Alvin Wood Chase was born in Cayuga, New York in 1817. He earned a medical degree from the Eclectic College of Medicine in Ohio in 1857. Chase was part of a new group of physicians called “Eclectics” who opposed traditional medicine, including the use of bloodletting and purging. Instead, Eclectics advocated natural and herbal remedies, particularly non-injurious medication. Chase, like many of his colleagues, faced criticism from traditional physicians who called his treatment methods “quackery.” The 1889 publication of Dr. Chase’s New Receipt Book brought eclectic medicine into the Canadian home. The book is aimed at all social classes and levels of knowledge, urging the usefulness of natural and home-based healthcare. Chase provided remedies for many common symptoms of ill-health, including sore throat, which could be cured using a “tea” of salt, water, alum, and honey.
Chase, A. W. Dr. Chase's New Receipt Book: and Medical Advisor; or, Information for Everybody; an Invaluable Collection of Practical Receipts. Toronto: Musson Book Company, c. 1900-1905. Archival & Special Collections, University of Guelph.