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nervous system, as is well proved, by its almost universal effect in producing wakefulness. They are both absolutely unnecessary to any one; for if something warm must be taken, the distressed stomach will find a harmless succedanium in milk and water sweetened, or gruel. Malt liquors are likewise to be avoided generally; but as this rule is liable to exceptions, each should carefully try and judge for himself. Beer and ale have, sometimes, assisted the peristaltic motions, and thereby restored a tone to the alimentary canal; but they too commonly turn sour on the stomach, irritate its nerves, and stupify the brain : indeed, for the latter quality, they are almost proverbial. Pure water, in small quantities, is the most innocent liquid we can take. At first it may seem to disagree with the morbid stomach from its absolute strangeness, and we have known it produce heartburn; but its habitual introduction will soon restore to it the natural affection of the organ. Soups, stews, gravies and sauces, the skin of poultry, fat and grease of all kinds, except fresh unmelted butter, green vegetables, particularly cabbage, turnips and spinach, new potatoes, crabs and lobsters, uncooked fruits, pickles, puddings, ices, pastry and confectionary, comprise the principal dangerous articles. Many more are added by dietetical writers, but perbaps without sufficient reason, as fish (and on this doctors differ very much) goose, tame ducks, &c. ; indeed we have known dyspeptics who could never eat turkey with impunity. Dr. Kitchener, who thinks higher of the cook than of the doctors, complains that the latter have “merely laid before the public a nonsensical register of the peculiarities of their own palate and the idiosyncracies of their own constitution :” and in the Lady's Address to Willy Cadogan in his Kitchen. 4to, 1771, she says :
" But alas ! these are subjects on which there's no reas'ning,
In Gath do not tell it, nor in Askalon blab it,'
No more nor no less-than the worst thing of all.”” But seriously, though all the first mentioned articles are injurious to inost dyspeptics, yet there is not one which some of the most afflicted may not take with impunity, if in a moderate
quantity, except grcase when burnt, which we have never yet found any buman stomach to endure.
One or two other rules on eating, and we have done with this part of our subject. Change frequently the dishes on which you dine;~-toujours perdrix will pall even the stoutest digestion. Avoid those things you dislike. Food which is agreeable to the taste and eaten with a relish, will do more good even than that which is esteemed more wholesome, but is not so palatable. For this we have the authority of Drs. W. Hunter, J. Hunter, Heberden, Sydenham, Armstrong, Smith, and a host of others. Adair says-"What is most grateful to the palate, sits most easy on the stomach.” Falconer observes-“Things most disagreeable to the palate, seldom digest well or contribute to the nourishment of the body." And last, though not least, for he speaks from experience, old Montaigne, in his usual pleasant, egotistical vein, remarks—"My appetite is in several things of itself, happily enough accommodated to the health of my stomach; whatever I take against my liking, does me harm ; but nothing hurts me that I eat with appetite and delight.” Use as small a quantity of seasoning and other condiments as possible, with the exception of table salt, which assists digestion when taken moderately with what we eat; combined with meats it becomes less wholesome, and in some measure changes its nature. Highly spiced food is so generally admitted to be injurious, that it would be unnecessary to caution any sick person against it, were it not for the injudicious advice of some of the writers on diet. Old Dr. Moffat, for instance, in his Treatise on Food, says, « whosoever dreameth that no sick man should be allured to meat by delightful and pleasant sauces, seemeth as forward and fantastical as he that would never whet his knife. Why hath nature brought forth such variety of herbs, roots, spices, &c. fit for nothing but sauces, &c. but that by them the sick should be allured to feed ?" Dine principally on one kind of meat, with the usual accompaniment of vegetables; recollecting, however, that the latter, unless of the farinaceous kind, are liable to generate acidity, and meat, in exclusion of vegetables, is much too stimulant in this climate, even in winter. But one thing it is necessary for the dyspeptic to attend to rigorously-regularity in taking his meals. If breakfast be eaten at eight, dinner should follow at two or three, and if a third meal be added, it should never be later than eight. If the habitual hours be broken in upon, it disarranges the habits of the digestive organs, and produces great injury. Dr. Paris strongly insists on this, and observes very justly—"in every situation of life, we too frequently pass unheeded, objects of real importance, in an over
anxiety to pursue others of more apparent, but of far less intrinsic value; so it is with the dyspeptic invalid in search of nealth. What shall I eat ? Is this or that species of food digestible? are the constant queries which he addresses to his physician. He will religiously abstain from whatever medical opinion or popular prejudice has decried as unwholesome; and yet the period at which he takes his meal is a matter of comparative indifference with him : although he will refuse to taste a dish that contains an atom of vinegar, with as much pertinacity as if it held arsenic in solution, he will allow the most trifling engagement to postpone his dinner hour. So important and serious an error do I consider such irregularities, that I have frequently said to a patient labouring under indigestion, “I will wave all my objections to the quantity and quality of your food, if I am sure that such a sacrifice of opinion would insure regularity in the periods of your meals.”
