Wee Bugs And Wonder Drugs

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A Dram of Outlander Voyager Read-Along (Listen HERE)

Chapters 34-37:

Wee Bugs And Wonder Drugs
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“I’ve germs in my arm, have I?”

Yes, indeed.  Courtesy of one Mrs. Laoghaire MacKenzie MacKimmie Fraser, in fact.

Jamie has been shot.  The bullet has pierced his upper arm, exited out the other side, and has come to rest about 1 inch deep in the soft tissue of his chest wall.  Fortunately the bullet has avoided any bones and did not penetrate the chest wall deep enough to damage his lungs and vital organs. Jenny has cleaned the wounds as best she can and has removed the bullet but a serious infection has settled in Jamie’s arm.

The wound itself was a ragged dark hole, scabbed at the edges and faintly blue-tinged. I pressed the flesh on either side of the wound; it was red and angry-looking, and there was a considerable seepage of pus. Jamie stirred uneasily as I drew my fingertips gently but firmly down the length of the muscle.
From Voyager by Diana Gabaldon, Chapter 36

Gunshot Wounds

Gunshot wounds become infected frequently, and are considered to be contaminated wounds, which makes sense:

  • Soiled clothing is forced into the skin and various injured tissues during the penetration of the bullet
  • Debris and foreign material is forced into the wound canal
  • Trauma causes nonviable (dead) tissue which enables the proliferation of bacteria
  • The trauma causes the local blood supply to the area to become disrupted, decreasing the ability of one’s immune system to defend against bacteria

Throughout history, death in combat was more often due to infection than battle injuries. Things are not looking so good for Jamie.  In fact, had young Ian not rode a full day’s journey to beg Claire to return to Lallybroch to help save Jamie, the Outlander story may have had a much more rapid resolution!

Fortunately for Outlander fans, Claire had the wisdom and foresight to include a special item in the pocket of her dress in her travel back through the stones. Or perhaps it was just plain good sense, knowing she was returning to Jamie Fraser, a man whom trouble seems to find!

pcn-box

I laid the small, flat case on the table and flipped the latch.  “I’m not going to let you die this time either,” I informed him, “greatly as I may be tempted.”  I carefully extracted the roll of gray flannel and laid it on the table with a soft clicking noise.  I unrolled the flannel, displaying the gleaming row of syringes, and rummaged in the box for the small bottle of penicillin tablets.
“What in God’s name are those?” Jamie asked, eyeing the syringes with interest.  “They look wicked sharp.”
I didn’t answer, occupied in dissolving the penicillin tablets in the vial of sterile water.  I selected a glass barrel, fitted a needle, and pressed the tip through the rubber covering the mouth of the bottle.  Holding it up to the light, I pulled back slowly on the plunger, watching the thick white liquid fill the barrel, checking for bubbles.  Then pulling the needle free, I depressed the plunger slightly until a drop of liquid pearled from the point and rolled slowly down the length of the spike.
“Roll onto your good side,” I said, turning to Jamie, “and pull up your shirt.”
From Voyager by Diana Gabaldon, Chapter 36

Penicillin

Penicillin was indeed a game changer for Jamie, but also for the entire world, even playing a significant role in the success of the Allies in World War II.  The discovery of penicillin was a fortunate accident and starts with Scottish scientist Alexander Fleming.  The story goes that upon returning to his lab in the basement of St. Mary’s Hospital in London in late September 1928 after a two week holiday, Fleming noted an interesting phenomenon in a petri dish that had been left accidentally open.

The petri dish contained Staphylococcus bacteria he had been studying, but now also contained a blue-green mold which he suspected had contaminated his petri dish from an open window.  Upon closer examination, he noticed that there was a clear zone around the mold where no staph bacteria grew, as though the mold and prohibited the growth of bacteria in that area.

petri
From Alexander Fleming’s Nobel Lecture, December 11, 1945

Fleming identified the mold as penicillium, and thus named the active substance capable of killing the surrounding bacteria penicillin.  He authored a paper describing his findings but this was met with little interest.  Penicillin was unstable and Fleming had difficulty producing it in any significant quantity.  No further progress would be made for another decade.

quote

In 1939, a group of scientists at Oxford including Howard Florey and Ernst Chain developed a method for purifying and producing penicillin, though the yield still remained rather low.  A year later, their experiments showed that penicillin could successfully treat strep infections in mice.

