In a letter to President Jefferson (June11, 1803) found among President
Jefferson's papers in the Library of Congress' archives, Dr. Rush listed
his "Rules for preserving good health." Among the theories Dr. Rush
1. When you feel the least indisposition, do not attempt to overcome it
by labor or marching. Rest in a horizontal position. Also, fasting and
diluting drinks for a day or two will generally overcome an attack of
fever. To those preventatives of disease may be added a gentle sweat
obtained by warm drinks, or gently opening the bowels by means of one,
two or more of the purging pills.
2. Unusual costiveness is often a sign of an approaching disease.
When you feel it, take one or more of the purging pills.
3. Want of appetite is otherwise a sign of approaching indisposition.
It should be banished by the same method.
4. In difficult and laborious enterprises or marches, eating
sparingly will enable you to bear them with less fatigue and more safety
to your health.
5. Flannel should be worn constantly next to the skin, especially in
6. The less spirits you use, the better.
7. Molasses or sugar victuals with a few drops of the acid of
vitriol will make a pleasant and wholesome drink with your meals.
8. After having your feet much chilled, it will be useful to
wash them with a little spirit.
9. Washing your feet every morning in cold water will fortify them
against the notion of cold.
10. After long marches or much fatigue from any work, you will
be more refreshed from lying down in a horizontal position for two hours
than by resting a much longer time in any other position of the body.
11. Shoes made without heels by affording equal action to all the
muscles of the legs will enable you to march with less fatigue than
shoes made in the ordinary way.