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off it's falts. But it seems to produce it's principal effect as an alterative, sure and easy, much fafer than those vehement purgative, emetic, and falivating medicines, which do violence to nature.
56. An obstruction of some vessels causeth the blood to move more swiftly in other vessels, which are not obstructed. Hence manifold disorders. A liquor that dilutes and attenuates refolves the concretions which obstruct. Tar-Water is such a liquor. It may be said, indeed, of common water, that it attenuates, also of mercurial preparations that they attenuate. But it should be considered that mere water only distends the vessels and thereby weakens cheir tone ; and that Mercury by it's great momentum may justly be suspected of hurt
ing the fine capillaries, which two deobftruents therefore might easily overact their parts, and (by Jessening the force of the elastic vessels) remotely produce those concretions they are intended to remove. - 57. Weak and rigid fibres are looked on by the most able phyficians, as sources of two different classes of distempers: a Nuggish motion of the Liquids occasions weak fibres: therefore tar-water is good to strengthen them as it gently accelerates their contents. On the other hand, being an un.. ctuous bland Auid it moistens and softens the dry and stiff fibres: and so proves a remedy for botla extremes.
58. Common soaps are compositions of lixivial Sale and oil. The corrosive acrimony of the faline particles being softened by the mixture of an unctuous substance they insinuate themselves into the small ducts with less difficulty and danger, The combination of these different fubftances -makes up a very subtile and active medicine, fit, sed for mixing with all humours, and resolving
all obstructions. Soap therefore is justly, esteemed
59. It is the general opinion that all acids coagulate the blood. Boerhaave excepts vinegar, which he holds to be a soap, inasmuch as it is found ta contain an oil as well as an acid spirit. Hence in is both unctuous and penetrating, a powerful antiphlogistic, and preservative against corruption and infection. Now it seems evident that tar-water is a soap as well as vinegar. For though it be the character of resin, which is an infpiffated gross oil, not to dissolve in water (a), yet the sales at: tract fome fine particles of essential oil : which fine oil ferves as a vehicle for the acid falts, and shews itfelf in the colour of the tar-water;, for all pure falts are colourless. And though the resin will not diffolve in water, yet the subtile oil, in which the vegetable salts are lodged, may as well mix with water as vinegar doth, which contains both oil and falt. And as the oil in tar-water discovers irfelf to the eye, so the acid salts do manifest
themselves to the taste. Tar-water therefore is a fodp, and as such hath the medicinal qualities of
60. It operates more gently as the acid falts lose their acrimony being sheathed in oil, and thereby approaching the nature of neutral falts, are more benign and friendly to the animal syItem: and more effectually, as, by the help of a vo latile smooth infinuating oil, those same falts are more easily introduced into the capillary ducts. Therefore in fevers and epidemical distempers it is (and I have found it so as well as in chronical diseases, à moft safe and efficacious medicine, being good againft too great fluidity as a balfamic, and good against viscidity as a soap. There is something in the fiery corrosive nature of lixivial falts, which makes alcaline soap a dangerous femedy in all cases where an inflammation is apprehended. And as inflammations are often occasioned by obstructions, it should seem an acid soap was much the safer deobftruent.
61. Even the best turpentines, however famous for their vulnerary and detergent qualities, have yet been observed by their warmth to dispose to inflammatory tumours. But the acid spirit(a) being in so great proportion in tar-water renders it a cooler and safer medicine, And the ætherial oil of Eurpentine, though an admirable drier, healer, and anodyne, when outwardly applied to wounds and ulcers, and not less useful in cleansing the urinary passages and healing their ulcerations, yet is known to be of a nature to very relaxing as sometimes to do much mrischief. Tar-water is not attended with the same ill effects, which I believe are owing in
great measure to the ætherial oil's being deprived
of the acid spirit in distillation, which vellicating and contracting as a stimulus might have proved a counterpoise to the excessive lubricating and relaxing qualities of the oil.
62. Woods in decoction do not seem to yield fo ripe and elaborate a juice, as thąt which is deposited in the cells or loculi terebinthiaci, and fpontaneously oozes from them. And indeed though the balsam of Peru, obtained by boiling wood and scumming the decoction, be a very valuable medicine and of great account in divers cases, particularly asthmas, nephritic pains, nervous colics and obstructions, yet I do verily think (and I do not say this without experience) that car-water is a more efficacious remedy in all those cases than even that costly drug.
63. It hath been already observed that the restorative pectoral antihyfterical virtues of the most
precious balsams and gums are possessed in a high degree by tar-water (a). And I do not know any purpose answered by the wood drinks, for which tar-water may not be used with at least equal fuccess. It contains the virtues even of Guaiacum which seems the most efficacious of all the woods, warming and sweetening the humours, diaphoretic and useful in gouts, dropsies and rheums, as well as in the foul disease. Nor should it seem strange, if the virtues obtained by boiling an old dry wood prove inferior to those extracted from a balfam.
64. There is a fine volatile spirit in the waters of Geronfter, the moft esteemed of all the fountains about Spa, but whose waters do not bear transporting. The ftomachic, cardiac, and diuretic qualities of this fountain somewhat resemble those of tarwater, which, if I am not greatly mistaken, çon
(a) Seft. 9, 21, 22, 23.
mains the virtues of the best chalybeat and fulphureous waters; with this difference, that those waters are apt to affect the head in taking, which tarwater is not. Besides there is a regimen of diec to be observed, especially with, chalybeat waters, which I never found necessary with this. Tarwater layeth under no restraint either as to diet, hours, or employment, A man may study, or exercise, or repose, keep his own hours, pass his time either within or without, and take wholesom nourishment of any kind.
65. The use of chalybeat waters, however excellent for the nerves and stomach, is often suspended by colds and inflammatory disorders; in which they are acknowledged to be very dangerous. Whereas tar-water is so far from hurting in those cases, or being discontinued on that account, that it greatly contributes to their cure (a).
66. Cordials, vulgarly so called, act immediately on the stomach, and by consent of nerves on the head. But medicines of an operation too fine and light to produce a sensible effect in the primæ viæ, may, nevertheless, in their passage through the capillaries, operate on the sides of those small vessels, in such manner as to quicken their oscillations, and consequently the motion of their contents, producing, in issue and effect, all the benefits of a cordial much more lasting and falutary than those of distilled spirits, which by their cauftic and coagulating qualities do incomparably more milchief than good. Such a cardiac medicine is tar-water. The transient fits of mirth, produced from fermented liquors and distilled spirits, are attended with proportionable depressions of fpirit in their intervals. But the calm chearfulnels arising from
(a) Sect. 7