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Medicine In The Colonial Times By: Anna Chessky 7 C 3 – ID 4 The sickness the fever the headaches the doctors the settlers the germs the dirt the loses and the MEDICINE
What do we American do when we get sick? We start to sneeze and then a cough follows. We are sick! You are probably thinking that you should go to the doctor where he would prescribe you some antibiotics. Yah! You will no longer be sick and have a scratchy throat. I should probably go to the doctor
• The colonists did a poor job at sanitizing their household, communities, and even their bodies. • Colonists had no toilet or running water! When the colonists decided to create a settlement didn’t they consider calling a plumber? I mean where were they planning to potty!
Their toilet was either a chamber pot they kept under beds or what they called a privy. (A privy was an outdoor toilet made of wood or brick. ) The colonists got their “fresh, clean” water from the well. Drinking wells were contaminated by discarding toilet waste into streams and creeks.
The Privy The Well
Colonists worked long and hard hours trading, crowing crops, etc. They often did not having the proper nutrition to function. Fruits and vegetables were not always available. It all depending on the growing season. With the lack of rest, insufficient amount of nutrition, poor sanitary conditions, Indian attacks did many colonists get sick.
v Colonials did bath for long periods. They felt that bathing washed away the layer of dirt that was their protection against germs and disease. When they did bathe, it consisted of washing with a cloth dipped into a basin of water. v As we know today, this behavior could actually spread germs and bacteria instead of ridding them. v. Warning: Parents don’t share this information with your KIDS they tend to follow the colonists behavior! Mom I don’t need to take showers anymore!
Why didn’t colonist know more about the human body? At this point in history people didn’t know a lot about the body. You can tell because they felt that covering themselves in dirt w as a healthy option to protect against germs. No medical college existed in the colonies before the Revolution. The sick were primarily treated by their family. The Mom was the designated "doctor" of the house. Some families would write to England to for medical advice. It was only in 1769 that Doctors were first recognized.
• Most colonists had a large supply of different medicinal herbs and herbal remedies • Some families would write to England to for medical advice. • The most popular herbs were garlic, onion, sage, rosemary, thyme and parsley. Garlic Sage Onion
Rosemary Parsley Thyme
Which Herbs Were Used And Why? • CATNIP : Catnip was used for head colds and stomachaches. • CHAMOMILE: The flowers were cooked to provoke sweat and expel colds and aches. “ CHIVES: Still in great use today, chives were found in cooking and flower arrangements as well as for medicinal use. Garlic and onions are used as remedies against every disease and said to protect children against evil spirits. • DILL: Dill comes from the Norse word "dilla, " and means "to calm to sleep. " It was also used for hiccups and to strengthen the brain. • HYSSOP: When hyssop leaves where soaked in oil it was then used to treat lice which was very common. These leaves were also applied to arthritic joints.
• MINT: The most popular, spearmint, was drunk as a tea to comfort the nerves. • PARSLEY: Its roots were boiled to remove to promote urine production. • ROSE OF SHARON: This herb was valued for its "slimy quality" and used to cancel out hard tumors and ease pain as a local compress made from the boiled root. • ROSEMARY: This herb was applied to restore eyesight and remove spots and scars on the skin. Rosemary compresses and oils were used for the head and heart to relieve painful joints and muscles. • THYME: The species of thyme grown by the colonists was a wild variety that survived the cold winters. It was used for fevers and toothaches.
CHAMOMILE Catnip CHIVES ROSE OF SHARON Dill MINT
What happened if the diseases were more severe and herbs would not help the sick being? Common Diseases: Smallpox is caused by a virus called variola. When a being has this type of illness its body it covered with small blisters. Smallpox is very contagious. Chilblain appears when a human is exposed to extreme low temperatures. The person's hands and feet start to swell up. Pneumonia is a lung infection. It will appear as a cough, high fever, and you will experience a hard time berthing. Scarlet Fever is when a person experiences strep throat. Rickets is a disease of the bones caused from lack of calcium or vitamin D in their diet. caused by feces contaminated Cholera causes severe diarrhea, vomiting, and muscle cramps. The severe dehydration that occurs leads to shock and death. Diphtheria is spread by infected milk and causes extreme difficulty in breathing, a high fever and weakness.
• Doctors were brought as a last resort! • Doctors often used leeches. Leeches would stick onto your skin and drink your blood. Doctors believed the leeches would suck out the excess blood and the sickness as well. • If the sickness needed extreme measures than the ill person would be bled more by opening a vein and letting it drip into a bowl. This was called bloodletting! • If a doctor was not around than this would have been done by the barber. Fun Fact: The barber would act like a dentist by pulling the infected tooth.
Did the doctors know that they were killing their patients? • As you know doctors didn’t know much about the human body. They believed that the human body had 12 quarts of blood in it. • The truth is that we humans have only 6 quarts of blood in the human body! • Sometimes the doctor or barber took out so much blood that they brought the patient to the point of death! Fun Fact ( not funny!): George Washington had an infection in his throat and was bleed until 4 ½ quarts was in a bowl in one day. He died right after this treatment!
225 men came from London to settle in Jamestown, Virginia. Out of those 225, seven were practitioners of medicine. The mortar and pestle was the symbol of pharmacy for centuries. The mortar and pestle was an important tool in the preparation of medicines and was found in many sizes and materials. You would mix and powder many herbs for medicine.
The Importance Of A Doctor! Doctors often took care of broken bones, prescribed herbs and hard liqueur, and vanquished evil spirits. The doctor was highly respected by all classes and households. The doctor was present at every birth and every funeral. He sat with the minister at the death bed of every human and put his name with that of the lawyer to every will. As you can see doctors are still important today for they can save our lives.
• When you come into a doctor’s office don’t worry about sanitization or the amount of knowledge they have. • If it wasn’t for the colonists doctors wouldn’t have learned from their mistakes.
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