Sources: Papers On Health

Some things regarding this useful fruit require to be noted

by those using them in sickness. To eat the whole substance of an

orange except the outer rind is to give the digestive system some hard

work. We have known most serious stomach disturbance caused to the

healthy by doing so. Some parts of the inner rind and partitions of the

fruit act almost like poison. These should always be rejected. The

juice is most beneficial. It is best given to patients by squeezing the

orange into a glass, and straining it through muslin into another

glass. Add its own bulk of water and a teaspoonful of sugar, if liked.

This may be taken warm or cold, and will do where even milk and water

cannot be taken. (See Drinks).

"Outstrikes."--These appear on the skin from various causes. In the

case of infants, they often appear on the head and face during


An experienced medical man is cautious in the extreme of quickly

healing the distressed skin. He is afraid of "driving in" the eruption

on the brain. Perhaps he refuses to do anything whatever to heal the

head. From what we have seen, however, even in the worst cases, when

head and face and neck were one great sore, we feel assured that there

is no need why this distress should be continued at all. It may be, at

least in many cases, safely and not very slowly healed.

The whole skin of the infant must be brought into vigorous and

healthy action. The head at first need not be touched; but the entire

skin not affected should be sponged with warm vinegar, and then dried,

rubbed with warm olive oil, and this wiped off carefully and gently, so

far as it does not adhere to the skin under the soft dry towel. Quite

enough remains to do all the good required; and if more is left on, a

chilliness and nastiness are felt, which prejudice many against the use

of it altogether.

It is well, in many cases, not to touch the child with water or

soap. The vinegar and oil cleanse the skin and do all that is

required. Then vinegar very much diluted should be used warm to apply

with a soft rag to the sores. Take a teaspoonful of vinegar in a

breakfastcupful of warm water. If this causes the child to cry when

applied, then dilute still further. Vinegar weak enough to cause hardly

any feeling when it touches the sore, will heal; stronger vinegar

will injure.

We have known a nurse try to heal an outstricken face by means of good

vinegar at its full strength. She was instructed to use the vinegar

very much diluted, but fancied it would heal faster if much stronger.

She might just as well have fancied that it is better to put one's cold

hands into the fire than to hold them at some distance when wishing to

warm them. The child's face was made greatly worse, of course, and the

cure abandoned. It is therefore necessary to urge that a strength of

acid which secures only the most gentle sensation of smarting is

essential to cure. The weak vinegar is first applied to the outer and

less fiery parts of the outstrike. Try to heal from this inwards, by

gradual advances from day to day. On the less affected parts the weak

acid may be applied twice a day; on the sorer parts only when itching

is so distressing as to demand it.

We have seen a child whose head, face, and neck were one distressing

sore; we have taken the cloth with the diluted vinegar and daubed a

square inch or so of the skin on which the fiery eruption was so full,

and in less than two minutes we have seen the colour change into a

healthy pink, and remain that colour when the olive oil was applied.

The child's sores yielded gradually, till the whole illness was


Sometimes such eruptions, in adults as well as children, arise from

suppressed perspiration, or from the perspiration being of an acrid and

irritating nature. It is sometimes apparently the result of the rubbing

off of a little of the skin, or it comes on without any known accident.

For a time it seems scarcely worth noticing, and is consequently

neglected; but gradually it spreads on the surface and gives

uneasiness, especially after the patient has been some time in bed. It

goes on till a large portion of the skin from the knee to the ankle is

reddened and roughened with a moist eruption. Now remedies of various

kinds are tried, but the evil gets worse and worse. The person affected

is often a struggling mother or widow, who has to keep on her feet all

day in anxious toil, and neither gets very good food during the day nor

proper rest during the night. Month after month goes past, and no

relief comes. The positive agony which such persons suffer is

incredible to those who have not experienced anything of the kind.

Here the great difficulty often is to get the patient the very chief

condition for cure--that is, perfect rest for the affected limb. If

this can in any way be secured, all else is comparatively plain

sailing. But this is sometimes impossible: the children may not be in a

position to be left, or the little business cannot be allowed to die,

as it would in a month's time if not attended to, or some other

hindrance is in the way. We must just do the best in the circumstances.

