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the following extracts from the pen of the justly celebrated allo patbic physician, Sir Henry Holland, will not, we hope, be considered out of place. In his work styled “Medical Notes and Reflections,” treating of “Diluents,” he thus writes :
“ Though there may seem little reason for considering these as a separate class of remedies, yet I doubt whether the principles of treatment implied in the name is sufficiently regarded in modern practice. On the Continent, indeed, the use of diluents is much more extensive than in England; and, under the form of mineral waters especially, makes up in some countries a considerable part of general practice. But putting aside all question as to mineral ingredients in water, the consideration more expressly occurs, to what extent and with what effects this great diluent, the only one which really concerns the animal economy, may be introduced into the system as a remedy? Looking at the definite proportion which in healthy state exists in all parts of the body between the aqueous, saline, and animal ingredients—at the various organs destined direct. ly or indirectly, to regulate the proportion—and at the morbid results occurring whenever it is materially altered-we must admit the question as one very important in the animal economy, and having various relation to the causes and treatment of disease. Keeping in mind then this reference to the use of water as an internal remedy, diluents may be viewed under three conditions of probable usefulness ;- first, the mere mechanical effect of quantity of liquid in diluting and washing away matters, excrementitious or noxious, from the alimentary canal ;-Secondly, their influence in modifying certain morbid conditions of the blood;—and thirdly, their effect upon various functions of secretion and excretion, and especially upon those of the kidneys and skin
The first is an obvious benefit in many cases, and not to be disdained from any notion of its vulgar simplicity. It is certain, there are many states of the alimentary canal, in which the free use of water at stated times produces good, which cannot be attained by other or stronger remedies. I have often known the action of the bowels to be main. tained with regularity for a long period, simply by a tumbler of water, warm or cold, on an empty stomach, in cases where medicine had almost lost its effect, or become a source only of distressing irritation. The advantage of such treatment is still more strongly attested, where the secretions taking place into the intestines, or the products formed there during digestion, become vitiated in kind. Here dilution lessens that irritation to the membranes, which we cannot so readily obviate by other means, and aids in removing the cause from the body with less distress than any other remedy. In some cases where often and largely used, its effect goes farther in actually altering the state of the secreting surfaces by direct application to them. I mention these circumstances upon experience, having often obtained much good from resorting to them in practice, when stronger medicines and ordinary methods had proved of little avail. Dilution thus used, for example, so as to act on the contents of the bowels, is beneficial in many dyspeptic cases,
where it is especially an object to avoid needless irritation to the system. Half-a-pint or more of water taken when fasting at the temperature most agreeable to the patient, will often be found to give singular relief to his morbid sensations
• In reference to the foregoing uses of diluents, it is to be kept in mind, that the lining of the alimentary canal is, to all intents, a surface, as well as the skin, pretty nearly equal in extent ; exercising some similar functions, with others more appropriate to itself, and capable in many respects of being acted upon in a similar manner. As respects the subject before us, it is both expedient and correct in many cases to regard diluents as acting on this internal surface analogously to liquids on the skin. And I would apply this remark not only to the mechanical effects of the remedy, but also to their use as the medium for conveying cold to internal parts ;-a point of practice which either the simplicity of the means, or the false alarms besetting it, have hitherto prevented from being duly regarded."
Again he writes :
- Without reference, however, to these extreme cases, it must be repeated, that the use of water, simply as a diluent, scarcely receives attention and discrimination enough in our English practice."
Aud again :-
“ As I have been treating of this remedy only in its simplest form, I do not advert to the use of the different mineral waters farther than to state, that they confirm these general views, separating as far as can be done, their effect as diluents from that of the ingredients they contain. The copious employment of some of them in continental practice gives room for observation, which is wanting under our more limited use. I have often seen five or six pints taken daily for some weeks together, (a great part of it in the morning while fasting,) with singular benefit in many cases to the general health and most obviously to the state of the secretions. These courses, however, were always conjoined with ample exercise and regular habits of life ; doubtless influencing much the action of the waters, and aiding their salutary effect."
With this quotation we take leave of Sir Henry Holland, merely observing, that no hydropathist could say more on the subject than he has done, and that the continental practice referred to, of drinking large quantities of water conjoined with ample exercise and regular habits of life, is precisely that practice which hydropathy enjoins.
It may not be uninteresting to observe, that under Hydropathic treatment, chronic disease frequently becomes acute, for as the body improves in strength the more acutely will any existing disease develope itself, and for the following reason : pain is caused by an effort of nature to relieve the system of some morbid influence residing in it, and the stronger the constitution, the
greater efforts will it make to remove that morbid influence, and therefore the greater will be the pain ; but on the other hand, when the body is enfeebled, its efforts to relieve itself, though continual, are weak and inefficient, and the disease remaining in the system, assumes the chronic and less painful form. Now with these facts before them, we have been amused at hearing physicians observe, in their efforts to decry the “ Water System,” “Oh it is good for the general health, but nothing more.” When speaking thus they do not however reflect, that they are affording the strongest possible testimony in support of the system which they seek to decry, inasmuch as every physiologist, from Cape Clear to the Giant's Causeway, admits the principle, that the cure of disease is to be sought for in the powers of the living organism alone, and it must be evident that the more you strengthen that organism, the more you increase its powers to cure itself, and diminish its liability to future disease.
