Monday, January 30, 2017

Blood Poison: So Easy To Cure!

Blood poison was often used during the 1800's and into the early 1900's as a general wastebasket diagnosis to explain many common nonserious and serious conditions. Although blood poison, in those days, could mean the same thing as an infection of the blood introduced through a wound, it was just as often a way of saying "it's in your blood." there was little evidence to support these diagnoses.

Something being "in your blood" would seem easier to deal with than something that is not only in the circulating blood, but also in the lymphs and tissues. So, you can see the motivation for such a diagnosis: "It's in your blood and we can easily get it out of your blood."

However, at the same time, such bloodpoisoningg was used to explain condidtions that obviously manifested in the tissues. For example, the above advertisement for Dr. Brown's Blood Poison cure claims that people with pimples, ulcers, spots on the skin, etc. often have blood poison, "the worst disease on Earth." But...easy to cure!

There was little attempt to describe exactly what had "poisoned" the blood, yet this unknown infections or poisonous substance in the blood was easily cured by patent medicines. Such wastebaskets diagnosis still exist today, but were very prevelant during the 17th century. They were used as a 'catch-all' when no other specific problem could be found.

People would often diagnose themsevles with "blood poisining." Anything that was painful and swollen would be deemed a case of blood poison and there were many home cures, usually poultices, claimed to take care of these cases in a few hours. These were of course, simply local reactions to a wound or something as simple as a splinter, which, as we all know, can be quite painful and red, but certainly not usually deadly.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Chlorine As a Medicine

Most of us use bleach quite often to either clean and sanitize our homes or to whiten our whites. Household bleach is actually sodium hypochlorite but the basis is chlorine.

Chlorine is a bactericidal AND a virucide. In other words, it will effectively kill many bacteria and viruses. So, can you blame the patent medicine industry for thinking that chlorine should be effective at fighting and preventing colds, whooping cough, and all sorts of other ailments.

Well, yes, you can blame them since real science is based on experimentation, not assumption. Yet, sure enough, there were patent medicines based on chlorine that claimed to prevent colds and cure and prevent all sorts of diseases and conditions. Undoubtedly, chlorine would effectively kill some pathogens in the body. Household bleach kills HIV, for instance. The problem is, of course, it would poison your body in large enough amounts to actually be effective. Some even say that the small amount of chlorine used to sanitize our water supply is killing us. 

The advertisement above reads:

"New CHLORINE Discovery Brings INSTANT Relief. Discovered during the war, the curative value of Chlorine has been thoroughly tested by U.S. Military Medical Authorities. In 4,491 army cases of colds and other respiratory diseases it proved 94 percent effective!

Chlorine is pleasant, safe, and tremendously helpful in preventing as well as healing. It actually destroys the germs that produce the cold--thus banishing ailments which, if unchecked, often lead to serious diseases and large medical bills. 

There is no mystery about the new Chlorine treatment, but it must be administered by registered physicians who have the finely adjusted apparatus necessary to assure quick benefits. 

Write for FREE book, "Cold Facts," giving the complete story of new Chlorine Treatment as dispensed by registered physicians in New York at 136 W. 42d St., daily from 10 A.M. to 6.30 P.M. and Sundays 10 to 12..."

This is a bit of a departure from the usual advertisement. Here, a group of "physicians" is claiming to dispense this chlorine "with finely tuned apparatus." Chances are, no actual chlorine was being dispenced, or it was a solution with such a small amount of chlorine as to be completely useless. Any large amount, of course, would not be 'pleasant.'  This is not to say that chlorine was not used as a medicine. 

As far as the U.S. military testing chlorine, well this is true. Chlorine was tested, and is still used today, to disinfect water in the field. Today, this is done with chlorine dioxide tablets.