Skin creams and salves

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Iodine for Beauty!

I found a fabulous magazine on ebay, "The Body Beautiful", published in 1937. It's an early health magazine for women. It was published by "Beauty Publications Company" based in Chicago, Il. From the advertisements in the magazine for various vitamin and mineral supplements, I am guessing that this publication was devised as a vehicle to sell those supplements.

 I purchased this magazine because "iodine baths" was listed as one of the subjects. There are a couple of photos of iodine beauty treatments in an article entitled "A Woman's Heart Never Wrinkles", ...but... the article is strange for a few reasons., the first being that with the exception of the subject lines below the pictures, the word "iodine" is not to be found in the article. The article consists of wisdom gleaned from a mysterious Professor Bela____ from Budapest(how exotic!).

bathing the breasts in Budapest! The iodine bath
From the article: "It is in Budapest where women are loveliest and most feminine. It is in Budapest where men retain their masculinity and agility the longest. That now famous poem "The Breast of a Lady in Budapest" was written to a woman artist and sculptress over fifty years of age."  Famous that poem may have been, but it now appears to have been lost to time..

And there are vague allusions to a mysterious serum, "The wonderful neo-serum has been tried and proved in rejuvenation. Glandular therapy has lured back the youth cells into the bodies of slipping men and women. Where a few years ago only the extremely wealthy could be rejuvenated by transplantation processes, today men and women of moderate means, without injections, without the knife, can rebuild themselves in their own homes. The heart can show it's youth again when it can express through a rejuvenated body."

The mysterious Dr Bela _____ states: "I have become anything but popular in the eyes of other surgeons because of my emphatic statements that proper feeding, rebuilding and drugless methods can rejuvenate."

the iodine soap mask! daily???? yikes!
So there it is- the article never states what, exactly, this wonderful therapy is with the exception of references to the "neo-serum" . I will suppose that the "glandular therapy"', "neo-serum", etc., contained iodine in some form as well as thyroid hormone.

If we are to take the photos accompanying the article as a hint then bathing in iodine and swathing the face in an iodine mask were also important components of the Budapest Beauty Ritual.

I have seen iodine baths referenced in other old writings, most notable M. Lugol's pioneering use of the "ioduretted bath". Iodine baths are also suggested usually as a means of weight loss(accompanied by massage), and as a means of clearing up skin afflictions in old beauty manuals. 

I was hoping for more from this article. Hey, the pics are good though, and there are also many ads in the magazine for iodine-containing supplements. The article is poorly written and vague, perhaps it was a teaser to whet the appetite for the forth-coming "neo-serum" supplement.

This is a valuable piece of iodine history, in my opinion. Please note in the clips below, the "irradiated" iodine. Radiation was, at that time, one of the new miracles of medicine. The ads vary between the irradiated iodine supplements and iodine from the sea. At least the health-giving properties of iodine were known at this time!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Iodine gets the lead out

Unusual Case of Lead Poisoning.—Three months before the onset of foot drop, the patient had suffered an attack of lobar pneumonia and had been very ill. Many years previous to this, he had had occasional attacks of "rheumatism.'' With the exception of the rheumatism he had not been ill for 16 years. This sickness had been an unusually severe attack of lead poisoning which he had developed while working "in a sheet lead factory" where he had been foreman. After repeated attempts to continue his work there he had been obliged to resign a very lucrative position and discontinue this kind of work. He had had "colic" so severely that the physician in charge had despaired of his life and had expected him to die. Recovery had been tedious and he had never been well since. Still in the last years he had not shown symptoms of lead poisoning and had considered his ill health clue to rheumatism.

It was difficult to imagine this present foot drop to be directly clue to "leading" sixteen years ago, and the history of his past illness was again reviewed. Special inquiry was made of the attack of pneumonia, which condition the present trouble has so closely followed. Apparently he had had a frank attack of lobar pneumonia but said that the physician in charge thought the lung had not returned to its normal erudition, and that he had taken medicine for some time after he was up and about. He was asked to describe this medicine which he did as follows: "The medicine was bitter drops, made my nose run as though I had the hay fever, and I took ten drops after each meal. The medicine formed a white scum over the neck of the bottle and turned the label brown." The explanation of the case seemed clear to Lazell. The lead deposited sixteen years before in some insoluble form in the bones, had been thrown into solution by the iodids given for an unresolved pneumonia and acute lead poisoning had resulted. The patient was given a good prognosis, saturated with sodium iodide and made a complete recovery. 1


