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Chap. 04. Of the Second Qualities.

I. The second Qualities of Medicaments are such as are Alterative; which alter the Habit and Constitution of the Body, as it has a respect to the Blood, Lympha, Serum, and other Humours of the same; and these Alteratives are considered as they are Medicaments Internally used, or Externally applyed.

II. Of Internal Alteratives Authors have made many Titles; but the Whole of the Matter is comprehended under the thirteen following Appellations, viz.

III. Of External Alteratives, we have these following fourteen, viz.

Of all which we shall treat in order.

I. Of Internal Alteratives.

IV. 1. Aperitives. These are such Medicaments as open the Obstructions of the Viscera, as Stomach, Lungs, Liver, Spleen, Glands, Mesentery, Intestines, Reins, and Womb. They are all hot at least in the second Degree, for the most part in the third, and many times in the fourth degree, of very subtil and thin parts, for without heat there can be no rarefaction, and without rarefaction, no opening of the obstructed Bowels.

V. 2. Abstersives. These are cleansers, which after opening Obstructions of the affected Parts, cleanse them, by taking away the Recrements which obstructed them, being the superfluities of the Blood, Lympha, and other Juices, and without which work be done, all that Aperitives or Openers do, is done in vain. They have a sharpness and tenuity of Substance, and it is not any great matter whether they be Hot or Cold, by reason neither quality (if not excessive) hinder their Action. They also remove glutinous and clammy Humours in the Supersicies, or adhering to the Pores of the Skin and Ulcers.

VI. 3. Astringents. These are Binders, and are generally dry in the second and third Degrees, whether they be hot or cold; they are Stypticks, and in some measure constipate the Bowels in fluxes, dry up Fluxes of Humours, help Catarrh, and Strengthen the Tone of the Stomach and other Bowels, when over Lax, or weakned by long Defluxions, over much moisture, or the vehemency of any inveterate Disease; and are therefore often given in the end of a Cure.

VII. 4. Digestives. These are such as Concoct the Food in the Stomach, and are all naturally hot; for it is Heat which causes Concoction, and excites the natural Fermentation in the Stomach, by which a good Chylus is made, in order to Sanguification, and Nourishment of the Body: Yet some things may cause Digestion, which are not naturally hot, but cold, and may excite the natural heat, by way of Antiperistasis, whereby the sulphureous Particles in the Stomach are more fermented and heat, or set a boiling.

VIII. 5. Incisives. They are such things as pierce into and cut tough Matter, which is not easy to be broken, or separated into parts; such are Juice of Limons, Vinegar, and all acid things which by their points enter into and make a division, not a dissolution, whereby tough Flegm, and tartarous or viscous Matter, is prepared for Abstersives, and so made fit either to be expectorated by the Mouth, or expell'd by Urine and Stool. These, whether hot or cold, are of very thin and subtil Parts.

IX. 6. Carminatives. These are Medicaments which spread, discuss, or expel Wind, and are generally hot and dry, and of very thin and subtil Parts, proper in Pains of the Stomach and Bowels, the Cholick, and other Indispositions whatever caused of Wind, as Vapours, Hypochondriack Pains, Hysterick Fits, &c.

X. 7. Anodyns, or Paregoricks. These are easers of Pain, which tho' they do not often Cure Diseases, yet act in order thereto, they regarding the Pain chiefly, while both Cause and Disease are remaining, They are of thin Parts, and are moderately hot, seldom exceeding the first Degree, and rarefacient; and so Digesting, Concocting, Dissipating, Extenuating, and in some measure Evacuating, whatever Humour is sharp, tough, or gross; by it alcalious property absorbing the acritude of the Matter, contained in any Cavity, or its Pores.

XI. 8. Narcoticks. These are stupifying Medicines, and ease Pain, not by mitigating it, but by Stupifaction, not by taking away the Cause, but by Obstruction of the Animal Spirits for the time. Yet Stupor is something less than Insensibility, or the provocation of Sense: They are also called Hypnoticks and Somnificks, because they induce Sleep. These being taken too liberally, or to excess, cause Death, as all Opiates, if immoderately dosed. They are to be administred at such times, when the Symptoms are so grievous, as to threaten a greater danger than the Disease.

XII. 9. Bechicks. These are such as abate or ease Coughing. And they are things which incrassate thin Humours, stop Defluxions and so ease the Cough. Narcoticks of the middle kind, are agreeable to to the Brest and Lungs, which if they are cold, they incrassate thin Humours, and stop Coughing, and especially such as are much Narcotick, or Stupifying. But such things as are hot and of thin parts, and extenuating, which expectorate tough Humours, oft'times ease it.

