Monday, July 11 1757

Took physic today… At home all day. My brother came over in the evening in order to have 2 blisters laid on behind his ears… read part of The Universal Magazine for June wherein I find the following receipt recommended (in an extract from Dr Lind’s essay on the most effectual means of preserving the health of the seamen in the Royal Navy) as a specific against all epidemical and bilious fevers and also against endemic disorders: He first recommends a regular course of life and to abstain as much as possible from animal food, and to confine as much as possible to a vegetable diet. Then he orders about 2 ounces of the following tincture to be taken every day upon an empty stomach (and better if taken at twice):

Rx8 onces of bark
4 ounces dried orange peel, which infuse in a gallon of spirits.

But in my opinion it might be rendered a more grateful bitter if instead of the 4 ounces of dried orange peel there were put 1½ ounces of it and 3 ounces of undried lemon peel cleared from the white. I also found an account of the following powder, called the Duke of Portland’s gout powder:

For the gout or rheumatism:
RxAristolochia Rotunda, or
Birthwort Root
Gentian Root
Ground Pine    tops and leaves

Take of all these well dried, powdered and sifted as fine as you can, equal weight; mix them well together and take one drachm of this mixed powder every morning, fasting, in a cup of wine and water, broth, tea or any other vehicle you like best; keep fasting an hour and half after it; continue this for three months without interruption. Then diminish the dose to a drachm for 3 months longer; then to a drachm for 6 months more, taking it regularly every morning if possible. After the first year it will be sufficient to take ½ a drachm every other day. As this medicine operates insensibly, it will take perhaps two years before you receive any great benefit; so you much not discouraged though you do not perceive at first any great amendment. It works slow but sure. It does not confine the patient to any particular diet, so one lives soberly and abstains for those meats and liquors that have been always accounted pernicious in the gout, as; champagne, drams, high sauces etc. N.B.: In the rheumatism that is only accidental and not habitual, a few of the drachm rosemary do, but if in an habitual, or that has been of long duration, then you must take it as for the gout. The remedy requires patience as it operates but slow in both distempers.

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