In many forms of chronic rheumatism, and in certain affections of the osseous system, due to a syphilitic taint, iodide of potassium is of the greatest service; and its value in the treatment of chronic lead-poisoning is not so generally known, even in the medical profession, as it deserves to be. The iodide of potassium dissolves the compounds of lead with albumen, fibrine, fcc, which abound in the body in chronic lead-poisoning; and these dissolved compounds are excreted by the kidneys. In these cases, lead may often be detected in the urine, almost immediately after the administration of the iodide. This salt has a similar action in chronic mercurial poisoning, and cases are recorded of mercurial salivation having come on during the use of iodide of potassium, in consequence of the liberation of mercury, which had been previously fixed in the system. 2

The Journal of the American Medical Association. Volume 55, 1910

2  Chambers's Encyclopaedia, Volume V, 1931

Friday, September 7, 2012

Iodine as counter-irritant, part 2

More on the use of iodine as a counter-irritant. Follow the link for more information including a lot of case histories, I have copied the intro and a few plates, with instructions. The take-home point is that the counter-irritant must be applied AWAY from the area of local inflammation, over the next "vascular territory".

The Treatment of Surgical Inflammations by a New Method ~ 1870

Other means of counter-irritation are discussed in the book, I focus on IODINE.

An introduction to the concept can be found here:

KEY POINT~ What are the principal conditions which are needed for the prosperous beginning and progress of an inflammation? An inflamed part must have increased space —more room for swelling, it must have more blood, it is all the better for perpetual unrest. There must be no other inflammation near to interfere with it—two inflammations do not flourish together.

In the following pages I assume (and the results recorded hereafter justify the assumption) that the- inflammatory process is one and the same process wherever it- may occur, and that the best remedies for any inflammation are the best in all. That drugs have, for certain purposes, great utility I do not deny. Putting aside, however, specific inflammations I know no drug, or combination of drugs, that can cure an inflammation. Counter-irritation can unquestionably cure inflammations. Let me cite one fact among many. An inflamed patellar bursa, before chronic thickening sets in, can be most certainly cured by a ring of blister placed around it, when every other remedy fails. Seeing that counter-irritation could do what no other remedy could, I put a ring of counter-irritation around abscesses, carbuncles, cellulitis, and other inflammations, and discovered striking and rapid results. I next sought to find out the most favourable localities for counter-irritation in every inflammation.

It appeared to me that it should always be established over the next, or another, vessel or vascular territory.

I knew that even and gentle pressure could rapidly arrest some, especially chronic, inflammations. For removing the products of inflammation I knew no remedy to be compared with it. I used it, therefore, in all accessible inflammations.

The best mode of using the best remedies (counter-irritation, pressure, rest, and a few others) in every inflammation is not a routine treatment. Take counter-irritation alone; there is endless scope for individual and independent judgment in the determination of its best localities, best degrees of intensity, best extent and configuration of area, and best modes of production. It is the same with the other remedies advocated in these pages.

One of the greatest advantages of counterirritation is this—it immediately and efficiently relieves inflammatory pain. Most patients are eager to exchange a continuous, dull, wearing, inflammatory pain for a temporary smarting.

The cases are very briefly reported, as they are intended simply to illustrate the effects of treatment.

The following diagrams are mostly drawn from actual cases. The dotted lines show the extent of counterirritation, of a moderate character, as effected by iodine pigment. Unless otherwise indicated, the whole circumference of the limb is irritated.

Fig. 1.—Extent of counter-irritation in a large abscess of the fore-arm. If the first application of iodine is efficient, the relief of pain is striking and immediate. See Mr. Hodges's case of Mammary Abscess, and Mr. Turton's cases of Carbuncle.

Fig. 2.—Shows singular appearance, after twenty-four hours of counter-irritation, in removing inflammation, and circumscribing pus. I have several times seen this tumourlike collection of pus removed in a few days by continued counter-irritation.

Fig. 3.—Extent of counter-irritation (iodine) in abscess of popliteal space. An iodine paint is applied to the whole circumference of the limb within the dotted lines.


