sal ammoniac ............................. 1/2 oz. Pulverize each by itself, and mix. Preserve in a closely stopped bottle. ...
-Elm Poultice
Take of slippery elm (Ulmus fulva) ........... 2 teaspoonfuls. lobelia herb ................................ 1 teaspoonful. ginger (Zingiber) ............................ 1 teaspoonful. Mix i...
-Anti-Dyspeptic Pills
Empty the contents of three large ox galls into a quart bowl, immerse into a vessel of boiling water, and keep the water boiling quite gently for the space of six or eight hours, or until the gall sha...
-Anti-Emetic Drops
Take of salt .......................................... 2 oz. Cayenne ..................................... 1 oz. vinegar ....................................... 1 qt. Mix. Dose, a tablespoon...
-Tooth-Ache Drops
Take of oil of sassafras ........................ 1/2 oz. oil of summer savory ................. 1/2 oz. oil of cloves ............................... 1/2 oz. Mix; dip a piece of cotton in th...
-Wine Bitters
Take of poplar bark (Populus alba) ........... 3 lbs. golden seal (Hydrastis) ................... 1 lb. scullcap (Scutellaria)...................... 8 oz. unicorn (Chamaelirium).................
-For Polypus In The Nose
Take blood root, bayberry, and black pepper, equal parts, all finely pulverized and well mixed. To be taken as snuff, or blown into the nose through a quill. ...
-Syrup For Purifying The Blood
Take of yellow dock root (Rumex crispus)4 oz. dandelion root ............................ 4 oz. wintergreen (Gaultheria) ................ 4 oz. sarsaparilla (Smilax) ...................... 4 ...
-Spruce Beer
Take four gallons of water, boil half of it; let the other half be put cold into a barrel, and upon this pour the boiling water; then add three quarts of molasses and a little of the essence of spruce...
-Dr. Hull's Bilious Physic
Take eight ounces aloes, one ounce each of mace, myrrh, cinnamon, cloves, saffron and ginger; four ounces of the dried leaves of the garden sunflower. Pulverize the articles separately, and mix them t...
-Sudorific Powders
Take of lobelia, herb ............................ 4 oz. pleurisy root (Asclepias tuberosa)...... 4 oz. skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus) ........ 4 oz. crawley root (Coralorhiza) .............. 4...
-Female Tonic Powders
Take of comfrey ................................... 2 oz. elecampane (Inula) ....................... 2 oz. rosin ........................................... 1 oz. loaf sugar ....................
-Itch Ointment
Take of tincture of myrrh (Commiphora).. 1 qt. tincture of lobelia ...................... 1 qt. spirits turpentine ........................ 1/2 pt. Mix and apply to the entire surface night a...
-Cancer Plaster
Take of red clover blossoms any desirable quantity, and water sufficient to cover them; boil gently until the strength of the blossoms is extracted, which will be in about an hour; strain through a co...
-Catarrh Snuff
Take of blood root (Sanguinaria) .............. .2 oz. skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus) ........ 1 oz. lobelia ........................................ 1/2 oz. snake root (Asarum) ..................
-Meadow-Fern Ointment
Take of meadow-fern leaves and balm of Gilead buds, well bruised or pounded, each three ounces; fresh lard, a pound. moisten the buds with water, and simmer them in the lard over a slow fire until the...
-Dr. Elisha Smith's Anti-Mercurial Syrup
Take of sarsaparilla (Smilax) ................... 2 lbs. guaiacum chips (G. officinalis) ........... 1 lb. blue flag (Iris versicolor)................. 6 oz. prickly ash bark (Zanthoxylum) .....
-Chapter IX. A Course Of Medicine
This does not consist in the application of a single remedy, as many have supposed, but of a series of remedies, following each other in quick succession, by which disease is overcome immediately, ins...
-Enemas Or Injections
This mode of administering medicine constitutes a very important part of the Thomsonian practice, and ought not to be omitted in consequence of a false delicacy on the part of the patient, or to avoid...
-Vapor Bath
This invaluable remedial agent has been in use from time immemorial. Among the Russians, Egyptians, and Turks, it has been used for centuries as a luxury, and as a cure and preventive of disease. It i...
