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Cabbage leaf for pain relief?

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Cabbage leaf for pain relief?

Does cabbage leaf cure all ills?

I will make the case that it does with the aid of a book written by a French doctor in 1875. What’s more it’s entirely without side effects apart from greatly improved health!

Cabbage leaf wrap for arthritic joints The only thing which comes close to cabbage leaf for pain relief of arthritic joints is diclofenac Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory (NSAID) anti-pain gel but diclofenac gel has side effects whereas cabbage leaf has none. What’s more, cabbage leaf may be providing more than pain relief – it may actually be reversing some of the damage. Further on I will tell you about my own experience and why I am so fanatically sure of its healing properties. If you have a Polish friend, ask them about it. The Poles all know about this.

First though, if you have some kind of joint pain or skin problem, rather than just take my word for it, try it for yourself just one time. What have you got to lose? You will be persuaded.

Can cabbage juice heal stomach ulcers?

In 1949 in San Francisco, Dr. Garnett Chaney used cabbage juice to heal 13 patients with stomach ulcers. The ulcers healed in an average of between 7.3 days and 10 days.

“….The average crater healing time for seven of these patients who had duodenal ulcer was only 10.4 days, while the average time as reported in the literature, in 62 patients treated by standard therapy, was 37 days.

The average crater healing time for six patients with gastric ulcer treated with cabbage juice was only 7.3 days, compared with 42 days, as reported in the literature, for six patients treated by standard therapy…..” RAPID HEALING OF PEPTIC ULCERS IN PATIENTS RECEIVING FRESH CABBAGE JUICE Cheney 1949

How to make a cabbage leaf wrap.

It’s easiest to do this just before going to bed and Ideally you want someone to help you with bandages. The best kind of cabbage to use is Savoy cabbage, (chou de Milan in French) but all kinds of cabbage will work. The best leaves to use are the dark green outer leaves.

You will need one Savoy cabbage, a sharp knife, a chopping board or similar smooth surface, a bottle or a rolling pin, some bandages and a bowl.

Cut off a large outer leaf. With a sharp knife cut out the main vein so that you now have the two half pieces of the leaf. Put one of the halves on a smooth surface like a chopping board and roll over it with a rolling pin or a bottle to crush all the subsidiary veins. Use as many leaves as you need to cover the problem area.

Pour some fairly hot water into a bowl. Now dip your cabbage leaf halves into the bowl of hot water for a second or two and apply it to the joint. The next piece should overlap the first piece by about an inch. Apply however many half leaves are needed to cover the problem area and some surrounding skin. Then apply a bandage over the leaves, just tight enough to hold the cabbage leaves in place.

If you have a painful arthritic joint in the evening when the cabbage leaf is applied, in the morning the pain will be gone!

“Notice on the medicinal properties of cabbage leaf” by Dr. Blanc 1875

Once again, just like Dr. Seignalet, we have a French doctor unable to interest the medical authorities in his miraculous, drug free cures and writing a book so that both doctors and the lay public get to hear about it. In 1875 this time. Here are some choice excerpts translated by myself:

“..To be rare, from a far off country, with a weird sounding, never heard of name, analysed, transformed by a highly trained scientist, to have a known market price: these are the things which give value to a drug and all of which are entirely lacking in the cabbage leaf …”

“,,,, Like most people I did not know how highly prized cabbage was in antiquity. It was a panacea. For six hundred years, without doctors, the Romans used just cabbage for all their illnesses. They used it as a purgative and a depurative. They used it to make cataplasms. Soldiers used it to bandage their wounds. Cato used it as a specific for the plague…..” Then, says Dr. Blanc, the Romans became corrupted by their wealth, diseases multiplied and they needed doctors. In their decadence, cabbage, which had previously served them so well was forgotten.

The discovery of cabbage leaf’s miraculous properties in 1851

Dr. Blanc tells us that In 1851 he was trying to treat an ulcer on a “pelvic limb”. Membre pelvien in French. I’m not too sure what part of the pelvis he is referring to. It may be a prudish synonym for the groin area. Anyway, to continue the story, he tells us that the ulcer was very swollen and the skin all around it was enflamed, with scabs on several points. Was this a chancre I wonder? The primary stage of syphilis? (His detailed description in the book matches a chancre).

The ulcer was very swollen and he says that it needed to be drained. In order to “provoke” it (“provoquer” ) he tried applying sage leaf. After several days of this application he had zero results so as a further experiment he then tried applying cabbage leaf without any particular reason for this choice. Half a day later he was astonished and delighted. The ulcer which had previously been dry, secreted a large amount of bloody serous fluid and this continued over the next few days as he applied fresh leaves. The borders of the ulcer shrunk down and it became pink. The leg which had been slightly red and swollen returned to its normal size and colour. The ulcer healed quickly, leaving a faint scar. So the cabbage had exceeded all his expectations. It had quickly drained the member and caused rapid healing.