Fig. 1.—Counter-irritation in carbuncle. A mild form should be more extensive, as in next fig. also.

Fig. 2.—Counter-irritation in a single boil, and in a cluster of boils.

Figs. 1 & 2.—Show extent of moderately vigorous (iodine pigment) counter-irritation in synovitis and early articular ostitis of knee and ankle.

Fig. 3.—Is intended to show use of actual cautery in severe articular ostitis of shoulder. One stripe is at the front, one at the back of the joint, and one midway between the two.


Fig. 1.—Shows mode of using counter-irritation (acetum lyttao in severest, iodine liniment in less severe cases) in purulent inflammations, especially gonorrheal, of conjunctiva. Where counter-irritation must be repeated or kept up, two horseshoe shapes, one within the other, are useful.

Fig. 2.—Shows sharp counter-irritation in the more acute laryngeal inflammations.

Fig. 3.—A milder counter-irritation in the less acute inflammations.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

iodin as counter-irritant~ "artificial hyperemia", part 1

An introduction to the concept of "artificial hyperemia" and the usefulness of iodine as a counter-irritant.

text source: Dental materia medica and therapeutics  1920

"the blood must continue to circulate—there must never be a stasis of the blood." 

blood circulation~ wiki images

...Within recent years a new remedial measure has been introduced into therapeutics for the purpose of combating infectious diseases which is so surprisingly simple, and yet so very definite in its final result, that one can only wonder why it was not discovered a long time ago. The object of the treatment consists in the increased utilization of the natural resources which the body possesses in the fight against local infection, and is known at present as the hyperemic treatment of Bier. Bier founded his conception of this treatment on observations which he had made in the clinic of Rokitansky in Vienna. He had repeatedly pointed out that a lung with a chronic obstructive hyperemia resulting from some valvular insufficiency of the heart would not, in the great majority of cases, be attacked by tuberculosis. On logical reasoning Bier applied the same principle with surprisingly good results in the treatment of chronic infections of the joints. In due time the technic of this treatment, depending largely upon the construction of suitable apparatus, had to undergo many modifications; but, even with the remarkable increase of the scope of its utilization it is still employed by comparatively few practitioners...

...the aim of Bier's hyperemic treatment is to bring about "the increase of the beneficial inflammatory hyperemia resulting from the fight of the living body against invasion," and the most important principle underlying this treatment is that "the blood must continue to circulate—there must never be a stasis of the blood." ...

...At present it is generally conceded that inflammation is not a disease, but that it is the local defense of the tissues against an injury, manifesting itself by more or less pronounced symptoms— as redness, heat, swelling, pain, and impaired function. The most important changes occur in the blood vessels, which are distended by an increased influx of blood that is very quickly displaced by a retarded afflux. The white corpuscles conglomerate in bunches near the vessel wall, especially in the veins and capillaries, while the red blood corpuscles keep more to the center of the blood stream. The leucocytes and the lymphocytes now pass between the endothelial cells through the vessel walls of the veins and of the capillaries, but not of the arteries. This wandering of the white corpuscles—diapedesis—is accompanied by the transudation of blood serum, which fills the surrounding tissues, causing an edematous swelling. Later on the red blood corpuscles follow, but they migrate in very much smaller quantities... 

Whenever living tissue is injured—whether by mechanical, thermal, or chemic means—the system at once tries to protect itself against the invading foe by an increased rush of blood into the injured area, resulting either in a victorious fight—complete resolution, or in a surrender to the enemy—necrosis.

According to the conception of the older practitioners, irritants were employed for the purpose of depleting the "malignant humors" from the diseased part into the immediate neighborhood. Such irritants were known as derivants, while revulsives were used to disseminate these humors into the farther situated parts. In many instances irritants are applied to the healthy tissue somewhat distant from the primary seat of disturbance, with the intention of diverting the deep-seated congestion into a new direction, or, as our forefathers expressed it, "to leave a way for the escape of the humors." Proof for this supposition has never been furnished. Medicaments applied for these purposes are known as counterirritants. If strong irritants are applied to a circumscribed area of tissue, an exudation of small globules of serum occurs; the latter soon coalesce and raise the epidermis of the true skin, thereby forming a blister...