Florey and Chain showed that penicillin could treat infections in human in 1941 when they treated a 48 year old policeman by the name of Albert Alexander.  Mr Alexander had scratched the side of his nose while pruning roses and developed a significant infection with abscesses involving the eye, face and lungs.  He was treated with penicillin and within days had a remarkable recovery.  However, the supply of penicillin ran out after 5 days.  His infection worsened again and he died.

By this time, the world was fully engaged in World War II.  The US drug company Merck started production of penicillin and successfully treated in 1942 a patient with streptococcal septicemia – an infection of strep in the blood.  However, treatment of that one patient required half of the total supply of penicillin available at the time.  Work began in earnest to figure out a way to mass produce large quantities of the drug.

The US government hoped to produce enough penicillin for mass distribution to the Allied troops in Europe.  In 1943, the US War Production Board took over responsibility for the increased production of penicillin with the goal to have adequate supply for the planned D-day invasion in France. Ultimately, 2.3 million doses were available in time for the invasion of Normandy in the spring of 1944.  During the war effort, penicillin was limited to military use, with rare exceptions made for civilians in cases where other treatments had failed.  By 1945, increased production allowed for penicillin to be available to consumers for the first time without restriction.  Fleming, Florey and Chain were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1945.

(L to R:  Alexander Fleming, Howard Florey, Ernst Chain.  From Wikipedia Commons)

Prior to the era of penicillin, seemingly minor infections were often life-threatening: strep throat, scarlet fever, dental infections, skin infections from simple scratches, etc.  Infections like bacterial pneumonia, meningitis and endocarditis (infection of the lining of the heart and the heart valves) were often death sentences.  In World War I, the death rate from bacterial pneumonia was 18%.  With the availability of penicillin in World War II, that fell to less than 1%.  Untreated skin infections from trauma as minor as a simple scratch carried an 11% mortality rate prior to the discovery of penicillin.

pcn-poster
Credit: Research and Development Division, Schenley Laboratories, Inc., Lawrenceburg, Indiana

Fleming, though, foresaw the risk involved with this miracle drug and in his Nobel Lecture, provided this ominous warning:

But I would like to sound one note of warning. Penicillin is to all intents and purposes non-poisonous so there is no need to worry about giving an overdose and poisoning the patient. There may be a danger, though, in under-dosage. It is not difficult to make microbes resistant to penicillin in the laboratory by exposing them to concentrations not sufficient to kill them, and the same thing has occasionally happened in the body.

-Alexander Fleming, Nobel Lecture, December 11, 1945

Antibiotic Resistance

Some suggest that we are headed to a post-antibiotic era – a time when we once again will be defenseless against seemingly simple infections.  Now we have antibiotic resistant pneumonia, tuberculosis, blood infections and even gonorrhea and few, if any, effective antibiotics against them. The CDC estimates that antibiotic resistance has been responsible for over 2 million illness and 23,000 deaths each year.

Antibiotics resistance happens naturally as the bacteria adapt but we must avoid accelerating this process.

resist
From: Center for Disease Control

As patients, we can minimize antibiotic resistance by:

  • Working to prevent infection with good hand washing, food hygiene and common sense, avoiding close contact with those who are ill.
  • Always finishing the full course of prescribed antibiotics and not taking left over antibiotics or someone else’s

It is scary to think we could be headed toward a time when we are unable to effectively fight bacterial, viral, and fungal infections. Progress continues in the development of new antibiotics, but resistance continues to develop at an alarming rate.