But man lives not by meat and drink alone, nor will they, without assistance, restore the puny to strength. Exercise, change of air, abandoning bad habits, cleanliness, &c. require much of the dyspeptic's attention ; indeed, we might add, the attention of all men. Literary and professional men in this country, (except physicians) suffer more from want of exercise than any other cause. Their labours being sedentary, are more fatiguing even to the body than those of the ploughman. Their vessels become obstructed and straitened, their circulation flags, their animal spirits evaporate, and they seldom feel the enjoyment which vigorous health imparts. The German constitution appears to be better calculated to withstand these injuries than that of any other people. There are instances of their scholars living perpetually in the house. yet possessing good appetites with perfect digestion, and presenting the appearance of florid health, though with the lower extremities almost useless from inaction. Seeing no company, except an occasional visit from a literary friend, and perfect regularity in taking their coarse meals, are, no doubt, among the causes of this difference, but they alone are not sufficient, we think, fully to account for it. Climate may have a greater effect than either.
To effect a cure, hard study should be avoided for some months, the conversation of agreeable persons, if it can be obtained without trouble, will serve with light reading, to keep the mind from ennui, which, of itself will give a fit of indigestion. A light and pleasant mental pursuit that can be taken up and relinquished at pleasure, without producing much excitement, will be found beneficial. But his chief dependence must be on bodily exercise, which enlarges the capacity of the veins
and all the vessels, increases the circulation of all the fluids, gives size and strength to the muscles, hardens the bones, and enlivens the spirits. Exercise is divisible into two kinds, active and passive : in the former, the patient moves himself, in the latter he is moved by other means. The former is for the strong who wish to preserve their powers; the latter for the weak who desire to acquire strength. Violent active exercise is labour, and produces fatigue, which is disorder ; and if persisted in, ultimately destroys health and brings on premature decrepitude. This has not been sufficiently attended to. Invalids, to whom exercise has been recommended without discrimination, have rendered themselves worse by splitting wood, swinging heavy dumb bells, and taking long walks. Gymnastics, beyond a certain point, (which differs in all persons according to their strength) become hurtful even to the most robust. As long ago as the time of Galen, we find this was insisted on. In his discourse to Thrasybulus, he censures the violent athletic exercises of the gymnasium as injurious to health, but recommends that which is moderate as highly beneficial. The muscles when overstrained, gradually lose their energy, become rigid and painful, and debility supervenes. Two striking instances of this are given by Dr. Sheldrake in a late lecture on muscular action, delivered in London. One was the case of Delphini, a buffo performer at the Opera House, and the strongest man of his day in England, who, it is stated, sunk into premature decay from his professional exercises. The other was Grimaldi, who acted the clown and other pantomimical characters at Sadler's Wells, and other theatres. "He bad a frame," says Dr. Sheldrake," like the body of Hercules, and strength that was equal to it, besides more activity than any other performer in his time. Four years ago, in the forty-fourth year of his age, he quitted the stage in consequence of being rendered incapable of following his occupation, by the total failure of his personal powers.” In poor Grimaldi's last address to his audience, he said, among other things, “sickness and infirmity have come upon me, and I can no longer wear the motley. I am sinking fast-I now stand worse on my legs than I used to do on my head; but I suppose I am paying the penalty of the course I pursued all my life ; my desire and anxiety to merit your favour, have excited me to more exertion than my constitution would bear, and, like vaulting ambition, I have overleaped myself.”
But moderately active exercise, taken at proper periods, conforms to our nature, and is all important to the dyspeptic who is strong enough to enjoy it. He who is not, should confine
himself at first to that which is passive. He should commence with friction, using the hand, or a coarse cloth, or the strigil or flesh-brush. It may be used at any time for ten or fifteen minutes, and twice a day. Sir. J. Sinclair says he commenced the use of it in the night when he woke and was restless. It produced a calm repose. He afterwards continued it daily at regular periods, and his health, which was imperfect, became after a year's use of the brush, more improved than it had been for thirty years before. He brushed away both rheumatism and a cutaneous affection of long standing. He says, “I do not know to what to attribute my good health, under God, unless to the flesh-brush, as no other variation in my habits of living took place.” Desault relates the case of a man who was one hundred years of age, and afflicted with gout, who, for thirty years before his death, preserved himself from it by constant friction. And Sir William Temple, who had been subject to the same disease and was cured, observes in reference to this point, “that no man need have the gout who can keep a slave.” Numerous other cases of similar good effects arising from friction, are recorded.
When the strength will bear it, the dyspeptic should sail, swing or ride in an open carriage, regularly every day in good weather, for several hours at a time; or if he can, let him mount a horse in preference to every other mode of passive exercise. This is said by Galen to have been recommended to invalids by Æsculapius himself, and it was worthy of the God of medicine. Striking cures have been effected by this means alone in other diseases as well as in dyspepsia. Suetonius relates of Germanicus, that he was thus cured of a disorder which had made his legs waste away, (gracilitas crurum.) Fuller, in his Medidicina Gymnastica, relates the following extraordinary cure of consumption by horse exercise, prescribed by the son of Dr. Sydenham, who was also a physician.
“The cure I am going to mention, was of a gentleman who is related to the Doctor, and is now living in Dorsetshire, who was brought so low by a consumption, that there seemed to be no possibility of a recovery, either by medicine or exercise ; but it being too late for the first to do any good, all that was to be done, was to be expected from the latter, though the Doctor did not think that even riding would then do. However, the poor gentleman seeing there were no other hopes left, was resolved to attempt to ride into the country; but was so extremely far gone, that at his setting out of town, he was forced to be held up on his horse by two porters, and when he got to Brentford on Hounslow, the people of the inn into which he put, were unwilling to receive him, as thinking he would die there, and they should have the trouble of a funeral. Notwithstanding, he persisted in his riding by small journies