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“Hold a live Puppy constantly on the Belly.”
October 29, 2013 1:09 PM   Subscribe

In the late 1740s, John Wesley—a British evangelist and the co-founder of Methodism—published Primitive Physick, or, An Easy and Natural Method of Curing Most Diseases. The tome gave regular people ways to cure themselves, using items they could find in their own homes. - Here are some of his suggested home remedies.
posted by The Whelk (56 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh, for a thousand dungs to fling.
posted by jquinby at 1:16 PM on October 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


dried toad pills!
posted by elizardbits at 1:18 PM on October 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Obamacare has gone too far this time.
posted by dr_dank at 1:18 PM on October 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


So all along the Bursar had asthma I guess.
posted by elizardbits at 1:18 PM on October 29, 2013 [11 favorites]


“Hold a live Puppy constantly on the Belly.”

"Is there any gold hidden in the village? Silver? Is there, boy? C'mon. C'mon. Oh, there's a good boy. Awww...."
posted by maryr at 1:19 PM on October 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


Sounds reasonable.
posted by The Deej at 1:20 PM on October 29, 2013


You could fill a couple of Sawbones episodes with this!
posted by kmz at 1:21 PM on October 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


A great proponent of nostril-based medicine. Wesley would have loved cocaine.
posted by Iridic at 1:21 PM on October 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Fine, but what was his stance on vaccines?
posted by saladin at 1:24 PM on October 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Huh. My grandmother always had me sniff hot vinegar (the scent, not the liquid) when I had a nosebleed, and it did help. Presumably it acts as an astringent on any blood vessels run amok. Granted, that's a much tamer version of "steep[ing] a linnen rag in sharp vinegar, burn[ing] it, and blow[ing] it up the nose with a Quill."
posted by fraula at 1:26 PM on October 29, 2013


“Hold a live Puppy constantly on the Belly.”

Also works with kittens, chinchillas, and bunnies.
posted by blue_beetle at 1:27 PM on October 29, 2013 [8 favorites]


I don't see how holding a puppy's belly is going to help me?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 1:31 PM on October 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


In the dismal future there will be lists about our ignorance relative to the future's science. Top of that list will be our refusal to believe in the curative property of holding puppies.
posted by munchingzombie at 1:32 PM on October 29, 2013 [9 favorites]


The soft, squirmy cuteness of the the puppy will make you forget that you're having a violent colick? Works for a lot of things, including hangovers!
posted by ninazer0 at 1:33 PM on October 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Puppy tummys absolutely do have magical healing powers.

also their little feeties and snuffly noses
posted by elizardbits at 1:38 PM on October 29, 2013 [14 favorites]


Has anyone ever gotten sicker as a result of holding a puppy?

I rest my case.
posted by The Whelk at 1:39 PM on October 29, 2013 [16 favorites]


In the future a puppy's saliva will be the last effective antibiotic.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 1:40 PM on October 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


But what kind of toasted cheese should I apply to a deep cut? Is it okay if I just microwave it for a minute?
posted by Aversion Therapy at 1:41 PM on October 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sterile Cheese is my next jam band.
posted by The Whelk at 1:43 PM on October 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


On the upside, now I know what an "ague" is. Next time I've got one of the fuckers I'll be able to bitch about it in a properly anachronistic fashion.
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 1:43 PM on October 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


There's nothing that a good gentle vomit can't fix.
posted by dr_dank at 1:44 PM on October 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


"lurgy" is good word too.
posted by The Whelk at 1:45 PM on October 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


ACTUALLY I think maybe I got sick when a bortadella-having puppy sneezed directly into my open shrieking mouth

no lesson was learned that day
posted by elizardbits at 1:46 PM on October 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


I have found that a live puppy or grown dog can cure a broken heart, a negative view of the future or human potential, and any amount of broken self-esteem, regardless of where it's held.

