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hta1970
05-19-2008, 07:43 PM
Ok, I may just be having a bad day, but I can't find the previous topic dealing with look-a-like medicines. So I thought I start this one. sorry if this is redundant.

For Paregoric, would cola syrup with anise oil and peppermint oil work?

retter
05-19-2008, 08:30 PM
Search "Civil War Medicines" or Doc Nelson. He had a pretty good list. Also I think Noah had a list too.

Linda Trent
05-20-2008, 01:43 PM
For Paregoric, would cola syrup with anise oil and peppermint oil work?

For display? Or for giving to "wounded" or "sick" when they're brought in to the hospital? It makes a lot of difference.

Linda.

hta1970
05-20-2008, 05:25 PM
Linda,

Ideally like Noah and Tim have done would be to make them usable for "treatment" and dispensing. In some cases I have the real thing which, like powdered alum, would work, though I will not dispense it. I don't think anyone would want to be given powdered rhubarb.

But I'd love your ideas for what would work for show versus dispensing.

jgr1974
05-20-2008, 08:27 PM
Medicine from the era was not as we know it today. Most poultice, salves. or pain killers, were concotions of local herbs and various plants. This type of medicine is called Homopathic today. It can easily be searched most herbs etc could be gathered in your own backyard. Do a search on American Indian medicines, and you should come up with a lot of good info!

The Mad Mick!

Linda Trent
05-20-2008, 08:28 PM
Linda, I'd love your ideas for what would work for show versus dispensing.

I don't really have an answer for you, however, I always have a concern about what's used to give to people who aren't really sick. Yeah, I understand that it's probably such a small dose that what harm will it do. However, after years of putting on events where I've provided food and have asked the participants what their allergies are, I'm really surprised by the number of people with pretty severe allergies.

For Stuggle for Statehood I had to deal with people who had: Celiac Disease, Diabetes, Shell-fish and Nut allergies, as well as iodine.

For the Trial event: cucumbers, tomatoes, dairy products, shellfish, fish w/ milk, alcohol, and sensitivity to caffeine. That out of just 19 people.

Some of the people, including myself (I just developed an allergy to shellfish a year or two ago), can't have even a tiny amount of what we're allergic to without a bad reaction.

Having been around the medical aspect of the hobby from time to time I've seen people just hand out "blue mass" or "laudanum" without telling the receiver what it is they're really getting. And the receiver oftentimes not realizing that he/she should mention their allergies.

Coke syrup was a medication that I was given as a child. It's got a high sugar and a high caffeine content. Even for those who are somewhat sensitive it's probably not enough to matter; but for those who are sensitive enough to substances that even a little bit matters, they can't immediately recognize the substance the way they could the caffeine in a cup of coffee, or peanuts in a bag of nuts, alcohol in a flask.

I don't know what the answer is, unless we just make certain that we talk it over with the receiver before the event (or at least before the scenario).

Linda.

hanktrent
05-20-2008, 08:51 PM
Medicine from the era was not as we know it today. Most poultice, salves. or pain killers, were concotions of local herbs and various plants. This type of medicine is called Homopathic today. It can easily be searched most herbs etc could be gathered in your own backyard. Do a search on American Indian medicines, and you should come up with a lot of good info!

The Mad Mick!

If you're serious and not just trolling or being funny, that's about as wrong and mixed-up as possible. Check out some of the posts in the medical forum here, including the ones with extensive links to medical books, to see what it was really like.

Taking it from the top:

Medicine from the era was not as we know it today.

Okay, that's the only part that's right!

Most poultice, salves. or pain killers, were concotions of local herbs and various plants.

Except in some of the minor fringe branches of medicine, which weren't accepted among military doctors anyway, most medicines were concoctions of herbs imported from overseas or minerals.

This type of medicine is called Homopathic today.

Homeopathy was a specific type of medicine then, too, and was accepted about as much or as little then as now. Allopathic medicine was practiced by military doctors and was the dominant type of medicine then. The normal medicine practiced today, for example the treatment you'd receive from the average modern M.D., is the direct descendant of period allopathy.

However, homeopathic medicine does not consist solely of things made of local herbs. The strength of the dose is the most noticeable difference. Homeopathy used, in general, all the same substances as allopathy, but instead diluted them to miniscule doses, even so small that none of the original medicine remained. The philosophy was that "like cured like" so a medicine that caused a symptom in large doses would cure those symptoms in incredibly small doses.

Allopathy used the same philosophy as doctors use today: medicines are given which are believed to cure symptoms in recognizable doses, though they may have unavoidable and undesirable side effects.

