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duct of culinary fire, will not think it incredible that virtues of mighty force and extent should be found in a fine acid soap (a) the salts and oil whereof are a most elaborate product of nature and the solar light.
74. It is certain tar-water warms, and therefore some may perhaps still think it cannot cool. The more effectually to remove this prejudice, let it be farther considered, that, as on the one hand, opposite causes do sometimes produce the same effect, for instance, heat by rarefaction and cold by conden. sation do both increase the air's elasticity : so on the other hand, the same cause shall sometime produce opposite effects: heat for instance in one degree thins, in another coagulates the blood. It is not therefore strange that tar-water should warm one habit, and cool another, have one good effect on a cold constitution, and another good effect on an inflamed one; nor, if this be so, that it should cure opposite disorders. All which justifies to reafon, what I have often found true in fact. The salts, the spirits, the heat of tar-water are of a temperature congenial to the constitution of a man which receives from it a kindly warmth, but no inflaming heat. It was remarkable that two children in my neighbourhood, being in a course of tar-water, upon an intermission of it, never failed to have their issues inflamed by an humour much more hot and sharp than at other times. But its great use in the small-pox, pleurisies, and fevers, is a sufficient proof that car-water is not of an inflaming nature.
75. I have dwelt the longer on this head, because some gentlemen of the faculty have thought fit to
declare that tar-water must enflame, and that they would never visit any patient in a fever, who had been a drinker of it. But I will venture to affirm, that it is so far from increasing a feverith inflammation, that it is on the contrary a most ready means to allay and extinguish it. It is of admirable use in fevers, being at the same time the furelt, fafest and most effectual both paregoric and cordial; for the truth of which, I appeal to any person's experience, who shall take a large draught of it milk warm in the paroxysm of a fever, even when plain water or herb teas shall be found to have little or no effect. To me it seems that it's singular and surprizing use in fevers of all kinds, were there nothing else, would be alone sufficient to recommend it to the public.
76. The best physicians make the idea of a fever to consist in a too great velocity of the heart's motion, and too great resistance at the capillaries. Tar-water, as it foftens and gently stimulates those nice vessels, helps to propel their contents, and so contributes to remove the latter part of the disorder. And for the former, the irritating acrimony which accelerates the motion of the heart is dilut. ed by watery, corrected by acid, and softened by balsamic remedies, all which intentions are answered by this aqueous acid balsamic medicine. Befides the viscid juice's coagulated by the febrile heat are resolved by tar-water as a soap, and not too far refolved, as it is a gentle acid soap; to which we may add, that the peccant humours and salts are carried off by its diaphoretic and diuretic qualities.
27. I found all this confirmed by my own experience in the late sickly season of the year one thoufand seven hundred and forty-one, having had
twenty-five fevers in my own family cured by this
I do even fufpect, that a pleuritic patient betaking himself to bed betimes, and drinking very copiously of tar-water, may be cured by that alone without bleeding, blistering, or any other medicine whatever : certainly I have found this succeed at a glass every half hour.
I have known a bloody flux of long contiAuance, after divers medicine had been tried in vain, cured by tar. water. But that which I cake to be the most speedy and effectual remedy in a bloody flux, is a clyster of an ounce of common brown rosin diffolved over a fire in two ounces of oil, and added to a pint of broth, which not long since I had frequent occasion of trying, when that distemper was epidemical. Nor can I say that any to whom I advised it miscarried. This experiment I was led to make by the opinion I had of tar as a balsamic : and rosin is only tar inspirfated.
80. Nothing that I know corroborates the stomach so much as tar-water (a.) Whence it follows, that it must be of singular use to persons af. flicted with the gout. And from what I have observed in five or fix instances, I do verily believe it the best and fafest medicine either to prevent the gout, or fo to strengthen nature against the fit, as to drive it from the vitals. Doctor Sydenham in his treatise of the gout, delares that whoever finds a medicine the most efficacious for strengthening digestion, will do more service in the cure of that and other chronical distempers, than he can even form a notion of.. And I leave it to trial, whether tar-water be not that medicine, as I myself am per. suaded it is, by all the experiments I could make. But in all trials I wou'd recommend discretion; for instance, a man with the gout in his stomach ought not to drink cold tar-water. This essay leaves room for future experiment in every part of it, not pretending to be a compleat treatise.
81. It is evident to sense, that blood, urine, and other animal juices, being let to stand, foon
(a) Sect. 68.
contract a great acrimony. Juices, therefore from a bad digestion, retained and stagnating in the body, grow sharp and putrid. Hence a fermenting heat, the immediate cause of the gout. The curing this by cooling medicines, as they would increase the antecedent cause, must be a vain ata tempt. On the other hand, spices and spirituous liquors, while they contribute to remove the antecedent cause, or bad digestion, would by inflaming the blood increase the proximate or immediate cause of the gout, to wit, the fermenting heat. The scope therefore must be, to find a medicine that shall corroborate, but not inflame. Bitter herbs are recommended; but they are weak in comparison of tar-water.
82. The great force of tar-water, to correct the acrimony of the blood, appears in nothing more than in the cure of a gangrene, from an internal cause ;, which was performed on a servant of my own, by prescribing the copious and constant use of tar-water for a few weeks. From my reprefenting tar-water as good for so many things, some perhaps may conclude it is good for nothing. But charity obligeth me to say what I know, and what I think, howsoever it may be taken. Men may censure and object as they please, but I appeal to time and experiment. Effects misimputed, cafes wrong told, circumstances overlooked, perhaps too, prejudices and partialities against truth, may for a time prevail and keep her at the bottom of her well, from whence nevertheless she emergeth sooner or later, and strikes the eyes of all who do not keep them shut.
83. Boerhaave thinks a specific may be found, for that peculiar venom, which infects the blood in the small.pox, and that the prospect of so great a public benefit should stir up men to search for it.