How Did Pioneers Treat Burns In The 1800s?


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Matthew Crist answered
Over the years, many wives tales and old fashioned remedies have been passed along.  Luckily, common sense and medical advances have done away with most of the nuttier ones such as this one from "The American Frugal Housewife,” by Mrs. (Lydia) Child, first published in 1833; to treat burns: If a person who is burned will patiently hold the injured part in water, it will prevent the formation of a blister. If the water be too cold, it may be slightly warmed, and produce the same effect. People in general are not willing to try it for a sufficiently long time. Chalk and hog’s lard simmered together are said to make a good ointment for a burn.  Pioneers did not have modern medicines and where loathe accepting any assistance from their better prepared neighbors the Native American Indians.

Native American cultures have practiced and natural remedies to most all common ailments of the early days.  Recent broadening understandings of the natural and organic compounds as they relate to our health and well being are showing glaring similarities and advantages of ancient tribal remedies when compared to modern pharmaceuticals.  While there is no substitute for modern medical testing, the old remedies are proving to be not only cheaper but safer to consume than many of the marketed pharmaceuticals designed to replace natural defenses with modern cures. 

A prime example of this would be the use of over the counter sinus pills for daily relief compared to the regular use of a Neti Pot or sinus bath.  Either is effective in relieving symptoms but a Neti Pot is benefiting you additionally by clearing away debris that could add to the congestion while the pills are weakening your defenses, forming a chemical buildup in your body and not providing any secondary benefit. 

I recommend a combination of all forms of medicine, ancient, modern, emotional and spiritual.  If the pioneers had been less afraid of their neighbors, the American Indian’s they may have survived in greater number and shared their culture instead of imposing it upon the native people.

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