Mind you, I was raised a Calvinist, so the scent of popcorn paws was predestined to be thus for me from the beginning of time.
posted by sonascope at 1:46 PM on October 29, 2013 [6 favorites]


What amuses me is that an actual cure for gout had already been found over a thousand years earlier, but he's still trying to get people to strap a steak to their foot and stand in a hot bucket of water all night.

Although he might have invented sous vide cooking by mistake there.
posted by w0mbat at 1:46 PM on October 29, 2013 [10 favorites]


Well it's not like holding a puppy on your belly would hurt...
posted by Naberius at 1:46 PM on October 29, 2013


sous feet
posted by Hairy Lobster at 1:52 PM on October 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


But what kind of toasted cheese should I apply to a deep cut?

Ague-da?
Pain-eer?
Danish Blue-Cross Blue-Shield?
Finger cot-swald?
Ill-chester?
Stenton?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 1:58 PM on October 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


I know, I know, we shouldn't hold past generations to the standards of evidence or expectations of critical thinking that seem obvious to us today, but. . . .

This medical "knowledge" is some seriously self-deluded arrogant bullshit. I wish I could go back in time and troll Wesley hard. He's just making stuff up.
posted by General Tonic at 1:59 PM on October 29, 2013


"... a small Bit of Bread..."

:|

"... dipt in Wine..."

:)

"... applied to the Nostrils..."

:(
posted by Hairy Lobster at 2:00 PM on October 29, 2013 [10 favorites]


Oh, a live puppy. That's why my iliac passions have not yet subsisted.

And I was about to smirk at the URL for the book (archive.org/details/2576064R.nlm.nih.gov - hah, stupid National Institutes of Health, relying on ancient tomes!) until I realized it was from the National Library of Medicine in their digital collection, and I was happy to come across hours of distractions.

Behold: How to make a city cholera-proof - chase out cholera and filth with sanitas, science, aqua pura and ozone!
posted by filthy light thief at 2:03 PM on October 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


How to make a city cholera-proof

So is the page 9 ad for children's corsets (along with stockings and suspenders) the historical equivalent to Abercrombie selling thongs for six-year-olds?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 2:10 PM on October 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Well as it happens, I have a hideous head cold, and Mr HotToddy just brought me lunch, including a nice organic orange. BRB!
posted by HotToddy at 2:14 PM on October 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Uhhhh did head colds not include sneezing back in ye olde 1740s?
posted by HotToddy at 2:17 PM on October 29, 2013


The 10th Regiment of Foot: So is the page 9 ad for children's corsets (along with stockings and suspenders) the historical equivalent to Abercrombie selling thongs for six-year-olds?

Are they thongs for health? If not, they are no comparison to Ferris' Good Sense Corset Waists!

(And if you want further distraction/ research material, look no further than Archive.org's Medical Heritage Library, a digital curation collaborative among some of the world’s leading medical libraries.)
posted by filthy light thief at 2:17 PM on October 29, 2013


Are they thongs for health? If not, they are no comparison to Ferris' Good Sense Corset Waists!

Certainly! At least as healthful and wholesome as a child's corset!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 2:20 PM on October 29, 2013


I think people died younger back then just so they wouldn't have to deal with these cures.
posted by tommasz at 2:21 PM on October 29, 2013 [7 favorites]


Filthy light thief, those are great resources. And I have now encountered, inter a lot of weird alia, girdle-fitting training for WW II Navy WAVES (enjoying proper support, instead of being constrained like those poor sops who wore corsets a generation ago!).
posted by DrMew at 2:37 PM on October 29, 2013


Anyone got a source for powdered toads? I saw the doc today for dry and convulsive asthma. He prescribed prednisone. I think I'd prefer the toad cure.