...At present it is generally recognized that the milder irritants produce the preliminary stages of inflammation—hyperemia. An increased influx and a retarded afflux of blood in the irritated tissue is the sequence of the irritation, and not, as it has been generally supposed, a diversion of the blood stream. Depending on the nature of the irritant, the congestion may be superficial, or it may reach to quite a depth. Hyperemia, in the sense of Bier (see Artificial Hyperemia), is one of the most important functions which nature possesses in overcoming morbid processes. Tissues which are richly supplied with blood possess a very pronounced restorative power, and there is no doubt that artificial hyperemia exercises a distinct beneficial influence on the reparative processes. This is partially the reason why wounds in the oral cavity heal so much quicker than in other parts of the body. Pain in deepseated structures is often mitigated by applying an irritant. By counterirritation of a sensory surface located somewhat distant from the primary seat of irritation, we may be able to divert the pain to this newly excited focus. Such applications are usually employed in the many forms of ill-defined pericemental disturbances. Some of the substances employed as irritants act by reflex action—that is, after their primary action they produce socalled reflexes, which have a beneficial influence on pathologic disturbances.

It should be remembered that the same irritant produces different effects on tissues of different resistance. The more delicate mucous membrane of the mouth requires naturally less severe irritation to produce definite results than the thick and horny layers of the skin.

Counterirritation is sometimes referred to as depletion. Depletives (to empty) are means which were very frequently used in former years for the purpose of locally abstracting blood or serum from the tissues in general or from the point of disease. Dry and wet cupping, scarification, and leeching were the usual methods employed for such purposes. Local depiction by physical means is rarely practiced at present. General depletion of the system by artificially increased perspiration or by abstracting fluids from the body through the bowel by salines or hydragogues are referred to under Cathartics and Diaphoretics.

Iodin in aqueous or in alcoholic solution occupies an important place among the irritants. It possesses a powerful and penetrating action. 

iodine molecule- wiki images

Iodin; Iodum, U. S. P., B. P.; I; Iode, F.; Jod, G.

Source And Character.—Iodin (from the Greek ioeides, violet-colored) was discovered by Courtois in 1811, and named iodin by Gay-Lussac on account of its violet-colored vapors. Iodin is prepared from crude iodin, which is obtained from kelp, but principally from the mother liquors of Chile saltpeter of South America. It forms heavy, bluish-black, friable crystals, having a characteristic odor and a sharp and acrid taste. It is soluble in 5,000 parts of water, 10 parts of alcohol, freely soluble in ether, chloroform, and in the solution of the iodids of the alkalies. Its alcoholic solution has a reddish-brown color, while, when dissolved in chloroform or carbon disulphid, it exhibits a violet tint. It volatilizes at ordinary temperature and fuses at about 239° F. (115° C). It is incompatible with starch, tannin, vegetable colors, etc.

Average Dose.—1/10 grain (0.005 Gm.).

Medical Properties.—Antiseptic, caustic, and alterative.

Therapeutics.—Iodin, in concentrated solution, acts as a caustic; in diluted solution, applied locally, it produces only irritant effects. Iodin has a peculiar action on the vessel walls, as it increases their penetrability. It produces typical fibrinous inflammation of the serous membranes. After the destruction of their epithelial coat, these serous membranes show a pronounced tendency to stick together and to heal by first intention. For this reason iodin is successfully employed in the treatment of fistulous tracts, etc. Painted on the skin, iodin quickly penetrates into the structures, and produces sensible irritation, thereby relieving pain which may be present in the deep-seated tissues. Incidentally it enlarges the walls of the various vessels, promotes absorption, and by reflex action produces venous hyperemia, which involves all the tissues within the affected area. The favorable influence of this artificially produced hyperemia on the diseased tissues is more fully discussed under Physical Therapeutics. (See Artificial Hyperemia.) Iodin is very freely employed in an alcoholic solution (tincture of iodin), and as the milder acting Lugol's solution. In using the tincture of iodin the alcoholic component of the latter must be accredited with a certain share of its action.

To promote the more ready absorption of iodin, various solutions have been recently introduced. Iodipin, an iodized sesame oil, containing respectively 10 and 25 per cent of iodin, and iothion, a glycerinated solution, containing 77 per cent of iodin, are the more important representatives of this group. Both preparations are almost colorless and odorless, and are used as substitutes for the tincture for external and internal purposes.


