Chap. 06. Of the Fourth Qualities.
I. The fourth Qualities of Medicaments are such as are Abstractive, to wit, such as by their Power or Operations, take away some thing from the Body or from some of its Bowels or Parts.
II. And these receive their Names from the variety of their Operations, which they each perform in the respective parts of the Body, to which they are adapted which are the Nine following; viz.
- 1. Emeticks.
- 2. Catharticks.
- 3. Salivaticks.
- 4. Ptarmicks.
- 5. Emmenagogicks.
- 6. Diureticks.
- 7. Lithontripticks.
- 8. Sudorificks.
- 9. Venesicks.
III. 1. Emeticks, or Vomitories. These by giving a reluctance to the nervous Fibres of the Stomach, cause their Relaxation and Stimulation, whereby afterwards as the reluctancy grows more and more, and the nauseousness increases, those nervous Fibres before relaxed, suffer a kind of Convulsion, or Contraction, and so eject the offending Matter upwards, or by the Mouth, whereby that Viscus, by such a discharge, comes to be restored to its pristine Health. Nor is the Stomach otherwise to be cleansed, for ten Catharticks, or Purges, how strong soever, will not so well cleanse the Ventricle, as one proper and well-design'd Emetick. The Stomach therefore is to be cleansed upwards by Vomiting; the Entrails, or Intestines, downwards by Purging, which a according to the Law of Nature.
IV. 2. Catharticks, or Purging Medicines. These peculiarly cleanse the Entrails, but withall draw the Peccant Matter from all parts of the Body, as has been seen in some who have for many Months lost all the Uses of their extream Parts, or Limbs, by violent and inveterate Rheumatisms, and Colicks; who by only Purging with proper Catharticks, have been perfectly restored; for which purpose, the Pulvis Cornachini has been notoriously known. They remove Obstructions, not only by opening the Pores of the Skin, but the interiour Ductus of the Bowels, as in those things Nitrous and Bitter, altho' they have some small astriction. They are also Abstersive in degree; for those things which open the Pores and cleanse the Passages, must have a power of Attraction, and a great tenuity of Parts, moderately hot, nitrous, and bitter, and so have a power of absterging and purging the greater Passages; but some purge by lubrifying, as Fat things. Some by washing and abstersion, as Whey impregnated with Sena and Beets. And some by resolving, penetrating, and pricking, as several Salts.
V. 3. Salivaticks. These are salivating or spitting Medicines, which resolving all the Lympha of the Body, into a pituitous or serous Substance, it is conducted from all parts of the Body to the Head, and passing thro' the salivatick Glands, is spit forth. This is only or chiefly performed by Mercury, and some of its Preparations, which melting the coagulated Juices, and carrying them with it, causes this Operation. The order of it, and how it is to be performed, is not our Business here. They who would know more of this, may see what I have said at large upon this Subject, in the Third Edition of my Synopsis Medicinae, in my Ars Chirurgica, and in my Praxis Medica the Second Edition of my Annotations upon Dr. Sydenhams Processus, lib. 3. cap. 28. sect. 113. ad sect. 155. to which I refer you.
VI. 4. Ρtarmicks, or Errhines. These are for the most part hot and dry in the third degree, and are endowed with a very piercing Acrimony, by which they extreamly irritate, or shrivel up as it were the Membranes of the Brain, (as Emeticks do the Tunicles of the Stomach;) and by means whereof, the Head and Brain are cleansed or freed from their Recrements, and the viscid and pituitous Humour, or Matter, is expelled thro' the Nostrils, in a very extraordinary measure: If these Nasales, as some call them, cause Sneezing, they are then called Sternutatories. But proper Errhines, which only attract the Recrements from the Brain, are of mighty use in curing Apoplexies, Lethargies, Megrims, Vertigo's, Epilepsies, and other Cephalick Diseases of like nature, proceeding from Cold and Moisture.