It can easily be searched most herbs etc could be gathered in your own backyard. Do a search on American Indian medicines, and you should come up with a lot of good info!

Check out any list of medicines supplied to military doctors, or listed in the civilian U.S. Dispensatory, and tell me how many could be "gathered in your own backyard." In fact, there's a thread in this forum from not long ago, looking for evidence of how many indigenous substitutes the C.S. Army actually used, because the evidence so far indicates that requisitions for regular medicines were being filled, at least in the ANV, so local substitutes were rarely used.

American Indian medicines were promoted by the botanicalists, root doctors, Indian doctors, etc. in the early 19th century as a reaction to the heroic medicine of the allopaths, but in the 1860s, it would be as unusual to find that kind of doctor in a military hospital as it would today. And actual medicines used by American Indians didn't necessarily correspond with medicines promoted by whites as American Indian medicines--it was an advertising point.

Check out the medical forum here and I think you'll see that most of the folks posting here have a pretty clear idea about period medicine, especially military medicine, if you're interested in the subject.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

hta1970
05-20-2008, 09:08 PM
Linda,

Oh I am well aware of allergies and plan to make that one "non authentic" question I ask before administering anything. As for the laudnum, it would have been given in a dose of 10 to 30 minums mixed with water.

But thanks for being concerned for what our look-a-likes can do to people who have food sensativities.

NoahBriggs
05-20-2008, 11:12 PM
This past weekend I did some "surgery" on a few casualties who dropped into the Bushong yard. I asked in a low voice to every person who was plunked on my table if they had allergies to cola syrup, anise, licorice, or peppercorns before I did anything, knowing full well there might be someone with allergies. Nobody was, fortunately. They all played along nicely and I got some rehearsal in for After the Battle.

I'm proud of the repro medicines the group on this board have come up with. I think we have the best and most accurate simulated meds in the hobby, and it shows when we do our presentations.

Linda Trent
05-21-2008, 01:19 AM
Thanks Noah and Harry. I've not had a chance to work with either of you in the medical field (at ITW, we didn't get to do the hospital scenario we had hoped to be able to do). If I offended either of you I apologize. The last thing I want to do is offend anyone. My primary purpose for my post was merely a heads up to those who never really thought much about it.

Linda.

NoahBriggs
05-21-2008, 06:36 AM
Ain't no offense taken. I merely wrote down what I did, to help reinforce Harry's remarks on what he would do with fake meds.

TJ6
05-24-2008, 07:39 AM
I've been concerned about allergies too, and usually ask in a low voice if they are allergic to anything. It is amazing what people are allergic to.

Not being able to find the previously suggested representatives of blue mass, I made a stiff dough out of flour and water lightly colored blue with blue food coloring. I rolled it out in a long "snake" and cut off pieces, pressing them into round balls, and let them dry. They look like the blue mass pills in the pictures posted here on the forum and are fairly safe unless people have an allergy to wheat or food coloring. While they don't smell or taste like the real thing, they do serve both purposes--look-alike for display and pretty safe to dispense.

TJ

Elaine Kessinger
05-25-2008, 06:15 PM
One allergy that people are becoming aware of now is glueten (I don't think I spelt that correctly, but you know what I'm talking about) and that is exactly wheat. Could you, next time, get glueten-free flour from your organic foods store? Most folks would be very suprised about all the food items that have glueten in them, from pills to soda to gravies and sauces.
...And Mrs. Trent, thanks for looking out for us allergy prone people.

Hopefully helpful-
-Elaine

Linda Trent
05-25-2008, 09:16 PM
One allergy that people are becoming aware of now is gluetenYes, that was one of the allergies that I mentioned, Celiac Disease. The individual who came to SFS couldn't even use a skillet that had been used to cook anything that had gluten prepared in it. And you are correct, it is simply amazing the number of things that were on our watch list for this person. The list of banned foods was so great that the person was permitted to bring their own flour, and period food for the event.

It really is amazing to find out all the things that cause allergic reactions in people. One of my sisters had an allergy to the city water in our old hometown, and had to drink bottled water while visiting from college and after she got married. This was back in the early 1970s before we had all the home water purifiers today, she was also allergic to chocolate and could only have white chocolate at Easter time.


And Mrs. Trent, thanks for looking out for us allergy prone peopleAbout two years ago there was a thread on one of the forums about ice cream, and someone wondered what oyster icecream would taste like, so Hank decided to try making it. I've never been allergic to shell fish before, but as soon as I tried just the tiniest of bites (I hate oysters anyway, so I didn't want a large spoonful) my mouth began to burn, my throat began to swell, my breathing was labored, and I got severe cramps and diarrhea. All classic signs of a shellfish allergy. This lasted for about two days, all because I tried the tiniest amount of oyster ice-cream.