Tincture of Iodin; Tinctura Iodi, II. S. P., B. P. It contains 7 per cent (2.5 per cent, B. P.) of iodin dissolved in alcohol. The U. S. P. tincture contains in addition 5 per cent of potassium iodin, which increases its therapeutic effect and stability.
Compound Solution of Iodin; Liquor Iodi Compositus, U. S. P.; Lugol's Solution. It contains 5 per cent of iodin dissolved in a 10 per cent aqueous solution of potassium iodid.

Iodin Liniment; Liquor Iodi Fords, B. P. It contains about 14 per cent of iodin.

Therapeutics.—Tincture of iodin is universally employed as a counterirritant in pericemental disturbances. Its beneficial influence is based on three principal functions of iodin—to act as a derivant by sensory irritation, to produce artificial hyperemia, and to promote absorption. Its antiseptic properties are of less importance in this connection. If a definite iodin action is desired in the mouth, the ordinary tincture is not well suited for this purpose. Its alcoholic component causes superficial coagulation of the delicate mucous membrane, and in reality very little iodin is absorbed from this weak solution. If the tincture is repeatedly applied at short intervals, the caustic effect of the alcohol destroys the mucous lining, and a painful excoriated surface is the result. The irritating effect of the alcohol is probably as much responsible for the apparent results attributed to the tincture as its iodin component. Liquid iodin preparation for dental purposes should be concentrated solutions in water, preferably in the form of Talbot's iodo-glycerol. (See page 206.) A colorless tincture of iodin is occasionally demanded; ammonia water added to the tincture will quickly destroy its color. If higher concentrated iodin solutions are wanted, Carson's or Churchill's iodin paint is serviceable, but these compounds should not be used indiscriminately on the mucous surfaces of the mouth...

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Iodine and arsenic in menstrual blood

image source- wiki

M. Armand Gautier has some interesting theories concerning the menstrual function and the rut of animals in relation to the role of arsenic in nutrition. These were communicated to the Academie des Sciences on August 6th, and may be read in La Presse M├ędicale for September 8th, 1900. He traces a relationship between the functions of the genital organs, those of the thyroid gland, and the growth of the appendages of the skin, namely, hair and nails. His attention was attracted to the subject by the observation that patients, when taking arsenic, menstruate more frequently than at other times, that their skin improves in condition, and that their hair increases in length and thickness. Since arsenic and iodine are assimilated by the thyroid, and excreted by the epidermis and its appendages, it occurred to Dr. Gautier that it is upon the utilisation and elimination of these substances that the above-mentioned relationship is based, and his experiments have confirmed him in this opinion.

He has shown that normal blood of man and of animals contain no arsenic and a very little iodine, while menstrual blood contains .3 milligrammes of arsenic per kilogramme, and 4 1/2 times more iodine than normal blood. A human thyroid contains about 15 milligrammes of arsenic, so that, allowing for a blood loss of 400 to 500 grammes per day during menstruation, the total blood lost would contain 12 to 14 milligrammes of arsenic, or nearly as much arsenic as the thyroid of the patient contained before menstruation. Thus arsenic and iodine are excreted every month by woman, and menstruation finds its raison d’├ętre in a removal of these substances from the thyroid, and perhaps also, in less degree, from the skin.

Normally the nucleo-proteids and iodised bodies of the thyroid go to nourish the skin, and especially the hair bulbs and the nail beds. The arsenic and iodine thus used are eliminated by the shedding of hair and nails, and by the desquamation of the general surface of the epidermis. In woman there is an excess production of these bodies, which is eliminated periodically in the menstrual blood, unless conception occurs, in which case the excess is used up in the construction of the foetus, in whose rapid growth much phosphorus, arsenic, and iodine are consumed.

We are aware that the thyroid gland excites and regulates growth, that it influences the nutrition of the skin, and that it is in relation with the development and function of the reproductive organs. Its atrophy in the cretin coincides with arrest of development, myxo:dema, and infantilism of the sexual organs. On the other hand, the thyroid develops rapidly in the pregnant woman, and in certain females it hypertrophies some days before menstruation. Hofmeister has observed atrophy of the sexual organs after removal of the thyroid, and conversely it is stated that the administration of thyroid substance has been followed by renewal of growth in an infantile uterus. In a word, all the organs rich in nucleins, especially those in which arsenic and iodine occur together, are favourably influenced by the administration of thyroid substance.

