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August 15, 1896


Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1896;XXVII(7):344-346. doi:10.1001/jama.1896.02430850004001a

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The American people have been called a medicine-taking nation. If the quantity of drugs prescribed by physicians, the masses of patent medicines, the barrels of so called home remedies, such as teas, decoctions, infusions and other monstrosities, swallowed by the American people, were ascertained, collated, arranged and published in a book, it would strike the reader dumb with astonishment. The fact that any human body can survive the injection of such an endless variety of vegetable, animal and mineral poisons as are poured into the patient and unresisting stomach and thence distributed throughout the various channels, acting upon the digestive organs, the circulation and the nervous system, proves that man is indeed "fearfully and wonderfully made," and has much greater powers of resistance than we would believe possible.

Let us suppose that an individual has what is commonly called a cold, which may be catarrh of the pharynx, the tonsils,

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