So I own a replica of the 1899 Merck Manual (of Diagnosis and so forth).
I know how we get frustrated with modern medicine.
So, from 1899, courtesy Merck...
Note: The modern Merck Manual is well over 1000 pages. The original 1899? About the size of two iphones stacked atop each other. Maybe.
For the classic "dyspepsia", or "indigestion", which back then covered acid reflux and flatulence alike (tho' the latter were called "vapors" in nice company)... Let's see... Indication (disease) is dyspepsia, so let's recommend the materia medica (drug)... ARSENIC for stomachs irritated by eating or, and I quote, "diarrhea excited by food". (We'd call that IBS these days.) Well, I concede, arsenic will cure your stomach. It kills you eventually. And gives you enough other pain on the way that your indigestion is really not your biggest concern anymore. Hmm.
Wonder why herpes is still around? Well, in 1899 they prescribed... ew... yep, arsenic. Again. Oh, or iron *arsenate*. Yep, that kills... no, it really doesn't. God bless antibiotics.
Inflammation is a fun list. It starts with aspirin (acid, salicylic, described as, quote, "most valuable"). It ends with water (as cold compresses). Wow. Medicine. It's come so far. In between? Hops, ice, mercury (yep, that mercury), *lead*, arsenic *again*, and leeches. I wish I jested.
For "neuralgia" --- pretty much any pain you can imagine back in those days though we usually use it these days for only face pain. Yes, you guessed it! Arsenic! Geez. Also belladonna --- known as deadly nightshade or atropine! --- and cannabis (yep, marijuana), along with cocaine (?!) and this gem: Potassium cyanide. ... Uh... Yeah, you'll never feel much again after that last one. Potassium cyanide?! Oh, and strychnine. Well, you'll feel nothing ever again. Of course, other solutions were "oil of mustard seed" and "oil of cloves (for masticatory neuralgia)". Oh, also pepermint. B/c, y'know.
Yes, opium is also prescribed for neuralgia, if you can find it in the list between lethal substances.
The cures for "insomnia" include coffee, and "cold douche". And there I stopped reading, for obvious reasons. OMG. THat's not making me sleep. Nope nope nope. Of course a "tartaric acid emetic to purge heaviness of the brain, which opium can cause" is also recommended.
And on that readjusted perspective, I think I'll quit bitching about Celebrex...
May you have a merry Monday:-)
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