XIII. 10. Solutives. These are Loosning Medicines, not such as are Purging, but by their hot and moist Qualities, keep the Body soluble, they not only open the Pores of the Viscera or Entrails but in some measure removing Obstructions, they open the inferiour Ductus of the Bowels; as do Nitrous Salts, Soluble Salt of Tartar, Oat-Meal, &c. and this they may do, altho' they may have some small Astriction, and by reason of Substance, do not differ from those which are Abstersive, but in degree. For these things which cleanse the Pores and inward Passages, have a great tenuity of Parts, and are moderately Astrictive, which cleanse, and as it were seemingly Purge the greater Passages, yet withall strengthen the same. Some things are Soluble by lenifying, as Fat things; and some by washing and abstersion, as Whey, Solutive Waters, New Beer and Ale, &c.

XIV. 11. Attenuaters. These are such things as make thin, and are of hot and thin Parts, and so extenuate gross and tough Humours, and are for the most part hot and dry in the second and third degrees, as things Sharp, Picquant, and Aromatical, generally they are strong provokers of the Terms, because they make the Blood and Lympha, more thin and fluid: They also facilitate the Delivery of Women in Labour, bringing forth both Birth and Afterbirth. Hereto belong Inciders of Viscid Humours, which are more strong. And Dissolvers of what is Grumous and Coagulated, as Sal Volatile Oleosum, and all Alcalious and Volatile Salts and Spirits. Also Extenuants, or wasters of the Fat Substance, and Gross Parts of the Body. And Laxatives, which are Solutives, and moderately hot, moist, and thin. The use of Attenuating Medicines, is previously in order to open the Obstructions of the Bowels, Lungs, and Womb.

XV. 12. Coagulatives. These are such as make thick, being contrary to those things, which make thin or rarefy. They make Rheum and Humours, tough and thick, and so are accounted either cold or temperate. They are given in Colds, Coughs, and vehement Catarrhs and Distillations, whereby the Flegm or Rheum being coagulated or thickned, it is made more fit for Expectoration: They also take away the sharpness of the Blood and Lympha, and thicken it, whereby they stop the overflowing of the Loches and Terms in Women, and perfectly prevail against a Diabetes. They also stop too much Sweating, and the disposition of the Spirits, which often happen to such as are Weak, and in Consumptions.

XVI. 13. Confortatives. These are Strengtheners of the universal Man, of the Spirits as well as the Body and are generally of hot, dry, astringing, and subtil Parts, that they may warm those Parts which are cold; dry and confirm those which are weakned by too much moisture; bind or stop the too openess of the Pores, by which the Spirits are dissipated; and of subtil and volatile Parts, that they may unite with or join, the Natural, Vital, and Animal Spirits, to revive and exhilerate them. But sometimes, when the Body is weakned by heat and dryness, cold things may become Confortatives, by overcoming those Qualities by which the Body is weakned; and so we see the Spirits and Oils of Nitre, Salt, Sulphur, and Vitriol, Lime Juice, Juice of Limons, &c. Confortatives in the highest degree, where the Body has been weakned by Hectic and continual Fevers, and other hot and dry Indispositions, not easily to be expressed in few words.

II. Of External Alteratives.

XVII. 1. Stypticks, Haemoptoicks, or Antihaemorragicks. These are such things, as stop Bleeding in what part of the Body soever. They are for the most part cold, at least temperate, exceeding drying and repulsive: For things which are cold, repel, and many of them coagulate, or thicken; and so if they have a crassitude of Parts, as things acerb and austere. And Medicines vehemently drying, which are Astringent, repel also, because they thicken the Blood and Lympha: These, if they be of thin parts, much conduce to Astriction: Some Stypticks have a crassitude of Body, for which reason they then cannot easily penetrate the more remote Parts, precluding the Passages; therefore those which have a thinness of Substance, are rather to be chosen, unless the cause lies in the superficies, as in all fresh and bleeding Wounds. Stypticks are indeed the highest Astringents, and Binders, and if joined with Narcoticks, transcend in the highest degree.

XVIII. 2. Anodyns, or Paregoricks. These are easers of Pain; and are moderately hot, viz. in the first degree, not much exceeding temperate, and of thin Parts, and rarefacient: So by opening the Pores, they Evacuate, Rarefy, Extenuate, Digest, and Concoct; equally encountring whatever Humour, is either sharp, cold, gross, or tough, inhering in the Pores, or near adjacent grieved Parts, which by reason of the obstruction of the Pores, could not find a way out; besides, they are aqueous or moistening, and aereal or of subtil Substance, not in the least Astringent. But there are some Cold Anodyns, which are such as give ease in Tumours, or Pains caused from great heat. Again, Anodyns are said to be Proper or Improper. Proper, are such as we have already been speaking of: Improper, are such as they call Narcoticks, made of Opiates, Henbane, Hemlock, Mandrakes, Nightshade, &c.

