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is very superior to that usually sold : Take of nutmegs, bruised, cinnamon bark, bruised, of each three drams; red saunders, half a dram. Mix and infuse for a fortnight in a quart of the best French brandy (shaking the bottle for a minute or two every second day), then add essence of lavender, two ounces. After standing about a week, the liquid may be filtered through blotting-paper for use. Spirit of lavender upon loaf-sugar is a pleasant remedy for headache, low spirits, etc. ; but its too frequent use should be avoided.
Tamarinds, of East and West Indian growth, are preserved by putting alternate layers of the fruit and powdered sugar in a stone jar. Copper vessels should not be employed in any stage of the preservation or use of tamarinds, as the acid is apt to occasion their being contaminated by that poisonous metal. Preserved tamarinds should be fresh and juicy, and should have an agreeable, acid taste, without any musty smell. The pulp, taken in a dose of from two or three drams to an ounce, acts as a laxative; and when infused with senna-leaves, it is one of the best and mildest that can be given. A dessert or tablespoonful of tamarinds, with four drams of senna-leaves infused in a pint of water for fifteen minutes, and strained, may be given in doses of a tea-cupful every four hours till the bowels are moved, and is a very safe domestic remedy. In febrile diseases, tamarinds, by their acidity, are very agreeable ; and a pleasant cooling drink is made by simply pouring water over them.
Tea.—It used commonly to be thought that tea had a prejudicial effect upon persons of weak nerves; but it now appears that it actually contributes to recruit the nerves. Persons who cannot consume a sufficient quantity of food to yield the carbon necessary for generating animal heat, have recourse to tea, and find it actually a nutritious article of diet ; "and it is only,' says Liebig, by such means as this that it can act as a nutritious agent.' But another theory has been advanced by Dr. Lyon Playfair. He says thein, the principle of tea, has a composition very similar to nervous matter, the loss of which attends every operation of the mind. Hence there is a necessity for a supply of that nervous matter to enable the mind to carry on its operations. A large supply of proteinaceous matter would be required to be supplied to form the nervous matter with proper constituents, if taken in by means of bread or meat. But thein at once becomes a constituent of nervous matter; and this accounts for the agreeable stimulus and permanent effect on the mind produced by the use of tea, particularly by studious persons, as well as those whose nervous systems are exhausted from various
Thirst, to prevent.—In hot weather, eat plenty of fresh butter at breakfast. Avoid drinking water as you would poison ; in short, drink as little as possible of anything, and do not give way to the first sensation of thirst. Dr. Hodgkin lays down the following rule for the use of beer. When drinking strong beer, always limit yourself to the smallest quantity capable of counteracting the feelings of languor and exhaustion under which you may have laboured ; and if a further quantity of drink be required to allay thirst or dilute food, either have recourse to much weaker beer, or wait a while and take tea.
Toast and Water diminishes the heat of the mouth, the throat, and the stomach. It may be made as follows : Toast thoroughly, without burning, half a slice of a stale quartern-loaf, put it into a jug, and pour upon it a quart of water, which has been boiled and cooled, and after two hours pour off the water. A small piece of orange or lemon peel may be added to flavour the above. The wholesome cup of toast and water is thus explained. When bread is toasted, its surface becomes converted into gummy matter, which is dissolved in the water ; and gum is known to be a nutritious article of diet. A London physician recommends the toasted bread to be put into a common deep stone or china jug, and to be poured over it from the tea-kettle as much clean boiling water as you wish to make into drink. Much depends on the water being actually in a boiling state. Cover the jug with a saucer or plate, and let the drink stand until it be quite cold; it is then fit to be used. The fresher made the better, and of course the more agreeable.
Tonic Cup now in our chemists' shops is no novelty. In South America, basins are made out of the wood of quassia for dyspeptic persons, the wood communicating its bitterness to the beverage put into it, and thence proving tonic.