-Directions For A Course
Put four teaspoonfuls of composition, one of valerian, and 1/2 of cayenne into a pitcher, pour on it a quart of boiling water. Give the patient two thirds of a cupful of the tea. Then administer an in...
-Administering Lobelia
Put one teaspoonful of the seed of lobelias and two of the herb; well pulverized, into a cup, add one teaspoonful of Cayenne, one of nerve powder, and a few drops of the oil of sassafras, and fill the...
-Part V. Chapter X. The Treatment Of Different Manifestations Of Disease
Having arrived at the knowledge of what disease is, its cause, the indications necessary to be accomplished, and the means to be used to accomplish those indications, we have now to point out the part...
-Fever
This manifestation of disease is but the effect of an effort of nature to expel from the system some irritating substance. Its division into colors and classes is unnecessary, as these different sympt...
-Ague And Fever
The first symptoms of this form of disease are-- general debility, loss of appetite, more or less distress at the pit of the stomach, obstructed perspiration, restlessness and languor, aching in the b...
-Abortion
The premature expulsion of the fetus has be come quite common among those who, though they designedly use no means to produce it, yet their habits of compressing the chest or tight lacing does do so, ...
-Ague In The Face
The face on one side, or both, frequently becomes swollen and exceedingly painful, depending on decayed or ulcerated teeth or a cold. Treatment Inhale the steam of Cayenne and vinegar, and tie u...
-Asthma And Phthisic
The symptoms of these forms of disease are, difficulty of breathing, which generally comes on towards night, tightness across the chest, together with a peculiar wheezing, being frequently threatened ...
-Abscesses And Boils
An abscess or boil is produced by an effort of nature to throw from the system morbific matter. Treatment Apply a poultice of slippery elm, lobelia and a little soft soap, which will soon bring ...
-Bleeding From The Nose
The blood-vessels of the nose are more easily ruptured than in any other part of the system; when, therefore, there is a determination of blood to the head, or any external violence, a profuse dischar...
-Bleeding From The Lungs And Stomach
These are usually considered dangerous forms of disease.; but their danger depends on other symptoms. If there are other symptoms of consumption, bleeding from the lungs is difficult to cure. Treat...
-Bruises Or Injuries From Blows Or Falls
If the injury be not very severe, bathing with cold water, hot drops, or wormwood moistened with spirits, and taking a teaspoonful of composition, is all that is required. But if very severe, the vapo...
-Burns Or Scalds
The best application that can be made to burns or scalds, when first done, is cold water. Take a cloth wet in cold water, and wrap several thicknesses round or lay on the part, to be wet as often as t...
-Cancer
Cancer usually seats upon the fleshy portions of the system, as the breast, lip, etc. It commences with a small hard bunch, gradually increasing, attended with sharp, lancinating pains, as though need...
-Chicken Pox
This eruption is usually preceded by feverish symptoms. About the second or third day, the pimples become filled with a watery fluid, which is never converted into yellow matter as in the small pox; a...
-Colic
This form of disease is attended with severe pain in the bowels, nausea, and sometimes vomiting, and distention of the stomach. It is usually occasioned by some acrid substance taken into or generated...
-Consumption
Pulmonary consumption is characterized by emaciation, debility, cough, hectic fever, and purulent expectoration, night sweats, etc. One writer enumerates thirty different species of consumption; but t...
-Cholera Morbus, Diarrhea, And Dysentery
These forms of disease are considered somewhat different; but the same method of treatment may be properly applied to each. In the first stages, or in mild attacks, the diarrhea powder or syrup taken ...
-Convulsions Or Fits
Fits are occasioned by an effort of nature to overcome some obstruction. Treatment In cases of fits of every description, an injection should be administered, composed of slippery elm and antisp...
-Corns
To cure these troublesome consequences of tight shoes, avoid the first cause, or wear shoes sufficiently large for the foot, and wear a piece of India rubber over the corn, and a cure is certain. ...
-Croup
This heretofore frightful form of disease, which has ever baffled the skill of the faculty, and proved so almost universally fatal under their treatment, is generally too well known in this country, f...
-Catarrh In The Head
The glands and membranes of the head secrete a fluid to keep the mouth, nose and eyes moist, which sometimes become obstructed, causing a flow from the nostrils, makes the eyes tender, irritates the n...