Fortunately, the bacteria infecting Jamie’s wound was no match for penicillin.  With no prior exposure to penicillin or similar antibiotics, the bacteria would have had no resistance and would easily succumb to the novel medication. And good thing, too – without antibiotics, this wound could have been fatal for Jamie. Thus, the Outlander saga could have ended much too early, and at the hands of Laoghaire no less (as though we needed any further reason to despise her)!

mold

 

Title Image: Mold Cultures in Petri Dishes (Public Domain)
References:
About Antimicrobial Resistance. (2015). Retrieved October 29, 2016, from http://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/about.html
American Chemical Society International Historic Chemical Landmarks. Discovery and Development of Penicillin. Retrieved October 29, 2016, from http://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/education/whatischemistry/landmarks/flemingpenicillin.html
Antibiotic resistance. (2015, October). Retrieved October 29, 2016, from http://who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/antibiotic-resistance/en/
Markel, H. (2013, September 27). The real story behind penicillin. Retrieved October 29, 2016, from http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/the-real-story-behind-the-worlds-first-antibiotic/
Sir Alexander Fleming – Banquet Speech. Retrieved October 29, 2016, from http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/1945/fleming-speech.html
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The Doctors Are In

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A Dram of Outlander
Voyager Read-Along
Chapters 32-33

The Doctors Are In
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“Jenny Murray had been the nearest thing I had ever had to a sister, and by far the closest woman friend of my life. Owing to circumstance, most of my close friends in the last fifteen years had been men; there were no other female doctors, and the natural gulf between nursing staff and medical staff prevented more than casual acquaintance with other women working at the hospital.  As for the women in Frank’s circle, the departmental secretaries and university wives…”  From Voyager by Diana Gabaldon, Chapter 32.

The past 20 years have been lonely for Claire.  She lived her calling as a physician but no doubt she longs for the close personal connections she knew in 18th century Scotland. Of course she did have Brianna and a close confidant in  Joe Abernathy, but her marriage with Frank was not an emotionally intimate relationship. For the most part, she was without female friends with whom to share the joys, insecurities, failures, and triumphs of motherhood, career, and life.

Female Physicians in the 20th Century

Claire entered medical school in 1955, a time when women made up only about 5-6% of medical students in the US. Realizing her calling as a surgeon, she then found herself even more of the exception as a surgical resident and then as a practicing surgeon.  The American College of Surgeons admitted its first woman in 1913, and thereafter only admitted between 0 and 5 women each year until 1975. While she would have interacted with numerous female nurses in the hospital, the paternalistic dynamic between physicians and nurses during that era would have prevented anything beyond purely professional relationships between Claire and the nurses.

It wouldn’t be until the 1970s, with the passage of Title IX and the Public Health Service Act, as well as the changing cultural tide, that the number of female physicians would begin to increase significantly.  We now have nearly equal numbers of men and women entering medical school, though the percentage of women entering surgery remains disproportionately low. According to the American Medical Association, as of 2006, women accounted for 12% of general surgeons in the US.

It is no surprise our stubborn, brilliant, tenacious, and brave heroine chose this path. Claire finds herself in good company with the trailblazing women of modern medicine.

Brave Women Paving the Way

Throughout history, women have played a central role in caring for the ill and injured, providing remedies at home, and working as nurses, midwives, and herbalists.  They were also physicians, dating as far back as ancient Egypt through medieval Europe.  However, when the education of physicians became more formalized, with the establishment of universities in the 1400s and the development of licensure for physicians, women were excluded.

Margaret Ann Bulkley, AKA Dr. David Barry

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Prior to the admittance of women into medical schools and inclusion in the licensing programs, women of course still found a way to practice medicine, whether by practicing informally within their communities or in some cases, attending medical school and practicing medicine while disguised as a man!  Margaret Ann Bulkley, born at the end of the 18th century in Ireland, lived her life as James Barry in order to practice medicine.  After receiving a medical degree at University of Edinburgh, Dr. Barry became a military surgeon in the British Army and practiced medicine for over 50 years in India, South Africa, and the Caribbean.  It wasn’t until an examination after dying of dysentery that it was discovered that Dr. Barry was actually a woman!

Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell

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Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman physician in the US.  Upon receiving her application, the dean of New York’s Geneva Medical College presented her application to the students.  He asked the all-male student body to vote on whether the college would accept a female student.  Thinking this a great joke, the students unanimously voted to admit Ms Blackwell and she graduated in 1849, passing the qualifying exam with the highest average.  She would go on to co-found the New York Infirmary for Women and Children.

