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child which could not be brought to drink tar-water as the rest had done.
3. Several were preserved from taking the smallpox by the use of this liquor: others had it in the mildest manner, and others that they might be able to take the infection, were obliged to intermic drinking the tar-water. I have found it may be drunk with great safety and success for any length of time, and this not only before, but also during the distemper. The general rule for taking it is, about half a pint night and morning on an empty stomach, which quantity may be varied, according to the case and age of the patient, provided it be always taken on an empty stomach, and about two hours before or after a meal
4. It seemed probable, that a medicine of such efficacy in a distemper attended with so many purulent ulcers, might be also useful in other foulnesses of the blood; accordingly I tried it on several persons infected with cutaneous eruptions and ulcers, who were soon relieved, and soon after cured. Encouraged by these successes I ventured to advise it in the fouleft diftempers, wherein it proved much more successful than salivations and wood-drinks had done.
5. Having cried it in a great variety of cases, I found it succeed beyond my hopes; in a tedious and painful ulceration of the bowels, in a consumptive cough and (as appeared by expectorated pus) an ulcer in the lungs; in a pleurisy and perpineumony. And when a person, who for some years had been subject to erysipelatous fevers, perceived the usual fore-running symptoms to come on, I advised her to drink tar-water which prevented the erysipelas.
6. I never knew any thing so good for the stomach as tar-water: it cures indigestion and gives
(6) a good appetite. It is an excellent medicine in an asthma. It imparts a kindly warmth and quick circulation to the juices without heating, and is therefore useful, not only as a pectoral and balsamic, but also as a powerful and safe deobftruent in cachectic and hysteric cases. As it is both healing and diuretic, it is very good for the gravel. I believe it to be of great use in a dropsy, having known it cure a very bad anasarca in a person whose thirst, though very extraordinary, was in a short time removed by the drinking of tar-water.
7. The usefulness of this medicine in inflammatory cases is evident, from what has been already observed (a). And yet some perhaps may suspect that, as the tar itself is sulphureous, tar. water must be of a hot and infiaming nature. But it is to be noted, that all balsams contain and acid spirit, which is in truth a volatile falt. Water is a menItruum that diffolves all sorts of falts, and draws them from their subjects. Tar, therefore, being a balsam, it's salutary acid is extracted by water, which yet is incapable of diffolving it's gross refinous parts, whose proper menftruum is spirit of wine. Therefore tar-water, not being impregnated with resin, may be safely used in infammatory cases: and in fact it bath been found an admirable febrifuge, at once the safest cooler and cordial.
8. The volatile falts seperated by infusion from tar, may be supposed to contain it's specific virtues. Mr. Boyle and other later chemists are agreed, that fixed salts are much the same in all bodies. But it is well known that volatile falts do greatly differ, and the easier they are separated from the subject, the more do they possess of it's specific qualities. Now the most easy separation is by infusion of tar in cold water, which to smell (a) Sect. 5.
and tast shewing it felt well impregnated, may be presumed to extract and retain the most pure volatile and and active particles of that vegetable balsam.
9. Tar was by the ancients esteemed good against poisons, ulcers, the bites of venomous creatures, also for pthisical, scrophulous, paralytic and asthmatic perions. But the method of rendering it an inoffensive medicine and agreeable to the Itomach, by extracting it's virtues in cold water, was unknown to them. The leaves and tender tops of pine and fir are in our times used for diet-drinks, and allowed to be antiscorbutic and diuretic. But the most elaborate juice, falt, and spirit of those evergreens are to be found in tar; whose virtues extend not to animals alone, but also to vegetables. Mr. Evelyn in his creatise on Forest trees observes with wonder, that stems of trees, smeared over with tar, are preserved thereby from being hurt by the invenoned teeth of goats and other injuries, while every other thing of an unctuous nature is highly prejudicial to them.
10. It seems that tar and turpentine may be had more or less, from all sorts of pines and firs whatfoever; and that the native spirits and essential falts of thote vegetables are the same in turpentine and common tar. In effect this vulgar tar, which cheapness and plenty may have rendered contemptible, appears to be an excellent balsam, containing the virtues of most other balsams, which it easily imparts to water, and by that means readily and inoffensively insinuates them into the habit of the body.
11. The resinous exsudations of pines and firs are an important branch of the materia medica, and not only useful in the prescriptions of physicians, but have been also thought otherwise con
ducive to health. Pliny tells us, that wines in the time of the old Romans were medicated with pitch and resin; and Jonstonus in his Dendrographia observes, that it is wholesome to walk in groves of pine trees, which impregnate the air with balsamic particles. That all turpentines and resins are good for the lungs, against gravel also and obstructions, is no secret. And that the medicinal properties of those drugs are found in tar-water, without heating the blood, or disordering the stomach, is confirmed by experience: and particularly that puhisi cal and afthmatic perfons receive speedy and great relief from the use of it.
12. Ballams, as all unctuous and oily medicines, create a nauseating in the stomach. They cannot therefore be taken in substance, so much or lo Jong, as to produce all those falutary effects, which, it thoroughly mixed with the blood and juices, they would be capable of producing. It must therefore be a thing of great benefit, to be able to introduce any requisite quantity of their volatile parts into the finest ducts and capillaries, so as not to offend the stomach, but, on the contrary, to comfort and strengthen it in a great degree.
13. According to Pliny, liquid pitch (as he calls it) or tar was obtained by letting fire to billets of old fat pines or firs. The first running was tar, the latter or thicker running was pitch. Theo. phrastus is more particular: he tells us the Macedonians made huge heaps of the cloven trunks of those trees, wherein the billets were placed erect beside each other. That such heaps or piles of wood were sometimes a hundred and eighty cubits round, and sixty or even a hundred high : and that having covered them with sods of earth to prevent the Aame from bursting forth in which case the tar was lost) they set on fire those huge
heaps of pine or fir, letting the tar and pitch run out in a channel.
14. Pliny faith, it was customary for the ancients, to hold Aeeces of wool over the steam of boiling tar, and squeeze the moisture from them, which watery substance was called pissinum. Ray will have this to be the same with the pisselæum of the ancients ; but Hardouin in his notes on Pliny, thinks the piffelæum to have been produced from the cones of cedars. What use they made of these liquors anciently I know not : but it may be presumed they were used in medicine, though at present, for ought I can find, they are not used
15. From the manner of procuring tar (a) it plainly appears to be a natural production, lodged in the vessels of the tree, whence it is only freed and let loose (not made) by burning. If we may believe Pliny, the first running or tar was called cedrium, and was of such efficacy to preserve from putrefaction, that in Egypt they embalmed dead bodies with it. And to this he ascribes their mum- . mies continuing uncorrupted for so many ages.
16. Some modern writers inform us that tar flows from the trunks of pines and firs, when they are very old, through incisions made in the bark near the root ; that pitch is tar inspiffated ; and both are the oyl of the tree grown thick and black with age and sun. The trees, like old men, being unable to perspire, and their secretory ducts obstructed, they are, as one may fay, choaked and stuffed with their own juice..
17. The method used by our colonies in America, for making tar and pitch, is in effect the fame with that of the ancient Macedonians; as appears from the account given in the Philosophical
(a) Sect. 13.