Archaic Medical Terms

McMunn's Elixir of Opium

These are old medical terms that you might encounter in Family History research, particularly in Death Certificates and Medical Records.

Althaea officinalis
Althaea officinalis
Abdominal Typhus
A type of typhus fever characterized by bluish spots appearing on the abdomen a few days after the disease is contracted.
Ablepsia / Ablepsy
Blindness.
Abluent
A substance which thins, purifies, or sweetens the blood.
Ablution
Washing the body externally or internally with diluting fluids.
Abortus Fever
See Brucellosis.
Abracadabra
A cabalistic word, used as a charm, and believed to have the power to cure illness and disease when written in a triangular arrangement and worn around the neck.
Abscess
A collection of purulent matter or pockets of pus, usually fatal, sometimes caused by amebic dysentery.
Abstracted Medical Record
A record prepared for soldiers treated at medical facilities in posts, camps, and in the field, containing name, rank, unit, reason for treatment, and treatment time period.
Aches
Convulsions.
Achor
The scald head, a disease forming scaly eruptions, supposed to be critical evacuation of acrimonious humors; a species of herpes.
Acme
The period of full growth or mature age, often used in medical records to describe the maturity of a person.
Aconite
A medicine made from the dried root of the monkshood used to reduce fever, as a sedative, and as a painkiller.
Acute
Means a condition of recent origin whereas chronic means of long standing.
Addison's Disease
Anaemic condition caused by kidney disease.
African Consumption
Consumption (tuberculosis) suffered by a Negro, usually a slave.
Aglutition
Inability to swallow, frequently found on death certificates.
Ague
Originally the feverish stage, but afterwards more usually the cold or shivering stage of an acute or violent fever; a malarial fever.
Ague-Cake
A hard tumor or swelling on the left side of the abdomen, lower than the false rib, resulting from enlargement of the spleen or liver, and supposed to be the effect of intermitting fevers.
Ague Tree
Sassafras, a tree effective in reducing fevers.
Aksis
Access, an intense feeling of fever or ague.
Aleberry
A beverage used in England in the 1800's of ale boiled with spice and sugar and bits of bread, sometimes used for invalids.
Althea, Syrup of
Althaea officinalis is Marsh Mallow, used as an anti-inflammatory.
Amentia
Feeble mindedness; a temporary, confused state of insanity.
American Plague
See Yellow Fever.
Anaemia / Anemia
Lack of sufficient red blood cells, sometimes caused by iron deficiency and worsened by the medical practice of bleeding patients for virtually every condition. Also known as green fever, green sickness. See also chlorosis.
Anaplerotic
A medicine which promotes the healing process, and helps renew flesh or wasted parts – often found in medical records.
Anascara
A form of dropsy where there is swelling just beneath the skin which produces a very puffed appearance of the flesh over a large surface of the body.
Ancome
An ulcerous swelling, a boil.
Aneurism / Aneurysm
A ballooning of an artery caused by a weakened artery wall.
Angina Pectoris
A dangerous disease, with paroxysms characterized by sudden and severe pain in the lower chest, with a feeling of suffocation.
Angina
The general name of the diseases called sore throat, as quinsy, scarlet fever, croup, mumps, etc.
Anodyne
A drug which will dull pain; analgesic.
Anthelmintic
Something used to expel or destroy intestinal worms.
Antifebrile
A medicine able to abate or cure fever.
Antiparalytic
A medicine used to help palsy victims.
Antiperiodic
A medicine which prevented the periodic return of certain diseases, such as malaria.
Antipestilential
A substance that will counteract or stop contagion or infection.
Antiphlogistic
A remedy used for inflammations.
Antiscorbutic
A remedy used to fight scurvy.
Antisialogogue
A medicine used to decrease a heavy flow of saliva.
Antispasmodic
A medicine used to reduce muscle cramps or spasms.
Antisyphilitic
A medicine used to cure syphilis.
Aphonia
Laryngitis
Aphtha / Aphthae
The infantile disease thrush.
Aphthous Fever
See Thrush.
Aphthous Stomatitis
Mouth ulcer. See also Canker.
Apoplexy
Hemorrhage of a blood vessel in the brain; a sudden loss of sensation; paralysis due to stroke.
Ascites
A large collection of fluid in the abdominal cavity; dropsy of the abdomen.
Asfetidia
A short perennial herb that produces a resinous gum used as an antispasmodic and flavoring.
Asthenia
See Debility.
Asylum
A place of refuge for the care of orphans and, more usually, for the confinement of the insane.
Atrophy
Wasting.
Axes
The ague, generally fits or attacks.

