My son was in his high school’s production of Guys and Dolls” about a week ago and one of the songs, Adelaide’s Lament” had a bit about La Grippe”. Funny song and a funny name for a disease. Thought it referred to the flu but looked it up to be sure and ran across this gem of an article, circa 1917, about La Grippe”.

State of the art in medicine was certainly something else. J. H. Wysong, M.D. recommends:

  1. Coal-tar product judiciously administered”
  2. Aspirin best given in moderate dosage in combination with citrated caffein”
  3. Codeine may be added when pain is unusually severe”
  4. Apomorphine - apparently now used in Parkinson’s patients
  5. Morphine
  6. For the relief of the cough and bronchorrhea of old age, dilute nitric acid, tincture nux vomica (strychnine and brucine) and spirit of chloroform”…“is the writer’s favorite prescription”
  7. calomel - mercury anyone?
  8. strychnine

And just for a bit more fun… arsenic.

Worth a few minutes of your time to read. Very entertaining.

May 1, 2024