Sunday, September 03, 2006

Health Issues

Health advice from 1860s doctors:

1. Avoid use of ardent spirits (alcoholic beverages).

2. Do not drink very cold water. Cool water is best.

3. Tea, coffee and chocolate are best at meals.

4. Do not overeat and limit between meal eating.

5. Wear flannel in all weather conditions.

6. Wash clothes regularly or hang them in the sun.

7. Have a bed of hay, straw, or other such material for sleeping on. Avoid bare ground.

8. Sleep as much as possible.

9. Make sure there is a fire after rain and damp weather.

10. Wash entire body whenever possible with soap and water.

11. Wear a white flannel around the bowels if disease prevails (the book never said which disease).

12. Keep in open air but not in direct sunlight.

13. Wear shoes with thick soles.

14. Wear a silk handkerchief in your hat in order to prevent sun stroke.

15. Never eat a heavy meal before a march or a battle.

16. Coffee is a great restorative after a march or battle.

17. Never sleep without a cover.

18. If you must drink brandy, do so after a march or battle.

19. Drink as little as possible, even water.

20. If a wound is jetting blood, that means an artery is cut. Tie a handkerchief between the wound and the heart or else the wounded man will die. Use a stick or other thin device to tighten the handkerchief.

21. For a wound in the abdomen, make the wounded man comfortable, for this is fatal.

22. A full beard will give protection against dust and cold. Also will aid perspiration.

23. Avoid fats.

24. Keep your hair cut short and wash the scalp every morning.

25. Wear wool socks and loose shoes.

26. Keep toe and finger nails cut.

27. Wash feet in the evening and the hands and face in the mornings. This will keep the skin soft.
28. When hurt, the best position is on the back with the head elevated.

29. Put a coat on after a march to avoid a cold.

30. Get water to an injured person immediately. If you have no vessel, tie your shirt into a bag and use that.

31. If you are wet, keep moving and you will be all right.

32. If your cooking water comes from a pond or a sluggish stream, boil it, let it cool, and then stir it to get oxygen into it.

33. If you wear garish clothes in battle, you will be more likely to be hit.

34. Envelop a canteen with a wet woolen cloth to chill the water.

35. During a rest stop in the march, lie down. You will get more rest.

36. A tablespoon of cornmeal in a glass of water will aid in “evacuation of the bowels.”

37. Loose bowels is the first step toward cholera and the remedy is a diet of boiled rice. If it’s an advanced case, wrap the abdomen tightly in flannel.

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