Miscellaneous Health Notes

attend to the little thingsThis time I have pulled out a few notes from 1880 about health. I thought it was important to let you know about the dangers of cold water. Be careful out there!

1880: Miscellaneous Health Notes

Pine Woods and Health. The pleasant odor emitted by fir-trees in a sunny atmosphere has long been thought serviceable to invalids, and the vicinity of pine woods has been declared salubrious.

Danger of Cold Water in the Face. It is dangerous to wash the face in cold water when much heated. It is not dangerous, but pleasantly efficacious, if warm water is used.

A Most Refreshing Bath. Sun baths cost nothing, and are the most refreshing, life-giving baths that one can take, whether sick or well. Read carefully our chapter on “Sunlight and Health.”

To Prevent Harm from Drinking Cold Water. It is a very safe rule to wet your wrists before drinking cold water if at all heated. The effect is immediate and grateful, and the danger of fatal results may be warded off by this simple precaution.

Position After Being Tired. If very tired physically, lie on the back, knees drawn up, the hands clasped above the head, or resting on the elbows, the fore-arm at right angles, and the hands hanging over by the bend of the wrists.

Pie Crust and Dyspepsia. Whoever eats heavy pie-crust commits a crime agains his physical well-being, and must pay the penalty. The good house-wife should see to it that all pastry and cakes are light; no others should be eaten.

Most Healthful Seat in a Car. Other things being equal, the forward seats in a street or railway car are the most healthful. The forward motion of the car causes a current of air backward, carrying with it the exhaltations from the lungs of the forward passengers. In all cases avoid as much as possible inhaling another’s “breath.”

Improper Sitting and its Evils. Consumptive people. and all afflicted with spinal deformities, sit habitually crooked, in one or more curves of the body. There was a time in all these when the body had its natural erectness, when there was not the first departure on the road to death. The make of our chairs, especially that great barbarism the unwieldy and disease-engendering rocking-chair, favors these diseases, and undoubtedly, in some instances, leads to bodily habits from which originate the ailments just named, to say nothing of piles, fistula, and the like. The painful or sore feeling which many are troubled with incessantly for years at the extremity of the backbone, is the result of sitting in such a position that it rests upon the seat of the chair at a point several inches forward of the chair-back.

To Cool a Room. Wet a cloth of any size, the larger the better, and suspend it in the room. Let the ventilation be good, and the temperature will sink from ten to twenty degrees in less than an hour.

Little Things and Health. The little causes must be looked for. There are the little errors in diet, the little violations in our habits of exercise, study, sleep, dress, etc., etc. The wise and prudent will carefully attend to the little things. 

Source: Fowler, C. H. and W. H. De Puy. Home and Health and Home Economics. New York: Phillips & Hunt, 1880.
~ pp. 301-304, 306 ~