Oil of wintergreen, six grams;
tinct. of quillaya saponaria, thirty grams;
water, one liter.
This forms an excellent fluid for injecting into the bladder, for washing wounds and for some simple dressings.—Amer. Practitioner, January.
HOT WATER FOR SWEATY FEET.—In an article in the Ohio "Medical Recorder," Dec., 1880, Dr. Pooley says:
Dr. Gay, of Columbus, informs me that when he was at the Hot Springs, in Arkansas, he saw there what was called the "corn hole," being one of the hot wells for which the region is celebrated, in which numerous persons were in the habit of soaking their feet for many hours every day, until their corns were thoroughly macerated, and could easily be pulled out by the roots. He was told that it also cured sweaty feet, which he found, on inquiry, to be the fact, and since his return home he has cured this affection in many instances, by simply directing the feet to be soaked, for hours every day, in water as hot as can be borne.—Med. and Surg. Rep., Jan. 8.
FETID SWEATING OF THE FEET.—A correspondent of the "British Medical Journal" recommends, in this annoying condition, that the affected portions of the sole of the foot be covered with ordinary adhesive plaster. This should be renewed in three or four days, and again after a week. The fetor ceases from the first application.—Chicago Med. Review,. January 5.
THE MOVEMENTS OF PLANTS.—Since the time of Linnaeus, men have wondered and speculated about what are known as the spontaneous movements of plants, and in recent years the causes of these movements have been carefully investigated by botanists. The subject in its various bearings now forms a, large part of the science of vegetable physiology. The periodical and irritable motions of plants, and those due to light and gravity, have been closely studied in connection with the mechanical laws of growth, and many of these phenomena have been more or less satisfactorily explained.
But it has been reserved for Mr. Charles Darwin to go deeper into the facts and philosophy of the subject than any of his contemporaries. In 1875 he published a book upon "The Movements and Habits of Climbing Plants;" and he has since extended his inquiries so as to include the movements manifested by the entire vegetable series, except the lowest flowerless plants, and upon these he is now engaged. He has just published an account of these researches in a volume of six hundred pages, uniform with his other works.—Eliza A. Yozimans, in Popular Science Monthly for February.
CLOVER TEA FOR CANCER.—A writer in the "Medical News" says: The clover tea has done wonders for me. My appetite is now good, my general health greatly improved, and the wound is healing. For seven months I have had to take morphia, and its unpleasant effects had become great. My pain having so much diminished under the use of the clover tea, and my general health having gotten so much better, I determined to give up the morphia, and have gotten on comfortably without it. If my experience will save one poor suffering fellow creature a single pang such as I have suffered, I will thankfully bear my cross, and rejoice that through me a remedy has been found which will give relief, if not cure, for cancer. The tea should be made as tea is made for table use, strained, and taken before meals and at bedtime, about a quart daily. The blossoms of red clover should be used.
A fluid extract has been made, of which the dose is a tablespoonful thrice daily.— Va. Medical Monthly.
ACTINOMERIS [Verbesina] HELIANTHOIDES.—The root of actinomeris helianthoides is from the size of a quill to that of a knitting needle, and has an oil and perhaps a resin in it, giving it the taste and somewhat the smell of turpentine. It has long been used by the people of Upper Georgia in dropsy, under the name of diabetes weed. Dr. I. G. M. Goss says that he has used it in several obstinate cases of dropsy and in several cases of chronic cystitis with fine effect; also in calculous affections and in chronic inflammation of the entire urinary tract. He gives it in the form of a tincture, one or two drachms to a dose, as a diuretic, or as an infusion, in doses of one-half to one ounce, repeated every hour or two. It may be tinctured in sweet spirit of nitre, eight to sixteen ounces of nitre.—New York Med. Jour., from Med. Times, Nov. 20th.
BELLADONNA JUJUBES.—The influence of belladonna upon the mucous membranes is well known, and hence its value in some forms of irritable bladder and especially in the "nocturnal incontinence" of children, has long been fully recognized ("British Med. Jour."). Now, children do not like medicine, but they do like sweetmeats. Dr. J. Hickinbotham, physician to the Birmingham and Midland Hospital for Women, has, therefore, had made some jujubes of most agreeable flavor, each containing two minims of the pharmacopoeial tincture of belladonna. The use of the jujubes will of course not be limited to the cases above described. Dr. Hickinbotham has found them useful in an obstinate "tickling" cough.—Louisy. Med. News, December 25th.