Atropa_belladonnajpg
Belladonna
Bacteremia
See Blood poisoning.
Bad Blood
See Syphilis
Balm
An aromatic substance consisting of resin mixed with volatile oils, much prized for its fragrance and medicinal properties.
Balsam
An aromatic oily medicine used for external application to heal wounds or soothe pain.
Barrel Fever
Sickness produced by immoderate drinking.
Beal
A pimple; a pustule.
Bechic
Pectoral; a medicine for relieving coughs.
Bedehouse
A hospital; an alms house.
Belladonna
A medicine to calm the digestive system, derived from the Deadly Nightshade plant.
Bethlehem
A hospital for the mentally ill.
Bethlehemite
A mentally ill person.
Bilious Fever
Intestinal or malarial fevers. See also Typhus.
Bilious
Having an undue amount of bile.
Biliousness
Nausea, abdominal pains, headache, and constipation. Also jaundice associated with liver disease.
Bistoury
Surgical instrument for making incisions.
Bitters
A tonic made of alcohol and a vegetable infusion.
Black-Pudding
A food made of blood and grain.
Black Death or Black Plague
Bubonic Plague, an infectious fever caused by the bacillus Yersinia pestis.
Black Dog
Depression.
Black Drink
A drink made of leaves used by the Indians of the Southern U.S. as a ceremonial drink and as a medicine.
Black Jaundice
Wiel's disease, a bacterial infection of the liver carried by rats.
Black Pox
Black Smallpox.
Black Vomit
Vomiting caused by the presence of old blood in the stomach due to conditions such as a bleeding ulcer or yellow fever.
Blood Poisoning
Septicaemia, an infection throughout the body.
Blood Stone
A stone worn as an amulet and thought to be a preventive for nosebleeds.
Bloody Flux
Dysentery; discharges from the bowels mixed with blood.
Bloody Sweat
A sweat accompanied by a discharge of blood; a disease called sweating sickness.
Bloughty
Swollen.
Boil
An abscess of skin or painful inflammation of the skin or a hair follicle usually caused by a staphylococcal infection.
Bone-Shave
Sciatica, hip-gout.
Bowel Complaint
Any gastrointestinal disorder.
Brain Fever
Meningitis or Typhus.
Breakbone
Dengue fever.
Bright's Disease
Chronic inflammatory disease of the kidneys.
Bronchial Asthma
A difficulty in breathing, caused by spasm of the bronchi (the tubes of the lungs).
Bronchial Catarrh
Acute Bronchitis
Bronchocele
Enlarged thyroid gland.
Bronze John
Yellow fever.
Bronzed Skin Disease
See Addison's Disease.
Brucellosis
An infectious fever contracted from contaminated milk.
Bule
A boil, tumor, or swelling.
Bursten
Hernia or rupture.

