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JAMA 100 Years Ago
August 25, 1999


Author Affiliations

Edited by Jennifer Reiling, Editorial Assistant.

JAMA. 1999;282(8):718E. doi:10.1001/jama.282.8.718


The remedy I wish to exalt to-day is no new substance, compounded in German laboratory by processes of synthesis, but an original product, direct from the hands of the Creator; utilized first by Adam, recognized and recommended by all the illustrious followers of Esculapius to the present day; even used by the Great Physician, Jesus Christ, who commanded the leper to go bathe in the river Jordan and be made whole. Yet with all these unparalleled recommendations, water is largely neglected by the busy practitioner of to-day, for the easier prescription which the druggist may compound. One hundred years ago Cullen sang the praises of cold water, and Brand of Stettin, Von Ziemsen, and our own Baruch, and many others have fought nobly to win it a place in our pharmacopeia. But their success has only been partial. Why has it not been complete? Surely not because the remedy does not meet the expectations of those who give it a fair trial. But it is such a common, every-day remedy with such an ordinary name. Sometimes I think if it were given its chemical name of protoxid of hydrogen, it would rise in the estimation of the profession.