-Chilblains
These are painful swellings, attended with intolerable itching, which make their appearance on the hands, feet, nose, ears, and lips, in cold weather. Treatment Bathe frequently in the rheumatic...
-Colds And Coughs
The application of cold to the body, giving a check to perspiration, is the general cause of these complaints. A cold is usually attended with difficulty of breathing, a sense of fullness and stopping...
-Costiveness
Costiveness is generally occasioned by improper food and sedentary habits; and the best remedy is to take active exercise in the open air, and live principally on coarse wheat bread, fruit, rye puddin...
-Diabetes
The diabetes is an excessive, frequent, and sometimes an involuntary flow of urine. It is accompanied with great debility, costiveness, voracious appetite, emaciation, etc. Treatment The most im...
-Delirium Tremens
This horrid disease is confined principally to those who are addicted to the free use of ardent spirits. The patient imagines he is surrounded by robbers, reptiles, or wild animals, and flies to the d...
-Dropsy
Dropsy is an accumulation of watery fluid in the cellular membrane, or any of the cavities of the body. It is caused by a weakness of the absorbent vessels, which are unable to take up the fluid and d...
-Dislocations And Fractures
Simple fractures or dislocations may be reduced by any person of common mechanical ingenuity. The first object is to relax the muscles. The world is indebted to Dr. Thomson for the best mode of accomp...
-Dyspepsia, Or Indigestion
This form of disease may depend on any cause tending to produce weakness or inaction of the stomach, or obstruction in the secretion of gastric juice or bile. It is usually attended with pain after ea...
-Erysipelas, Or St. Anthony's Fire
This form of disease sometimes attacks all parts of the body, but is usually confined to the face and extremities. The inflammation appears in a small spot, and gradually spreads to a greater or less ...
-Ear-Ache
Children are peculiarly liable to this distressing form of disease, occasioned by exposure to cold and dampness, or an abscess forming in the ear. Treatment The ear-ache may be relieved by steam...
-Falling Of The Fundament
This is often met with in children, occasioned by debility and relaxation of the parts. Treatment It should be gently replaced with the fingers, smeared in lard or sweet oil. If inflammation and...
-Felons And Whitlows
Felons and whitlows are very painful, being an inflammation of the covering membrane of the bone, and usually attack the finger joints. Treatment As soon as matter forms, an incision may be made...
-Fluor Albus, Or Whites,
Is so called from its appearance, which, though at first it is generally milky, sometimes changes to green, yellow or even brown, shows itself in an irregular discharge from the uterus and vagina. It ...
-Gout
This is a very painful form of disease, generally attacking the small joints. It usually attacks men who indulge in high living, and lead a sedentary life. A celebrated physician recommended to a pers...
-Gravel, Or Stone
The formation of small, sand-like concretions in the passage from the kidneys is called the gravel; but if they are formed of so large size that they cannot pass the ureters, or urethra, it is called ...
-Inflammation Of Any Internal Organ Or. Membrane
In all cases of internal, local inflammation, the great object to be accomplished is to equalize the circulation, which the faithful administration of full courses of medicine seldom fails to accompli...
-External Inflammation
All cases of external inflammation should be bathed often in weak lye water, or a tea of meadow fern, and poulticed with the elm poultice, omitting the ginger. If very violent, the same course should ...
-Jaundice
This form of disease is characterized by yellowness of the skin, drowsiness, pain in the right side, clay-colored stools, etc. It is occasioned by an obstruction of the bile in its passage through the...
-Measles
This form of disease is attended with feverish symptoms, hoarseness, vomiting, swelling and redness of eyes, a hoarse, dry cough, drowsiness, sneezing, and a thin, watery discharge from the eyes and n...
-Mumps
This form of disease comes on with a swelling, sometimes on one and sometimes on both sides of the face and neck, at or near the angle of the jaws. The glands begin to swell and continue to enlarge un...
-Obstructed Or Profuse Menstruation
These forms of disease are characterized by general debility, pain in the head, coldness of the extremities, palpitation of the heart, etc. Treatment The general treatment for each of these form...