XIX. 3. Repercussives. These are Repelling Medicaments, which drive back the Humour. They are generally cold and drying, and of gross Parts; for that which is cold, repels, and if it has a crassitude of Parts also, it acts with more force, as that which is acerb or austere. Those things also repel which are Astringent, if they have also a tenuity of Parts, for the thinness of their Substance, does much conduce to Astriction. And therefore other things which are Astrictive, by reason of the thickness of their Substance, cannot easily penetrate the more remote Parts, precluding the Passages. And hereto Desensatives, and Intercipients may be reduced, being Cold, Astringent, and Repulsive. These, by their Coldness, repel the Humour; and by their Astringency, strengthen the Part afflicted.

XX. 4. Discussives. These are such as resolve the Matter contained in the Part. They are moderately hot, with a tenuity of Parts, and very little desiccant or drying: For as Discussives rarefy and make thin, causing the Matter to be dissipated, so excessive heat does condensate and dry; whereas moderate heat opens the Pores, or Passages, and deeply penetrating, by the tenuity of its Substance, opens the Pores, attenuates the Matter, and so eases the Pain. Their use therefore is

  • 1. To open the Pores.
  • 2. To attenuate the Matter, or make it thin and fluid.
  • 3. And to evacuate it for the most part by Perspiration.

XXI. 5. Emollients. These are such things as mollify or soften any hard Tumour or Part. These are generally hot and moist; hot in the first degree, and moist in the first or second degree. Their heat is a little beyond the Proportion of Nature, and they are of thin and humid Parts, that they may pierce into the Matter, and mollify or soften it. for which reason it is of use in Strumous or Scirrhus Tumours, Oedema's and others of like Nature; to soften the hardness, and reduce it to its pristine heat: And these are either Common, or Proper.

  • 1. The Common are such whose general Operation is to soften hard Swellings, and such parts and places of the Body, at are hardned by Congelation.
  • 2. The Proper, are such at are applyed or appropriated to peculiar Humours, which being either hot or cold, the Emollient must be opposite to them, in those active Properties, but retaining its due humidity.

XXII. 6. Attractives. These are drawing Medicines, which attract or draw the Humours from the Center to the Circumference. They are hot, and of thin Parts: For that which is hot, attracts, and that more Strongly, if it has conjoin'd with it a tenuity of Parts. Those which are hot and dry in the second degree, moderately attract; if in the third, more effectually; but most those which are hot in the fourth, for the attraction is according to the strength or degree of heat: let some things attract Specifically, and not by any manifest Quality, as Emeticks, Catharticks, &c. These are contrary to Repercussives, for their Nature is to drive from the Circumference to the Center; but Attractives draw from the Center to the Circumference. They are of use in Wounds, made by the Bitings of Mad Dogs, Serpents, and other Poisonous Creatures; in Burnings, Venereal and Pestilential Tumours, &c. where it is absolutely necessary to draw the Poison and Malignity outwards, in order to the saving of Life.

XXIII. 7. Suppuratives, or Maturatives. These turn into Matter, contused Flesh, and Humours, as also the Substance, of which many Tumours or Swellings consist, and bring it to perfect ripeness. They are moderately hot, and next to Emollients, yet differing in this, that Suppuratives have an Emplastick faculty, where, by obstructing the Pores, they produce heat, most like unto that of the Body, without any Consumption or Addition of the Humidity. These are friendly to Nature, and conspire together with it, to bring the superfluous Matter to form, and to such a form, as that it may be separated and cast out, and the afflicted Part thereby eased.

XXIV. 8. Pyroticks, or Corrosives. These are threefold.

  • 1. Cathereticks.
  • 2. Septicks.
  • 3. Causticks, or Escharoticks.

I. Cathereticks, or Eaters. These are meanly strong; they by their corrosive Properties, consume Excrescencies, and eat away proud and dead Flesh.

II. Septicks. They are corrosives, vehemently hot and dry, of thin Parts, and consistence, which by their vehement heat eliquate the Part, and are called Putrefactives, and their use is to draw Blisters; these are Vesicatories.

III. Causticks, or Escharoticks. These are vehemently hot and burning, being the strongest of all, so that they consume all they come near. They cause Crusts upon the place they are applied to, and are chiefly of use to make Issues, or open Apostems.