I can’t resist some speculation here. Dr. John Tilden, an American “eclectic physician” wrote ” Gonorrhea and Syphilis” in 1912. I read it when I was reading every book I could find on fasting. Tilden wrote a book on how to heal appendicitis with fasting so I thought that the STD book was in a similar vein. It’s not. Tilden’s idea with the STD’s is that these start as skin diseases, like the chancre in syphilis. He goes into great detail about how to keep the chancre clean so that it can heal safely without becoming a “blood disease”. If you can do that you can heal the infection and avoid any further consequence he says. So assuming that Dr. Blanc was treating a chancre with the cabbage leaf, did the rapid draining and healing prevent the syphilis taking hold later? Modern treatment is sustained release penicillin. (Merck Manual) You just have to hope that you don’t have a drug resistant version. If you do, go to Germany and get hyperthermia treatment.

From then on Dr. Blanc used cabbage leaf for every type of “ulcer” that he encountered and each time he had the same great results. This gave him the confidence to try it for gangrene, cuts, infected wounds, puerperal fever (infection after childbirth, deadly and very common at that time), snakebite and even rabies!

His book is a series of case studies for all these different conditions and more. I will give a brief synopsis for his cabbage leaf wrap treatment for each disease. Dr. Blanc usually starts by giving the patient’s name and amusingly, sometimes their “temperament”. Bloodletting was still common at that time we must remember. The scale he uses is not classic Hippocrates. One patient for example is lymphatico-nervous. (“lymphatico-nerveux”), another is lymphatico-sanguin, another is bilious-lypmphatic. I don’t know where this theoretical nonsense came from. It’s not Hippocrates, it’s not Avicenna and it’s not Galen (I checked).

The cabbage leaf nearly always brings serous fluid or pus to the surface of the skin, sometimes copious amounts, sometimes it has a colour and sometimes it smells!

Here is a brief summary of his case studies. Dr. Blanc always applied the cabbage leaves himself because he found that he could not trust the nurses to do it properly.

Cure 1: Cysts

The patient had a normal appetite. The ankle was swollen. White scabs on the sole. Cabbage leaf applied in the evening. Patient, as before cannot sleep because of pain. The next morning the cabbage leaf is wet with serious liquid and the scab has come off, revealing ulcerations. Cabbage leaf applied morning and night for 3 days. The pain diminishes and on the third night the patient gets a full night’s rest. On the fifth day the patient gets up and walks without pain. On the seventh day the foot is entirely healed and the skin is a normal colour.

Cure 2: Violent Headache

The patient had an erysipela – a type of cellulitis (skin infection) generally caused by group streptococcus bacteria (wikipedia). It was on his forehead and extended to the scalp. The patient had been treated elsewhere with a compress using an unknown liquid. After 8 days of this treatment the erysipela had disappeared from the scalp but the patient’s hair fell out and he started to get violent headaches and spells of vertigo. He had a normal appetite. Head covered with cabbage leaves morning and night. In the beginning the leaves are covered with serous liquid but then cease to be. On the sixth day the patient has no more headaches or vertigo even if he bent right down. The remission was lasting. Dr. Blanc treated another, similar, less serious case. Cabbage leaves applied morning and night. Leaves covered with serous liquid. Scabs come away with hair. No more pain after six days of treatment.

Cure 3: Neuralgia

Violent pain on the right side of the face. Pain so intense that the patient rolls around on the floor. Cabbage leaves applied morning and night. The first few days the skin and the cabbage are wet with serous liquid. After 6 days of treatment the patient has no more pain. The remission is lasting.

Cure 4: Eczema

Interestingly, Dr. Blanc claims a cure here but as an aficionado of Dr. Seignalet I know that eczema is a “disease of elimination” caused by leaky gut and to obtain full remission you have to change your diet in order to heal your intestine. In the case of Dr. Blanc’s patient he has eczema on both forearms. Dr. Blanc covers the arms with cabbage leaves morning and night. From the first applications a serous liquid is produced in great quantities. On the third day the scabs come off and the skin underneath is inflamed and red and dotted with ulcerations. The patient has a short lived fever. 10 days after the start of treatment the ulcerations have healed and the skin is white. The itching has lessened and the patient can hold out one arm.
Dr. Blanc thought that the patient was cured after a month of this treatment and stopped applying the leaves but 4 days later the itching had returned and little white cysts appeared. He recommenced the cabbage leaf application. After a further two weeks the patient has no more trace of eczema. Dr. Blanc admits that the eczema could return but says the cabbage leaf will always get rid of it. So not quite a cure. But an excellent adjunct if you are following my version of the Seignalet diet to put your eczema into complete remission. Dr. Seignalet treated 43 eczema patients with his diet. 36 had complete remissions. 4 had 80/90% remissions and there were 3 failures. I think with cabbage leaf wraps, my supercharged version of the Seignalet diet and the optimum level of vitamin d we can achieve 100% remissions in 100% of patients.

