By Bi Sallomi
Doctors were in short supply on the mid-19th century Western frontier so the home was the focus of both health maintenance and disease treatment. Experience and wisdom were valued in older family members, usually female, as they were the keepers of collective family and cultural knowledge. Over the years, a wife and mother might become well-practiced in the use of home remedies for various ailments, including mild digestive upsets, malarial fevers, insect bites and bleeding from severe lacerations. Midwifery and infant care were practiced primarily by women and doctors were seldom called for childbirth.