While researching a novel a friend asked about anemia in the late 1800's. Below you'll find what "Ayer's Everyman His Own Doctor" © 1879 had to say:
This is a condition of the constitution in which there is a deficiency of the red globules, or coloring matter, in the blood. It is marked by extreme pallor in those parts, such as the lips, which are generally suffused; and is not uncommon in young females of a weak or scrofulous habit. It appears to arise from a deficiency of vital energy in the system, either constitutional or brought on by want of nourishment, breathing impure air, or great loss of blood. In any case a cure may be effected by good generous diet, pure air, moderate exercise, and strengthening medicines.
Treatment--Any of the various preparations of iron may be taken in combination, if the appetite be bad, with some bitter tonic, such as infusion of gentian, with a little quinine. Should there be much emaciation, cod-liver oil, taken in orange whie, will be of service. The pores of the skin should be kept open by tepid spouging, and the bowels moderately so by a rhubarb or colocynth pill now and then. Strong purgatives should be avoided, and especially salines. In young females the absence of the monthly discharge need cause no uneasiness; with returning strength that will most likely return. Should it not do so, however when this treatment has been persisted in for a time, and should the pallor, languor, sleepleessness, headache, confined bowels, swelling of the feet, &c., which generally distinguish anaemia, continue, a medical man ought to be consulted, as it is likely there may be consumption, or other organic disease, at the root of the mischief.