A good deal of Parker’s address focused on the “medical quackery” he had observed in China. A Chinese dentist, Parker claimed, will keep the teeth he has extracted and string them onto his horse’s reins; this serves both as advertising and “evidences of his skill and extensive practice”.
Dr Parker also recorded seeing:
“…a man with his whitlowed [diseased] finger thrust into the abdomen of a [live] frog, the poor writhing reptile being tied on to cure the disease.”
Parker report mentioned many other bizarre treatments. Local doctors attempted to revive a drowned child, Parker said, not by draining and massaging the lungs but by blowing air into the rectum with a hollow feather. Another Chinese physician, treating a merchant’s wife for constipation, sent a messenger to the hospital asking if he could borrow a corkscrew.