Cinnamomum camphora
Camphor
Caccagague
An ointment made of alum and honey, used as a laxative.
Cachexy
An extreme condition of the body caused by malnutrition.
Cacogastric
An upset stomach.
Cacopathy
A severe affliction or malady.
Cacospysy
A bad or irregular pulse rhythm.
Cacotrophy
Condition of the body due to poor nutrition.
Caducous
Subject to falling sickness or epilepsy.
Calefacient
A medical agent that produces warmth or a sense of heat.
Caligo
Dimming of the sight.
Calmative
Sedative.
Calomel
A purgative or laxative made from mercurous chloride.
Camp Diarrhoea
See Typhus.
Camp Fever
See Typhus.
Camphor Cerate
A preparation for external application consisting of wax, camphor, and other medicinal ingredients used in treating colds.
Camphor
An odorous substance used in pharmacy products, formerly as an antaphrodasiac.
Cancrum Otis
An erosive ulcer of the cheek and lip resulting from poor hygiene.
Canine Madness
Hydrophobia (Rabies).
Canker
An ulcerous sore of the mouth and lips. Possibly includes herpes simplex infections. See Cancrum Otis.
Cankery
Gangrenous.
Cardiac Insufficiency
Where the heart is no longer able to pump efficiently.
Carditis
Inflammation of the heart.
Catalepsy
A disease characterized by a seizure or trance wherin sensation and consciousness are suspended.
Cataplasm
A poultice.
Catarrh
Cerebral hemorrhage or apoplexy, it later came to mean an inflammation of the mucous membrane which caused profuse running of the eyes and nose.
Catarrh
Epidemic Influenza.
Cathartic
A purgative or strong laxative.
Causary
Dismissal from military service due to ill health.
Cephalic
A medicine for headache or other disorders of the head.
Cerebrospinal Fever
See Meningitis.
Chalkstones
Swelling with pain that probably was caused by rheumatoid arthritis or gout.
Charnel House
A vault or house under or near a church where bones of the dead are kept.
Chilblain
An inflammatory swelling of the hands and feet caused by exposure to cold.
Childbed Fever
Infection following birth of a child; puerperal fever.
Chin-cough
A contagious disease, sometimes called whooping cough, characterized by breathing difficulties, and in its worst stage, convulsions.
Chiropodist
One who treats diseases of the hands and feet.
Chlorosis
The sickness common to females and characterized by a pale or greenish hue of the skin, weakness, palpitation, and dyspepsia.
Cholagogue
A medicine for diminishing excess bile.
Cholecystitis
Inflammation of the gall bladder.
Cholelithiasis
Stones in the gall bladder or bile duct.
Cholera Infantum
A common, non-contagious diarrhoea of young children, occurring in summer or autumn.
Cholera Morbus
Characterized by nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, elevated temperature, etc. See Cholera Infantum. Could also be appendicitis.
Cholera
Acute severe contagious diarrhea with intestinal lining sloughing.
Choleric Fever of Children
See Cholera Infantum.
Chorea
A diseases of the nervous system, characterised by jerky movements chiefly of the face and extremities. See St. Vitus' Dance.
Chronic
Of long standing as opposed to acute which means of recent origin.
Clap-Doctor
One who is skilled in healing the clap, a venereal disease (gonorrhea).
Clyster
A medicine injected into the rectum which cleansed the bowels and afforded nutrition; an enema.
Cold Plague
A kind of ague in which the body suffered extreme chills.
Colic
Abdominal pain and cramp. Renal colic can occur from disease in the kidney and affects the ureter. Gallstone colic arises from stones in the bile duct.
Common Lupus
See Lupus Vulgaris.
Confined
Constipated.
Congestion
The accumulation of matter in the body such as in abscesses or tumors; the accumulation of blood in one part of the body.
Congestive Fever
See Malaria
Congestive
Chills/Fever/Malaria.
Consumption
Pulmonary tuberculosis; a wasting away of the body.
Convulsions
Violent, involuntary muscular contractions of the extremities, trunk, and head. See also epilepsy.
Coqueluche
An epidemic of catarrh; later, of whooping cough.
Cordial
That which suddenly invigorates the system and stimulates the action of the heart or blood circulation; any medicine which increases strength or raises the spirits.
Corpse Viewer
A coroner.
Correction House
A facility to provide rehabilitation for the insane and petty lawbreakers.
Corruption
Infected condition.
Coryza
a cold. See also Catarrh.
Costiveness
Constipation.
Cramp Colic
Appendicitis.
Creeping Paralysis
A term that encompasses multiple sclerosis
Crop-Sickness
Sickness from an overextended stomach, usually from excess eating or drinking.
Croup
A disease known scientifically as acute obstructive laryngitis, diphtheria, or occasionally strep throat.
Cupping
Drawing blood using a cup from which the air has been removed.
Cyanosis
Blueness of the skin due to lack of oxygen.
Cynanche Maligna
Putrid sore throat.
Cynanche Parotidaea
Mumps.
Cynanche Pharyngaea
Inflammation of the pharynx.
Cynanche Tonsillaris
inflammatory sore throat, See quinsy.
Cynanche Trachealis
See Croup.
Cynanche
Diseases of the throat, characterized by inflammation, swelling, and difficulty breathing or swallowing.
Cystitis
Inflammation of the bladder.
Cystotomy
The act of opening encysted tumors to discharge morbid matter.

Digitalis_purpurea
Digitalis purpurea
Daturine
A drug used to treat seizures and mental disorders.
Day Fever
A fever of a day's duration or coming on in the daytime; the sweating sickness.
Debility
Abnormal bodily weakness or feebleness; decay of strength.
Delirium Tremens
A condition found in persons whose use of alcohol is excessive resulting in hallucinations, both visual and auditory.
Dementia Praecox
Schizophrenia, a mental disorder.
Dengue
An acute infectious fever, characterized by excruciating pain in the joints but seldom proving fatal.
Dentition
Cutting of the teeth.
Deplumation
A tumor of the eyelids which results in loss of hair.
Diacodion
Medicine made from poppies and therefore containing morphine or related substances.
Diaphoretic
A medicine or preparation that induces perspiration.
Diaphragmatitis
Inflammation of the diaphragm.
Diary Fever
A fever that lasts one day.
Diet-Drink
Medicated liquors or drink prepared with medicinal ingredients.
Digitalis
A medicine used as a heart stimulant, prepared from the fox-glove.
Diphtheria
An acute and often fatal infectious disease of the upper respiratory tract in which a membrane grows across the throat.
Dock Fever
Yellow Fever.
Domestic Malady
Depression or other emotional breakdown.
Double Personality
Manic depression.
Dropsy of the Brain
Encephalitis.
Dropsy
An abnormal collection of fluid in the tissues and cavities of the body; edema (swelling), often caused by kidney or heart disease.
Dry Bellyache
Lead poisoning.
Dyscrasy
An ill habit or state of the bodily humors; an abnormal condition of the body.
Dysentery
Inflammation of the intestine.
Dysorexy
A diminished appetite.
Dyspepsia
Bad digestion usually involving weakness, loss of appetite, and depression.
Dysury
Difficulty in discharging urine, accompanied by pain and a sensation of heat.

Elixir of Opium
Earth-Bath
A medical treatment in which the patient was buried up to the shoulders in the ground.
Eclampsia
A form of toxaemia accompanying pregnancy.
Eclampsy
A symptom of epilepsy; convulsions during pregnancy.
Ecstasy
In medicine, a species of catalepsy, wherin reason is temporarily suspended.
Edema of Lungs
Congestive heart failure or a form of dropsy.
Edema
Nephrosis; a swelling of tissues.
Edematous
Swelling with a serous humor; dropsical.
Effluvia
Exhalations. In the mid 19th century, they were called "vapours".
Elephantiasis
A species of leprosy, so called from the skin being covered with incrustations, marked by a thickening and greasiness of the legs, loss of hair and feeling, swelling of the face, and a hoarse nasal voice.
Elixir
A drug or medicine supposed to have the power to prolong life; cure-all; eventually, quack medicine.
Endocarditis
Disease of the heart valves that can result from Rheumatic Fever.
Enteric Fever
See Typhoid Fever.
Enteritis
Inflammation of the bowels, usually acute rather then chronic.
Enterocolitis
An inflammation affecting both the small and large intestine.
Epilepsy
A disorder of the nervous system.
Epistaxis
A nose bleed.
Epithelial
Of or pertaining to epithelium, cancerous cells.
Erysipelas
A skin disease caused by strep infection which devastates the blood.
Excrescence
An unnatural or disfiguring outgrowth of the skin.
Extravasated Blood
Ruptured blood vessel.

Fleam Knife
Fleam
Falling Sickness
Epilepsy.
Febrifuge
Any substance such as a plant, root, or herb that reduces fever.
Febrile
Being feverish or having a high temperature.
Felon
An infection on the end of a finger or toe.
Fermacy
A pharmacy.
Fever Powder
A remedy for subduing or curing fever.
Fistula
An abnormal passage from an abscess or cavity to the skin or to another abscess.
Fleam
Surgical knife used for opening veins for letting blood.
Flux of Humor
Circulation.
Flux
An excessive flow or discharge of fluid like hemorrhage or diarrhea; the drainage or discharge of liquid from a body cavity.
French Pox
Venereal disease, See Syphilis.
Furuncle
A small tumor or boil, with inflammation and pain, under the skin.

GPI
G.P.I
General Paralysis of the Insane. The third and final stage of Syphilis.
Gangrene
The decay of tissue, commonly the extremities, usually because of the failure of blood supply as in frost bite or as a complication of diabetes.
Gangrenous Stomatitis
See Cancrum Otis.
Gangrenous Ulceration of the Mouth
See Cancrum Otis.
Gastritis
Inflammation of the stomach.
Gastrocele
A ruptured stomach.
Gathering
A collection of pus; an abscess.
Gleet
See Catarrh.
Glossitis
Inflammation of the tongue.
Goitre
Swelling of the thyroid caused by shortage of iodine in the diet. Also known as Derbyshire neck.
Gout
An arthritic disease marked by recurrent acute attacks of pain, tenderness, redness, and swelling around the joints and tendons caused by deposits of monosodium urate crystals.
Gravel
A disease characterised by small stones which are formed in the kidneys, passed along the ureters to the bladder, and expelled with the urine. See also stranguary.
Great Pox
See Syphilis
Green Sickness or Green Fever
Anemia; chlorosis; a disease of young women giving the complexion a greenish tinge.
Grippe
Influenza.
Grocer's Itch
A cutaneous disease caused by mites in sugar and flour.

