Leeches? 5 Old Pioneer Remedies Still In Use Today
Medicine has come a long way since the pioneers trekked across America and into the deserts of Utah. From a book that was written earlier this century tells this story:
Once the child of a Mormon pioneer asked her mother, “What did you do when we got sick?” Unhesitatingly came the reply, “Well, I would give you a teaspoonful of cold water and ask God to bless you.”
There weren’t a lot of solutions back then, especially on the frontier. However, there are some remedies from those days that are still being used today. Here are five surprising treatments from that era.
1. Leeches. These little blood suckers were used by the Egyptians 3,000 years ago and are still being used today for in plastic surgery and microsurgery. They are inexpensive and useful in certain situations.
2. Aspirin. I was surprised to learn this pain reliever has been on the market since 1899. They used it back then for the same things we do, pain relief and to help with blood clots and heart problems.
3. Nitroglycerin. This is not the version that explodes. The medicine was used clear back to 1867 to treat angina. It is still being used to relieve heart pain today.
4. Insulin. It goes back to 1869. It came into use for diabetes in 1920.
5. Morphine. I didn’t realize they discovered morphine way back in 1827. It is still in use today although very carefully as it can be highly addictive.
It is a blessing to have so many medicines available, but it may not be a bad idea every once in a while, to give a teaspoon of cold water and ask for a blessing from God. Especially if it is the old "my stomach aches and I can’t go to school" scenario.
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Gallery Credit: Bethany Adams