Tonics restore strength, and give general tone to the system. Unlike that of stimulants, their action is permanent. There are tonics which consist of vegetable bitters, which cure ague and periodic fever, and are useful in debility. Cinchona bark, and its alkali, quinine, are by far the most useful of these. Less expensive than other bitters are calumba, quassia, gentian, orange-peel, tansy, and sage. The last two form good fever drinks for the poor. The other kind of tonics consist of the compounds of iron, and excel all other tonics in debility associated with paleness.—See Dr. Headland's Medical Handbook.
Vinegar, besides being used as a condiment with food, is a useful addition to the drink of patients in inflammatory fevers. Its odour is applied to the nostrils in fainting and hysterical complaints; and it is very useful in fomentation in headache, and in various swellings. Its vapour is beneficially applied to the throat by being inhaled ; and the same vapour diffused through the chamber of the sick, though it may not destroy contagion, gives a pleasant fragrance, which in hospitals renders wards less offensive to the necessary attendants. Vinegar is very useful, also, when applied externally as a refrigerant. Many practitioners apply it to burns and scalds when the skin is not broken. For this purpose it is diluted with two parts of water.
A CHAPTER OF ACCIDENTS.
HE practice of the Healing Art has ever commanded
the esteem of the rudest nations. Hence we might expect to find, from the universality of their application, remedies for
"The thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to' preserved in perpetuo. In ancient Britain, the Druids were the depositories of these secrets. It was their obvious policy to study the properties of plants; and who knows from what a far antiquity come the traditionary virtues of many of our native plants ? Their famous mistletoe, or all-heal, was considered a certain cure in many diseases, an antidote to poison, and a preventive of infection. And we have, in the present day, a very old nostrum, named Heal-all, the universal virtues of which are described as equalling the mistletoe of our ancestors.
Of the Saxon leach or leech, physician or surgeon, we have more positive record : his healing medicines were called leechdoms, and his art leech-craft; and we have a book for the use of patients, compiled from various sources by a leech in very good practice. The name lasted to our time. A sort of jelly was called after him, leach; and we find it in the Closet of Rarities, 1706, where it is directed to be made of almond, milk, and rose-water, and isinglass, perfumed with musk,-in short, a sort of blanc-mange, such as we have at the present day; it was named leach, probably from its nutritive qualities.
The Saxon leech is thought to have had little science beyond that of a herbalist, for whom the simplers collected plants. With the Saxon remedies were enjoined specified religious observances and even incantations. Thus, for 'flying venom' and 'venomous swellings,' the sufferer was directed to churn butter on a Friday, and sing over it the ‘Paternoster,' etc. People who suffered from bites of snakes were recommended to procure and eat rind which cometh out of Paradise.' Herb drinks, and herbs, and juices were to be taken with certain forms and observances, which, many centuries after, Gerarde, in his Herbal, condemned as fantastical devices, tending to witchcraft and sorcery
Such was the state of science in this country before the Norman Conquest.
We have already, at page 293, glanced at the early practitioners of the Healing Art. Linacre, who founded the College of Physicians in London, in a violent attack of the stone, sent for an apothecary to his sick chamber, and caused him, in his presence, to prepare a remedy, consisting of a fomentation of camomile-flowers and parsley, tied up in a linen cloth, and boiled in water. The remedy was judicious ; but a warm bath would have been more efficacious, though it might not have had so medicated an appearance-a circumstance of no small importance in these matters. Caius, the successor of Linacre, wrote in English, for the use of the people at large, a book on the Sweating Sickness, in which, to promote perspiration, they are ordered to drink posset ale, made of sweet milk, turned with vinegar, and flavoured with parsley and sage; though they were to be kept awake by beating with a rosemary-branch, and revived by the smell of an old sweet apple.
The disease was of the most malignant and fatal character. It immediately killed some in opening their windows, some in one hour, many in two; and, at the longest, to them that merrily dined, it gave a sorrowful supper. In this curious book, too, Caius digresses on diet, on beer and ale, the process of malting, and the whole mystery of brewing.
We have spoken of simplers, skilled 'in the excellent art of simpling,' collecting simples or physical herbs. Bucklersbury,