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Grace Comes In Many Forms Voyager Read A Long Week 18

In this episode, Claire finds “Grace Comes In Many Forms.” She is a captive fighting an uphill battle against not only Typhoid, but the realities that await her and Jamie in Jamaica. She does, however, some moments of peace within the sunset and in her intense vulnerability, with the special passenger, Lord John Grey, Governor of Jamaica.  He sees her for her position and the burdens weighing upon her. He acts as a salve to her grief and rage. She decides she needs to escape. She has a good plan in place, but is thwarted accidentally by the Captain. She is not going to stop looking for a way off the Porpoise. Soon a second opportunity comes with the help of Annekje Johansen, the mistress of the goats, after a fluke wind damages the mast. This time the plan works. Claire jumps. The current takes her in to the shore of Hispaniola, just the Annekje said it would.

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Her escape is harrowing and she pays the price physically with exhaustion, being battered, and severe dehydration. Eventually, she finds another moment of grace, in her rescuer, Lawrence Stern, Doctor of Natural Philosophy. A friend of his lives near. With the hospitality and assistance of the strangely behaving priest, Father Fogden, she is fortified. She’s fed, clothed, and given respite from her difficult circumstances.  Along the way, she learns many useful details from Lawrence Stern, including, how he had met Jamie in Edinburgh. Finally, she is brought to a beached ship, that just happens to be the Artemis. The only person missing, is Jamie.

There of course, is so much more to these lively chapters. Listen to hear all about it.

What’s Coming up? Week 19 will cover chapters 51 and 52.

How can you participate? To have your questions, comments for the regular read along, or Outlander Science Club results submitted for an upcoming podcast, email or call in to the listener line 3 days prior to airing for inclusion (see schedule below). Join the weekly Twitter chat Wednesday nights at 6pm PT/9pm ET to discuss the previous latest podcast chapters using the hashtag #ADoO.  Comments or messages may be included in the podcast or a written post.  The hashtag to use is #OutlanderSciClub.

The Outlander book series is written by Diana Gabaldon. You can find her on Twitter and Facebook.

Karen Daugherty, the Emergency Physician behind Outlander Medicine can be found on Twitter and Facebook.

All images are Wiki Commons.  Featured Image Source.

 

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Wisewoman and Plague Hunter Voyager Week 17 Read A Long

In this week’s episode of the Voyager read-a-long, Claire finds herself being pressed into service as a “Wisewoman and a Plague Hunter”. Marsali, ever embittered toward Claire for being the whore that hurt her mother, puts her feelings aside for some much needed birth control advice. Of course, it takes her a while to get to that point through a stories of explanation. More light is given into the sexual issues Laoghaire has and the dreadful information she is passing on to her daughters. It’s terrifically sad how Laoghaire feels about it. She must’ve been hurt along the way. It’s impossible not to feel a heart tug for her. Marsali’s words echo all that Jamie had told her about his intimate life with Laoghaire.  Once Claire understands why Marsali wants to prevent pregnancy, she offers some of her own insights, and gives her a barrier method in the form of a sea sponge, but is interrupted by noise on deck, before being able to fully explain it’s proper use. Marsali is left with half of an explanation.

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The interruption comes in the form of an English man o’ war ship heading their way with the intent to board the Artemis. They believe it is to procure deck hands from the Artemis, by pressing the British subjects into service aboard the Porpoise. Soon the real problem is evident, when the acting captain of the Porpoise boards. He tells of a terrible plague upon his ship and the desperate need for medical assistance. After discussion about immunity and explanation of the oath she took, Jamie agrees with Claire going over to the Porpoise to assist in diagnosing the illness, and getting the medical side of things up and running. Claire immediately assesses the situation and declares it to be a Thyphoid outbreak. While she is getting everything in order so it can be turned over to one of the crewman to oversee, she feels movement under her feet, and the Porpoise is underway, It is Claire who is pressed into service without her permission, or Jamie’s, or the captain of the Artemis. Claire is raging, but finds it within herself to put on her doctoring hat and get to work. She has no other choice.

