News | Published:

Folk-lore Treatment of Sneezing

Nature volume 150, page 118 (25 July 1942) | Download Citation

Subjects

Abstract

THE March issue of the Bulletin of the History of Medicine contains an interesting article on contemporary folk-lore treatment of sneezing by Dr. Leo Kanner of Baltimore, who classifies the folk-lore remedies for this condition in the following categories: (1) suggestions, general or specific, of the healers whom the patient should consult ; (2) metaphysical cures and prayers, mental equilibrium and magnetic treatment ; (3) cure through fright ; (4) external remedies, such as pressing and rubbing ; (5) local applications to the nasal mucous membrane; (6) spraying, inhaling, snuffling, smelling and gargling ; (7) exhaling; (8) remedies per os ; (9) complicated recipes ; and (10) hygienic and dietetic measures. Dr. Kanner comes to the conclusion that contemporary folk-lore, despite its apparent simplicity, is a highly complex mixture of a number of different ingredients which consist of the retention of beliefs and practices dating back from the earliest times ; borrowed but not fully understood gleanings from current scientific medicine ; survival of methods which were part of the repertory of practitioners two or three generations ago ; and references to present-day healing cults.

About this article

Publication history

Published

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/150118a0

Authors

    Comments

    By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

    Newsletter Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing