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94. But thus much is certain, the cure of the fcurvy is no more to be attempted by strongly active medicines than ( to use the fimilitude of an ingenious writer) a thorn in the flesh, or pitch on Glk to be removed by force. The viscid humour must be gently resolved and diluted, the tone of the veffels recovered by a moderate stimulation and the tender fibres and capillary vessels gradually cleared from the concreted stuff, that adheres and obstructs them. All which is in the aptest manner performed by a watery diluent, containing a fine vegetable soap. And although a complear cure by alteratives, operating on the fmall capillaries, and by insensible discharges, must require length of time, yet the good effect of this medicine on cachectic and scorbutic persons, is foon perceived, by the change it produceth in their pale discoloured looks, giving a forid healthy countenance in less time than perhaps any other medicine.
95. It is supposed by physicians, that the immediate cause of the scurvy lies in the blood, the
of which is too thick and the serum too thin and sharp: and that hence ariseth the great difficulty in the cure, because in the corre. sting of one part, regard must be had to the other. It is well known how extemely difficult it is to cure an inveterate fcurvy : how many fcorbutic patients have grown worse by an injudicious course of evacuations : how many are even rendered incurable by the treatment of inconsiderate physicians: and how difficult, tedious and uncertain the cure is in the hands even of the best, who are obliged to use such variety and change of medicines, in the different stages of that malady: which nevertheless may be cured (if I may judge by what I have experienced ) by the fole, regular, constant, copious use of tar-water,
96. Tar-water moderately inspiffates with it's balsamic virtue, and renders mild the thin and sharp part of the blood. The fame, as a soapy medicine, dissolves the grumous concretions of the fibrous part. As a ballam it destroys the ulcerous acrimony of the humours, and as a deobftruent it opens and cleans the vessels, restores their tone, and strenghtens the digestion, whose defects are the principal cause of scurvy and cachexy.
97. In the cure of the fcurvy, the principal aim is to subdue the acrimony of the blood and juices. But as this acrimony proceeds from different causes, or even opposite, as acid and alkaline, what is good in one sort of scurvy proves dangerous, or even mortal, in another. It is well known, that hot antiscorbutics, where the juices of the body are alcalescent, increase the disease. And four fruits and vegetables produce a like effect in the scurvy, caused by an acid acrimony. Hence fatal blunders are committed by unwary practitioners, who, not distinguishing the nature of the disease, do frequently aggravate, instead of curing it. If I may trust what tryals I have been able to make, çhis water is good in the several kinds of scurvy, acid, alcaline, and muriatic, and I believe it the only medicine that cures them all without doing
As it contains a volatil acid (a) with a fine volatile oyl, why may not a medicine cool in one part and warm in another be a remedy to either extreme (b)? I have observed it to produce a kindly genial warmth without heat, a thing to be aimed at in all sorts of fcurvy. Besides the balsam in tar-water sheaths all scorbutic fales. alike: and its great virtues as a digefter and deobjerivi
ftruent are of general use in all scorbutic, and, I may add, in all chronical cases whatfoever.
98. I cannot be sure that I have tried it in a scrophulous case, though I have tried it succesfully in one that I suspected to be so. And I apprehend it would be very serviceable in such disorders. For although Doctor Gibbs in his treatise of the King's Evil derives that disease from a coagulating acid, which is also agreeable to the opinion of some other physicians, and although tar-water contain an acid, yet as it is a soap (a), it resolves instead of coagulating the juices of the body.
99. For hysterical and hypocondriacal disorders fo frequent among us, it is commonly supposed that all acids are bad. But I will venture to except the acid soap of tar-water, having found by my own experience and that of many others, that it raiseth the spirits, and is an excellent antihyfteric, nor less innocent than potent, which cannot be faid of those others in common use, that often leave people worse than they found them.
100. In a high degree of scurvy a mercurial falivation is looked on by many as the only cure. Which, by the vehement shock it gives the whole frame, and the sensible secretion it produceth, may be thought to be more adequate to fuch an effect. But the disorder occasioned by that violent process, it is to be feared, may never be got over. The immediate danger, the frequent bad effects, the extreme trouble and nice care attending such a course do very defervedly make people afraid of it. And though the sensible secretion therein be so great, yet in a longer tract of time the ufe of tar-water may produce as great
a discharge of fcorbutic salts by urine and by pers fpiration, the effect of which last, though not so sensible, may yet be greater than that of saliva. tion ; especially if it be true, that in common life insensible perfpiration is to nutricion, and all sensible excretions, as five to three. : 101. Many hysteric and scorbutic ailments, many taints contracted by themfelves, or inherited from their ancestors, afflict the people of condition in these iNands, often rendering them, upon the whole, much more unhappy than those whom poverty and labour have ranked in the lowest lot of life'; which ailments might be safely removed or relieved by the sole use of tar-water; And those lives which seem hardly worth living for bad appetite, Jow spirits, restless nights, wasting pains and anxieties, be rendered easy and comfortable.
102. As the nerves are instruments of sensation, it follows that spasms in the nerves may produce all fymptoms, and therefore a disorder in the nervous system shall imitate all distempers, and occafion, in appearance, an asthma for instance, a pleurisy, or a fit of the stone. Now whatever is good for the nerves in general, is good against all such symptoms. But tar-water, as it includes in an eminent degree the virtues of warm gums and refins, is of great use for comforting and strengthen. ing the nerves (a), curing twitches in the nervous fibres, cramps also, and numbness in the limbs, removing anxieties and promoting deep, in all which cases I have known it very successful.
103. This safe and cheap medicine suits all cir. cumstances and all constitutions, operating easily, curing without disturbing, raising the spirits without depressing them, a circumstance that deserves
repeated attention, especially in these climates, where strong liquors so fatally and so frequently produce those very distresses they are designed to remedy; and, if I am not misinformed, even among the Ladies themselves, who are truly much to be pitied. Their condition of life makes them a prey to imaginary woes, which never fail to grow up in minds unexercised and unemployed. To get rid of these, it is said, there are who betake themselves to distilled spirits. And it is not improbable, they are led gradually to the use of those poisons by a certain complaisant pharmacy, too much used in the modern practice, pally drops, poppy cordial, plague water, and such like, which being in truth nothing but drams disguised, yet coming from the apothecaries, are considered only as medicines.
104. The foul of man was supposed by many ancient sages, to be thrust into the human body as into a prison, for punishment of past offences. But the worst prison is the body of an indolent Epicure, whose blood is infamed by fermented liquors (a) and high sauces, or render'd putrid, sharp, and corrosive, by a stagnation of the animal juices through noth and indolence; whose membranes are irritated by pungent falts, whose mind is agitated by painful oscillations of the nervous (b) Tystem, and whose nerves are mutually affected by the irregular pallions of his mind. This ferment in the animal economy darkens and confounds the intellect. It produceth vain terrours and vain conceits, and stimulates the soul with mad desires, which, not being natural, nothing in nature can fatisfy. No wonder, therefore, there are so many fine persons of both sexes, shining themfelves, and shone on by fortune, who are inwardly miserable and sick of life.