The following is an excerpt from a memoir written by Jesse Green, recounting tales of life in early Dayton and promoting a truly terrifying prescription for cholera:
“The next day after reaching home, I was taken down with the scarlet fever, which we supposed was contracted on a trip to St. Louis a short time previous. This came very near to ending my earthly career, being the first and only time I ever fainted. We had a German doctor who bled me with a high fever on. I keeled over and was unconscious for quite a spell. This was my first severe attack of sickness, but afterwards I had five others equally as severe, scarlet fever, lung-fever or pneumonia, inflamation of the bowels, cholera on route to California in 1849, and a fall on my head and shoulders, that came near to proving fatal. I was saved in my attack of cholera by a prescription found in a medicine chest we bought in St. Louis put up by Dr. Westbrook. It proved successful in every case where I knew it to be used.
“I will herewith give the formula from Dr. Westbrook:
Camphor 6 grains
Capsicum 6 grains One dose in severe cases,
Blue-Mass 6 grains to be repeated often if
Pow’d Opium 3 grains necessary. 1/2 dose
Prepared Chalk 20 grains sufficient in mild cases.
“Some doctors claim that this is too large a dose, but I took three or four full doses myself. It should be repeated every ten or fifteen minutes, but in mild cases of cholera morbus I found that a half dose was sufficient, and soon effected a cure.”