Haemorrhoids
Piles.
Headmouldshot
This is when the sutures of the skull, generally the coronal, ride; that is, have their edges shot over one another.
Heat Sickness
A condition marked especially by cessation of sweating and extremely high body temperature, caused by a loss of salt from the body.
Hectic Fever
Recurring fever with sweating, chills, and flushing.
Hectical Complaint
A remittent fever with stages of chilliness, heat, and sweat; (rare) a person suffering with tuberculosis.
Hematemesis / Haematemesis
Vomiting blood.
Hematuria / Haematuria
A discharge of bloody urine.
Hemoptysis / Haemoptysis
Spitting up blood from the larynx, trachea, bronchi, or lungs.
Hepatitis
Inflammation of the liver.
Herpes Zoster
Shingles.
Hip Gout
Osteomyelitis.
Hives
An allergic skin disorder, often attended by severe itching.
Hospital Fever
See Typhus.
Hospital Fever
See Typhus.
Huntington's Chorea
A nervous disorder, accompanied by increasing mental deterioration.
Hydrocele
Dropsy of the testicles
Hydrocephalus
An abnormal increase in the amount of fluid in the cranium, causing enlargement of the head and loss of mental powers.
Hydropericardium
Heart dropsy.
Hydrophobia
Dread of water; a symptom of canine madness (rabies).
Hydrops
Dropsy.
Hydrothorax
Dropsy in the chest; an abnormal amount of fluid in the pleural cavity.
Hyertropy of Heart
Enlargement of the heart.
Hysteritis
Inflammation of the womb.
Hysterotomy
A Cesarean section.

Icterus
Jaundice.
Ileus
An obstruction of the intestines resulting in severe constipation and pain.
Impetigo
Any of certain contagious skin diseases characterized by the eruption of pustules, caused by staphylococci.
Imposthume
A collection of purulent matter in a bag or cyst.
Inanition
Decline from inadequate nourishment; starvation.
Infantile Paralysis
Polio (Poliomylitis)
Intestinal Colic
Pain throughout the abdomen, usually caused by an improper diet.
Intussusception
The condition where part of the intestine has slipped into another part just below it.

Ipomoea purga
Jalap
Jail Fever
See Typhus.
Jalap
A purgative medicine made from the root of the Mexican Jelap.
Jaundice
Condition caused by blockage of intestines, characterized by yellowness of the skin, fluids, and tissues, and by constipation, loss of appitite, and weakness.

Kidney Stone
See Gravel.
Kings Evil
Scrofula, a tubercular infection of the throat lymph glands.

Lagrippe
See Influenza.
Laryngismus Stridulus
A condition, usually associated with boys under the age of two afflicted with rickets, in which the muscles of the voice box go into spasms causing shortness of breath and a ‘crowing' sound.
Laudanum
Any of various pain killing preparations in which opium was the main ingredient.
Lazaretto
A hospital, building, or a ship where diseased persons are quarantined.
Lead poisoning
Common in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Leech
A physician; a leech used for drawing blood.
Lent-Evil
The ague.
Leprosy
Long lasting disease caused by the bacillus Mycobacterium leprae AKA Hanson's Disease.
Lethargy
a morbid drowsiness; a sleep from which one cannot be kept awake. The term appears to have had a more precise meaning in Johnson's time and would seem akin to what we would call coma.
Lientery
A flux of the bowels in which the aliments are discharged undigested.
Livergrown
having a great liver. (Possibly as a result of high alcohol consumption!)
Lockjaw
Tetanus or infectious disease affecting the muscles of the neck and jaw. Fatal if untreated in 8 days.
Locomotor Ataxia
A movement disorder caused by syphilitic infection of the spinal cord.
Long Sickness
See Tuberculosis.
Lues Venera
Venereal Disease
Lues
See Syphilis.
Lumbago
A pain in the loins and small of the back, such as precedes certain fevers.
Lunatic
Mad, having the imagination influenced by the moon.
Lung Fever
See Pneumonia.
Lung Sickness
See Tuberculosis.
Lupus Erythematosus
A chronic disease causing degeneration of connective tissue.
Lupus Vulgaris
A chronic tubercular infection of the skin involving soft yellow swellings, ulcers and abscesses.
Lying In
Refers to the period around childbirth.

