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A couple months ago, Will surprised me with a present. It was a book of old medical treatments from 1916. It was only about $2 at a used book store! As I paged through and saw information on mercury as a treatment against diseases such as syphilis (with a caution for use in large doses), I was inspired to pull out our other books from the early 20th century and see what they say about certain areas of medicine. It is fascinating to see not only how much is different, but also how long we have had a firm understanding of something.
Many of these books are on marriage and keeping the home. Interestingly, all of these marriage and home books have a large section on reproduction. They span almost 40 years of publishing, so it is very cool to watch science grow in understanding over the year. However, they also had a pretty firm grasp on it early on, so much stays constant. My personal favorite is the Illustrated Encyclopedia of Sex, which actually is mostly about the reproductive system and its health.
Because I find these books so fascinating, once a month I am going to pick a health topic out of them and write about what was believed at the time versus what is believed now (both conventionally and in the holistic world). It is important for you to know that I do not have a medical degree. The information presented in these posts is not to be taken as medical advice, simply interesting information. If you are interested in implementing any of the modern teachings, please consult a doctor or holistic practitioner first. And I say modern because, please, do not take mercury to treat your syphilis.
Also, I would not recommend taking subcutaneous brandy. Like I said, I’m not a doctor, but injecting brandy under the skin just really does not seem like a good idea to me. (In the book Will got me, it recommends brandy or whiskey to promote appetite)
Now, I’m sure you are curious about the books that I will be using for these series. Below is a list, and any modern sources will be listed in the applicable post.
- Maier, Walter A., PhD For Better, Not For Worse. 3rd ed. St. Louis, MO.: Concordia House, 1939. Print. (A book on Christian marriage, Lutheran)
- Shattuck, George Cheever, M.D. Principles of Medical Treatment,. 3rd ed. Boston: W.M. Leonard, 1916. Print. (The old medical book Will bought me)
- Van De Velde, Th. H., M.D. Ideal Marriage: Its Physiology & Technique. London: William Heinemann, 1928. Print. (Largely about sex and reproduction, with information about both physical and emotional hygeine)
- Willy, A., M.D., L. Vander, M.D., and O. Fisher, M.D. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Sex,. New York: Cadillac Pub., 1950. Print. (Primarily focused on the reproductive systems)
I hope you enjoy this series as much as I enjoy doing the research for them. If there is any topic you would like me to specifically address, let me know!
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