There’s also intrigue to give Claire another puzzle to work on. She hears someone tell the captain he recognized the big red haired man on the Artemis. This has her quite worried, but she has a plague to worry about first.

Claire is given authority to commandeer any men and supplies necessary to fight the outbreak. She is right at home bossing the crew about. The purser even takes to locking himself into his cabin to avoid her demands. She has a plan and is taking it step by step. This includes taking half of the ship’s alcohol for use in disinfection.

Claire certainly is a force to be reckoned with.

To get the rest of the story, LISTEN to the podcast!

What’s Coming up? Week 18 will cover chapters 48-50.

How can you participate? To have your questions, comments for the regular read along, or Outlander Science Club results submitted for an upcoming podcast, email or call in to the listener line 3 days prior to airing for inclusion (see schedule below). Join the weekly Twitter chat Wednesday nights at 6pm PT/9pm ET to discuss the previous latest podcast chapters using the hashtag #ADoO. Follow the science prompts each week, research the topic, then share on ADOO or Outlander Medicine’s social media or call in to the ADOO message line 719-425-9444. Comments or messages may be included in the podcast or a written post.  The hashtag to use is #OutlanderSciClub.

The Outlander book series is written by Diana Gabaldon. You can find her on Twitter and Facebook.

Karen Daugherty, the Emergency Physician behind Outlander Medicine can be found on Twitter and Facebook.

All images are Wiki Commons. Click on photo for link to source. Featured Image

 

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OSC Week 16 Diagnosis Griping Waim

 

Outlander Science Club

 

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A Dram of Outlander Voyager Read-Along  (Week 16 Listen Here)

Voyager Chapter 43

Anyone who ever leaves their normal dietary habits behind knows, “traveler’s tummy” is a real thing. The Scots out to sea with Claire and Jamie, are no different than the rest of us. This installment of the Outlander Science Club, “Diagnosis Griping Waim,” is set in Voyager, chapter 43. Claire finds Innes behind a hatch cover, doubled over looking distressed, she inquires if he is in pain. He tries to play if off in Scottish fashion, though ultimately unsuccessful at convincing Claire he is fine. She grabs him by the one arm and takes him to her cabin for assessment. She believes he has trapped gas, but wanting to be clinically thorough, she examines him, doing a basic physical of his heart, lungs, and abdominal area.

She indeed concludes, he has trapped gas and constipation. The fellow Scots having been observing from the doorway, tell Claire of their dietary issues, known as the “Oatmeal War,” leading to Innes’ problem. They have been refused their daily parritch and rations of dried peas to keep their systems in check.

Claire goes through her medicine bag and retrieves several herbs (anise, angelica, horehound, and peppermint), she advises Innes to steep them into a tea and to drink a cupful at each watch change, which would be roughly every four hours, until he attains relief. If he doesn’t move his bowels by the next day, much to his horror, she’ll give him a slippery elm enema.

Is it odd that Claire prescribes him these herbs to relieve his gastrointestinal and bowel distress? Not at all, plant based medicinals have been used since the dawn of humankind and are still in wide use today with up to 80% of peoples worldwide using herbs for health-related purposes on a regular basis. With up to 25% of pharmacological drugs being derived from plan based sources. In fact, there are blended teas available at most markets for this exact ailment, as well as, many others.

Claire gives Innes a specific recipe of herbs to be steeped and taken like a tea, but let’s first look at the basics of what herbs are, what herbal medicine is, and what other types of preparations are available.

What is an herb?

Medicinally, an herb is any plant or plant part used for its therapeutic value. Yet, many of the world’s herbal traditions also include mineral and animal substances as “herbal medicines”.

Herbal medicine, also called botanical medicine or phytomedicine, refers to using a plant’s seeds, berries, roots, leaves, bark, or flowers for medicinal purposes. Herbalism has a long tradition of use outside conventional medicine. It is becoming more mainstream as improvements in analysis and quality control, along with advances in clinical research, show the value of herbal medicine in treating and preventing disease

How does herbal medicine differ from conventional medicine (allopathic)?

