nos-trum. pronunciation: \nos'-trum\. noun. Etymology: Latin, neuter of noster our, ours.
1. a medicine of secret composition recommended by its preparer but usually without scientific proof of its effectiveness.
2. a usually questionable remedy or scheme.
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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Medicine In History. The Fate Of Charles II

 
Medicine in History.  Officially Charles II died of complications of a stroke.  I wonder...

And, admit it, we've come far since then.  At least we now recognize the difference between science and woo...sometimes.

I take that back.

When King Charles II fell ill on the morning of February 2, 1685, a team of six doctors were immediately at his side--and it might have been the worst thing to ever happen to him.  The following are some of the procedures used on the king:

-They let (drained) sixteen ounces of blood.
-In order to "stimulate the system," they applied heated cups to the skin that formed large round blisters.
-They let eight more ounces of blood.
-They induced vomiting to cleanse his stomach, gave him an enema to purify his bowels, and made him swallow a purgative to evacuate his intestines.

This type of torturous treatment continued for four days.  More bleedings, more blistering, more purging, more vomiting, more enemas, a concoction made from pigeon droppings, a cure of "40 drops of extract of human skull" of a man who had met a violent death, a force-feeding of the gallstone of a goat, and finally, "extracts of all the herbs and animals of the kingdom."  The result? The king died.  In comparison, dealing an HMO sounds pretty good.
--from Stupid History: Tales of Stupidity, Strangeness, and Mythconceptions Throughout the Ages, by Leland Gregory, Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2007.

A very entertaining book.  Recommended.  Amazon has it here.
 
 
Doc D

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