Primrose is particularly good at her job of ship’s purser (and chief of supplies) aboard the Spotted Custard in Imprudence.
One of Primrose’s jobs consists of stocking the medicine cabinet on board the Spotted Custard. Alexia in the Parasol Protectorate series is rather infamous for insisting that either vinegar or bicarbonate of soda could solve all of life’s ills, however her daughter is a bit more (shall we say) prudent on these matters.
I’ve listed the items as the Victorians might have. [In brackets is the use or perceived use and/or more modern term.] I hope it goes without saying that this is in no way a suggested medical selection for modern times. However, this is the internet, so I’m saying it.
Supplies for a Victorian Household Medicine Cabinet 1870-1900
- Powdered ipecacuanha [induce vomiting]
- Purgative powder [laxative]
- Sulphate of quinine [malaria treatment]
- Chlorodyne [chloroform and morphine tincture] & laudanum [opiate in alcohol, often sherry]
- Carbolic acid [antiseptic]
- Castor oil [Ricinus]
- Eno’s fruit salts
- One bottle each of M’Kesson and Robbin’s compound podophyllin and aloes and myrrh pills [for warts and verrucas, also purgative]
- Stick of nitrate of silver [antibacterial, often used in eyes for conjunctivitis, skin infections, ulcers]
- Cholera pills
- Iodine [used on rashes and wounds]
- Tabloids of antipyrin and phenacetin [analgesic and antipyretic]
- Aspirin [willow bark extract]
- Salicylate of soda [pain relief, for skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis]
- Boracic acid [disinfectant]
- Cough lozenges
- Tabloids of grey powder [mercury in calk, mainly purgative and antisyphilitic]
- Kay’s essence of linseed [coughs and colds]
- Clean undyed squares of cotton, wool, linen
- Oiled silk
- Roll of adhesive plaster
- Bandages [usually linen]
- Dressing forceps
Gail’s Sources for Victorian Home Medicine
I drew up this list from a combination of sources:
- Foote‘s Medical Common Sense & Plain Home Talk. (American 1871)
- Southgate’s Things A Lady Would Like to Know (English 1876)
- Davidson’s Hints to Lady Travellers (English 1889)
- Steel & Gardiner’s The Complete Indian Housekeeper and Cook (1898, revised). Steel also includes recipes for common ailments, unfortunately not gun shot wounds.
|vIron Cordial, King of Tonics, 1886 (includes a remedy for being female)|
Other Fun Posts on Victorian Health & Medicine
- Leech, Lavender, and Laudanum: Medicine in the Romantic Age
- 19th Century Marriage Manuals: Advice for Young Wives
- Washing Up Correctly in 1854
- The Alchemy of Tea
- Isabella Beeton’s Book of Household Management: A Victorian Phenomenon
Now don’t even get me started on Victorian cosmetics.
|Advertisement for Fould’s arsenic complexion wafers by H B Fould in New York, 1901.|
Book most relevant to this discussion?
Imprudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the Second
Rue and the crew of the Spotted Custard return from India with revelations that shake the foundations of England’s scientific community. Queen Victoria is not amused, the vampires are tetchy, and something is wrong with the local werewolf pack. To top it all off, Rue’s best friend Primrose keeps getting engaged to the most unacceptable military types.
Rue has family problems as well. Her vampire father is angry, her werewolf father is crazy, and her obstreperous mother is both. Worst of all, Rue’s beginning to suspect what they really are… is frightened.
GAIL’S DAILY DOSE
Your Moment of Parasol . . .
Your Infusion of Cute . . .
Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
Gail’s Interview on No Don’t Die
Quote of the Day:
“I expect I shall feel better after tea.”
~ P.G. Wodehouse, Carry on, Jeeves
Want every Gail before the rest of the world? Join the Chirrup!