A Cure for Gout

28 March 1730
Professors Boerhaave and Osterdyke’s Regiment prescrib’d for the Gout.

They are of opinion that the gout is not to be cured by any other means but a milk-diet, which will in twelve months time alter the whole mass of blood; and in order thereto, the following directions must be strictly observ’d and follow’d:

I. You must not taste any liquor, only a mixture of one third milk and two thirds water, your milk as new as you can get it, and to drink it as often as you have occasion for it, without adding any other to it. A little tea and coffee is likewise permitted, with milk.

II. In a morning as soon as awake, and the stomach has made a digestion, you must drink eight ounces of spring water, and fast two hours after; then eat milk and bread, milk-pottage, or tea with milk, with a little bread and fresh butter.

III. At dinner you must not eat any thing but what is made of barly, oats, rice, or millet seed, carrots, potatoes, turnips, spinage, beans, pease, &c. You may likewise eat fruit, when full ripe, baked pears or apples, apple-dumplings, but above all, milk and bisket is very good, but nothing salt or sour, not even a Seville orange.

IV. At supper you must eat nothing but milk and bread.

V. It is necessary to go to bed betimes, even before nine o’clock, to accustom yourself to sleep much, and use yourself to it.

VI. Every morning before you rise, to have your feet, legs, arms, and hands, well rubb’d with pieces of woollen cloth, for half an hour, and the same going to bed. This article must be strictly observed, for by this means the humours, knobs, and bunches will be dissipated, and prevent their fixing in the joints, by which they become useless.

VII. You must accustom yourself to exercise, as riding on horse-back, which is best, or in a coach, chaise, &c. the more the better, but take care of the cold weather, winds, and rain.

Lastly, in case a fit of the gout should return, and be violent, which they are of opinion will not, then a little dose of opium, or laudanum, may be taken to compose you; but no oftner than necessity requires. They are of opinion, that your father or mother having the gout, is of no consequence, if you will resolve to follow the foregoing directions strictly. [Daily Journal]

(Texts have been modernized with regard to capitalization, italicization, and punctuation, but original spelling has been retained. This edition copyright Rictor Norton. All rights reserved. Reproduction for sale or profit prohibited. These extracts may not be archived, republished or redistributed without the permission of the compiler.)

CITATION: Rictor Norton, Early Eighteenth-Century Newspaper Reports: A Sourcebook, "A Cure for Gout", 18 November 2001, updated 30 November 2001 <http://grubstreet.rictornorton.co.uk/gout.htm>

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