We have very few real and certian specifics for the cure of particular diseases. The great boast of the medical profession is of its power to stop" chills and fever " and control other kinds of malarial attacks with quinine, and with some other preparations from the same source, namely, the Peruvian 500
Bark. Syphilis is, undoubtedly, curable in the large majority of cases, timely attended to, by the skilful use of two remedies, mercury (various preparations) and iodide of potassium. Itch is always conquerable by a sufficient application of sulphur, in ointment or otherwise.
Scurvy is curable, without much aid from medicines (tonics if any) by fresh vegetable food; as potatoes, onions, oranges, lemons, etc. Inflammatory rheumatism is beneficially influenced by salicylic acid and alkalies (potassa, soda, lithia) ; as gout has been long known to be by colchicum.
Besides antidotes for actual poisons, and medicines which kill or drive out worms from the bowels, we cannot claim any other clear examples of special remedies for particular diseases. It used to be said that iodine is a certain cure for goitre (enlargement of the thyroid gland in the neck). It is no doubt generally serviceable in that affection; but it will not always cure it. Quinine does not always cure ague. It "breaks" the chills, but in one, two, or three weeks they may come again ; and the cure then has to be finished by a month or two of a course of iron.
There has not yet been discovered any specific remedy for scarlet fever, measles, whooping-cough, small-pox, typhoid or typhus fever, yellow fever, or cholera. All these diseases must be, therefore, conducted through the attack as safely as possible; meeting the symptoms as they occur, with the most reasonable measures we know of.