Catalogue


Can onions cure ear-ache? : medical advice from 1769 /
by William Buchan ; edited by Melanie King ; [foreword by Robert Winston].
imprint
Oxford : Bodleian Library, 2012.
description
xvii, 190 p. : ill. ; 21 cm.
ISBN
1851243828 (hbk.), 9781851243822 (hbk.)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
added author
uniform title
imprint
Oxford : Bodleian Library, 2012.
isbn
1851243828 (hbk.)
9781851243822 (hbk.)
catalogue key
8886583
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [183]-184) and index.
A Look Inside
Reviews
Review Quotes
Buchan's focus on family, the value of love, the destructive nature of anger and its management, child-care, diet and exer¬cise are all commendable - though why he, like other contemporaries, thought the night air was injurious is a mystery.
Buchan's focus on family, the value of love, the destructive nature of anger and its management, child-care, diet and exercise are all commendable - though why he, like other contemporaries, thought the night air was injurious is a mystery.
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
Although plenty of Dr Buchan's advice is still sound today, much is amusing, and some is downright dangerous. This edited selection from one of the first medical self-help manuals gives a fascinating insight into popular treatments of the 18th century, derived both from folklore and the emerging medical science of the day.
Main Description
What common condition can be treated with cow dung? How do crushed oystershells ease heartburn? Can eels cure deafness? And how do you stop a stubborn case of the hiccups? If someone was struck down by illness or injury in the late eighteenth century, the chances are that they would have referred to William Buchan's Domestic Medicine - with the result that they might have found themselves drinking a broth made from sheep brain or administering drops of urine in their ears. The book's author, a Scottish physician, published his self-help manual in 1769 specifically for the benefit of people who were unable readily to access or afford medical assistance. Copies could be found in coffee-houses, in apothecary shops and private households, and in 1789 Fletcher Christian and his fellow mutineers took the sensible precaution of grabbing the copy from HMS Bounty before they fled to Pitcairn Island. Much of Dr Buchan's advice on how to live a healthy life and avoid disease is still sound and relevant today, such as eating a varied and healthy diet, breathing plenty of fresh air, and taking exercise. Many of his prescriptions are amusing when viewed in retrospect, such as his fondness for powdered Spanish fly and genital trusses. Other recommendations - bleeding a woman experiencing a difficult childbirth or administering mercury to treat numerous ailments - were downright dangerous. This edited selection of entries from one of the first medical self-help manuals gives a fascinating insight into popular treatments of the eighteenth century, derived both from folklore and the emerging medical science of the day.
Main Description
What common condition was once treated with cow dung? How might oyster shells relieve heartburn? Can eels really cure deafness? Is the secret to stopping a stubborn case of hiccups a simple ingredient found in most pantries? If you were struck by illness or injury in the late eighteenth century, you would most likely have been referred to Scottish physician William Buchan's Domestic Medicine --and, as a result, you may have found yourself administering urine to your ears or drinking a broth made from sheep's brains. Originally published in 1769, Domestic Medicine was produced for the benefit of those without access to--or means to afford--medical assistance, and copies of the book were found in apothecaries and coffee houses, private households and clubs. In 1797, Bounty mutineer Fletcher Christian and his crew even had the foresight to pack a copy before fleeing to the Pitcairns. Derived from folklore and the emerging medical science of the day, some of Buchan's recommendations for how to live a healthy life still ring true: for instance, exercising, enjoying a varied diet, and getting an abundance of fresh air. Others are delightfully dodgy or even downright dangerous, such as genital trusses, the prescription of mercury, or the suggestion that Spanish fly might soothe aching joints. Bringing together an exceedingly entertaining selection of entries from one of the earliest self-help books, Can Onions Cure Ear-ache? offers fascinating insight into the popular treatments of the time.
Main Description
What common condition was once treated with cow dung? How might oyster shells relieve heartburn? Can eels really cure deafness? Is the secret to stopping a stubborn case of hiccups a simple ingredient found in most pantries? If you were struck by illness or injury in the late eighteenth century, you would most likely have been referred to Scottish physician William Buchan's Domestic Medicine -and, as a result, you may have found yourself administering urine to your ears or drinking a broth made from sheep's brains. Originally published in 1769, Domestic Medicine was produced for the benefit of those without access to-or means to afford-medical assistance, and copies of the book were found in apothecaries and coffee houses, private households and clubs. In 1797, Bounty mutineer Fletcher Christian and his crew even had the foresight to pack a copy before fleeing to the Pitcairns. Derived from folklore and the emerging medical science of the day, some of Buchan's recommendations for how to live a healthy life still ring true: for instance, exercising, enjoying a varied diet, and getting an abundance of fresh air. Others are delightfully dodgy or even downright dangerous, such as genital trusses, the prescription of mercury, or the suggestion that Spanish fly might soothe aching joints. Bringing together an exceedingly entertaining selection of entries from one of the earliest self-help books, Can Onions Cure Ear-ache? offers fascinating insight into the popular treatments of the time.

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