Dr. Elizabeth Garrett

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Inspired by Dr. Blackwell, Elizabeth Garrett was working to gain acceptance to medical school.  After she was denied medical school admission, she entered Middlesex teaching hospital as a student nurse, and began attending medical school courses.  Despite receiving outstanding marks, just before it was time to graduate, she was dismissed.  None of the other universities in England would allow her to continue her studies and earn a medical degree.  Out of options for continuing her medical studies, she decided to focus her efforts on studying to become an apothecary.  She completed an apprenticeship, but following this, official university matriculation was necessary to complete her apothecary education.  Again, England’s universities were closed to her.  Likewise, she was rejected at St. Andrews University and University of Edinburgh in Scotland.  Undaunted, she continued on, attending rounds with a number of practitioners in London, accumulating the required proof of training for her application to the Society of Apothecaries and taking the qualifying examination. She passed and became the first woman licensed by the Society of Apothecaries, officially becoming a physician.  After building a large private practice and proving care to the impoverished, she taught herself French and was permitted to take the exam for a medical diploma in Paris, finally earning an MD in 1870.  Dr. Garrett went on to serve as the dean of the London School of Medicine for Women for twenty years and is thought to be the first women in history to perform an oophorectomy (surgical removal of the ovaries).

Dr. Sophia Jex-Blake

sophia_jex-blake_aged_25

Many women experienced similar road blocks in their journey to become physicians.  Sophia Jex-Blake was officially accepted to study medicine at the University of Edinburgh, though it appeared that she was accepted her in error. Quickly realizing the application was submitted by a woman, the university blocked her from entering classes.  Undeterred, Ms Jex-Blake, along with other physicians, created the London School of Medicine for Women in 1874.  However, women graduating from the new women’s medical college found that despite earning an MD, they were refused privileges to work at all of the reputable hospitals. These pioneering women therefore founded their own hospital, the New Hospital for Women.

Women in Europe and in the US founded women’s medical colleges and women’s hospitals and most women physicians in the late 19th century received their medical education and training in these institutions.  Public opinion did begin to change, finally, and by the early 20th century, women were accepted into traditional medical colleges and women’s medical colleges began to close.  It would be another century, however, until women and men attended medical school in equal rates, and women physicians are still fighting the gender gap in pay and academic promotion.

No doubt Claire would have fought similarly for the right to practice medicine, should she have found herself in the same situation.  She surely faced much discrimination on her own path to becoming a surgeon. However, once back in the 18th century, she generally finds herself practicing in areas in dire need of her help, and once her expertise is witnessed, roadblocks are few. Of course, she is not one to worry overmuch about the opinions of others!

Claire has found herself in the 18th century right back where she belongs: living her calling as a physician with the support and companionship of family and friends.

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References:
Lorber, J., & Ecker, M. (1983). Career development of female and male physicians. Academic Medicine, 58(6), 447-56
Lyons, A. (n.d.). Medical History — Women in Medicine – Health Guidance. Retrieved October 23, 2016, from http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/6355/1/Medical-History–Women-in-Medicine.html
Ulrich, B. (2010). Gender Diversity and Nurse-Physician Relationships. Virtual Mentor, 12(1), 41-45.
Young, A., Chaudhry, H., Pei, X., Halbesleben, K., Polk, D., & Dugan, M. (2015). A Census of Actively Licensed Physicians in the United States, 2014. Journal of Medical Regulation, 101(2), 8-23. Retrieved October 16, 2016.
14-086 Physician Specialty Databook 2014. (n.d.). Retrieved October 23, 2016, from https://members.aamc.org/eweb/upload/Physician Specialty Databook 2014.pdf
Header Image: STARZ, Other Photos: Public Domain
wellbehaved

Claire’s Soothing Tonic for Margaret Campbell

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A Dram of Outlander
Voyager Read-along
Chapter 29:  Culloden’s Last Victim
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Once a Physician, Always a Physician

After spending her entire adult life as a healer, first as a combat nurse and then as surgeon, Claire soon finds herself once again doctoring in 18th century Scotland.

