Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 30.djvu/563

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

I have been told of the buffalo-berry, but it can not be plenty or very choice, from accounts.

On the creeks there is a good gooseberry, and in low grounds the black-or choke-cherry; of these, native jellies are made; but ye highly favored, abundant-fruit people, can you imagine choke-cherries a luxury? Yea, verily, to us in desert-lands they are.



IN the present day, when we hear so much of the wear and tear of daily work and worry, and when the preservation and restoration of health are of supreme importance to those who take the foremost rank in the battle of life, it may not be unprofitable to cast a glance on the means employed by the nations of the Orient and of antiquity to develop and maintain the vigor of the body.

The history of massage, which of late years has been employed with wonderful success as a cure for many ailments, has been written by Dr. Hünerfauth, of Homburg, and, in the hope that some hints may be useful, I have translated extracts from his comprehensive work.

The expression "massage" is derived, according to Pierry ("Dictionary of Medical Science"), from a Greek word signifying "to rub"; according to Savary ("Letters on Egypt"), its derivation is from the Arabic word "mass," to press softly. In England a process of some-what the same character is known as shampooing. It seems certain that massage was practiced by the Indians and the Chinese many centuries before the birth of our Saviour. It was combined with hygienic gymnastics. The Brahmans exercised the art of healing; the priests of Buddha are known to have acquired much of their power over their people by their skill in medicine. Sir William Jones, the great Oriental linguist, discovered fragments of the third sacred book of the Brahman period, entitled "The Knowledge of Life," which contained many secrets of Indian medicine. An extract from Daily's work states that, when Alexander the Great penetrated as far as India, in the year 337 before Christ, his soldiers suffered much from the bites of serpents, for which no cure was known by the Greeks. Alexander had gathered round him the best Indian doctors, and he proclaimed to the army that any who had been bitten must come to the royal tent to be cured. These Indian doctors were in great repute; illnesses were not of frequent occurrence in those delightful climates, but any who were sick resorted to the wise men, or Brahmans, who cured them by wonderful or, as they professed, supernatural means. It has been ascertained that massage and shampooing were among the remedies employed by them.