Get the CD, Book or Download the Glossary


List of Treatments for Diseases and other related information

Ague Drop A solution of arsenate of potash; Fowler's tasteless ague-drop, for which the Liquor arsenicalis is substituted. It is used as a remedy in intermittent fevers. [Thomas1875]
Alienist A physician who devotes himself specially to insanity. [Tuke1892]
Bedlam A lunatic asylum, a corruption of Bethlehem. The name of a religious house in London converted into a hospital for lunatics. [Tuke1892]
Blister Any substance which, when applied to the skin, irritates it, and occasions a serous secretion, raising the epidermis, and inducing a vesicle. Blisters are used as counter-irritants. By exciting a disease artificially on the surface, we can often remove another which may be at the time existing internally. [Dunglison1868]
Bloodletting A term embracing every artificial discharge of blood for the cure or prevention of disease. It is general, as in venesection and arteriotomy, or topical, as in the application of leeches, cupping glasses, or by scarification. [Thomas1875]
Cucurbitula A cupping glass. [Thomas1875]
Cupping Application of cucurbitula, or cupping glasses. [Thomas1875]
Flummery A preparation of oatmeal, which forms a light article of food during convalescence. [Dunglison1868].
Flying Blisters A mode of treatment employed by the continental practitioners for the purpose of insuring a more diffusive counter-irritation. According to this plan, the blister remains only till it produces a rubefacient effect; a second blister is then applied to some other part, and so on in succession. [Thomas1875]
Goitre Sticks In South America the stems of a seaweed are so called, because they are chewed by inhabitants where goitre prevails.-Royale [Dunglison1855]


A vulgar name for elephantiasis, or lepra. Also. a hospital for the reception of the leprous. Leper Hospital. [Dunglison1855]


Surgical incision into the abdominal wall; often done to examine abdominal organs. [Wordnet]

Lazaretto A hospital for persons afflicted with contagious disease. A building set apart for the performance of quarantine. [Thomas1875]
Lysol A dark brown oily fluid of the coal tar series. It is used as an antiseptic. [Hoblyn1900].
Nimgimmer A physician or surgeon, particularly those who cure the enviable disease. [Grose1823]
Nostrum Literally, our own; a term applied to a quack medicine, and indicative of exclusiveness. [Hoblyn1855]

A quack medicine; private remedy. [Cleaveland1886]

Panacea A pretended remedy for every disease. [Thomas1875]
Panada Bread, boiled in water to the consistency of pap; sometimes administered to the sick. [Dunglison1868]
Perkinism A mode of treatment introduced by Perkins, of America, and consisting in the application to diseased parts of the extremities of two needles made of different metals, called by him metallic tractors. [Hoblyn1855]

Pest House

A hospital for patients affected with plague or other infectious disease. [Heritage]

Piss Prophet A physician who judges of the diseases of his patients solely by the inspection of their urine. [Grose1823]
Placebo Applied to a medicine given rather to please than benefit the patient. [Thomas1875]

I please; a medicine to amuse rather than benefit. [Cleaveland1886]

Plugging The introduction of lint, or other substance, to stop hemorrhage. [Cleaveland1886].
Quackery "Mean or bad acts in phsic," comprehending not only the absurd impostures of ignorant pretenders, but also unbecoming acts of professional men themselves. [Thomas1875]
Quarantine The period during which vessels from infested or suspected ports are debarred from entering into a healthy one, and from landing their goods, crew, or passengers, unless to be confined in a lazaretto. [From the Italian quaranta, "forty;" because it usually lasted forty days.] [Thomas1875]
Repellent Applications are sometimes so named which make diseases recede, as it were, from the surface of the body. [Hooper1843].
Royal Stitch The name of an old operation for the cure of bubonocele. I t consisted in putting a ligature under the neck of the hernial sac, close to the abdominal ring, and then tying that part of the sac so as to render it impervious by the adhesive inflammation thus excited. [Thomas1875]
Scurvygrass Cochlearia Officinalis, a cress used as a salad and as a remedy for scurvy. [Stedman 1918].
Shucks A strong tea of corn-shucks, used as a remedy for chronic malaria in the southern United States. [Gould1916]
Squill The dried sliced bulb of the white-bulbed form of the squill ( Urginea maritima ) of the Mediterranean region or the dried sliced bulb of a related Asian plant ( U. indica ) that contains one or more physically active cardiac glycosides and was formerly used as an expectorant, cardiac stimulant, and diuretic. [Merriam Webster].

The dried inner scales of the bulbs of any of these plants, used as rat poison and formerly as a cardiac stimulant, expectorant, and diuretic. [American Heritage].

Example from a 1926 death certificate from New Brunswick, Canada: "Indefinite - Said to have had a cold then given a dose of squills."

Tincture A solution of any medicinal substance in alcohol, or diluted alcohol, prepared by maceration, digestion, or percolation. A solution in spirit of ammonia is termed an ammoniated tincture, and a solution in ethereal spirit, an ethereal tincture. [Thomas1875]
Vaccinia Cowpox; also called Variola vaccina. A disease originating in the cow, with which, if the human body be inoculated, it is preserved from the contagion of smallpox. [Thomas1875]
Venesection The minor operation of opening a vein with a lancet, otherwise called phlebotomy; a bleeding or blood letting. [Thomas1875]
Zwangsjacks Straight-Jacket. [Tuke1892]