Female Obstructions
And Other Things We Never Talked About
Diseases peculiar to women, were referred to only as Female Obstructions, and included everthing from venereal disease to sweaty palms.  It was believed that most of these complaints could be set right by drinking a cup of strong snakeroot tea; an old Canadian miracle drug.  Urinary difficultes were cured with pumpkin seeds, soaked in gin and taken by the glassful, three times a day.  
Caked Breasts, required baked potatoes stuffed in a woolen sock, crushed and applied "as hot as can be borne."  and perspiration of the hands was remedied by rubbing the hands frequently with a little dry wheaten bran. 
To avoid Pitting of the Face, caused by fever, though from a woman's magazine, I suppose was practiced by both sexes: "When the fever is at it's height, and just before the eruption appears, rub the chest thoroughly with croton oil and tartar emetic ointment.  A full eruption on the part of the body is thus secured, and the disease is also prevented from attacking the internal organs".
Nervous headaches are covered in the aches and pains category, but it was thought that the most common woman's ailment of the day was hysterics.  Maybe if they didn't tie their corsets so tight, they could have been prevented, but the best advice was a mild purgative (laxative) and visits in pleasant society.  If you were still nagged with unexplained 'female obstructions', Light on Dark Corners offered advice on diagnosing femal complaints:
Diseases of Women
DISORDER OF THE MENSES
1.  Supression of, or Scanty Menses:  Home Treatment - Attention to the diet, and exercise in the open air to promote the general health.  Some bitter tonic taken with fifteen grains of dialyzed iron, well diluted, after meals if patient is debilitated.  A hot foot bath is often all that is necessary.  

2.  Profuse Menstruation: 
Home Treatment - Avoid highly seasoned food and the use of spirituous liquors; also excessive fatigue, either physical or mental.  To check the flow patient should be kept quiet and allowed to sip cinnamon tea during the period. 

3.  Painful
MenstruationHome Treatment - Often brought on by colds.  Treat by warm hip baths, hot drinks (avoiding spirituous liquor) and heat applied to the back and extremities.  A teaspoonful of the fluid extract of viburnum will sometimes act like a charm.
How to Cure Swelled and Sore Breasts
Take and boil a quantity of chamomille and apply the hot fomentations; this dissolves the knot and reduces the swelling and soreness.
Leucorrhea or Whites
Home Treatment:  This disorder, if not arising from some abnormal condition of the pelvic organs, can usually be cured by patient taking the proper amount of exercise and good nutricious food; avoiding tea and coffee.  An injection every evening of one teaspoonful of Pond's Extract in a cup of hot water, after first cleansing the vagina with a quart of warm water, is a simple but effective remedy.
Hysteria
Definition:  A fundamental disorder of the nervous system of which it is impossible to speak definitely; characterized by disturbance of reason, will, imagination and emotions, with sometimes convulsive attacks that resemble epilepsy.

Symptoms:  Fits of laughter, and tears without apparent cause.  Emotions easily excited; mind often melancholy and depressed.  Tenderness along the spine, disturbances of digestion, with hysterical convulsions, and other nervous phenomena.

Home Treatment:  Some healthy and pleasant employment should be urged upon women afflicted with this disease.  Men are also subject to it, though not so frequently.  Avoid excessive fatigue and mental worry; also stimulants and opiates.  Plenty of good food and fresh air will do more than drugs.
Falling of the Womb
Causes: The displacement of the womb usually is the result of too much childbearing, miscarriages, abortions, or the taking of strong medicines to bring about menstruation.  It may also be the result of getting up too quickly from the childbed.  There are, however, other causes, such as general breaking down of the health.

Symptoms:  If the womb has fallen forward it presses against the bladder, causing the patient to urinate frequently.  If the womb has fallen back, it presses against the rectum, and constipation is the result, with often severe pain at stool.  If the womb descends into the vagina there is a feeling of heaviness.  All forms of displacement produce pain in the back, with an irregular or scanty menstrual flow and a dull and exhausted feeling.

Home Treatment
:  Improve the general health.  Take some preparation of cod-liver oil, hot injections (a teaspoonful of powdered alum with a pint of water), a daily sitz bath, and a regular morning bath three times a week will be found very beneficial.  There, however, can be no remedy unless the womb is first replaced to the proper position.  This must be done by a competent physician who should frequently be consulted.
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