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A Victorian Scrapbook

A Scrapbook of Newspaper Articles Compiled by George Burgess (1829-1905)

Victorian Health and Education

Doctors Disagree

The Causes and cures of Consumption (Tuberculosis - TB) with which 19th Century Doctors Disagreed.

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Transcript from original newspaper article: -
SYSTEM OF MEDICINE

May be judged of by noticing how

DOCTORS DISAGREE.

Doctors DisagreeIf we examine further the recorded opinions of physicians eminent in their profession, we will often find one claiming that the very remedies used by others as specifics are the causes of the diseases they are employed to cure. Thus Dr. Stabl attributes the frequency of consumption to the introduction of Peruvian bark, while Dr. Morton considers the bark an effectual cure for the disease. Dr. Reed ascribes the frequency of this disease to the use of mercury, while Dr. Brillonet asserts that it is only curable by mercury. Dr. Rush says consumption is an inflammatory disease, and should be treated by bleeding, purging, cooling medicines, and starvation; while Salvadore says it is a disease of debility, and should be treated by tonics, stimulating medicines, and a generous diet. Galen recommends vinegar as the best preventive of consumption. Dissault and others assert that this disease is often brought on by a common practice of young people taking vinegar to prevent obesity. Dr. Beddoes recommends foxglove as a specific in consumption; while Dr. Pan found foxglove more injurious in the practice than beneficial.

In face of such contradictory statements, is it not time to think and act for yourself? And this, my hearers, brings us to the vital question – What is it that causes most of the suffering and disease found at this time in the human system? And why is it that most of the medicines given for a cure give anything but satisfaction to the patient? As before stated, most physicians treat every ill or pain specifically, while they are only each a part of a great whole, proceeding from, or growing out of, a fundamental cause. First, the nerves, then the stomach, and, as a matter of course, the liver.


Relevant links: Diseases: Their Cause And Cure - Dr Beddoes - History of Herbal Medicine - Victorian Advertising

Doctors mentioned in the above 19th century newspaper article who disagree over the cause and cures of Consumption (TB)
Doctor Comments Aspect with which Doctors disagree on
Dr. Stabl Attributes the frequency of consumption to the introduction of Peruvian bark. Peruvian bark
Dr. Samuel George Morton (1799-1851) American Considers the Peruvian bark an effectual cure for consumption.

Dr. Reed Ascribes the frequency of consumption to the use of mercury. Mercury
Dr. Brillonet Asserts that consumption is only curable by mercury.

Dr. Rush Says consumption is an inflammatory disease, and should be treated by bleeding, purging, cooling medicines, and starvation. Dietary
Salvadore Says consumption is a disease of debility, and should be treated by tonics, stimulating medicines, and a generous diet.

Galen Recommends vinegar as the best preventive of consumption Vinegar
Dissault Assert that consumption is a disease often brought on by a common practice of young people taking vinegar to prevent obesity.

Dr. Thomas Beddoes (1760-1808) English Recommends foxglove as a specific in consumption. Foxglove (Digitalis)
Dr. Pan Found foxglove more injurious in the practice than beneficial.