Source 4

Extracts from a printed copy of Precautionary Hints on Cholera issued by the Central Board of Health, 9 May 1832. This describes different stages of the disease and other suggested treatments in addition to medication, Catalogue ref: PC 1/113

Treatment of the Premonitory [warning] Symptoms of Cholera 


4. In a very large Majority of Cases, the Attack of Cholera is preceded by a Looseness of Bowels of longer or shorter Duration, say Twenty-four Hours. It is in this stage that remedial Assistance is most efficient, and that Life may be saved with the most Certainty, by checking the Disease in its Commencement. When, therefore, the Bowels become relaxed without an obvious Cause, where Cholera is prevailing at the Time, the following Measures should be adopted without Loss of Time: 

5. In the Case of Adults, previously healthy, let Blood be taken from the Arm to Eight or Ten ounces, or by Ten or Twelve Leeches to the Pit of the stomach, or by Cupping. 

Should the loose Motions of a darker Colour than natural, give Two Pills of Form No.2., and Four Hours after a Tablespoonful of Caster Oil, floating on Half a Wine-glass-full of Gin and Water, Brandy and Water, or cold Coffee, with Ten Drops of Laudanum [opium used as a pain killer and sleeping aid] if there be griping Pains. Confine the Patient strictly to Bed, and give the following Draught at Night:- Cinnamon or Peppermint Water, Half an Ounce; Laudanum, Twenty-five Drops 


Let the patient drink cold water or iced water if it can be had, allowing no more than two or three table-spoonfuls at a time, or bits of ice the size of a nut may be given to be swallowed whole, to allay the burning sensation at the pit of the stomach. Let bags or stockings filled with heated bran or sand be placed along the patient’s spine or sides, and feet warmers applied to his feet. Let him be kept still, wrapped in warm blankets, but not oppressed with heat or coverings, particularly over the chest and neck. 

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  1. What other treatments for cholera patients are suggested here? 
  2. Are there any suggestions that could be considered poor advice for a cholera patient in particular?