Stearns, Samuel, 1747-1809. Medical notebook of Samuel Stearns, circa 1773. H MS b1.1, Countway Library of Medicine.

Notebook containing descriptions of various diseases and medical conditions and recommended treatments collected by New England physician Samuel Stearns (1747-1809) in circa 1773. There are entries in alphabetical order including instructions on preventing abortion (miscarriage), setting fractures, and for treating melancholy, taken sometimes from the published works of other physicians, such as Richard Brookes (1721-1763), whose prescription for cancer Stearns transcribed. The notebook is dated 1773 and may have been intended for publication as part of a medical dispensatory Stearns was attempting to compile, beginning in 1772. As part of his efforts, Stearns traveled to hear medical lectures in North America, England, Scotland, Ireland, and France. The volume bears the locations including London, England; Québec, Canada; and Pembroke, New Hampshire, on the title page and flyleaf.


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(seq. 136)


Impediment of Motion proceeds from a defect of the Spirits and Strength &c Generous Wine with Aromatics Vinous Cinnam. aq. Cort. aurant. also water of Balm & Orange Flowers Conf. Alkerm. Chocolate poched Eggs Yeolks of eggs in Broths Aromat. Spices & Medicines of amber. Externally. aq. hung Spt. lavend. Sal. ammoniae. Sal. Volat. Oleosum.

Laxatives See Costiveness

Lentigo *

* Lentigo A Freckly Scurvy Erruption common to Pregnant Women Vid. Freckles

Lenticula #

# Lenticule A Petechial Fever. Vid. Fever Petechial


Use the same Medicines as in the Kings evil Externally Ung. Mercurial Tarr Ointment Merc. Liniment


Errhines, Sneezing Powder, Sinapisms. Blisters on the Feet and Neck, Cupping & Scarifications Strong Frictions on the lower Parts Stimulating Glysters with Sal. Gem Sal. Marine Roots è Squill &c

Leppitude è ye Eyes

This is a Defluction of sharp humours upon the Eyes for the Cure Se Epiphora

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Liver Inflamation of

Tamarinds Nitrous Salts Warm Water Whey. &c is good Oleous Enemas with Emollients are proper

Empl. Cinnab. Rx. Cinnab. Factit. ab. oz. j. oz. iij. Cere munde lb. ss Ol. Ros. oz. ij. Melt and make a Plaister this is for Gummata Tophs and Nodes.

Lues Venera

Decoct of Woods Ethioptic Pills Merc. dulcis gr. vj. Sugard Mercury Yellow Emet. Merc. Bolus. Merc. Liniment. Ung. Merc. Empl Merc. The best Method of cure is to give very small doses of Mercurials and Continue them a great while to avoid a Salivation qm. Camph. gr. v. Merc precipitate per Se or [Calcind?] Merc. gr. jv. Opium gr. ij. Bals. peru. q. s. f. four Pills. one of which is to be taken at going to bed. qm Camph 75 gr. Merc. precep. 60 gr qm Opii 30 gr Bals. peru. q. s. pro 60 [pl?]

When a Decoct of the Woods with Antimony Crude is used in the Lues Ven. or any other Distemper let the Patient take no Acids because they will have a Tendency to make him sick also let him take no Oily thing


Antmonial Emetics Extract Tinct. black hellebore Tinct. White Hellebore Tinct. Saccra Nit. mixt with Camph. fetid Julep Gum Pills Musk, Camphire Empl. Epipsp.


Bleed as soon as may be to prevent an Inflamation of of the Lungs & either Inject. a gentle Glysters or give a laxative with Manna. The Cough is best Relieved by the pectoral Lambative and after the first Days with Diacodium and a Blister between the Scapula. The diet should be soft and deluting without Flesh If the Spots Should Strike in, or become plumbeous rub the whole body with hot Linen or flannel then have recourse to the Alexipharmic Bolusses and Juleps. If the patient Sweats profusely the linen must be carefully Changed for others that is dry and warm. The air must be Temperate and the patient must must not be loaded with bed Cloths Sudden Cold will strike in the pustles and produce a fatal event When a Diarrhea comes on it generally carrys the Disease off which must not be stoped give Rhei.

