Thursday, January 7, 2010

Early Treatment of Cholera (by Olivia Cvitanic)

According to The British Medical Journal of June 1922, an effective was to treat cholera was through administering "volatile oils." You may be wondering what a "volatile oil" is and why it helped cholera, or suspected to help cure cholera. The doctor writing this article in 1922, first heard that the combination of grated nutmeg and rum was a quick fix for a bad case of cholera. In fact, the doctor tested this nutmeg treatment out and it proved very effective in curing cholera in the early stages. The doctor hypothesized that the nutmeg was so effective because of it's "volatile oil" that he believed had some bacteria killing powers that, aborted the cholera bacteria in the intestines when ingested.
During his time working at an army camp, this doctor noticed that medical stores were producing a "pro diarrhea mixture" made up of volatile oils of cajeput, aniseed, and juniper. These oils, like the nutmeg oil, did help cure cholera in most cases according to the doctor. Later on, he finds that administering cinnamon oil too can help eliminate cholera. I found this old British Medical Journal very interesting and surprising- mostly because I am truly shocked that ingesting nutmeg oil could cure cholera. I am wondering what the medical reason is for that. Anyway, if you would like to read more, here's the web address:

1 comment:

John Latto said...

I hadn't heard of nutmeg oil but many spices have interesting properties. Next time you have a bad toothache try out the anaesthetic properties of clove oil. Amazing stuff.

In an odd link though you may be aware that Coca-Cola was originally promoted as a 'tonic' and it was claimed to cure many 'diseases' (including impotence, headaches and morphine addiction!) but, because it is 'secret' you may not be aware that nutmeg oil is generally considered to be one of the ingredients.....