Skin creams and salves

Monday, January 9, 2012

Pulsing the dose, eating dulse and seaweed poutices... 1827

from the Edinburgh Journal of Medical Science, Volume 2, 1827                        

We have again to record another case, published by Dr Reynaud, in the Journal Complementaire, relative to the administration of iodine, which certainly indicates, not only that its efficacy is far from being proportionate to the quantity in which it is given, but that its operation in reducing goitrous tumours is extremely gradual. Dr Reynaud's patient had been, during two months, put on a course of iodine, taking from ten to twenty-four drops of the tincture three times aday, without any change in the volume of the tumour having been manifested. He ceased, during six months, to make use of this medicine; and, during this interval of abstinence from it, the effect of the iodine manifested itself, and the goitre was reduced to half its size. A friction with the pomade of the hydriodale of potash was then ordered, and the cure was completed. It was hence inferred, that considerable advantage might be derived, in some cases, by allowing interruptions during the administration of iodine.

We consider the foregoing statement a most important illustration of the advantage of administering iodine in small doses, yet prolonged for a considerable time. Hence its efficacy when taken along with alimentary matters. We can, on this principle, account for the alleged virtues of the Spongia usta, in which so small a portion of iodine is contained. And, in like manner, probably may be explained a popular remedy which we remember to have seen practised in a county of the north of England. It was, to send patients afflicted with strumous complaints to the sea coast, there to remain for several months, and to undergo the daily external application of cataplasms, almost entirely composed of sea-ware, in which, as chemists well know, a notable quantity of iodine is contained. But, at the same time, the internal administration of some species of Fuci, probably that known in Scotland by the name of dulse, (Fucus palmatus), was likewise enforced. Mr Neill, in his "Tour through Orkney and Shetland," has furnished us with an anecdote illustrative of the ancient medicinal virtues which were ascribed to this plant. "There is a common saying in Stronsa, that  he who eats of the dulse of Guiodin, and drinks of the wells of Kildingie, will escape all maladies except black death.'"

~ a "cataplasm" is a poultice. I assume that "sea-ware" is seaweed...

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