XXV. 9. Digestives. These are a kind of Maturatives, which bring laudable or well digested Pus, or Matter, into Complex or contused Wounds, and ill natured eating Ulcers; without which the Pain can neither be taken away, nor the Wound or Ulcer healed, or a stop put to the eating, &c. Of these we have largely discoursed in our Ars Chirurgica, where you may find a plentiful number of Prescripts in exemplification there-of.

XXVI. 10. Abstersives. These are Cleansers, which separate and remove the glutinous, clammy, or putrid Matter, adhering to Wounds and Ulcers, which hinders their healing. They have a power to exsiccate with tenuity of Substance; and they may be either hot or cold, nor is it of any great moment, which of them, by reason neither Quality can hinder their action, except Excessive. Yet some count them chiefly hot and drying, with a certain thickness of Parts to compact the Humours: And because they cannot be defined, by either heat or coldness, since some of both sorts cleanse, they are to be understood to have a terrene Substance, which may take away the filth with them; and must a certain roughness, or nitrous Quality, to carry away the compacted filth.

XXVII. 11. Sarcoticks, or Incarnatives. These generate Flesh in hollow Wounds and Ulcers, and fill up their cavities, as far at Nature will admit. They are hot in the first degree, a little Detersive, and that without Biting or Astriction. Also moderately drying, viz. under the second degree. And such as Impinguate, or breed Fat, are Heating, Nourishing, Impulsive, Attractive, Retentive, or Specifick; as Hemp-Seed, Pouder of Sarcocol, Kernel of the Indian Nut. They dry, and change the Blood that comes to any part into Flesh. Their degree of dryness must be according to the Part: If the Ulcer happens in a dry part of the Body, the Sarcotick must be very dry, and therefore some of them are drying, even in the fourth degree. But if the part of the Body is moist in which the Ulcer is, the Incarnatives are to be less drying: They ought not to exceed the first degree, unless the Ulcer be very moist. They breed not good Blood, nor correct the intemperature of the place affected, they only defend the Blood from ill Symptoms, and the Ulcer from Corruption in breeding Flesh, for Nature in breeding Flesh, produces either serous or purulent Recrements, and these Medicines which cleanse and consume those Excrements, by their drying Quality, are said to breed Flesh, because by their help, Nature performs that Office.

XXVIII. 12. Agglutinatives. These are such as glew the Lips of Wounds, and separated Parts together. They are also called Symphitica, which is the reason that Comfrey is called Symphitum, because of its glewing Quality, They are generally drying in the second degree, and are in a mean between Incarnatives, and Cicatrizers. They are not Abstersive, but Astringent and prohibit the Flux of Humours, to the Lips of Wounds, Ulcers, and Fistula's. They are temperate, in respect of heat, and of a thick Substance. By their dryness, they absorb that humidity, which intervenes between the Lips of Wounds, that thereby they may be conjoined: And that is the true Cure of an Ulcer, which conjoins the sides of an Ulcer, before brought together. And Ulcers require a greater degree of drying than Wounds, not only to consume what flows out, but also what remains liquid in the Flesh.

XXIX. 13. Cicatrizers, or Epuloticks. These are such things as skin a Wound, Sore, or Ulcer. They dry and bind without biting absorbing the humidity of the Flesh, contracting it with a Skin, or a thin Callus like unto a Skin, and therefore are more drying than Incarnatives or Glutinatives: For these bind, contract, constipate, and indurate; being cold, and of a thick Substance. There is also a sharp and biting Epulotick, which consumes dead Flesh, as Cathereticks and a third sort, which dries without astriction. The last part of the Cure of a Wound or Ulcer, is to cover it with Skin, and restore the place to its pristine beauty: Now these Medicines meddle with the Flesh, no farther than only to convert it into Skin.

XXX. 14. Cosmeticks, or Beautifyers. These adorn the Body by adding beauty to it, by absterging or cleansing it from defilements, as Leprosie, Leuce, Scabs, Itch, Pimples, Redness, Wrinkles, Freckles, Yellowness, Tanning, Sunburning, and the like. Those which proceed from heat, are to be remedied by cooling things: If the defilement is impacted in the Skin, extenuating Medicines are to be applyed; if Freckles or Worms affect it, the Skin itself is to be absterged by Emplasters of Soap, or Oil of Tartar per deliquium, diluted with Water; if Leprosie, Scabs, or Pustules, constantly breaking out, the Cuticula must be taken off by Epispasticks, &c.


Botanologia, or The English Herbal, was written by William Salmon, M.D., in 1710.
This chapter was proofread by peppercat.



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