Cure 6. Mouth Ulcers

This patient is a soldier again. He is sent to hospital for 2 months for a syphilitic rash. During his stay he develops mouth ulcers. Both afflictions had disappeared when he was discharged from hospital. A month later the mouth ulcers had reappeared and he was sent to hospital again. His mouth was cauterised with silver nitrate. He is then sent to the hospice at Romans. The right hand cheek is swollen. There are splits where the upper and lower lips join. The upper lip and gums are covered with ulcers. The lower lip and gums are swollen and inflamed. He can’t open his mouth. Dr. Blanc prescribes potassium iodine (Lugol’s) and a sudorific infusion. 5 days later with no change in the soldier’s condition Dr. Blanc proposes a cabbage leaf wrap . As the soldier knows from the other soldiers about previous cabbage leaf cures he immediately accepts. Dr. Blanc applies cabbage leaf to the upper lip and to his cheek. This is re-applied every morning and evening. After 6 days the patient is finally able to open his mouth. He can now talk and eat and drink without problem. The inside of the right hand cheek is still covered with ulcers. A week later the mouth and cheek are no longer swollen and the splits where the upper and lower lips join have healed. A further week later everything has healed completely. A small ulcer appears 12 days later. Dr. Blanc refers to the eczema case and says that like the eczema, any recurrence is easily treated with the cabbage leaf wrap.

Cure 7 – Pneumonia complicated by pleurisy followed by pain in the side and dental neuralgia

The patient was a soldier called Poussard. (This was during the Franco Prussian war). He had been treated for pneumonia complicated by pleurisy elsewhere. He arrived pale, thin, bent over and inclined to the left. He has difficulty breathing. He has a frequent cough and coughs up mucus. He has acute pain in the left side of his chest. No egophony. (A particular sound picked up by asculting with a stethoscope indicating pneumonia). A blistering agent (“vesicatoire”) is applied to the painful area and there is abundant suppuration for 15 days which gives substantial relief to the patient. 2 weeks after his arrival the patient develops neuralgia and a dental swelling. Emollient cataplasms are applied until Dr. Blanc’s arrival the next night. He replaces the cataplasms with cabbage leaves.
In the morning the patient tells him that 3 hours after the application of the cabbage leaves he had no more pain and the swelling in his cheek had almost completely subsided. As the patient still had pain in his chest, Dr. Blanc proposes the vesicatory again or a cauterizing agent. The patient wants to think it over.
A month later the patient calls out to Dr. Blanc, triumphantly, “I’m cured!”. 10 days previously the patient had applied cabbage leaves himself (I’m guessing with the aid of another soldier for the bandages) on the problem side. The pain soon diminished and moved to behind his shoulder which he followed with cabbage leaves.
(A parenthesis here: Many of the patients are soldiers evacuated from the Franco Prussian war due to illness and end up being sent to the hospice at Romans to convalesce. They are even more enthusiastic about the cabbage leaf cure than Dr. Blanc himself and prescribe it to each other for every ill.)

Cure 8. Pain in the side following pleurisy.

This is a similar case to the previous patient, Poussard. The blistering agent is applied again for a period of 3 weeks. He still has pain in the side. Poussard applies cabbage leaves. Two weeks later the patient declares himself cured.

Cure 9. Diabetes type 2.

This is a very interesting case. The patient (a soldier again) has acute symptoms which are put into remission within 33 days by the cabbage leaf cure. Straight after remission is achieved the soldier has a furlough and goes home. Dr. Blanc asks him to write to tell him how he gets on but the soldier never writes so Dr. Blanc doesn’t know if the remission is maintained. Again, like eczema, diabetes is due to intestinal permeability and can only be put into remission permanently by the correct diet to heal the gut. (Dr. Seignalet). Diabetes, according to Dr. Seignalet is a clogging disease. He had very good results with his diet. Out of 25 patients, 20 had complete remissions and 5 had 50% improvements. Did the cabbage leaf wrap “unclog” the pancreas?
Before arriving at the hospice of Romans, this soldier had an anasarca which is a generalised swelling (edema) all over the body. He was treated with Vichy water for this at the military hospital at Lyon and the anasarca had disappeared when he arrived at Romans. However, his legs were painful and swelled during the day. The swelling went down at night. He has headaches and doesn’t sleep well. He has a saburral tongue (yellowish white coating) and bad breath. He eats and drinks extreme amounts. He produces 7 or 8 litres of urine every 24 hours. The urine is foamy, starchy, porridgy and very sweet according to the patient. (Note: Diabetes was diagnosed since the time of Avicenna by tasting the urine. A sweet taste confirms diabetes).
The 2 soldiers from cure 7 and 8 persuaded Dr. Blanc to use the cabbage leaf cure on this soldier thinking that since the cabbage leaf has worked on their own swelling that it would work in this case. Dr. Blanc measures the soldiers waist. It’s 81 centimetres. He then applies cabbage leaf to the abdomen. In the evening the abdomen and leaves are wet. After 4 days of morning and night applications the belly is less swollen but the patient complains of pains in the kidneys for the first time. Dr. Blanc applies cabbage leaves to the kidneys while continuing to apply to the abdomen.
On the sixth day, Dr. Blanc takes the waist measurement again. This time it’s 68 centimetres. The patient says his stomach and kidneys don’t hurt so much but his legs hurt and he asks for cabbage leaf to be applied to the legs. Dr. Blanc acquiesces. The patient is still eating and drinking enormous amounts and is still producing large amounts of urine but it’s less starchy and less sweet. Thirst and appetite gradually diminish and the urine slowly returns to normal. His legs are no longer swollen. 25 days after commencement of the cabbage leaf cure the patient’s urine is normal. The patient then receives his furlough order and insists on leaving. Dr. Blanc makes him promise to write but be breaks his promise. 150 years later I’m extremely angry with the soldier for not writing. Did he make medical history? How long did the remission last? Could he keep the diabetes under control by doing intermittent cabbage leaf
cures every time that symptoms returned? We’ll never know.