I'm now one of the crusaders to alert people about food alergies before events (particularly ones I plan to attend). Organizers who plan to provide all the food for participants should be alert as to who has alergies and make certain that the people are aware of how it will be served. Some people, like the person with an allergy to dairy products just suffered with stomach complaints and said that sometimes he/she just eats stuff anyway, while the ones allergic to tomatoes and cucumbers (if I remember correctly) would have much more severe complications with one small bite.

I don't remember, when I was active with the medical aspect of the hobby, ever hearing anyone ask about allergies to stuff before they handed out the pills and such. Perhaps they did, but regardless, a heads up is never a bad thing.

Linda.

TJ6
05-31-2008, 12:51 AM
Allergies are a big problem, and gluten is becoming more widely known to be an allergen. I've known maybe 2 people who were allergic and it was easier for them to list what they could eat than to list what they couldn't eat. What I like about using the flour dough pills is that they have a few simple ingredients and I know what they all are. I can quietly ask someone if they are allergic to wheat or gluten, any food coloring, etc. I worry that someone will be allergic to an ingredient in something that I don't know is there or that I've forgotten about. Peanut allergy, for instance. I work in the medical field in 2008 as well, and people with severe allergy to peanuts can't eat anything that has peanuts or peanut oil in it or on it, some cannot tolerate eating from a dish that has contained any peanut product, including shells, and this hidden ingredient lands many people in the hospital with severe reactions.

Another thought while we're thinking cautiously--none of our meds include alcohol. For those recipes that call for alcohol, I substitute vinegar, and our whiskey is usually coffee water (which people are warned of). One of our staff is an alcoholic (sober for 24 years but as he says, he will always be an alcoholic) and so we are very aware of the problem of giving an alcoholic a drink or a sniff of real alcohol. On the other hand, there are people who have never tasted alcohol and don't intend to. I don't use rubbing alcohol either because of the possibility that someone will pick it up and take a swig. (People are often really stupid, especially when they are showing off.)

I knew a lady, for awhile, anyway, who was a vegetarian by choice. For her, secret ingredients of animal products became a medical issue for her. After years of not consuming any meat, the slightest amount of animal products in a dish would cause nausea and vomiting. Even a little beef stock in a big pot of soup or some animal fat in a bread.

Whether it is a matter of allergies, addiction, or simple preference, we need to be careful what we hand out.

hta1970
05-31-2008, 11:16 AM
On the other side of being careful, it should also be the responsibility of reenactors with food allergies to make this aware to the reenacting medical staff if they intend to take part in sick call or battlefield triage. If the reenactor with the allergy does this then he could simply be suffering from another illness which would not require a look-a-like medicine which might cause an allergic reaction and in the case of battlefield casualties the flesh would which would require medication could be re-categorized as a fatal wound not requiring treatment at all.

I know some people want to participate in everything, but to be safe, those with allergies also have to make a very important step of responsibility before the portrayal starts to avoid a difficult situation.

The same can and should be said for those with serious health conditions exerting themselves in extreme weather. Most "field hospitals" I think would enjoy those people coming in at sick call and spending part of the day during the battle as a patient representing the many soldiers suffering from disease and not battle wounds, rather than having the soldier suffer serious health risks from the severe heat and stress on the battlefield. Fatalities from such bravado of wanting to play soldier in severe heat are not unheard of and very unfortunate. (Play soldier and fire your gun when the weather is more suited to your health condition)

A simple act of responsibility of those with health issues would avoid many health issues like this and make for better all around authentic portrayals including medical.

chatrbug
06-03-2008, 07:37 AM
Just wanted to point out... you dont have to be celiac to be allergic to gluten. I am very sensitive to gluten. I can eat it, but if you see me with some lovely red red cheeks.. you can pretty much be sure I have eaten it at some point, if I keep it eating it after my cheeks turn red, then I get sicker. Im lucky that I can handle some. those with celiac cant eat any, it destroys their intestines. Whereas those with an allergy dont have to worry about their intestines being destroyed.. just agitated!

Linda Trent
06-03-2008, 08:50 AM
Just wanted to point out... you dont have to be celiac to be allergic to gluten.
Yes, I did not mean to imply that all gluten allergies were Celiac. I only meant that I had to deal with gluten allergies when I had a participant with Celiac disease.

Linda