-Paralysis Or Palsy
This form of disease is characterized by loss of sensibility and motion, generally of the left side, but sometimes confined to a particular part, as one or both hands, arms, or legs. It is occasioned ...
-Piles
These tumors are occasioned by the passage of hardened feces, forcing down the blood in the veins until the lining membrane is ruptured, and the blood presses out and forms small tumors; and when thes...
-Pleurisy
Pleurisy is an inflammation of the membrane that lines the internal surface of the chest, commonly affecting the right side. It is attended with acute lancinating pain in the side; hurried and painful...
-Canker Rash, Putrid Sore Throat, Scarlet Fever
These forms of disease combined, have prevailed to an alarming extent in different sections of New England, consigning to the tomb the fond hopes of many a devoted parent. Notwithstanding their alarmi...
-Rheumatism
This form of disease is usually occasioned by checking perspiration, and is most prevalent when the weather is damp and variable. The pain is very acute, and frequently changes from one part of the sy...
-Rupture Or Hernia
This is a protrusion of a portion of the bowels or omentum, forming a tumor or sack under the skin. It generally occurs at the groin and inner part of the thigh. When the portion of the bowels becomes...
-Scald-Head
This eruption usually commences with a brownish spot on some part of the head; which soon discharges matter so acrid as to excoriate the skin, and spreads so as sometimes to entirely cover the head. C...
-Scrofula Or King's Evil
The first appearance of this form of disease is commonly in small, round, movable tumors under the skin, without pain or discoloration, generally in the neck, behind the ears, and under the chin, whic...
-Small Pox
In this form of disease, the eruption appears at first in small red spots, hardly prominent, but by degrees rising into pimples. There are generally but few on the face; but even when more numerous, t...
-Sore Or Inflamed Breast
This form of disease very commonly attacks females after childbirth, and frequently results in a broken breast. Treatment Fomentation of bitter herbs and the elm poultice, with the internal use ...
-St. Vitus' Dance
This disease is characterized by the involuntary action of some of the muscles. The disease first affects the legs by a kind of lameness, and the patient drags them after him in an unusual manner, nor...
-Shingles
This form of disease is characterized by a cluster of blisters on an inflamed surface, commencing in most instances on the right side of the abdomen. It is attended with loss of appetite, lassitude, s...
-Suspended Animation From Drowning
When a person is taken out of the water soon after drowning, the face exhibits a turgid and livid appearance; the eyes are open and staring; the limbs somewhat stiff; the tongue thrust a little beyond...
-Tic Doloureux
This form of disease, though of rare occurrence, is probably the most painful of any malady that feeble nature has to contend with; and medical writers generally concur in opinion that nothing short o...
-Wounds
Wounds are divided into incised, or those done by a sharp instrument, lacerated when done by a rough instrument, punctured when done by a pointed instrument, and poisoned or gun-shot wounds. Wounds...
-White Swelling
The white swelling is a common and exceedingly painful disorder. It has been considered incurable by the faculty, who have frequently resorted to amputation as the only remedy. The knee, ankle, wri...
-Whooping Cough
This form of disease usually attacks children, occurring but once in the same individual. The cough acquires a peculiar shrill and whooping sound, in many cases almost producing suffocation. Treatm...
-Editor's Notes
In this final section of a Guide to Health, Colby rales against one of the great evils of medicine, as viewed by the Thomsonians...medical birthing. He then presents the Thomsonian methodology for n...
-Chapter I Midwifery
There is no part of the practice of medicine or surgery, in which a reform is more loudly called for, than in that of midwifery. But few are fully conscious of the unnecessary suffering and destructio...
-Chapter II. General Directions For Treatment In Child-Birth
Previous Treatment The mother's cordial, mentioned in this work, should be taken two or three weeks previous to confinement. If costive, take enough of the pills No. 1, to keep the bowels regular. ...
-Chapter III. Treatment After Delivery
Soon after the discharge of the after-birth, the mother should be got up, her clothes changed, her person washed with warm water by means of a sponge or cloth, and the bed properly arranged, into whic...
-Chapter IV. Treatment Of Children
Still Born Infants When the child does not show any signs of life, after being completely discharged, a little cool water should be dashed in the face, and along the spine, and upon the breast. If ...







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