Cure 10: Rheumatic pains

Dr. Blanc does not give much detail about this last case. Could a doctor of 1870 distinguish between rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis? In this case it was the knees that were affected so I don’t think I’m going too far out on a limb to say it was probably osteoarthritis. Cabbage leaf wraps for arthritic knees may not be mainstream medicine today but there are articles about it in medical journals. This soldier had cabbage leaf wraps applied morning and night. The first application was in the morning and that night the leaves and the knees are wet. 10 days later the patient declares that he had no more pain in the knees but has pain in the calves. This is not a new pain but was very minor compared to the pain in the knees, hence this was the first time he mentioned it. So Dr. Blanc wrapped both knees and calves. 3 weeks after the first application the patient is now “cured” according to Dr. Blanc. It’s unlikely that this was a permanent cure (says Chris Parkinson, not Dr. Blanc) because the patient would not have the benefit of Dr. Seignalet’s diet to achieve permanent remission for another 130 years. But henceforward he would at least know what to do to remove the pain of osteoarthritis and achieve remission albeit probably somewhat temporary.
These were the 10 cures of soldiers invalided out of the Franco Prussian war to the hospice of Romans.

Cutaneous Anthrax

Cutaneous Anthrax on the back. A tumour on the upper part of the shoulder blades. Dr. Blanc gives the simple heading “Anthrax”. According to the CDC website there is a 20% chance of death without proper treatment. I compared Dr. Blanc’s description with that of Wikipedia and the 2 descriptions match. The patient is in great pain, has no appetite, is thirsty and has trouble sleeping. Cabbage leaf is applied morning and night. The first night with cabbage leaf, the patient has the same amount of suffering as previous night. In the morning the leaves are covered in a red coloured pus. The next night the patient sleeps soundly. Lots of pus on the leaves again. 10 days later the suppuration has slowed down considerably and Dr. Blanc starts to do only one application per day. The patient’s appetite has now returned with a vengeance. The tumour is converted into a large flap of lose skin. 16 days later there is no more weeping of pus and the pain is much diminished. The ulcer is still deep however. One month after starting the cabbage leaf treatment the area has healed completely.
Dr. Blanc treats a second anthrax patient. This time it’s in the middle of the back. This time the ulcer is cut in 4 by surgery. It takes 5 weeks to heal 80%. The patient then returns to work and comes in every day to have cabbage wrap applied. Dr. Blanc treats 3 cases of anthrax altogether. No surgery is carried out on the third one. Dr. Blanc says what a contrast between treatment with the incision and that of just cabbage leaf. He tells us that the incision is extremely painful and does not always prevent death. Dr. Blanc considers that he has proved the effectiveness of cabbage leaf as a sole treatment for cutaneous anthrax.

Bronchitis

The coadjutor (a kind of administrative aide to a bishop) of the hospice has very poor health including bronchitis. He starts to carry out his own application of cabbage leaf to the chest. Secretion of a large amount of serous liquid results – then four abscesses appear, one of them is large. There is a bloody suppuration from them for two months. By November his cough had largely disappeared.

Migraine

Dr. Blanc’s heading is cephalalgia. The patient is a priest in a convent and the prescription is by correspondence. Symptoms are a constant headache lasting for 5 years, cold feet even in very hot weather and a scab on the upper lip lasting for 10 years . The priest’s father had a scab in the same place so it was hereditary. Starting in June 1874 he applies cabbage leaf to his head during the day and to his feet and lip during the night. He writes to Dr. Blanc on 12th September of the same year to say the scab had almost completely disappeared and the headache was much better although not completely cured because he had had to stop the treatment because there were no more cabbages in the garden! It’s not clear from Dr. Blanc’s account if the priest was bald or not. I think he would have needed to have been bald in order to apply the cabbage wrap.