It is mainly by the appendages of the skin and by the menstrual blood that arsenic and iodine are eliminated by the female human subject. It may be asked, however, how these substances are dealt with by the male subject, and by female animals which do not menstruate. Our author answers this question by pointing out that warm-blooded animals of both sexes are covered with hairs or feathers, which grow as a rule before the breeding season, and are shed to a considerable extent when the period of sexual activity is passed. Thus the supply of arsenic and iodine is used during the winter in growing fur, feathers, horns, etc. When these have reached their full growth the supply of nucleo-proteids is diverted to the sexual organs, and breeding commences. The skin is thus deprived of the essentials of luxuriant growth, the hair falls out, the horns fall off, and the feathers drop out.

Fabio, breeding plumage?
The human male is not, as a rule, covered with hair; but at the same time he is more hirsute than the female. The hair of his head and beard grows, and our author maintains his epidermal desquamation is more rapid than that of the smoother skin of the female, whose hair does not grow much after puberty is reached. The extra growth of hair in the male human subject is thus said to eliminate as much arsenic as is lost in the menstrual blood by the female. In other words, the girl only begins to menstruate when her hair stops growing, whilst, on the other hand, it is just at the same period of life that the boy’s beard begins to grow. Amongst hairy human races, in whom, as in monkeys, arsenical nucleins are largely used up in the production of hair, menstruation and the corresponding periods of sexual appetite would be expected to appear at longer intervals than in hairless humanity. The author has ascertained by inquiry from anthropologists that this is actually the case. He also finds that cutting off the hair of females, as is done in some religious institutions, provides a fresh outlet for arsenical products, and thus tends to check the menstrual function.

male snowy egret, breeding plumage~ wiki image
 The author illustrates his views by observations upon certain lower animals, notably many male birds, whose feathers grow to brilliance before the breeding season, and are shed like a wedding garment at its close. Other birds grow appendages on their beaks, which fall off after the breeding season. Amongst certain urodela a horny crest rich in arsenic decorates the tail of the male animal, and is reabsorbed during and after the reproductive period of the year. Lastly, the author mentions the various afiections of the skin which are common during pregnancy as evidence of the strain upon the production of arsenical proteids, which is caused by gestation. Myxedema, he finds, is a disease most common amongst multiparae, who have time after time drawn upon their reserves of thyroid~produced substances.

These views may appear to be vague, unproved, and even romantic ; they are, however, interesting and not without suggestiveness. It may be found, after experiment and extended observation, that they are based upon a substratum of solid fact. _
male mallard duck, breeding plumage, image source, wiki
article source: The Practitioner, Volume 65, 1900

Monday, August 27, 2012

Iodism and eliminative function

Another article on syphilis. Good advice, though on how to avoid "iodism".

The general hygienic management of syphilis is of fundamental importance. In many instances mercury and iodides act badly, simply because the patient's eliminative areas are not functionating with their normal activity. Injurious results from the drug specifics occur under such circumstances, and are explained by that explanation which does not explain, "idiosyncrasy." Ptyalism and iodism may both be avoided in many cases by attention to the eliminative functions. The ingestion of large quantities of water, with the concomitant increased functional activity of the skin, kidneys and bowels, is very useful in syphilis. This point is too frequently neglected. In giving iodides it is best, as is generally known, to administer them simultaneously with considerable quantities of water. It is impossible, however, without resulting stomachic disturbance, to give a sufficient quantity of water in this way to perfect elimination by the kidneys in certain cases in which the renal function is inadequate. It is in just such cases that iodism from so-called idiosyncrasy is liable to occur.

The best method of giving the iodide under such circumstances is to mix the daily dose of the drug with a given quantity of pure water, say from two quarts to a gallon, and instruct the patient to drink the entire amount, a glassful at a time, at intervals during the twenty-four hours,  have succeeded in avoiding iodism in this way in patients in whom the smallest quantity of iodide given by the ordinary method produced iodism.

