Within the interior of bones from a newly-slaughtered animal, there is found a soft tissue possessing salutary virtues, whether this is obtained from the cylindrical hollow of long bone shafts, or from the cancellated interior of flat bones. Ordinary marrow from the former source is a soft yellow solid, consisting of about ninety-five per cent of fat; whilst the red bone marrow from the flat bones of the skull, breast, ribs, and spine, is softer, and contains very few fat cells, but numerous marrow cells, and others resembling the nucleated red corpuscles of the unborn infant. The spinal marrow is a tissue of an entirely different character from the marrow of the bones, whether long, or flat. It is found in the perpendicular cavity running throughout the chain of the spinal column, or divisions of the backbone. Said Browning of Sordello: -

"He was fresh-sinewed, every joint, Each bone new-marrowed, as whom Gods anoint, Though mortal, to their rescue".

"Marrow," quoth Dr. Tobias Venner,"in Via Recta (1620), "is much more laudable than the braine, for it is sweeter, and pleasanter, of a firmer substance, and of an hot and moist temperature; it maketh much good, and pure nourishment; it increaseth the geniture, and excellently sustaineth, and restoreth the vitall moisture. Moreover, it mollifieth the passages of the throat, and lenifieth the asperitie of it, and delighteth the stomacke, so that it be moderately taken; but if it be immoderately used, it mollifieth and relaxeth the stomacke, taketh away the appetite, and induceth a disposition to vomit".

Within the last few years our modern physicians have likewise learnt that animal marrow possesses special reparative powers for ailing and weakly persons who lack spinal strength, and red blood. Physiologists now teach that the red marrow within the flat bones is undeniably the birth-place of the red blood corpuscles as regards ourselves, and they make use of such red marrow from sound animals, freshly killed, for administering to bloodless patients, so as to stimulate their fresh blood formation. The animal marrow further contains some iron in a natural state, and fat in an easily assimilated form. Rapid improvement has been obtained for children by giving red bone marrow in rickets, spinal curvature, and diseases of the bones. Sheep's marrow includes less solid fat, and more liquid fat than that of the ox. The marrow of bones is esteemed as a luxury even among savages. North American Indians hold it in high respect. They roast the round bones of the buffalo, elk, moose, and the deer, on the coals, then split these bones with a stone hatchet, and sometimes a wedge is driven in between the condyles. The marrow is scooped out with a rough wooden spoon, and eaten on the instant by the members of the party seated around the camp fire.

Moreover, during the hunting season, marrow is collected by them in quantity for storing, and is packed in bladders, together with other marrow from the spinal bones. Likewise, among the Laplanders, and the Greenlanders, marrow, still warm from the natural heat of a freshly-slaughtered animal, is considered a supreme delicacy, and the dish of honour to be set before distinguished strangers.

Among Secrets in Physick and Chirurgery (1653) by the Right Honourable Countesse of Kent, there is given as "a strengthening meat: take potato roots, roast them, or bake them, then pill them, and slice them into a dish; put to it lumps of raw marrow, and a few currants, also a little whole mace, and sweeten it with sugar to your taste, and so eat it instead of buttered parsnips".

In the Arcana Fairfaxiana Manuscripta, nearly three centuries old, is ordered "a caudle to strengthen ye backe." "Take ye pith of an oxe-back, a good quantity. Wash it, clean, and dry it; take ye skinne off, and beat it, and strain it with wine, or ale; take two spoonfuls of oatmeal searced (sifted), and juice of comfer (comfrey), and clary, knottgrass and plantain; take half a pinte of their juice, ye yolkes of two egges; make it in ye form of a caudle. Season it with cinnamon, and nutmeg, and sugar." Cooks of to-day find that the distinguishing virtues of marrow on toast are emphasized by adding a few drops of the best anchovy sauce. Beef marrow remains fluid at a lower temperature than any of the ordinary animal fats, so that it is more readily absorbed into the system as nutritive food.

Recently there has been introduced by the manufacturing chemists an excellent combination of red bone marrow, malt extract, fresh eggs, including the shells for their lime salts, and fresh lemon-juice. In the seventeenth century the Restoration of the Royalty after the end of the Commonwealth, brought with it a revival of French cookery, under the guidance of Giles Rose, chief cook to Charles II. He restored marrow pies, and bacon tarts, but only for a short time, since when they have disappeared. The modern way for obtaining marrow dietetically is to take a split beef marrow bone, remove the marrow, and put this into a stewpan with enough cold water to cover it; add a little salt, and just scald it; next take it up, and cut it through into nice thick slices about a quarter of an inch thick; the marrow thus prepared may then be used for cooking, or other service. Quite lately a claim for bone marrow (as chemically myocene) is advanced by certain doctors, to be employed towards curing middle-ear deafness, such marrow being antiseptic, and "an internal secretion of vital importance to the economy." It is said to be powerfully remedial against the injurious action of various bacteria which invade, and become morbidly active within the body, and set up mischief such as the deafness in question, if a deficiency of this internal secretion occurs.

The bone-marrow oil is likewise to be employed topically within the ear, together with the use of gentle massage.