Lupus

Dr. Blanc’s heading is simply Scabs (“Dartres”)
This patients condition worsens in summer. So I checked Psoriasis. Nope. That gets better in summer. Lupus. Yep. That gets worse in summer. I looked up the symptoms of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and they don’t quite fit the symptoms that Dr. Blanc describes. Cutaneous Lupus seems to be a better fit.
Notes: Dr. Blanc uses the term Lupus once but he also uses the term “darte rongeante”, literal translation: “gnawing scabs” which is probably a more usual term used for Lupus at that time. He does not mention Psoriasis in his cures.. Autoimmunity was first described in the early 1900’s and Pasteur and Koch’s germ theory of disease would come around 10 years after the first edition of Dr. Blanc’s book. When speculating about the cause of Typhoid he thinks it’s probably caused by “miasma poisoning”. For two and a half thousand years it was thought that infections diseases were caused by “miasma”. Bad air. We should not laugh at Dr. Blanc’s inability to define skin diseases in modern terms because for drug and vaccine only medicine, the cause of chronic skin diseases is still a mystery. For those of us who have read Dr. Seignalet’s book the cause is clear. Eczema and Psoriasis are “elimination diseases” and Lupus is an autoimmune disease. All caused by leaky gut.
Lupus is an autoimmune disease. Out of 20 Lupus erythematosus patients on the Seignalet diet, 10 had complete remissions, 6 had 80/90% improvements, 3 had 50% improvements, and there was one failure. With Cutaneous lupus the Seignalet diet was less successful: 5 patients, 1 complete remission, 3 x 50% improvements and 1 failure.
This 62 year old patient already had a “scab” when he did his military service. He was treated in a hospital in Paris with sudorifics (raise temperature), purgatives and sulphur baths. He came out of the hospital with no improvement.
In winter there are few symptoms but in summer heat the symptoms come back with a vengeance. It starts with itching followed by redness and oozing then large scabs.
It was concentrated on the forehead and scalp for most of the patient’s life. During a flare it suddenly disappeared and almost straight away afterwards the patient lost most of his hearing. Soon afterwards the scabs appeared on both arms, the lower part of his belly and the soles of his feet. On the hands and finger there are splits in the skin and on the soles of the feet there are scabs on top of scabs forming a crust.
The itching and stabbing pains became unbearable. To the point where the patient could not stay in bed but had to get out of bed and run around.
Dr. Blanc prescribes soapwort tea and a calomel or jalap purgative. (Note: calomel was mercurious chloride, a sweet tasting form of mercury beloved of physicians for every condition for three hundred years and no doubt responsible for a great deal of harm to patients!). He also (thank goodness!) prescribes cabbage leaf wrap on the arms and lower belly morning and night. There is an abundant secretion in all the affected areas of skin. No cabbage is applied to the soles of the feet, the crusts come away leaving smooth, rosy skin. After two months of this treatment the patient is not cured but there is great improvement and he can return to his trade of shoemaker. 5 months after the treatment is started everything has healed but unless the patient wraps his hands before bed they itch and then swell. Dr. Blanc thinks it’s noteworthy that in this case where the feet were not wrapped, the action of drawing out the pus in the other areas seems to have drawn out all the toxins which were present and causing the disease. (He actually talks about “temperament”). He wonders if cabbage leaf would work on moderate cases of leprosy and thinks it would be worth a try.
Dr. Blanc describes several other cases of similar skin diseases. I will come back to them and translate in more detail when I have more time. In each case the cabbage leaves cause secretions through the skin – sometimes in large amounts and various different kinds. In some cases the secretions have a very unpleasant smell. In all cases, the cabbage leave wraps work. At the beginning there is usually a dramatic result and the symptoms are usually greatly improved but it takes up to 3 months for complete healing. Dr. Blanc claims these as “cures” but it think that they are temporary remissions and that you would have to follow the Seignalet diet to heal your gut to achieve permanent remission and even then, only if you stay on the diet for life.

