To Tame The Crawlies OSC

Claire and Jamie are finally back together after both their Porpoise misadventures. The question of to shave or not to shave his newly grown beard comes up. The only way for Jamie to keep it, even temporarily, is for Claire “To Tame The Crawlies.”

Yes, Jamie is lice infested. Yuck! Claire likes the beard, but will not sleep with Jamie until he is critter free. She comes up with a vinegar treatment plan. The only problem is vinegar alone only works to get rid of the eggs, not the adult lice.

In this episode a variety of treatments are looked at from pharmaceutical to home-based.

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We hope this will demystify lice for you and expand your knowledge base.

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Remember, when in doubt, ask yourself, what would Claire do?

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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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https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/ff/Baoding_Balls_in_Use.jpg/1024px-Baoding_Balls_in_Use.jpg

Healthy Balls and Hangover Cures Outlander Science Club

Outlander Science Club by Karen Daugherty, Emergency Physician – Outlander Medicine.

A Dram of Outlander Voyager Read-Along
Chapters 25-26 Week 9

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This week’s installment of Outlander Science Club is inspired by Mr. Willoughby and his healthy balls. Ahem. No, not those. We are discussing Mr. Willoughby’s hangover remedy, Chinese Medicine Balls. (Need a refresher on the science behind hangovers? Check out this post from season one!)

Mr. Willoughby suffers from a hangover and an intense headache, and Claire apologizes, telling him she doesn’t have any medicines with her to help. He assures her he will be just fine because he has healthy balls.

Hold on a minute. Did I miss the lecture in medical school discussing the connection between testicular health and headache?

Claire comes to learn that Mr. Willoughby is referring to a pair of jade spheres, “larger than marbles and smaller than baseballs,” – Chinese Medicine Balls or Baoding Balls.

baoding-balls

Photo: Wikipedia Commons

Baoding Balls are thought to have likely first originated in China during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Initially made of iron, they came to be made from varied materials including steel and tungsten, and stones such as jade, agate and marble. Many contain a chime that rings as the balls are moved.

Both balls are held in the palm and rotated, initially maintaining constant contact, and eventually rotating without contacting each other at all as hand strength improves.

Health benefits attributed to the use of Baoding Balls:

improved strength and dexterity of the hand muscles
improved brain function and reduced stress
improved circulation in the body
relief of the pain and stiffness of arthritis
decreased blood pressure
increased energy levels
improved concentration

Mr. Willoughby found relief from hangovers by using the Baoding balls. Indeed, there is an acupressure point on the hand called Joining the Valley, located in the web space between the thumb and index finger. Stimulation of this point is thought to relieve pain, especially frontal headaches related to hangovers.

In addtion to using the Baoding balls, Mr. Willoughby likely applied other remedies of Traditional Chinese Medicine, including the use of herbs:

Cayenne to reduce pain and improve blood flow
Meadowsweet for its anti-inflammatory properties
Chamomile for relaxation
Valerian for sedation (a favorite of Claire’s)
Chrysanthemum or Yarrow to soothe the liver

What else could Mr. Willoughby have tried? A quick search for Hangover Cures yields all sorts of remedies, some more appetizing than others…

Outlander Science Club encourages responsible drinking. These remedies are presented for your entertainment and general education and is not intended as medical advice!

 

Poland

picklesPhoto: Wikipedia Commons

Drinking pickle juice or eating sauerkraut – the high sodium content is thought to replenish electrolytes

Ecuador

800px-oregano_1

Photo: Wikipedia Commons

Oregano tea to settle the stomach

South Korea

korean_soup-bogeo_haejangguk-01Photo: Wikipedia Commons

Haejangguk, “a soup to chase a hangover,” containing dried napa cabbage, vegetables, beef broth and congealed ox blood. Said to soothe the stomach.

Japan

umeboshiPhoto: Wikipedia Commons

Pickled ume fruit, very sour in taste, is thought to help digestion and liver function and to prevent nausea.

Germany

fischbro%cc%88tchen

Photo: Public Domain

Rollmops – Raw pickled herring wrapped around pieces of gherkin and onion, thought to restore electrolytes.

USA

prairie_oyster_Photo: Wikipedia Commons

The Prairie Oyster – a whole raw egg with hot sauce, salt, pepper and a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce, the thinking being that the spices will combat the alcohol toxins and the egg provides nutrients.

Haiti

doll_with_pins_in_it_museum_of_witchcraft

photo: public domain
“Curse the Bottle” – stick 13 black headed pins into the cork of a bottle to curse the sickness that the bottle is attempting to curse you with!

Italy

linea_doubleespressophoto: public domain

Several cups of strong espresso to provide caffeine for headache relief.