Claire’s discussion of herbs and remedies with the apothecary reveals her extensive knowledge, and overhearing this, Reverend Campbell asks Claire to recommend a remedy to help with his sister’s “nervous complaints.” Never one to refuse a person in need of help, Claire of course offers to visit Margaret Campbell to evaluate her for herself.

According to her caregiver, Margaret suffers from mysterious episodes of silently staring off into space for as long as nearly two weeks at a time, followed by screaming to exhaustion, and falling asleep, only to awake unaware of what has happened.  Claire finds Margaret in a state of silent staring, seemingly oblivious to her surroundings. However, aside from evidence of vitamin C deficiency and physical inactivity, her examination of Margaret reveals no significant physical ailments.

What Has Happened to Margaret Campbell?

Margaret’s symptoms began after she was brutally attacked by English soldiers. She had been searching for her beloved, Ewan Cameron, in the aftermath of the Battle of Culloden, when she fell into the hands of a group of English soldiers.  Margaret was attacked, raped, and left for dead.  Later reunited with her brother, she was never the same and spent the next 20 years alternating between a normal state of mind, a catatonic state of silently staring, unaware of her surroundings, and continual screaming.

The description of sitting, staring off into the distance, not speaking, and being seemingly unaware of the people around her is consistent with catatonic behavior. Once a diagnosis of its own, catatonia is now a descriptor of rare subtypes of other disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression and PTSD.  Margaret may be experiencing catatonic symptoms as part of a rare form of PTSD as a result of the trauma she sustained at the hands of the English soldiers. It is also possible that she developed schizophrenia and began to display symptoms at this time (the peak period for the onset of schizophrenia is late adolescence and early adulthood, and she would have been around 17 years old at the time of the attack).

How Can Margaret Be Helped?

Treatment options for catatonia include antipsychotic medications, benzodiazepines, electroconvulsive therapy as well as supportive therapy.  The physical inactivity and refusal to eat in catatonia can result in muscle contractures, pressure sores, blood clots, weight loss, dehydration, electrolyte disorders, and vitamin deficiencies.  Some patients will require IV fluids and tube feedings to provide adequate hydration and nutrition, as well as anticoagulants to avoid blood clots.

With the resources available to her, Claire suggests a “soothing tonic” for Margaret, containing chamomile, hops, rue, tansy, verbena, and peppermint.

Claire’s Soothing Tonic for Margaret Campbell

Chamomile
chamomile
AKA German Chamomile
Used for: flatulence, travel sickness, nasal mucous membrane inflammation, nervous diarrhea, GI spasms, inflammation of the GI tract, restlessness, insomnia
Used topically for: hemorrhoids, leg ulcers, mucous membrane inflammation
Interesting fact:  Chamomile is a member of the Asteraceae/Compositae family which includes ragweed, chrysanthemum, marigold and daisy.  As a result, people who are sensitive to these may these (especially ragweed!) by experience allergic reaction to chamomile!

Hops
hops
Used for: restlessness, anxiety, sleep disorders, tension, excitability, nervousness, irritability, indigestion, as an antibacterial, as an appetite stimulant.  Also has been used for dysentery, leprosy and pulmonary tuberculosis.
Interesting fact:  Hops comes from the family cannabinaceae (hemp, marijuana)

Rue
rue
AKA Herb-of-Grace, Garden Rue, Common Rue
Used for: menstrual disorders, loss of appetite, heart palpitations, nervousness, hysteria, fever, headaches, weakness of the eyes.  Has been used for Multiple Sclerosis, Bell’s Palsy and cancers of the mouth.
Used topically for: skin inflammation, earaches and toothaches, as well as arthritis and sprains.  Has been used as an insect repellant.
Interesting fact: used as a bitter flavoring for food and beverages and as a fragrance in soap and cosmetics

Tansy
tansy
AKA Bitter Buttons, Daisy, Tansy Flower, Parsley Fern, Stinking Willie
Used for: regulating menstrual flow, treating roundworm infestation, migraines, neuralgia, epilepsy, rheumatism, stimulating appetite, flatulence and bloating, stomach ulcers, calming nerves, hysteria
Used topically for: scabies, bruises, sprains, sunburn, toothache and as an insect repellant
Interesting fact:  Thujone, a component of tansy, is thought to have a mind-altering effect similar to THC (the active component of marijuana).  It can be toxic to the nervous system and liver and can lead to seizures.