MOUNTAIN FEVER, Dr. Alfred Wise, visiting physician to the Infirmary for Consumption, writes, in the "British Med. Jour.," is one of the dangers in the "high-altitude treatment" of phthisis now so fashionable.
PEPTIZED MILK AS FOOD FOR INFANTS AND INVALIDS.— Nunn recommends the following modes of preparing this valuable food: Take one pint of milk at 80°F., add a teaspoonful of rennet solution or 10 grains of pepsin, and keep the mixture at 80°F. When coagulation is complete, but before the whey has begun to separate, beat the whole up smooth with a whisk or beater, and pass through a fine milk-strainer to insure the minute division of the curd. This preparation appears to keep equally as well, or better, than raw milk, remaining apparently unchanged for twenty-four hours if kept cool. Dilute and sweeten for feeding as usual.
By this method coagulation is complete, and no further change of that nature is requisite, the weakened stomach of the invalid receives the necessary nutriment, carrying with it its own digestive principle.— Buffalo Med. and Surg. Jour., Dec., 1880.
WHY WE EAT OYSTERS RAW.—Dr. William Roberts, in his interesting lectures on the digestive ferments, says: "The oyster is almost the only animal substance which we eat habitually, and, by preference, in the raw or uncooked state, and it is interesting to know that there is a sound physiological reason at the bottom of this preference. The fawn-colored mass which constitutes the dainty of the oyster is its liver, and this is little less than a heap of glycogen. Associated with the glycogen, but withheld from actual contact with it during life, is its appropriate digestive ferment—the hepatic diastase. The mere crushing of the dainty between the teeth brings these two bodies together, and the glycogen is at once digested without other help by its own diastase. The oyster in the uncooked state, or merely warmed, is, in fact, self-digestive. But the advantage of this provision is wholly lost by cooking, for the heat employed immediately destroys the associated ferment, and a cooked oyster has to be digested, like any other food, by the eater's own digestive powers."—Amer. Med. Monthly, Nov., 1880.
WHAT IS THE NATURAL FOOD OF MAN?—As an abstract truth, the maxim of the physiologist Haller is absolutely unimpeachable: "Our proper nutriment should consist of vegetable and semi-animal substances which can be eaten with relish before their natural taste has been disguised by artificial preparation." For even the most approved modes of grinding, bolting, leavening, cooking, spicing, heating and freezing our food are, strictly speaking, abuses of our digestive organs. It is a fallacy to suppose that hot spices aid the process of digestion:. they irritate the stomach and cause it to discharge the ingesta as rapidly as possible, as it would hasten to rid itself of tartarized antimony or any other poison; but this very precipitation of the gastric functions prevents the formation of healthy chyle. There is an important difference between rapid and thorough digestion. In a similar way, a high temperature of our food facilitates deglutition, but, by dispensing with insalivation and the proper use of our teeth, we make the stomach perform the work of our jaws and salivary glands; in other words, we make our food less digestible. By bolting our flour and extracting the nutritive principle of various liquids, we fall into the opposite error: we try to assist our digestive organs by performing mechanically a part of their proper and legitimate functions. The health of the human system cannot be maintained on concentrated nutriment; even the air we inhale contains azotic gases which must be separated from the life-sustaining principle by the action of our respiratory organs—not by an inorganic process. We cannot breathe pure oxygen. For analogous reasons bran-flour makes better bread than bolted flour; meat and saccharine fruits are healthier than meat-extracts and pure glucose. In short, artificial extracts and compounds are, on the whole, less wholesome than the palatable products of Nature. In the case of bran-flour and certain fruits with a large percentage of wholly innutritious matter, chemistry fails to account for this fact, but biology suggests the mediate cause: the normal type of our physical constitution dates from a period when the digestive organs of our (frugivorous) ancestors adapted themselves to such food—a period compared with whose duration the age of gristmills and made dishes is but of yesterday.— From Physical Education, by Dr. Felix L. Oswald, in Popular Science Monthly for January.
The American Journal of Pharmacy, Vol. 53, 1881, was edited by John M. Maisch.