Madstone
A small porous stone which supposedly absorbed venom from a snake bite and cured hydrophobia (rabies).
Malaria
A disease caused by parasitic protozoa of the genus Plasmodium, transmitted by the bites of insects such as mosquitoes.
Malignant Fever
See Typhus.
Malignant Fever
See Typhus.
Malignant Sore Throat
Diphtheria
Mania Puerperium
A mental disorder affecting new mothers.
Mania
insanity
Marasmus
A disease characterized by progressive deterioration of body tissue, usually due to severe malnutrition or protracted intestinal disorders.
Measles
A critical eruption in a fever.
Melancholia
Sadness or depression. Literally it means black bile; the ancient Greeks associated four personality types with body fluids - sanguine (dominant fluid blood) choleretic (bile), phelgmatic (phlegm) and melancholic (black bile).
Melanuric
Malarial fever, black-water fever.
Membranous Croup
Diphtheria.
Menagogue
A medicine that promotes menstrual flux.
Meningitis
Inflation of the membranes of the brain or spinal cord.
Menorrhagia
Flooding, excessive menstrual bleeding.
Miasma
Poisonous vapor formerly supposed to arise from decomposing animal or vegetable matter, swamps, etc., and infect the air.
Miliary Fever
Small pustules or vesicles on the skin, so called as they resemble millet seed.
Milk Fever
A fever accompanying the first flowing of milk in females after childbirth.
Milk Leg
Thrombosis of veins in the legs caused by lying in bed too long after childbirth. It leads to ulceration of the skin.
Milk Sickness
A disease, once common in the western U.S., caused by drinking the milk, eating mild products, of flesh of cattle that have eaten any of various poisonous weeds.
Morbus addisonii
See Addison's Disease.
Morbus Gallicus
See Syphilis.
Morbus
Disease.
Mormal
See Gangrene.
Morphew
A scurvy eruption on the body.
Morphine (Morphinism)
A chronic intoxication due to the habitual use of morphine or of opium in some other form.
Mortification
Infection, often used for gangrene or necrosis. A state of corruption, or losing the vital qualities; gangrene.
Myelitis
Inflammation of the spinal cord or bone marrow.
Myocarditis
Inflammation of the muscular walls of the heart.

Naples Disease
See Syphilis.
Natural Decay
Death through old age is frequently shown on death certificates as natural decay.
Necrosis
The death of tissue; mortification, especially of the bones.
Nephritic
A purgative medicine to relieve or cure disorders of the kidneys, particularly gravel or stone in the bladder.
Nephritis
Inflammation of the kidney.
Nephrosis
Kidney degeneration, without signs of inflammation, due to the failure of fluid to be passed on through the kidneys to the bladder for disposal.
Nephrotomy
The operation of extracting a stone from the kidney.
Nervine
A medicine for relief of nervous disorders.
Neuralgia
An affection of one or more nerves causing intermittent but frequent pain.
Neurasthenia
Neurotic condition.
Noma
See Cancrum Otis.
Nostrum
A panacea or quack medicine, the ingredients of which were kept secret.

Papaver_somniferum
Papaver somniferum
(Opium Poppy)
Oedema
Swelling caused by retention of fluid such as might occur with a weakened heart.
Onkotomy
The opening of a tumor or abscess.
Opiate
Any medicine that induces sleep or respite; a narcotic.
Opthalmitis
Inflammation of the eye.
Ossification
The formation of bone; the process of becoming or changing into bone.
Osteo Sarcoma
A disease or sarcoma of the bony tissue, characterized by a fleshy growth.
Osteopathy
A theory of disease and method of cure based on the assumption that loss of structural integrity of the skeleton is the cause of most diseases.
Otitis
Inflammation of the ear.