Verbena
verbena
AKA Pigeon’s Grass, Pigeonweed, Herb of Grace, Herb of the Cross, Juno’s Tears
Used for: sore throat, respiratory diseases like asthma and whooping cough, depression, hysteria, seizures, melancholia.
Used topically for: poorly healing wounds, burns
Interesting fact: used as a flavoring agent in alcoholic beverages

Peppermint
peppermint
AKA Brandy Mint, Lamb Mint
Used for: loss of appetite, spasms of the GI tract, flatulence, gastritis, enteritis, nausea and vomiting, morning sickness and soothing for cough and colds
Interesting fact: common culinary spice in foods and herbal teas

Benzodiazepines are one of the main treatments for catatonia today.  They are thought to have their action by binding to GABA receptors in the brain and increasing the efficiency of GABA in the brain.  Interestingly, chamomile also binds GABA and its sedative effects may be due to the same mechanism! Along with the sedating and calming effects of the other components of this soothing tonic, Margaret may well have some improvement in her symptoms.

 

Scurvy : The Ever-Present Scourge

scorbutic-gums

Margaret is also suffering from scurvy, as evidenced by her bleeding, spongy gums. Once the Campbells reach the West Indies, citrus fruits will be plentiful and will satisfy this need, but for now, Claire prescribes a tea of Rose Hips to provide vitamin C to reverse Margaret’s symptoms of scurvy.

Rose Hips
rose-hips
AKA Dog Rose, Hip Fruit, Hip Sweet, Hipberry, Wild Boar Fruit
Used for:  supplemental source of dietary vitamin C
Contains 1250mg of vitamin C per 100g of rose hip, making it one of the richest plant sources of vitamin C!
Interesting fact: itching powder (often used by pranksters to cause dreadful itching to their victims) is made from the fine hairs inside rose hips!

Check out the post It’s Green, Major, all about scurvy and Claire’s affinity for all things green!

All photos: Wikipedia Commons

 

References:

1. Sienaert, P., Dhossche, D. M., Vancampfort, D., Hert, M. D., & Gazdag, G. (2014). A Clinical Review of the Treatment of Catatonia. Frontiers in Psychiatry Front. Psychiatry, 5. doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2014.00181
2.  Jellin, J. M. (2003). Natural medicines comprehensive database. Stockton, CA: Therapeutic Research Faculty.
3. Srivastava, J., Shankar, E., & Gupta, S. (2010, November 1). Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with a bright future (Review). Molecular Medicine Reports, 3(6), 895-901. doi:10.3892/mmr.2010.377

Mr Willoughby’s Healthy Balls

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A Dram of Outlander Voyager Read-Along
Chapters 25-26

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This week’s installment of Outlander Science Club is inspired by Mr. Willoughby and his healthy balls. Ahem. No, not those. We are discussing Mr. Willoughby’s hangover remedy, Chinese Medicine Balls. (Need a refresher on the science behind hangovers? Check out this post from season one!)

Mr. Willoughby suffers from a hangover and an intense headache, and Claire apologizes, telling him she doesn’t have any medicines with her to help. He assures her he will be just fine because he has healthy balls.

Huh? Hold on a minute. Did we all miss the lecture in medical school discussing the connection between testicular health and headache?

Claire comes to learn that Mr. Willoughby is referring to a pair of jade spheres, “larger than marbles and smaller than baseballs,” – Chinese Medicine Balls or Baoding Balls.

baoding-balls
Photo: Wikipedia Commons

Baoding Balls are thought to have likely first originated in China during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Initially made of iron, they came to be made from varied materials including steel and tungsten, and stones such as jade, agate and marble. Many contain a chime that rings as the balls are moved.

Both balls are held in the palm and rotated, initially maintaining constant contact, and eventually rotating without contacting each other at all as hand strength improves.

