Optimism of retro soap geeks

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topofmurrayhill

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The hypodermic injection of 1% soap solution has been recommended as a beneficial treatment in cases of inoperable cancer, and details of such a case were recently published in the "Journal of the Royal Army Medical Corps." It is claimed that a man 78 years old, suffering from cancer (of the tongue) that had become too extensive for operation, was greatly relieved by such injections, starting with five drops and increasing the dose by five drops every day, till the full dose of 60 drops was reached. The theory of the process is that deficiency of natural soap in the biliary secretion of the patient caused changes in the living cells leading eventually to cancer.

Theories relating to cancer have been but too numerous, and no treatment short of surgical measures has been so far devised that has stood the test of time and practice. If anything whatever could be devised to successfully treat cancer in most cases, it would be a grand achievement, and if it should really happen to be soap that shall become the means of accomplishing so wonderful a result, it would be a matter of much additional gratification.

The American Soap Journal and Manufacturing Chemist
Vol. XV No. 3, November 1, 1904
 

CaraBou

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Anything is worth a try when it gets to that point.

It led me to the question, "why would doctors expect soap to be in bile?" Wikipedia provided insight with:
"Bile or gall is a dark green to yellowish brown fluid, produced by the liver of most vertebrates, that aids the digestion of lipids in the small intestine...Bile acts to some extent as a surfactant, helping to emulsify the lipids in food."​

Okay, I'm not saying I completely get it but I do see a connection.

Then, I discovered this tidbit further down the account!:

"Bile from deceased mammals can be mixed with soap. This mixture, called bile soap,[6] can be applied to textiles a few hours before washing and is a traditional and rather effective method for removing various kinds of tough stains."​

And so, the soap knowledge base grows :)
 

Seawolfe

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Yes Ive read that oxen bile is a wonderful stain remover. I remember thinking "ew"
 

HoneyLady

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Huh. :think: And I've always thought "bile" soap was somebody's misunderstanding of the mis-pronunciation of the word "boil". "Boil" = "Bile".

I.e., if you've ever heard a suth'ner, or a hillbilly (NOT the same, BTW,) sing that old folk song, "Bile Dat Cabbage Down".

And here, it's actually a real thing.

Huh.

~HL~
 

kchaystack

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Ox gall is used in paper marbling. It is a surfactant, so it makes sense that it would help remove stains....

is used to control the dispersion or spread of marbling paints on the carrageenan or methylcellulose size. Ours is packed in a 2 oz. squeeze bottle with a fine nozzle which can dispense a few drops or a fine stream, depending on how much is needed to modify each color.
http://marbleart.us/
 
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