Fever

Dr. Blanc describes 3 cases of different kinds of fever. In his introduction to this section he says that fever is usually accompanied by headache and muscular pains and cabbage leaf can help to alleviate these symptoms very effectively. But can it actually reach the actual cause of the fever he wonders? He thinks that in the case of Typhoid it would be unlikely because the body is eliminating very little via the skin and huge quantities via the “intestinal surface”. But in cases where most of the toxic matter is eliminated via the skin he thinks it could. Mmmm…

Milliary Tuberculosis

Dr. Blanc calls this “Milliary fever”. Koch’s discovery of the tuberculosis bacterium came a few years later of course. I looked up the symptoms for Milliary Tuberculosis and the symptoms match exactly Dr. Blanc’s account. Get this! The cabbage leaf wrap was immediately effective in reducing the symptoms. The wrap was applied to the legs and arms in the evenings only. Dr. Blanc claims a full cure after 6 weeks of the treatment. Modern day treatment is 6 to 9 months of antibiotics. (Merck Manual). It’s unlikely I think that anyone with Milliary tuberculosis would find this page but if you do my suggestion is to try the cabbage leaf wrap. I don’t think it would preclude drug therapy and I don’t think there would be any negative drug reaction. Tell your doctor what you are doing.

This is what Dr. Blanc says: “Before the treatment with the leaves, chills in the day time, high temperature in the evening and abundant perspiration at night. After the first application of the leaves on the 14th January, complete change in the progression of the symptoms. Elimination of the chills in the morning, then a high temperature and a strong, fast pulse, followed by an abundant perspiration which lasts from the evening of the 14th to the morning of the 15th when the patient gets up. The abundant perspiration brought on by the leaves was aligned so well with the body’s natural healing forces that the patient recovered her vitality. The reaction caused by the leaves was clear and irreversible.”

Puerperal Fever (3 cases)

“…Puerperal fever, also called childbed fever, infection of some part of the female reproductive organs following childbirth or abortion…” Encyclopedia Britannica.

Dr. Blanc describes 3 cases of Puerperal fever which he treats by applying cabbage leaf wrap to the abdomen. He succeeds in a cure in the first 2 cases but the third woman succumbs. In the first case he tells us that Puerperal fever was very commonplace and usually ended with death and he was already determined to use the cabbage leaf cure. He obviously had enough experience with it by then to be confident in its effectiveness and to be sure that it would work in this case. When he asks the husband for cabbage, the husband thinks he’s joking but Dr. Blanc insists and the husband fetches cabbage from his garden.

The delivery was on the 22nd. The fever started on the 24th. By the 30th the woman was out of bed and convalescing. Dr. Blanc notices something strange. Sometime after the vaginal discharge loses its hitherto brown colour, the serous fluid on the leaves takes on the same brown colour.

In the second case the infection starts five hours after the delivery. She has a racing pulse, fever and vomits. Dr. Blanc applies cabbage leaf straight away. The next day she is still in a bad way but that night starts to improve somewhat. In the first case the woman had remission after 5 hours but in the second case it took sixty hours for the remission. Dr. Blanc says it’s a good thing he knew the power of the cabbage leaf by then and stuck to his guns because there were murmerings against his treatment.

Dr. Blanc does not tell us much about the third case where the woman died. He hints that the husband may have been maltreating her.

Malaria

Dr. Blanc’s heading is “intermittent fever”. My quick research tells me that there are various types of intermittent fever but it was historically a pseudonym for Malaria. He contracted the fever in Africa so I think we can be pretty sure that it is indeed Malaria. He had two hospital stays where he was treated with sulphate of quinine. Having had such good results with Milliary tuberculosis, Dr. Blanc is itching to try it with Malaria. The opportunity to use it instead of the standard treatment comes because this patient is afraid of the effects of quinine and so agrees to the cabbage leaf cure. Dr. Blanc starts by covering his legs. He visits the patient that evening. The patient is expecting his usual attack of fever. He has a headache so Dr. Blanc covers his forehead with cabbage leaf and he stops worrying about the attack due and falls asleep. The next day in the morning he has no more headache. His legs are hot and clammy. The leaves are damp. The abdomen is distended and painful in certain areas. Dr. Blanc covers his legs, his forehead and his abdomen. He does the same in the evening. The next day the patient’s abdomen is less distended and there are no more painful areas. Dr. Blanc applies cabbage leaf to the abdomen but not to the legs and forehead. That day the patient gets out of bed for the first time. 2 days later his abdomen is no longer distended and painful. His skin colour which had been pale returns to a healthy colour. 10 days later the patient leaves the hospice.

That’s all we know. Was this a lasting cure? If so it would have been a medical miracle. Malaria cured in 10 days without drugs and their nasty side effects! Are you listening Bill Gates? Dr. Blanc gives us the perennial “more studies are needed” spiel and says that in any case cabbage leaf can be used as an adjunct to quinine. What a shame that no-one took heed of his treatments and did some trials. But we could still do some trials today. If you know someone with Malaria ask them to try this.