The primary focus of herbal medicine the art or practice of using herbs and herbal preparations to maintain health and to prevent, alleviate, or cure disease. The primary focus of conventional medicine is a system of medical practice that aims to combat disease by use of remedies as in drugs or surgery, producing effects different from or incompatible with those produced by the disease being treated. Claire is both convention and traditional in how she treats patients. Of course, in the 18th century there’s little option to use her 20th century conventional skills, but she draws on them in her daily practice nonetheless.  She might be the perfect combination of a holistic and allopathic practitioner.

What different herbal preparations are available?

Decoction: A tea made from boiling plant material, usually the bark, rhizomes, roots or other woody parts, in water. May be used therapeutically. Natural dyes are often made this way.

Infusion: A tea made by pouring water over plant material (usually dried flowers, fruit, leaves, and other parts, though fresh plant material may also be used), then allowed to steep. The water is usually boiling, but cold infusions are also an option. May be used therapeutically, as hot tea is an excellent way to administer herbs.

Tincture: An extract of a plant made by soaking herbs in a dark place with a desired amount of either glycerine, alcohol, or vinegar for two to six weeks. The liquid is strained from the plant material and then may be used therapeutically.

Liniment: Extract of a plant added to either alcohol or vinegar and applied topically to employ the therapeutic benefits.

Poultice: A therapeutic topical application of a soft moist mass of plant material (such as bruised fresh herbs), usually wrapped in a fine woven cloth.

Essential Oils: Aromatic volatile oils extracted from the leaves, stems, flowers, and other parts of plants. Therapeutic use generally includes dilution of the highly concentrated oil.

Herbal Infused Oils: A process of extraction in which the volatile oils of a plant substance are obtained by soaking the plant in a carrier oil for approximately two weeks and then straining the oil. The resulting oil is used therapeutically and may contain the plant’s aromatic characteristic.

Percolation: A process to extract the soluble constituents of a plant with the assistance of gravity. The material is moistened and evenly packed into a tall, slightly conical vessel; the liquid (menstruum) is then poured onto the material and allowed to steep for a certain length of time. A small opening is then made in the bottom, which allows the extract to slowly flow out of the vessel. The remaining plant material (the marc) may be discarded. Many tinctures and liquid extracts are prepared this way. (top)

The grouping of herbs Claire gave Innes is technically called an infusion. It is a gentler use of herbs to be taken internally for the desired effect. In this case, relieving trapped gas and constipation.  Throughout the Outlander series Claire uses most of the listed preparations at different times.

What exactly are the herbs she chose and what do they do?

Actions are the effects the active components of the herbs have on the body. Claire was looking for herbs that would produce one or more action when taken in tea form. The possible actions she desired could have been:

  • antibilious – easing stomach stress
  • aperient – a very mild laxative
  • carminative – causing the release of stomach or intestinal gas
  • cathartic – an active purgative, producing bowel movements
  • purgative – laxative, causes the evacuation of intestinal contents
  • stomachic – aids the stomach and digestion action

Any of these actions could have the desired outcome for Innes, however, some are stronger than others. In looking at the herbs Claire chose for him, she picked the mildest possible to aide in his relief.

Angelica-The root, leaves, and seeds can be used. Though believed native to Syria, Angelica is found all over Europe and even in Scotland, and places further north. When steeped, it has a carminative and stomachic effect.

Anise-The seeds can be used. It is native to Egypt, Greece, Crete, and Asia Minor. Cultivation spread to Central Europe in the Middle Ages. When steeped, it has a carminative action.

Horehound-It is found all over Europe and is indigenous to Britain. Though normally used for coughs and colds, in large amounts is can have a purgative effect.

Peppermint-It is found throughout Europe, in moist situations, along stream banks and in wste lands, and is not infrequently found in damp places in England, but is not a common native plant. When steeped, is a stomachic and carminative.

Her receipt for the herbal blend, along with the dietary changes made with the end to the “Oatmeal War” with Murphy the ship’s cook, Claire concluded Innes would be back to normal bowel habits in no time.

If you would like to delve deeper into the pros, cons, research, and global harmonization of herbal or traditional medicine, please refer to the resources listed below.

Click on photos for Wiki Common Resources. Featured Image. Anise Seed

Information Resources:

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