We shall say that we are compelled to do without the rest, probably

also without certain other things. Rest is very desirable, and so is a

gentle rubbing all over the body, first with warm vinegar and then with

olive oil, but there is perhaps no one capable of doing such a thing

whose services can be secured. It is easy to "order" very useful

processes, but among many who would not be exactly called "poor people"

it is not easy to have the "order" carried out. We must often do

without this double rubbing, and yet cure the diseased skin of the

afflicted limb. Let the reader remember that it is no matter of choice

that we dispense with the rest and the rubbing. If they are possible,

by all means let them be taken advantage of to the utmost.

For treatment, unless distinct running sores are formed, bathe the limb

with warm water and M'Clinton's Soap, which will remove all crusts,

scabs, &c. Then apply zinc ointment. Do not bathe or poultice after the

first time. All secretion can be removed by a piece of cotton wool

dipped in warm olive oil. If deep running sores have formed, then we

must have a water-tight box of rough deal in which the whole leg up to

the knee can be bathed for an hour in hot water. We see no reason why

it should cost much over a shilling to get this, and it would be a sore

want if it could not be procured. It is so made that the leg and foot

can rest easily in it while it is nearly full of hot water. It need not

be wider than just to hold the limb easily. Some good-hearted joiner

will put five small boards together so as to meet this want. We shall

suppose that it is supplied. Now for a few cloths, such as will cover

the diseased parts, about three-ply all round. Then for vinegar or

acetic acid, so diluted with water that it will just cause a slight

smarting when heated and touching the affected skin. It must not be so

strong as to cause burning, nor so weak as to give no sense of its

presence at all, but between these extremes. It can be tried when too

weak, and vinegar or other acetic acid added till a gentle smarting is

felt. The cloths are dipped in the diluted and heated vinegar, allowed

to drip till no more falls off, and then laid tenderly all round the

sore. A strip of dry cloth may then be wound round so as to keep these

on, and the leg thus dressed placed in the bath. It should be kept

there, with now and again a gentle movement, and the strong comfortable

heat of the water kept up for an hour, unless the patient should feel

sickness before that time. If this comes on, the water is too hot; but,

instead of merely cooling it, the bath may cease for the time, and

water not so hot may be tried on a second occasion. Whether the hour

has been reached or not, good has been done. The leg is taken out of

the hot water and gently dried--not rubbed, but dried without rubbing.

Then as much cloth as will go twice round all is dipped in warm olive

oil, and this is pressed out a little, so that it may not run. The

oiled cloth is wrapped all round the limb. Some dry cloth is also

wrapped round, and the first treatment is completed. This should be

repeated every night before going to bed, for a week at least. It may

be required for a fortnight if the case is bad and no rest at all can

be had during the day. We should say the cure may fail for want of this

rest, but this is not likely. In the morning as soon as convenient, the

diseased skin should be soaked with a warm vinegar cloth, so that it

shall smart just a little. It should then be dressed again with the

warm olive oil. If at any time during the day or night it gets

irritated and troublesome, this morning dressing may be repeated. It

will not be very long before the one leg is as good as the other. The

general health, too, of the patient will be sensibly improved.

It is scarcely necessary to point out that a similar treatment to this

will cure "outstrikings" of the same sort in the arms and other parts

of the body, as well as upon the legs. There is required only some such

modification of the appliances as may meet the particular case. For

example, we have seen the outstriking between the shoulders, so that it

could not be reached by bathing, unless by appliances utterly out of

the question in the circumstances. But dressing with hot vinegar

cloths, allowing these to remain on for twenty minutes or so, and then

dressing with warm olive oil, allowing this to remain for two or three

hours, is quite possible to any one who is so affected; and this will

usually be sufficient for a cure.

You have, perhaps, been cured temporarily more than once with arsenic,

and the evil has returned worse and worse. In that case you may require

all the more patience and the longer application of the above

treatment; but, once cured in this way, you will not, so far as a good

long experience enables us to judge, be likely to have any relapse. In

very bad cases we have seen poultices of mashed potatoes made with

buttermilk cleanse the diseased parts most effectually, and then the

acid takes healing effect very speedily. In these cases ordinary

medical treatment had utterly and hopelessly failed.