Palsy
The loss or defect of the power of voluntary muscular motion in all or part of the body; paralysis.
Panacea
A universal remedy for all diseases.
Paregoric
A camphorated tincture of opium that soothes or lessens pain.
Paristhmitis
See Quinsy.
Paroxysm
A fit of higher excitement or emotion in a disease; convulsion.
Parrot's Bill
A surgeon's pincers.
Parturition
Childbirth.
Pemphigus
A skin disease characterized by the formation of watery blisters.
Pepastic
A medicine that serves to help digestion.
Pericarditis
Inflammation of the sac around the heart.
Peripneumonia
Inflammation of the lungs.
Peritonitis
Inflammation of the peritoneal cavity in which the intestines lie.
Pertussis
Whooping Cough.
Pesthouse
A house or hospital for persons infected with a contagious disease.
Pestis
See Black Death
Petechial Fever
A small red or purple spot in the skin occurring in certain fevers. See Typhus.
Pharmacopoeist
A person who sells medicines; an apothecary.
Phlebotomy
The act of opening a vein for letting blood.
Phlegmasia Alba Dolens
See Milk Leg.
Phlegmasia
General term for inflammation.
Phrenitis
Formerly inflammation of the brain, with acute fever and delirium; inflammation of the diaphragm.
Phthiriasis
Infestation of lice.
Phthisis
A progressive wasting away of the body, such as tuberculosis, pulmonary consumption, etc.
Pink Disease
Disease in children caused by mercury poisoning from the use of mercury salts in teething powders.
Pityriasis
A condition of the skin characterized by the formation and falling off of scales; dandruff.
Pleurisy
An inflammation of the pleura (membrane) that covers the inside of the thorax, accompanied with fever, pain, and cough.
Pneumonia
Inflammation of the lungs produced by infections such as Diplococcus pneumoniae or Klebsiella pneumonia.
Pneumonitis
Inflammation of the lungs.
Podagra
Gout in the feet.
Poliomyelitis
An inflammation of the anterior horn cells in the gray matter of the spinal cord; Infantile Paralysis; Polio.
Potter's Asthma
A form of fibroid phthisis to which persons exposed to the dust of the pottery industry are subject.
Potts Disease
Tuberculosis of the spine leading to degeneration of the vertebrae.
Poultice
A soft, hot, moist substance as of flour, meal, bran, flax seed, or similar substances, applied to sores, or inflamed parts of the body.
Probang
An instrument of whalebone and sponge used for removing obstructions in the throat.
Prostatitis / Prostitis
Inflammation of the prostate gland.
Psoas Abscess
An abscess of the loin muscle, usually associated with tuberculosis.
Puerperal Exhaustion
The condition of which a woman died during childbirth.
Puerperal Fever
Childbed fever; septic poisoning which sometimes occurred during childbirth.
Puerperium
A woman's confinement during and immediately after childbirth.
Puking Fever
Milk sickness.
Purples
spots of a livid colour, which break out in malignant fevers.
Putrid Fever
A name for Typhus Fever or Diphtheria.
Putrid Sore Throat
Ulceration of an acute form, attacking the tonsils, see also Quinsy.
Pyrexia
See Dysentery.

Cinchona succirubra
Cinchona succirubra
Quinine
A bitter, crystalline alkaloid, extracted from Cinchona Bark, used especially in the treatment of Malaria.
Quinsy
An inflammation of the tonsils accompanied by the formation of pus.

Remitting Fever
See Malaria.
Revulsion
The act of diverting humors or any cause of disease from one part of the body to another.
Rheumatismus
Rheumatism.
Rickets
A disease of the skeletal system resulting from a deficiency of Calcium or Vitamin D in the diet, or from lack of sunlight.
Rigor
A stiffness and rigidity of the body which does not respond to stimuli; shivering or trembling with a chill preceding a fever.
Rising of the Lights
See Croup.
Rubeola
See German Measles.

Old Surgical Treatise
Sanguinous Crust
A scab.
Sarcoma
See Cancer.
Saxifrage
A medicine that has the property of dissolving stones in the bladder.
Scaldhead
A scab infection of the head.
Scarlatina
Scarlet Fever; commonly referred to as the canker rash.
Scarlet Rash
See Roseola.
Sciatica
Rheumatism in the hip.
Scirrhus
A cancerous tumor on any part of the body, usually made up of fibrous connective tissue.
Scotomy
Dizziness or nausea, with dimness of sight.
Screws
See Rheumatism
Scrumpox
Impetigo
Scrivener's Palsy
Writer's cramp.
Scrofula
A disease, called the King's Evil, characterized by tumors in the glands of the neck; tuberculosis of lymph glands.
Scrumpox
A pustular disease of the skin; impetigo.
Scurvy
A disease characterized by great debility, a pale bloated face, and bleeding spongy gums, indicant to persons who live confined, or on salted meats without fresh vegetables.
Senile Decay
See Natural Decay.
Septicemia
Blood poisoning.
Sequela
A diseased condition resulting from a previous sickness.
Shakes
A convulsive trembling, often accompanying intermittent fever, alcoholism, etc.
Shaking
The ague; a chill.
Shingles
An acute viral disease marked by small blisters on the skin along the course of a nerve.
Ship Fever
See Typhus.
Sirasis
An inflammation of the brain, caused by excessive heat of the sun; a frenzy peculiar to children.
Sloes
Milk sickness.
Small pox
Contagious disease with fever and blisters.
Smoker's Patch
A smooth, white patch on the tongue due to excessive smoking.
Softening of the Brain
Apoplexy.
Spanish Disease
See Syphilis.
Spanish Influenza
Pandemic Influenza.
Spina Bifida
A deformity of the base of the spine.
Spital
A hospital for the very poor and those having leprosy or other loathsome diseases.
Spittle
A hospital.
Splenitits
Inflammation of the spleen.
Spotted Fever
Cerebrospinal meningitis fever, characterized by inflammation of the cerebrospinal membranes; Also See typhus.
Sprue
A chronic tropical disease characterized by anemia, gastrointestinal disorders, sore throat, etc.
St. Anthony's Fire
See Erysipelas.
St. Vitus Dance
a twitching of the limbs consequent on streptococcal infections also known as chorea Sancti Viti.
Stomatitis
Inflammation of the mucous membrane of the mouth.
Stranger's Fever
See Yellow Fever.
Stranguary
Restricted urine flow. A difficulty of urine attended with pain. This could have included bladder stones and enlargement of the prostate. See also gravel.
Strangury
A difficult and painful discharge of urine.
Strophulus
Prickly heat.
Struma
Goiter or scrofula.
Sudor Anglicus
Sweating sickness.
Summer Complaint
Diarrhea, usually in infants caused by spoiled milk.
Summer Complaint
See Cholera Infantum.
Suppurating
Producing pus.
Surgeon
A person who served as a barber, as well as one who practiced medicine.
Sweating Sickness
An acute, infectious, rapidly fatal disease epidemic in England in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
Syncope
A fainting or loss of consciousness caused by a temporary deficiency of blood to the brain.
Synochus
Fever
Syphilis
Long lasting contagious venereal disease caused by Treponema pallidum
Syphilitica
Pertaining to the disease Syphilis.