Health benefits attributed to the use of Baoding Balls:

  • improved strength and dexterity of the hand muscles
  • improved brain function and reduced stress
  • improved circulation in the body
  • relief of the pain and stiffness of arthritis
  • decreased blood pressure
  • increased energy levels
  • improved concentration

Mr. Willoughby found relief from hangovers by using the Baoding balls. An accupressure point called Joining the Valley is located on the hand in the web space between the thumb and index finger. Stimulation of this point is thought to relieve pain, especially frontal headaches related to hangovers.

In addtion to using the Baoding balls, Mr. Willoughby likely applied other remedies of Traditional Chinese Medicine, including the use of herbs:

  • Cayenne to reduce pain and improve blood flow
  • Meadowsweet for its anti-inflammatory properties
  • Chamomile for relaxation
  • Valerian for sedation (a favorite of Claire’s)
  • Chrysanthemum or Yarrow to soothe the liver

What else could Mr. Willoughby have tried? A quick search for Hangover Cures yields all sorts of remedies, some more appetizing than others…

Outlander Science Club encourages responsible drinking. These remedies are presented for your entertainment and general education and is not intended as medical advice!

 

Poland

pickles
Photo:  Wikipedia Commons

Drinking pickle juice or eating sauerkraut – the high sodium content is thought to replenish electrolytes

 

 

 

 

 

Ecuador

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Photo: Wikipedia Commons

Oregano tea to settle the stomach

 

 

 

 

 

South Korea

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Photo: Wikipedia Commons

Haejangguk, “a soup to chase a hangover,” containing dried napa cabbage, vegetables, beef broth and congealed ox blood. Said to soothe the stomach.

 

 

Japan

umeboshi
Photo: Wikipedia Commons

Pickled ume fruit, very sour in taste, is thought to help digestion and liver function and to prevent nausea.

 

 

 

Germany

fischbro%cc%88tchen
Photo: Public Domain

Rollmops – Raw pickled herring wrapped around pieces of gherkin and onion, thought to restore electrolytes.

 

 

 

USA

prairie_oyster_
Photo: Wikipedia Commons

The Prairie Oyster – a whole raw egg with hot sauce, salt, pepper and a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce, the thinking being that the spices will combat the alcohol toxins and the egg provides nutrients.

 

 

 

 

Haiti

doll_with_pins_in_it_museum_of_witchcraft
Photo: Public Domain

“Curse the Bottle” – stick 13 black headed pins into the cork of a bottle to curse the sickness that the bottle is attempting to curse you with!

 

 

 

 

 

Italy

linea_doubleespresso
Photo: Public Domain

Several cups of strong espresso to provide caffeine for headache relief.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mongolia

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Photo: Wikipedia Commons

Tomato juice and pickled sheep eyes. Likely some hydration and electrolytes from tomato juice but it is unclear what the sheep eyes provide!

 

 

 

Bangladesh

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Photo: Wikipedia Commons

Coconut water provides hydration as well as a supply of potassium, magnesium and antioxidants

 

 

 

 

Las Vegas, Nevada

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Photo: Wikipedia Commons

Mobile hangover cure buses (and house calls) providing IV fluids, vitamins, and medications for nausea, pain and inflammation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And my personal favorite, Eggs Benedict.

eggs_benedict
Photo: Wikipedia Commons

The story goes that in the late 1894, wealthy socialite Lemuel Benedict, hurting from a night of excess, ordered at the Waldorf Hotel “buttered toast, poached eggs, crisp bacon and a hooker of hollandaise,” the dish that would evolve into the beloved Eggs Benedict!

 

 

 

Mr. Willoughby’s remedy seems to be an easily tolerated and readily portable method to potentially treat some of the symptoms of a hangover, and greatly preferable to some of the less savory options outlined above (sheep’s eyes, anyone?). Always learning and generally quite open-minded, it is evident that Claire will appreciate learning a few new techniques from Mr. Willoughby, so long as she can keep her shoes on!

Who else is eagerly awaiting the casting news of Mr. Willoughby? Can’t wait to see these scenes on screen!

 

cahonasscotland

We here at Outlander Science Club encourage healthy balls of all kinds! Encourage the men in your life to do regular self exams and check out Cahonas Scotland, a Scottish charity working to increase awareness and decrease the stigma surrounding male cancers!