The Scriptures speak of anointing the sick with oil, and throughout the Whole of the Sacred Volume there is abundant evidence to show that oil was much used for the person by outward application. The employment of cod liver oil as a remedy for consumption has been a favorite panacea tor twelve or fourteen years past, by thousands of eminent physicians, and there is plenty of testimony to prove that its virtues have not been overrated, but it has always been taken internally. Recent researches made by Dr. Simpson, of Edinburgh, the first applier of chloroform as an anesthetic agent, go far to prove that when oil is applied to theoutside of the person it acts both as a curative and preventive of disease, and there is therefore some prospect of the ancient Oriental practice of oil-anointing being Having heard that none of the workers in the woolen factories of a neighboring town were attacked with cholera while it visited that place, and that consumption was not known among them, he paid a visit to the place (Galashiels), and by personal inquiry found his hear-say statements corroborated. He also learned that weakly children were frequently piaced in such factories for the recovery of their health, which was usually effected. He then mad* inquiries respecting the health of the workers in woolen factories in a number of other places, and found the same immunity from disease to prevail among them, hence he came to the conclusion that the cause of this was the great amount of oil which is used in such factories—so great a quantity, indeed, that the clothes ol the workers soon become saturated witlfcit. In cotton factories the workers were found to be no more free from infection than other people, and he therefore now firmly believes that anointing with oil is an excellent thing for consumptive people. Cod liver oil is supposed to be the "best because it is the strongest and only for its loathsome taste he believes it would be more abundantly used. It is oui opinion that sweet oil, and by this we mean nothing bat$wt fresh olive o#,isthe best which can be used for such purposes. The ancient iron Romans used a great deal of oil, and we have no doubt but a more abundant use of it as an ointment, with frequent bathing, would be a great benefit to weakly persons, and tend greatly to render more vigorous the strong. We believe, however, that most of the oil sold under the name ol olive oil in our cities, is not the genuine article We regret exceedingly that so little is said about this beautiful oil in the work of Dr. Pierce, of Cambridge, Mass., on the " Examinations of Drugs, Medicines, and Chemicals '
This article was originally published with the title "Anointing with Oil a Cure and Preventive of Disease" in Scientific American 8, 37, 296 (May 1853)