Anacetum vulgare
Tansy
(Anacetum vulgare)
Tabes Dorsalis
Tubercular infection of the spine.
Tabes Mesenterica
Tubercular infection of the lymph glands in the abdomen.
Tabes
Slow progressive emaciation of the body or its parts.
Tansy
Anacetum vulgare, a bitter and aromatic plant, used to reduce fever.
Tartar Emetic
A poisonous, white, crystalline salt used to increase perspiration and cause coughing, spitting, and vomiting.
Tetanus
An infectious, often fatal disease caused by the bacterium Clostridium tetani, which enters the body through wounds. Synonyms: trismus, lockjaw.
Tetter
Any of various skin diseases, such as eczema and impetigo.
Thrombosis
A clot formation inside a blood vessel.
Thrush
A disease, usually contracted by children, caused by a fungus and characterized by milky-white lesions on the membranes of the mouth, lips, and throat.
Tincture-
A substance with medicinal properties, usually in an alcoholic solvent.
Trembles
A disease of cattle and sheep caused by eating any of various poisonous weeds and characterized by muscular tremors and a stumbling gait.
Trench Fever
a louse borne infection characterised by headaches, inflamed eyes, skin rashes and pains in the legs. The infective agent is Rickettsia quintana.
Tuberculosis
A chronic infectious disease that can affect a variety of organs. The most common variety is pulmonary tuberculosis or consumption, passed on via droplets in coughs and sneezes. Tuberculosis of the lymph glands in the neck was called scrofula or King's Evil. The disease could be contracted through infected milk. See consumption and King's Evil.
Tympany
A kind of obstructed flatulence that swells the body like a drum.
Typhoid Fever
An infectious disease producing intestinal inflammation and ulceration. It was usually encountered in the summer months. It is caused by the bacterium Salmonella typhosa. The name came from the disease's similarity to typhus (see below).
Typhus
An acute, infectious disease caused by the parasite Rickettsia prowazekii, transmitted by lice and fleas.

Ulceration
Loss of the surface covering, such as of skin or the mucous lining, of the intestine.
Undulant Fever
See Brucellosis.

Varicella
Chicken pox
Variola
See Smallpox
Varioloid
A mild form of Variola (Smallpox) occurring in a person who has had a previous attack or who has been vaccinated.
Venesection
The opening of a vein for letting blood; Phlebotomy.
Vermifuge
Serving to expel worms and other parasites from the intestinal tract.

Salix alba
Willow
(Salix alba)
Wasting
Destructive to health or vigor, as a disease; wasting palsy; progressive muscular atrophy.
Water Canker
See Cancrum Otis.
Water Gripes
See Cholera Infantum.
Weaning Brash
See Cholera Infantum.
White Leg
See Milk Leg.
Whooping Cough
See Chin Cough.
Willow Bark
An analgesic and anti-inflammatory herb.
Winter Fever
Pneumonia.
Wool Sorters' Disease
Anthrax.
Worm fever
May have been used to indicate a fever or enteritis during which worms were passed in the feces. It is given as a cause of death of children in the early 19th century.
Worm Fit
Infantile convulsions, usually a reflex action associated with teething, worms, rickets, fever, or diarrhea.
Worms
Any of the various ailments caused by the working of a worm or resulting in a worm shaped tumor or growth.

No terms starting with X

Yellow Jack
Yellow fever. A devastating, mosquito-borne viral disease.

No Terms starting with Z