VII. 5. Emmenagogicks. These are such as provoke or draw forth the Terms. They are hot in the third degree, and of thin parts concoct and digest crude Humours, extenuate and incide the Gross and Tough, and remove Obstructions, by opening and cleansing the Passages. And such are all proper Diureticks, for that they promote the expurgation of the Menses; and if they are bitter as Aloes, and foetid as Assa foetida, stinking Arach, &c. they are so much the more effectual; stinking things depressing the Womb, and bitter things purging it. There are also accidental Emmenagogicks, which refrigerate and humect the Body, dried by too much heat: And these things, which by their potency expel the Secundine and dead Child, as also a Mola, or false Conception, which are stinking, bitter, with Acrimony, and thiness of parts, and are to be given often, and in pretty large quantities.
VIII. 6. Diureticks. These are Medicaments provoking Urine. They may be either hot or cold, but moist, liquid, thin consistence, and easy penetration, that they may encrease the quantity of Urine, as it were by Accident,
2. But in things cleansing, attenuating, and aperient, they open the Passages; and these may be cold, and of thin parts, as Sal Prunellae, which sometimes expels what sticks in the Passages; or operate after a middle-way, allaying the extream Heat, and causing the Serum and Humours, to be more easily attracted by the Reins, and descend to the Bladder.
3. By things which cleanse the Passages, and open the same, having a Quality of extenuating gross Humours, attenuating or thining the Blood, and separating what is extenuated from the grumous Parts, by which the protrusion of the Serum into the Reins, will be made more easy, as also its passage thro' the urinary Parts; which kind of Diureticks are hot and dry in the third degree, sharp, of very thin parts, coactive and separating. Diureticks then are of two sorts.
1. Such as conduce to the separation of the Serum from the Blood; and they are very hot, sharp, biting and cutting, whence they penetrate to the Reins, and cut the gross Humours there.
2. Such as open the Urinal Passages. And these are generally cold things, which provoke Urine, but bite not, yet have a nitrous Quality, by which they open and cleanse, as Nitre, Sal Prunellae, Winter Cherries.
IX. 7. Lithontripticks. These are such as break and expel the Stone, Gravel, Sand, or tartarous Mucilage; and they have power of dissolving, cleansing and expelling the same: Being Diuretick, hot and dry, and of thin parts, sharp and cutting, and some what bitter. Also some do it by Incision and Detersion, without heat, as Spirits and Oils of Nitre, Salt, Sulphur and Vitriol, some by asperity, or by some occult property.
X. 8. Sudorificks, or Hydroticks. These are Medicaments provoking Sweat. They are generally hot, and of thin parts, yet some are said to be astringent and cold, working occultly: But the hot being of thin parts, are subtil and volatil, thining the Blood and Humours, and giving them a piercing volatility; so that being forced by the native heat, excited into action, they penetrate thro' all the coats of the Vessels and Glands, thro' Flesh, Fat and Skin, to the superfices or most external parts, of the whole Body, from the crown of the Head to the soles of the Feet, expelling all noxious Fumes, malign and venene Humours, and pestilential Miasmata, from the Center, viz. from the Heart and Vital Parts, and so defending them from their deleterious assaults.
XI. 9. Venefick, or Poisoning. These are things which take away Life, being wholly inimical to Human Nature, and they are in the extremities of heat or cold; now they poison, not from being in the extreams of intemperature, but from another peculiar property, by which they corrupt the Vital Juices, and by a malign and pestiferous Gas or Steem, smite both the Animal and Vital Spirits; but which Property is excited or stirr'd up into action, by those extream degrees of intemperature. Of the Hot Kind, are Bears-foot, Hellebor, Leopards-bane, Monks-hood, Woolfs-bane, &c. Of the Cold Kind, are Hemlock, Hen-bane, Nightshade, &c. There are poisons also which act by a Narcotick Property, as Poppies, and Opium. Add to these poisons which do it by a Congelation of the Blood, whence proceed a Stagnation, and almost immediate Death; as the biting of a Viper, Rattle-Snake, &c. There are also burning Mineral poisons, as Arsenick, etc And poisons which are only so by Accident, as Corrosive Sublimate, Spirits and Oils of Antimony, Nitre, Salt and Sulphur; which diluted and prudently given, are Salubrious and Healthful.
Botanologia, or The English Herbal, was written by William Salmon, M.D., in 1710.
This chapter has been proofread by Peppercat.