Hot baths are a very useful adjuvant to the treatment of syphilis. They increase tissue metamorphosis, favor; elimination, and necessarily enhance the therapeutic action of the mercury and iodide, while limiting any possible injurious effects of the drugs. In many instances hot baths alone will prevent injurious effects from mercury and iodide. A very hot bath of short duration, taken daily and followed by a cold shower or cold tub, is perhaps the best method of administration for the average patient. The ideal method, however, where its application is practicable, is the Turkish or Russian bath. The patient should drink large quantities of hot water while in the bath. Much of the efficacy of the Hot Springs treatment of syphilis is dependent upon the free ingestion of hot water while the hot bath is being given.
Attention to the bowels is very important in the treatment of syphilis. Ptyalism not infrequently results as a consequence of constipation. Obviously, the simpler forms of laxatives are best. The saline aperients taken hot in the morning are excellent. 

Ptyalism~ an excessive flow of saliva.

  The Medical News, Volume 80, 1902

           of Chicago; 


Friday, August 10, 2012

merck manual, 1899

A search on "iodine" in the 1899 Merck Manual returns 96 hits. "Iodide", 100 hits. Were I to repeat the search using the term "iodopin" or "iodophorm", even more results would be returned...

Below is a sampling of conditions for which iodine in one or another form was prescribed in 1899. Iodine was certainly NOT the only suggested medicine, I am listing these conditions only to show you the wide range of conditions for which iodine was once prescribed. It was prescribed in many forms, from tincture to potassium iodide to iodized oil, and administered in a variety of ways, from internal dosing to painting to injection to inhalation. Some of the indications are to be expected, such as the use of iodine for goiter or uterine fibroid. Others were unexpected, such as the use of an iodine enema in hepatitis. This manual was published well after the initial iodine enthusiasm in the early part of the century, so I imagine that these treatments were well-established in 1899.


iodine: painting the line of the pneumogastric nerve with liniment or tincture in pure spasmodic asthma

Hordeolum(stye).- see also, eyelids

Iodine tincture

Meningitis, tubercular


Ovarian diseases

Carbolate of Iodine




Potassium iodide




iodine, iodi-tannin, solution of iodine and tannic acid, on cotton wool






iodine, solution not too strong painted over.


iodine, potassium iodide


carbolate of iodine, in the later stages of typhoid, and in chronic malarial poisoning


iodine, antiseptic dressing



glanders and farcy: more info here: Glanders in a Military Research Microbiologist


glandular enlargements

iodine, internally and painted around, not over the gland.
iodoform, as a dressing to breaking-down glands.
iodoformogen: equitable and persistent in action on open glands.
iodole: internally
lead iodide: ointment


iodine: internally, and locally as ointment or tincture, and as injection
potassium iodide


iodide of potassium
iron iodide

gums, diseases of

iodine tincture, locally


iodine, as enema

hepatic diseases

iodine or iodides






iodine, potassium iodide


iodine, injections after tapping.


iodine, locally

joint affections- see also arthritis, bursitis, etc

iodoformogen, more diffusible and persistent than iodoform
iron iodide

keratitis- see also, corneal opacities

potassium iodide

laryngitis, acute

iodine, as inhalation and counter-irritant over neck.

laryngitis, chronic

iodine, as counter-irritant


iodine, in glycerin



meningitis, tubercular


menorhaggia and metrorrhagia- see also, amenorhea, hemmorhage, uterine tumors


mercurial cachexia - a condition arising from over-use of mercury- containing medications. for more: mercurial cachexia

iodine and iodides



nevus- see also, tumors, warts

iodine, paint




iodine: painted on to remove tartar on teeth; and in exposure of fang due to atrophy of gum.

opthalmia- see also, blepharitis, conjunctivitis, keratitis

iodine, iodoform, iodoformogen, iodole

ozena- see also, catarrh, chronic, nasal

carbolate of iodine
glycerine and iodine
iodine: as inhalation. Much benefit is derived from washing out the nose with a solution of common salt, to which a few drops of the tincture of iodine have been added.

pericarditis- see also, endocarditis




pharyngitis- see also, throat, sore, tonsillitis

iodine, iodoform

phthisis- see also, cough, hemoptysis, hectic fever, perspiration, night sweats, laryngitis, tubercular, meningitis, peritonitis, etc

iodine: liniment as a counter-irritant to remove the consolidation in early stages, and to remove pain and cough later, as inhalation to lessen cough and expectoration.
iodine tincture
iodoform: inhalation

uterine tumors


a sampling of iodine preparations found in the 1899 Merck Manual: