Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » She Had a Question, 1912 (2)

She Had a Question, 1912 (2)

By: Ardis E. Parshall - October 12, 2010

Catherine Hurst, bless her — not only did the girls ask her to advise them on love and behavior through the pages of the Young Woman’s Journal, but she was also expected to be a chemist, a physician, and a historian. She always comes through!

Does drinking cocoa once and sometimes twice a day affect the complexion? – A Reader.

Only in so far as it may retard digestion and cause an abnormal condition of the bowels and kidneys.


I would advise “Minnie” to consult a “specialist” about her scalp. The trouble being continuous for so long it certainly needs the personal attention of a specialist or reputable physician. The sage tea and alcohol will not hurt the hair.


“Bell,” – There is no difference in the oils. The terms are synonymous. Lavender is an English mint, the color of the leaves being more delicate than the lilac. Oil of lavender used in china painting is very aromatic. The lavender water is an alcoholic solution of oil of lavender, oil of bergamot, etc. used as perfume. The dried leaves and flowers of the plant are used to perfume sachets, clothing, and bed linen. They are not poison.


I have dark circles under my eyes. What can I do? – Hortense.

Dark circles under the eyes may be constitutional or material; they may come from fatigue, too little sleep, late hours, etc. No doubt you need more rest. Bathe the eyes with a solution made of one cup of warm water, one teaspoonful of salt, and one of boric acid. A cloth wet in witch hazel and laid over the eyes at night is healing and refreshing.


My four-year-old boy is very restless at night, grits his teeth and often breathes through his mouth. I live in the country and am worried about him. – Anxious Mother.

Your child no doubt has adenoids – a growth in the nose – or enlarged tonsils; either of which would cause him to breathe through the mouth. I would advise you to take him to a nose and throat specialist at once. if that is impracticable consult a good physician. the operation for the removal of either adenoids or tonsils is not dangerous nor very painful, and it is much better to have it done while the child is young. Give the boy very light suppers. Bread and milk is best.


Where do we get the word “etiquette” from or what was the origin? – Celia.

The word had a humble origin, for etiquette meant simply a label. It derived its present meaning from the incident that a Scotch gardener had laid out the grounds at Versailles for Louis the fourteenth, and was much annoyed at the courtiers walking over his newly made parks, so had labels placed to indicate where they might walk. At first they were ignored, but a word from high quarters that in the future the walks of the courtiers must be within the “etiquettes” or labels was promptly heeded. To keep within the “etiquettes” came to mean to do the correct thing.


“Jane” – If your parents do not object, to go out occasionally with young men is quite proper.


To “Willa” – The three questions you ask me can all be answered in the negative. Each proposition is decidedly improper.


Is peroxide good for the skin? – Sue.

Indeed it is not. Peroxide is a bleach, and used medicinally. It will make the skin dry and coarse.


Can you tell me something to cure dandruff and itchy scalp? – Jennie.

One-half dram of sulphur flower mixed with two ounces of petrolatum is a very good pomade for dandruff, falling hair and itchy scalp.


Sarah – Quite proper when boys will not ask you.


I am suffering from headaches and dizziness. Can you tell me of any physical exercise to take that will help me? – Enquirer.

I would recommend Dr. Bolin of the Physical Department, at the State University. You can consult with him any Monday morning at 9:30 a.m. in the Gymnasium building.


How long before a wedding should the invitations be sent and can you send one invitation to several members of a family? – Blanche.

There is no special regulation governing invitations, but they should be sent not later than two weeks before and not earlier than one month. You could send one invitation to Mr. and Mrs. B— and should there be other members, say two sisters, one invitation would do for both, or for a brother and sister, Mr. John and Miss Mary B—. One or two invitations is such a small item of expense, that it is really better to send separate ones excepting to husband and wife.


Please answer in the query department what causes pimples, and give a remedy. – Vera.

Pimples are an indication of the bad condition of the blood. Avoid all fried and highly seasoned foods. Eat very little meat; let your diet be mostly fruits, vegetables, milk and buttermilk. Masticate your food thoroughly. Try going without breakfast for a few weeks or months. To take a hearty breakfast is claimed by many to provide a surplus of supply and thereby overtax the system. When you use soap to wash the face, let it be a mild, pure soap. Natural castile is good. Wash the face at night with hot milk.



  1. Wow. They sure had a lot of questions about household chemistry.

    I wonder if Willa was the one with the “propositions” or if she were relaying “propositions” from other parties.

    Comment by Researcher — October 12, 2010 @ 10:41 am

  2. Not to be an alarmist, but perhaps Enquirer should consult a doctor for her headaches and dizziness before she tries exercise.

    And a hearty breakfast, after not eating overnight for 12 hours, taxing to the system? Try not to eat breakfast, and chew your foods thoroughly to cure acne? Again, another indication of how medicine was really still only climbing out of the dark ages around the turn of the century.

    I’ll give her points for consistency, though. Even though Catherine Hurst never used the term constipation, she alluded to it in her answer about cocoa.

    Comment by kevinf — October 12, 2010 @ 11:39 am

  3. It appears that Willa and Sarah should join up–the one is asked too much, the other too little. Perhaps together they can reach a happy medium.

    Comment by Mark B. — October 12, 2010 @ 11:57 am

  4. I have to laugh when faulty cures are advised for things we still have faulty cures for today. Says the gal with the dark circles under her eyes. Here’s hoping for success in the next century.

    Comment by Moniker Challenged — October 13, 2010 @ 1:55 pm

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