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Spoonful of Sugar: Medicinal Preparation in the Domestic Sphere

Meredith E. Torre, Guest Curator
December 1, 2006 - February 28, 2007
Native American holding flowers
Howard, Horton. Howard's Domestic Medicine.
Cincinnati: H. M. Rulison, 1859.
Ebling Library call number WBA H849d 1859

Howard's Domestic Medicine was consulted as a family medical guide for anatomy, physiology and midwifery, diseases of women and children, practice of medicine, and materia medica. The image here shows a Native American holding plants with the caption:

Indians are the most healthy human race. They take in an abundance of physical exercise, breathe pure air, and live on a simple diet. When sick they use no mineral potions but select roots, herbs, and plants from the great drugstore of their creator.

During the 19th century the images of Native Americans were often used in promoting nostrums and patent medicines. Though one did not want to condone a savage lifestyle, their use of herbs and plants was thought to be efficacious, and could certainly often lucrative to advertisers.


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