Medical terms of the 1800s


If you have some medical terms to share, please contact me.


Ablepsia                                          blindness


Ague                                                intermittent fever or chills


Ambustio                                        burn


Amputation, primary                   usually done in within the first 24 hours of original injury


Amputation, secondary               performed to improve the primary amputation


Anodynes                                       medication that help with pain


Apoplexy                                       stroke, or impairment from a brain hemorrhage


Aphtha                                           Thrush


Army Itch                                       Scabies


Asthenia                                        weakness


Bilious fever                                 malaria or typhoid


Black water fever                        fever accompanied with dark colored urine


Bright’s disease                           Kidney disease


Camp state or fever                    symptoms which happened when troops were crowded together like

                                                       fevers and diarrhea.


Catalepsy                                     seizures or trances


Catarrhus                                     mucus membrane inflammation


Child Bed Fever                         infection after childbirth


Chlorosis                                     anemia


Cholera                                        infectious disease, including diarrhea, often leading to death


Colica                                          abdominal pain


Consumption                             tuberculosis, or a general wasting away


Coryza                                         acute inflammation of nose and tonsils.


Cow Pox                                     a virus similar to smallpox. Caught from the udders of cows which have

                                                     blisters, caught by touch, usually localized.  Was used as a successful

                                                     vaccination against smallpox. 


Crop Sickness                            bloated stomach


Crowd Poisonings                   fevers and sickness when troops were camped crowned together


Debility                                     lack of strength, a lasting symptom


Dementia                                  insanity, many different levels


Dengue                                     fever from a mosquito bite


Dropsy                                     congestive heart failure


Dysentery                                inflammation of intestines, caused by bacteria or parasites


Dyspepsia                                stomach discomfort after meals


Dyspenia                                 trouble breathing


Erysipelas                                contagious skin disease, redness and swelling of affected areas


Falling Sickness                      epilepsy


Flux                                          diarrhea


Glanders                                  an infectious disease that can start with horses, donkeys and mules. Attacks

                                                  the respiratory system.


Goiter                                       swelling of lymph gland


Grippe                                     influenza, flu


Hemophthis                           spitting up blood


Impetigo                                 contagious skin disease


Inflammatory Rheumatism rheumatic fever


Lockjaw                                  tetanus


Malaria                                    transmitted by mosquitoes.  Chills, fever and sweating, can be recurrent


Marasmus                               infant wasting away from causes unknown


Miasma                                    poisonous vapors thought to have infected the air.


Milk Leg                                 swelling of legs of women who recently gave birth


Milk Sickness                         sickness from the ingestion of milk, milk products or meat   products from

                                                 animals having the “trembles”


Morphew                                scurvy blisters


Mortification                          death


Osteomylitis                           inflammation of the bone, or a surgical fever


Neurasthenia                          neurosis caused by worry, and causing indigestion, etc.


Parotitis                                   mumps


Peritonitis                                frequently the cause of death in abdominal wounds.


Pleurisy                                   lung inflammation


Pneumonia                             inflammation of the lungs


Podagra                                  gout


Pox                                          syphilis


Prostration                              extreme exhaustion


Pyemia                                    pus in blood, used to be for all types of blood poisoning, usually fatal.


Pyrosis                                    heartburn


Quinsy                                    abscess of the tonsils


Rheumatism                           inflammation of the joints, muscles


Rubella                                    measles


Scarlatina                                scarlet fever


Scrofula                                   tuberculosis of the lymph nodes


Scurvey                                   vitamin C deficiency disease.  In Civil War they tried to prevent this by having

 soldiers eat desiccated vegetables as a ration.


Sleeping sickness                   encephalitis


Sub-Laxatio                             non complete dislocation


Suppuration                            formation of pus, thought to be a good thing in the 1860’s


Trench Mouth                         sores or ulcers in the mouth at the gum line


Variola                                     smallpox


Venesection                            bleeding


Vulnus Incisim                       incisional wound


Vulnus Punctum                    puncture wound


Vulnus Sclopeticum              gunshot wound


Winter Fever                           pneumonia


Yellow Fever                          Virus, was thought to have been brought by air, instead of mosquitoes.





“Civil War Medicine” by C Keith Wilbur MD, 1998



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