Definition: Felon

May 24th, 2015

A felon is an infection within the flesh of the finger. It may be caused by bacteria having entered through a puncture wound.

Definition: Pipkin

May 23rd, 2015

A pipkin is an earthenware cooking pot for use over a fire. It has a handle, along with three feet spaced equally around the base of the pot.

Definition: Glyster

March 22nd, 2015

(also: Clyster). An enema; see also injection.

Definition: Weights and Measures

January 7th, 2008

Some of the old-time remedies listed here refer to weights and measures which are no longer in regular use. These tables should give you some idea of their equivalents. (Pints, gallons etc. are UK, not US, measures.)

Solid Measures
20 grains are contained in 1 scruple
3 scruples 1 drachm
8 drachms 1 ounce (troy)
12 ounces 1 pound (troy)

Liquid Measures
60 minims are contained in 1 fluid drachm
8 fluid drachms 1 fluid ounce
20 fluid ounces 1 pint
8 pints 1 gallon

Approximations
A tumbler usually contains about 10 ounces
A teacup 6 ounces
A wineglass 2 ounces
2 tablespoons 1 ounce
A tablespoon 4 drachms
A dessertspoon 2 drachms
A teaspoon 1 drachm

Source: Enquire Within Upon Everything

Definition: Sudorific

January 1st, 2008

A sudorific substance is one which causes perspiration or sweating. It derives from the Latin word sudor, meaning sweat.

Definition: Anodyne

January 1st, 2008

Anodynes are those medicines which relieve pain by blunting the sensibility of the nerves, or of the brain, so that it does not appreciate the morbid sensation. An anodyne may be a stimulant in one dose, and a narcotic in a larger one. The properties of different anodyne agents vary, consequently they produce unlike effects. The size of the dose required, differs according to circumstances and condition. An adult, suffering acute pain, requires a much larger dose to produce an anodyne effect than one who is a chronic sufferer. An individual accustomed to the use of anodynes, requires a much larger dose to procure relief than one who is not. Doses may be repeated, until their characteristic effects are produced, after an interval of thirty or forty minutes. When the stomach is very sensitive and will not tolerate their internal administration, one-sixth of a grain of Morphia can be inserted beneath the skin, by means of a hypodermic syringe. Relief is more quickly experienced, and the anodyne effect is much more lasting than when taken into the stomach.

Source: The People’s Common Sense Medical Adviser in Plain English or, Medicine Simplified, R.V. Pierce.

Definition: Gallipots

January 1st, 2008

Gallipots were small earthenware jars, usually glazed, in which medicines and preserved items were kept.

Definition: Esculent

January 1st, 2008

Esculent means something edible or suitable for eating. (It can be used as an adjective or a noun.)

Definition: Astringent

January 1st, 2008

Astringents are medicines which condense and coagulate the tissues,
thereby arresting discharges. When taken into the mouth, they produce the sensation known as puckering. They are used internally and locally. The term styptic is used as a synonym of astringent, but is generally employed to designate those astringents which arrest haemorrhage, or bleeding.

Source: The People’s Common Sense Medical Adviser in Plain English or, Medicine Simplified, R.V. Pierce.

Definition: Inspissated

January 1st, 2008

A liquid which has been inspissated has been reduced by evaporation — either dried completely, or thickened.