3 cases of gangrene

Gangrenous Erysipela. ” …Erysipelas, contagious infection of the skin and underlying tissue, caused by group A B-hemolytic streptococcus bacteria…” (Britannica)

Here is the first case. A 26 year old soldier returned from being a prisoner of war of the Prussians. He has several fistulas on his right leg. “….Fistula, abnormal duct or passageway between organs…” (Britannica). 29th June he enters the hospice and treatment starts on the 30th. The 3rd of July the stricken leg swells up. On the 5th, purple patches appear. They are covered with cataplasms. The 6th the purple patches get bigger and multiply. On the 7th they turn brown and then black. The emollient cataplasms are replaced by compresses, soaked first in alchohol, then tincture of aloe vera, then calcium chloride. On the 13th the patient is lying on his front with a fixed, earnest look. His voice is pained and he is extremely pale. No headache. Disturbed sleep. Tongue brown, dry and cracked. No appetite. Racing, uneven pulse. Skin hot dry and matt white over the whole body. The right leg is very swollen. Fistula on his feet and knee. There is a gangrenous tumour at the top of the calf muscle.

The tumour is not very painful. It’s oval shaped and blackish, 12 centimetres long and 10 centimetres wide. It’s raised about 2 centimetres above the skin surface. When pressed it makes a cracking sound and exudes a ginger coloured, smelly pus. The doctors consult and decide on this treatment plan: swabbing with clorinated water followed by cabbage leaf wrap. He is given a drink called “limonade vineuse”. I’ve been unable to find out exactly what it is. It pops up frequently throughout the book. I think it’s water with some lemon juice and a little red wine but that’s just a guess on my part.

On the 13th the first cabbage leaf wrap is applied at 7am and renewed at 6pm. Dr. Blanc thinks there is already some improvement. The patient sleeps a bit better. On the morning of the 14th the patient’s skin is less hot less dry and the pulse has slowed down. The tongue has rehydrated and at the tip of the tongue the hitherto brown colour has given way to pink. The bandages and cabbage leaf are covered with a great quantity of smelly, bloody and unpleasant serous liquid. The patient sleeps better on the nights of the 14th and 15th. On the morning of the 15th the skin is damp. The pulse has slowed down. The patient is more animated. He looks confident and optimistic.

The swelling has gone down on the top of the leg. The tumour has shrunk somewhat. The large amount of bloody, gritty pus has bits of limp, dead tissue in it. The tumour now has some red bits appearing. The patient is given some broth in addition to the lemonade. On the 16th more improvement and the patient is given soup. That night the patient sweats a great deal and in the morning his tongue is clear.

On the 17th, on the fourth day of treatment the tumour whose progression was halted on the first day is now on its way to healing. Dr. Blanc can remove from the surface without a trace of blood what’s left of the dead tissue. The surface is now clean and pink. There is no more black line around the tumour. Where the skin had come way it’s now sticking to the layers of tissue underneath. The tumour is now just a large ulcer and on the 23rd a scab starts to form all round it. The suppuration which was bloody and smelly is now just a bit cloudy and red and odourless. It then soon becomes pink and clear. The treatment was continued until the 7th October when the patient left the hospice, About four fifths of the ulcer had healed by then. On the 13th and 16 September a light cauterisation had been carried out. This was sufficient.

The patient was in a critical state says Dr. Blanc. The only other treatment which would have saved his life was amputation and would that have been without complications? Just look at how quickly the cabbage leaf came to the rescue says Dr. Blanc. The first application was carried out at 7am and by that evening the nursing sister thought that the patient had already improved. The next day they could see that the progression had been halted and on the third and fourth day they could be sure it was on the way to being reversed.

Dr. Blanc gives details of 2 more cases of gangrene. In the first case a servant has a fall and a 45 kilo weight hits his leg. 10 days later he is taken to the hospice and cabbage leaf treatment is started. 2 days later the gangrene has not progressed and 3 days later there are definite signs of improvement. A further 10 days later and the sore comes aways leaving visible a large cavity in part of the tibia. The resulting ulcer took a long time to heal.

The effectiveness of cabbage leaf in the treatment of gangrene is absolutely proven says Dr. Blanc and he gives a third case. A sixty year old woman was knocked down by a large dog chasing another dog and fractured a leg. She was taken to the hospice and bandaged up. 4 days later Dr. Blanc removes the bandage and sees that the leg is straight but the knee is brown and yellow and weeping a yellow pus. Gangrene had not yet taken hold but Dr. Blanc thinks that the prompt application of cabbage leaves in this case prevented it.

Abdominal pain

Dr. Blanc uses an an archaic term here: gastro-enteralgia. I can’t find anything for this either in French or English. He tells us that this lady has burning, lacerating pains in the stomach and “entrails” (which are intestines of course) starting on the 22nd September.

She often has stomach cramps and she had obtained a potion for these which worked well. So she used it for this “gastro-enteralgia” but each time she does the pain just gets worse.

On the 23rd he visits and prescribes an opium potion and massages on the abdomen with a balm containing sulfate of opium. The massages and potion are taken regularly on the 23rd and the following day but they have no impact on the pain. So cabbage leaf is applied and half an hour later she falls asleep for 3 hours. She wakes up, still with the pains but to a lesser degree and falls asleep again. The 25th and the following days the cabbage leaf applications are continued. With the aid of numerous enemas she evacuates much putrid material. By 6th October she is cured.