Mongolia

1280px-tomato_juicephoto: wikipedia commons

Tomato juice and pickled sheep eyes. Likely some hydration and electrolytes from tomato juice but it is unclear what the sheep eyes provide!

Bangladesh

coconut_drink_pangandaranphoto: wikipedia commons

Coconut water provides hydration as well as a supply of potassium, magnesium and antioxidants

Las Vegas, Nevada

450px-intravenuos_administrationphoto: wikipedia commons

Mobile hangover cure buses (and house calls) providing IV fluids, vitamins, and medications for nausea, pain and inflammation.

And my personal favorite, Eggs Benedict.

eggs_benedict
photo: wikipedia commons
The story goes that in the late 1894, wealthy socialite Lemuel Benedict, hurting from a night of excess, ordered at the Waldorf Hotel “buttered toast, poached eggs, crisp bacon and a hooker of hollandaise, the dish that would evolve into the beloved Eggs Benedict!

Mr. Willoughby’s remedy seems to be an easily tolerated and readily portable method to potentially treat some of the symptoms of a hangover, and greatly preferable to some of the less savory options outlined above (sheep’s eyes, anyone?). Always learning and generally quite open-minded, it is evident that Claire will appreciate learning a few new techniques from Mr. Willoughby, so long as she can keep her shoes on!

Who else is eagerly awaiting the casting news of Mr. Willoughby? Can’t wait to see these scenes on screen!

We here at Outlander Science Club encourage healthy balls of all kinds! Encourage the men in your life to do regular self exams and check out Cahonas Scotland, a Scottish charity working to increase awareness and decrease the stigma surrounding male cancers!

cahonesTo look after your balls, Cahonas Scotland.

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.

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Call 719-425-9444 listener/reader line to leave your comments.

Dem Bones Talk OSC 6 Ep 47

Outlander Science Club Ep 6

Voyager Read-a-Long

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This Outlander Science Club installment, Dem Bones Talk, segment 6 is based upon Voyager chapter 20, Diagnosis. Joe Abernathy, Claire’s best friend and fellow physician, asks her to tell him what she thinks of a set of bones. Unlike, a normal set of bones, these come from the anthropology department, and are of a white woman found in a Caribbean cave. She’s estimated to be 150-200 years of age. Claire assesses this woman was killed and not expecting to be.

This scene brings up to the field of Forensic Anthropology. You will learn what an FA does and why. Bones indeed do tell a story in very particular ways.

I hope you enjoy it.

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Where can you find the podcast? You may listen to the podcast above, at Outlander Medicine,  or through the iTunesStitcher, and Google Play apps. You may also listen directly here.

What’s Coming up? segment 7 covers chapters 18-20. The next Outlander Science Club Prompt is “What does belinging mean to you?” Desirre Andrews will be discussing Maslow’s Hierarchy and more.

How can you participate? To have your questions, comments, 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 weeks 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.
file_003
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.

Enjoy A Dram of Outlander?

Thank you for sharing posts, joining the discussions, and following this website or pages listed below!

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Call 719-425-9444 listener/reader line to leave your comments.

Source material:

http://www.sciencemag.org/careers/2002/06/skeleton-keys-how-forensic-anthropologists-identify-victims-and-solve-crimes

http://anthropology.si.edu/writteninbone/forensic_files.html

http://www.sfu.museum/forensics/eng/pg_media-media_pg/anthropologie-anthropology/

He Is Captive Voyager Read-Along Week 3

This week 3 installment of the Voyager podcast read-along, “He Is Captive”, finds Jamie Fraser at Ardsmuir prison, because he indeed was The Dunbonnet. The painstaking research by Claire, Roger Mac, and Brianna has paid off. Claire, alone, past midnight in the study goes through one more prison role, and there he is. She is in such disbelief she closes her eyes and opens them again to make sure the entry is real. It’s a moment to be cherished as she summons his image and what could have happened on the day he entered the prison. We also are reintroduced to John Grey taking over as Governor of this remote prison nearly two years after Jamie’s arrival there.

Chapters 7-9 are foundational to setting the tone, richness of character development, and for moving the story forward for what is to come later.

The Outlander Science Club segment is brought to you by Karen Daugherty. She discusses the importance of Vitamin C in the 18th century diet as primary prevention of scurvy. It’s a fascinating listen.

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Where can you find the podcast? You may listen to the podcast above, at Outlander Medicine,  or through the iTunesStitcher, and Google Play apps.

What’s Coming up? Week 4 covers chapters 10-13. The next Outlander Science Club Prompt is “How do you prevent and maintain a healthy immune system during cold and flu season? What are simple common treatments?”

How can you participate? To have your questions, comments, 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 weeks 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.

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