EFFECT OF ALUM GARGLES UPON THE TEETH.—M. Young ("Courier Med."), prescribed a gargle containing a small proportion of alum for a woman suffering from chronic pharyngitis with catarrh of the middle ear. The patient, finding relief, continued its use for some three weeks. But perceiving that, at meals, her teeth began to crumble into little pieces, she consulted her dentist, who considered it due to the alum gargle, as when the enamel is removed from the teeth the alum breaks down the dentine. To prevent this it is best, immediately after using an alum gargle, to wash the mouth out with a solution of bicarbonate of soda or an alkaline water.—Med. and Surg. Reporter.
MINERAL WATERS.—When one day there comes to be written, from the standpoint of modern science, a history of human superstition, those chapters of the work which deal with belief in the various virtues from time to time accredited to waters, either of miraculous or of natural origin, will assuredly not be either the shortest or the least interesting. No one who has visited one of the springs which occur in almost every rocky range from the Grampian to the Pyrenees, and which a ready faith invests with supernatural curative power, can see much reason to expect that such belief will suffer measurable diminution for many generations. With the mineral spring proper the case is different; and while it seems long to look back to the time when the temples to Esculapius were erected near to such sources, and while it is true that even to-day much mysticism is allowed to surround the subject, the chemist of the age is in a position to assert that the curative action of any given mineral water is a result of the combined therapeutic action of the sum of its constituents.—Medical Press: Louisv. Med. News.
USE OF MILK SUGAR.—Dr. V. Poulain believes that the reason that cow's milk so often disagrees with children is to be found in the fact that cane sugar is used to sweeten it. In the British Med. Jour., June 30, 1883, he says that for thirty-three years he has used the sugar of milk with the best results.—New Eng. Med. Monthly, January, 1884, p. 190.
SALICYLAGE.—This is the term applied to the practice resorted to in Paris of using salicylic acid as a preservative of food and drinks. The question of its injurious effects was recently referred by the government to Prof. Brouardel, who reports as follows: 1. The daily use of even the smallest dose of salicylic acid is unsafe, its innocuity not having been as yet demonstrated. 2. It is certainly dangerous for the subjects of lesions of the kidneys or of the liver from old age or by some degenerative process. 3. The prohibition of salicylage should be strictly maintained.—Med. and Surg. Pep., Jan. 19, 1884.
PILOCARPINE.—Dr. James Murphy considers the use of pilocarpine, on account of its diuretic and diaphoretic properties, a valuable adjuvant in the treatment of puerperal eclampsia, as it reduces arterial tension at once, and gives our other remedies time to act. He reports two cases, in which it acted very favorably, in the ""Am. Jour. Obstetrics," Dec., 1883. He used it hypodermically in doses of 1/3 of a grain.—Med. and Surg. Rep., Jan. 12.
VERBASCUM THAPSUS.—Dr. F. J. B. Quinlan ("Brit. Med. Jour.," Dec. 8, 1883) reports a case of pre-tubercular phthisis in which the patient gained twelve pounds in weight in one month under the use of mullein. He considers that it possesses all the advantages and none of the drawbacks of cod liver oil. (See also "Amer. Jour. Phar.," 1883, pp. 267 and 580.)
CONVALLARIA MAJALIS.—Dr. W. S. Gottheil, House Physician of Charity Hospital, New York, contributes to the "Therapeutic Gazette" for January, 1884, a detailed account of his use of convallaria majalis in fifteen cases, comprising organic heart disease, cardiac failure in acute rheumatism, hemorrhages or phthisis, and one case of Bright's disease. The results would seem to justify a thorough trial at the hands of the profession of this proposed substitute for digitalis. It possesses the very important negative property of producing no cumulative effect, a desideratum which has been long felt by the profession.
DISTILLATION OF WINE. By S. Kiticsan.—The author having repeated Liebermann's experiments ("Ber." , 154, 438, 2554) on the distillation of wine, finds that the distillate contains ammonia and formic acid, and that the precipitate produced on addition of silver nitrate contains organic silver salts; Wartha's method ("Ber." , 437) for detecting sulphurous acid in wines is therefore untrustworthy. Old wines contain from 0.0057—0.034 per cent. of ammonia.—Jour, Chem. Soc., Oct., 1883; Ber., 16, 1189.