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(seq. 138)


Bleeding is of Great Service. Balms, Betony, Vervain Brook-lime Salvie - Absinth, St Johns Wort Lime Tree. Camphire Asses Blood dried Steel, Cinnib. and the Calx and Tinct. Silver Rx. Fol. Melisse Mj. Spir. Vin. oz. ij. Margarit ppt. dr. ss Coch. ij pro dosi.

Memory Defect of

A Weakness of the Memory is a Sign of An Apoplexy Epilepsy Hypochondriac Passion and Palsy Cause it may proceed from Contusions falls, Blows on the Head Passions of the Mind &c. Cubebs eaten Fasting is good but young People must not be too busy with them Castor, Amber Spiritous Aromatics Externally Ol. Myrrh should be applied to the Ears and Vertex. Spt. Lav. C. Aq. Hung. Hoffmann Bals. Life Sal. Volit. Oleos. these are good Internally Externally Ol. Cinn. cum Sacch. Cinnab. Nativ. Cinnab Antimony Hot Medicines should be Used with Caution Tinct. Rad. Valerian is good

Menses to promote

Rad. Aristoloch. Cort. Aurant. lesser Centaury Aloes Black Hellebore Savin Rue, Sqills, Saffron, Sem. Sinapois, Myrrh Galbanum. Ol. Sabine Aq. Pulegii Tinct. Saccra Pill. Ruf. Elix propriet Tinct. Black Helebore Aperient Diet Drink Inf. amara. Julep. Ammon. Antihesteric Squill Pills Pulv. Emenegog. Chalybeats Pulv. Myrrh. C. Elix. Myrrh. laxative Merc. Pills.

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(seq. 139)

(seq. 139)

Mill Reek a Kind of Colic

This is a Colic Occasioned by Fumes and Internal and external applications of Lead tis Called Mill Reek by Miners at the Lead Hills in Scotland. See Colic from Fumes of Lead.


These are a Kind of Boggy Excress[?] about the Pudenda. In Ven. Disease The Cure is the same with the Lues Ven.


Want of Motion may proceed from Fractures Luxations Wounds Dissections of the Muscles Tendons and Nerves from too great a Quantity of Blood and a want of Digestion.


This is nothing but pur blindness

This is best assisted by Concave Glasses

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(seq. 140)

(seq. 140)


See Vomiting


Sapo Alb. Lime Water Bolus Diuret. Decoct. Diuret. Decoct. cum Nit. Inf. Linseed Emuls. Arab. Com. Ol. Junip. Lamb. Comm. Haust. Salin. Potion Balsamic. Julepium Diuret. Julep Squills Spt. Nit. dulc. Spt. Sal. dulc. Spt. Succin. Tinct. Cantharid. Opiates Enema Emolliens Enema Terebenth. Fomentation Emolliens Elect. Lenitive Elect. Nephriticum Elix. Salut.

Nervous Parts

The Harmony and Sympathy of the Nervous parts is of very great Use in the practice of Physick for without an accurate knowledge of these many Symptoms of Diseasease cannot be explained. though is has not hitherto been attended too. Observe that the nervoso-membranaceous parts are the first Membranes of the Brain and Spinal Marrow. Then the Nervous Membranes which invest the Orgins of the Senses, the Eyes Ears Nostrills, Mouth & Fauces add to these those which Cover the Bones Head, Feeth, Joints und Muscles: Likewise the Oesophagus of the Stomach and Intestines which is Entirely Nervous and Membraneous


Obstructions cheifly take Place in the Vessels and very seldom or never in the Larger Receptacles

This may arise from three Causes: 1st Either the liquid which should pass, is grown more Viscid, while the Capacity of the Canal remains ye same 2d the Canal is grown Narrower whilst the Liquid remains as it was, or 3dly the straitness of the Canal and the Viscidity of the Liquid are Combined together.

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