Memails welcome. Confidentiality ensured.
posted by mudpuppie at 2:53 PM on October 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Heroic medicine. Although as it was pointed out in a book (either The Demon Under the Microscope or The Great Influenza, can't remember which, both excellent books), the hero in this case was not the doctor, but the patient.
posted by Hactar at 3:04 PM on October 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


elizardbits: "Puppy tummys absolutely do have magical healing powers.

also their little feeties and snuffly noses
"

In her excitement, understandbly, she forgot to mention their soft, soft earsies.
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 3:05 PM on October 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


An apple a day—pounded to a fine paste and applied to the rectum with a coarse cloth rag—keeps the doctor away.
posted by Atom Eyes at 3:08 PM on October 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


mudpuppie: "Anyone got a source for powdered toads?"

Will toad cake do? Venenum bufonis extract (Toad cake) is the dried white secretion of the auricular Glands of Bufo bufo gargarizans Cantor or Bufo melanotictus Bchneider, Bufonidae.

Top grade vacuum packed powdered toad venom extract from Hunan, China. They ship it in 25kg drums up to 100kg/month.

Check out the photos. Apparently toad cake leads to happy family blowing soap bubbles.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 3:13 PM on October 29, 2013


Do not apply to wet sprockets.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:30 PM on October 29, 2013


This is why I tried to get my insurance to pay for puppy food and puppy slings so I may hold a puppy on my belly at all times. But the bastards don't cover preventative medicine.
posted by NoraReed at 3:49 PM on October 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


In the Grim Future of Belly Sickness, there will be only Puppy-Holding!
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:36 PM on October 29, 2013


Contextualisation: John Wesley travelled the land spreading the word of Methodism, a radical teaching of the bible (at the time) that said that what you experienced was actually worth something in terms of your personal salvation.

It's not unreasonable for him to write a book like this, as he spent a lot of time dealing with personal crisis of the people he ministered to - like health, which was a fully privatised thing that was at best shakily understood - and a book like this enabled him to get on with his other work, such as preaching in favour of the abolition of slavery, fighting the notion of predeterminism, and making sure that ordinary people were able to learn.

Also, the dude liked a puppy on his tummy. Seems legit to me, he was a busy fellow.
posted by The River Ivel at 4:44 PM on October 29, 2013 [10 favorites]


PUPPY-ON APPLY DIRECTLY TO GOUT
posted by dr_dank at 5:03 PM on October 29, 2013 [9 favorites]


He had a good heart, but I don't think logic was his strong suit. Methodists also combine Christianity with banning alcohol, which is a neat trick given the product placement of wine in the gospels.
posted by w0mbat at 5:06 PM on October 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Finally, this is the Tea Party ObamaCare replacement they've been promising.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:34 PM on October 29, 2013


mudpuppie: "Anyone got a source for powdered toads?"

My first thought was Sigma - a search for "toad" yields cinobufagin which seems to be the active ingredient of Hairy Lobster's toad cake linked above. You can buy toad cells, but that's not really powdered. Toads may also cure herpes.
posted by maryr at 7:22 PM on October 29, 2013


Puppies? So THAT's how he felt his heart strangely warmed!

I toured his house in London, which still stands next to his church. There's a galvanic device still in there that he used as a sort of primitive ECT machine for people with symptoms of depression. He apparently used it himself and found its effects beneficial.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:05 PM on October 29, 2013


Well as it happens, I have a hideous head cold, and Mr HotToddy just brought me lunch, including a nice organic orange. BRB!

But... you've got the cure right there in your username!
posted by 256 at 9:07 PM on October 29, 2013


"middling pills of cobwebs"

Definitely going on one of my Hallowe'en apothecary bottles.
posted by Sophie1 at 8:11 AM on October 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well as it happens, I have a hideous head cold, and Mr HotToddy just brought me lunch, including a nice organic orange. BRB!

But... you've got the cure right there in your username!


But when I put it up my nose it just dribbles out . . . ?
posted by HotToddy at 10:01 PM on October 30, 2013


Medicine was ever thus. So, save those back-issues of JAMA. In a couple centuries they'll have turned to comedy gold.
posted by perhapsolutely at 11:02 PM on October 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


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