Having trespassed thus far on the attention of our readers, we would conclude by inviting them and the medical profession generally, to a calm and dispassionate investigation, as far as their opportunities allow, of the relative merits of the allopathic and hydropathic modes of treating disease, approaching the investigation with a mind devoid of prejudice and bigotry. Their duty to themselves and to society demands this enquiry from thein-two antagonistic systems (we use the term advisedly) are presented for their acceptance, which will they lay hold of ? To assist them in determining this point we would recommend for their quiet perusal, either or all of the works alluded to in this article, the study of which will be found interesting and profitable. If they conclude that drugs are wholesome let them by all means be swallowed, but if they are proved to be injurious, deleterious and unnecessary, then away with them; if opiates are innocuous let them be retained, but if they congest the liver, sicken the stomach, and paralyse the actions of the vital organs, the sooner they are erased for ever from the Hygienic Pharmacopeia the better—let them gracefully retire in favor of the improved system of hot stupes, fomentations, and the abdominal compress.
We would ask the medical profession of Ireland to reflect on the fact, that Dr. Barter's establishment at Blarney contains at this moment upwards of 120 patients, with inany more frequently seeking for admission within its walls, most of whom leave the estab
lishment ardent converts to Hydropathy; determined for the rest of their lives to “throw physic to the dogs," fleeing from it as from some poisonous thing. It will not do for them to pooh pooh the system, and tell their patients, as many of them do, that it will kill them; such language ovly betrays ignorance on their part, and will not put down a system which daily gives the lie to their predictions by affording ocular demonstration of its efficacy, in the restored health and blooming cheek of many an emaciated friend. Men are too sensible now-a-days to pin their faith on the dictum of a medical man, who runs down a system without fairly investigating it, and examining the principles on which it acts, to say nothing of the prejudice he must feel in favor of his own particular system; but if a mode of treatment be rational, producing cures when every other system of treatment has failed, and recommend itself to the common sense and reason of mankind, we believe such a principle will make its way despite of all the opposition it may encounter, and this very progress the water cure is at present making.
T'he very simplicity of the processes of the water cure, which people cannot believe capable of producing the effects ascribed to them, has chiefly militated against its more universal reception, by the lay public, together with the belief (ingrained by long habit,) in the absolute necessity for drugs, in curing disease ; but this belief, if not rationally founded, will soon give way: were the condition, however, of affairs reversed, and Hydropathy become as old a system as the Allopathic, this belief, in the efficacy of an old school, might be securely entertained; for no one would think for a moment of exchanging a system, fixed, intelligible and certain in its action, as based on scientific principles, and consonant with the laws of physiology, for the uncertain, groping, empirical, and injurious practice of drug medication.
Διογενης. . ART. VI.-" WIGS ON THE GREEN."
TRINITY COLLEGE, DUBLIN.
If it be true that there is but one step from the sublime to the ridiculous, there may yet be hope for the Board of Trinity College. Their next step may possibly raise them to the sublime, for their last has made them supremely ridiculous. Having been exposed to the fire of formidable batteries on all sides from north and south, English and Irish, daily, weekly, and monthly, they in solemn conclave resolve to open fire in return and thereupon they plant with mighty preparation, a pop-gun. But we fear, though
- l'acilis descensus Averni,
Sed revocare gradum,
Hic labor, hoc opus est—" A brief narrative of events will introduce our remarks. Since Dr. Shaw's questions on the hustings in April last, drew public attention to the affairs of the college, the newspapers of Dublin, Belfast, Cork, Liverpool, and other places, have kept up and increased that attention by a continuous series of articles. The public and the board were equally amazed, the former at the state of things now discovered for the first time, the latter at the revolutionary audacity which was not overawed by the venerable aspect of the sacrosanct seven. In their dimsay they cast about what to do. Oh, that they could trace some of those sharp miss. ives and a collegiate hand! the arrow marked specially'' for Alexander's eye,” should be returned with envenomed barb. At last they hit upon a grand move which should, as they hoped, crush the rebellion in the bud. They remembered that two of the Fellows had actually written and sigued two letters in the newspapers. To be sure the letters were of the most innocent kind, but that would only render the example more telling. These gentlemen, therefore, were summoned before the board and censured. They were informed that the statutes forbid any one member of the college from prosecuting another in an external court, on pain of expulsion. It was inconsistent with the spirit of this statute, they were told, to write on College affairs in the public papers. This smells of casuistry. It was