Dash my wig! Are you feeling unwell? – a guest post by Anna Humphrey

Also known as…a blog post on Victorian era medicine.

Why is that, you may ask? Because the current project (MIDNIGHT HOUR, a Victoriana horror/scifi with steampunk elements) involves a couple of doctors (among other things) and so I’ve been reading up on the Victorian age and come up with some interesting, fun little facts that a) are useful for the novel, and b) that you, dearest reader, can use to impress at cocktail parties.

You know you will. Don’t give me that look.

My major Bible for this project is this wonderful “Encyclopedia of Health & Home” from 1898.  And various places on the internet. So here are a few interesting things I’ve learned so far:

-Artificial respiration was in full-use, in much the same way as I was taught when I did my Bronze Medallion/Cross (I once thought I’d work as a lifeguard. I learned very quickly that this was a Bad Idea. 😛 )
-ice cream was a remedy for hiccups. So was a teaspoon of vinegar. Take your pick.
-if you are suffering from a cough and cold, try boiling together flax seed, dry hoarhound (strong-smelling hairy plant of the mint family, thank you Wikipedia), and water. Add lemon and licorice and there you go!
-witch hazel extract was used for cleaning wounds.
-if your nose is runny, try sniffing a mouldy sock. Conversely, you might also try drinking hot whisky. (Whisky, please)

So there you go. Short, sweet, hopefully mildly entertaining.

…and if you drink too much at that cocktail party, you might try warm milk mixed with fireplace ash for the hangover.

You’re welcome. 😉

Anna F. Humphrey can be found musing, riffing, dancing, etc at afhumphrey.wordpress.com

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