Gout

Dr. Seignalet had very good results with his diet with gout. He classified it as a “clogging disease”. Out of 6 patients, 5 had complete remissions and one was 50% better.

Dr. Blanc did not have direct experience of a patient with gout but he recommended it to someone with gout and he heard that two people with gout had used it successfully to cure their gout.

Menorrhagia & uterine infection

“….Menorrhagia is the medical term for menstrual periods with abnormally heavy or prolonged bleeding. Although heavy menstrual bleeding is a common concern, most women don’t experience blood loss severe enough to be defined as menorrhagia….” (Mayo Clinic)

This patient is a 42 year old nun. For several years she has had chronic pain in kidneys and lower belly (“bas ventre”). I think this this last may be a prudish synonym again. The pain becomes acute during her periods. These are followed by further blood loss for 10 days then a clear vaginal discharge until the next period. She had developed a very high degree of anemia. So much so that lately her blood was hardly pink. During the last crisis the pain was so great that she was rolling about on the floor of the infirmary.

She has all kinds of different treatments, including opium based medications taken internally and externally for the pain and interestingly: homeopathy.

When Dr. Blanc sees her the hemorrhage has paused and the pain is tolerable. She has a generalised edema (swelling) including her face which is a straw colour. Her skin is dry and burning and she has frequent bouts of vomitting. Dr. Blanc suspects a tumour and this opinion is shared by another doctor. Dr. Blanc advises cabbage leaves on the lower belly and the kidneys. The patient finds the cabbage leaves on the kidneys to be irksome but applies them faithfully to the lower belly.

In spite of not using the cabbage leaf on the kidneys her health steadily improves. The pain has calmed down and she no longer vomits. She is able to digest first some broth, then soup then a fatty diet which she now enjoys whereas she found it extremely repugnant before. She now finds a lean diet repugnant. A first then a second period go by without loss of blood. The swelling goes down and her skin and mucous take on a healthy colour. After three months then she is in a very satisfactory condition and Dr. Blanc thinks that they were either mistaken about the tumour or the cabbage leaf has cured it.

Neuralgia

Dr. Blanc recounts 2 more cases of neuralgia. (We saw one at the beginning). One is a lady who has neuralgia under the eye socket. The cabbage leaves were not applied very diligently at first and they had no result. Then they were applied regularly and the neuralgia was cured in 8 or 10 days.

The second case is a washerwoman who has toothache with a swelling of the left cheek also extending to both lips. Cabbage leaf was applied and she was cured in 3 days. Don’t think that cabbage leaf will always prevent an abscess says Dr. Blanc but if you get one it will at least relieve the pain.

Neurosis

This is a 32 year old single lady. She is fresh (“a de la fraicheur”) and is well endowed (“ebonpoint”) says Dr. Blanc. What does he mean exactly by Neurosis? It seems to be a depression. She had already had some kind of depression in 1869 which lasted a year where she had stayed all the time in her room. Dr. Blanc does not know what the symptoms were or what the treatment was.

Five years later in 1874 she falls ill again at the beginning of the year and the depression gets much worse in September of that year. Dr. Blanc visits her in October. She says she has violent pains in the neck, that her throat is tight and she is going to suffocate. She says she has pains in the stomach and her “entrails”. (Dr. Blanc’s archaic term for intesines). Her periods are regular.

He first of all prescribes enemas with a valerian root decoction, water with barley and almond syrup and some kind of opium syrup. From the 3rd to the 6th she does this but without improvement. On the 7th Dr. Blanc applies cabbage leaves to the legs and abdomen. She keeps them on for only a short time but when she takes them off they are covered in droplets but she feels better. The cabbage leaf applications continue and she continues to improve. She poops large amounts. (Dr. Blanc uses a quaint & coy anatomical expression which I hope I have understood correctly). She regains her appetite and starts to sleep soundly. On the 15th, now being in a very satisfactory condition she thanks him and dismisses him. Dr. Blanc hears that she was now going out whereas she had stayed indoors for a year during her first bout of depression and had not been out for several months with this recent bout until his intervention.

Opthalmia

(Oxford dictionary) “…Inflammation of the eye, especially conjunctivitis..”Dr. Blanc thinks that cabbage leaves will work for opthalmia no matter what the cause. He gives the example of a woman who has always suffered from bouts of inflammation in the eyes. During a particularly bad bout of inflammation, Dr. Blanc advises her to sleep with cabbage leaves over her eyes. After 8 days of this treatment her eyes are fine.

Wounds

Dr. Blanc gives several examples of wounds, most of them turned septic. In every case the cabbage leaf draws out pus and reduces inflammation and pain. In every case it stops and reverses the infection and the wound heals without further problem.

 

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