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lation of facts and observations an unnecessary degree. Pliny has been selected and arrang- inveighed with earnestness ed, with some degree of re- against the medical practition flection on the subject, and ers of the day, who could sufwith solicitude to render it fer so unjustifiable a practice better understood than it has for the selfish and despicable yet been by practitioners in gratification of the appetite, so this country. Many of these often exercised by those whose particular observations and moments were devoted to circumstances, valuable in gross sensuality and the luxuthemselves, have been made ries of the table; and Seneca, public, in works of a more en beholding this luxurious pracfarged character ; but so par- tice increase considerably durtially interspersed with other ing his time, is still more indigmatter, and so little in detail, nant against the abuses arising as to afford a very imperfect from too frequent an exposure and inadequate view of a prac- to heated air, which enervates tice which should be looked and exhausts the strength of on as of very general conside- the body. But the importance ration and utility, requiring a of baths was of such moment certain degree of systematic among these people, and wherarrangement with reference to ever their conquests extended, its physical and chemical pro- that for many centuries they perties.
were an object of the constant In order that these particu- care and attention of the govo lar properties and the nature ernment; yet, from their genof vapor may be more clearly eral and extensive use, abuses and distinctly understood, the were inevitable, so as to injure practical result of whatever the character of a practice at information I could derive from once salubrious and grateful, others, as well as from my own and often productive of health personal experience, has been and vigor. brought to bear on the sub It
may be truly remarked, ject, with as little obscurity as that where any remedy of was within my power,
such import is administered inAbuses of the most perni- discriminately and incautiously, cious kind arose from the too it becomes more than difficult frequent and constant use of to bring it under any degree heated ait amongst the Ro- of regularity ; but when this is mans, either to diminish the in part effected, a promise of inconvenience or distress of an further progress soon follows, overloaded stomach, or to pro- and we become more satisfied mote an appetite for food in at each step that leads us to
steady principles and just con- being naturally produced, clusions.
while in others, this must be Brighton, July, 1825. effected by artificial means.
The administration of Va.
por, in disease, may be traced
to the days of Hippocrates ; Introduction—Vapor Bath and was efficaciously used by less used formerly—not chemi- Celsus, Galen, and many of the cally or scientifically understood, Arabian Physicians ; but, to &c.To trace the causes that the inhabitants of the East, to have hitherto operated against the Egyptians, the Greeks, and the practice of bathing in gen- the Romans, its active applieral, under its different forms cation, both topically and genand modifications, and to ascer- erally, bas been extensively tain why the use of the VAPOR known ;-but more known Bath has not been more than understood, from the earknown among us, would be an liest records to the present inquiry attended with less uti
day. lity than difficulty.
In the burning regions of The prevailing use of baths, the East, and in the frozen as a means of relief in disease, and extended countries of Rusor as a salutary or luxurious sia, Finland, Sweden, &c., the custom, existed in former times practice has become as genemuch less among us as a peo- ral, as is the estimation in ple than at present ; and which it is universally held ; more particularly as to the probably arising from the exknowledge and application of istence of sensations and disthe steam or Vapor Bath, eases peculiar to regions rewhich, till of late years, was markable for the extremes of more known as a remedy than heat and cold; added to this, scientifically or chemically un- the constant habits of a peoderstood; but, as the proofs ple occupying these districts is of its efficacy, both here and such, that existence becomes on the Continent, are becom- painful without the comfort of ing more numerous, the natu- the bath under one form or ral result must be, that the another ; indeed, to such a depractice will extend in a ratio
gree, that a strict preclusion equal to its utility.
from its use is exercised and Among different nations, the considered as a punishment of medical application of Vapor considerable severity. Should varies according to habit and any instance of this nature occasual circumstances ;--in ma- cur, among the Egyptian wony places, the steam or vapor men, from an interdiction by
the husband or otherwise, it and sweating rooms are raised would be considered of so cru- as high as 115 degrees of el a nature, as to cause gene- Fahrenheit,, The bathers enral disapprobation; for they ter, and to open
the not only enjoy the greatest de- promote a more free respiralight from the salutary luxury tion, the surface of the body of the bath, but when they as- is gently struck with twigs, semble at the adjoining apart- formed sometimes from one ments, converse with the shrub, sometimes from anothgreatest animation on subjects er; this produces both a pleasof every agreeable description. ing and useful effect, and is
In the colder districts, apart- succeeded by feelings of gratements, heated to a very high ful relaxation and refreshment. temperature,are used as baths, In his travels in Russia, Cox and after the necessary time describes the Russian bath as of exposure, the bathers are “containing one room provided habituated to rush into cold with ranges of broad benches, and frosty air ; nay, numbers placed like steps one above from a high degree of heated the other, almost to the height medium, plunge into cold wa- of the ceiling. Within were ter contained in a pond conve- about twenty persons undressnient to the bath, or in winter ed; some were lying on benchroll themselves in snow, which, es, some were sitting, others from force of habit, is found standing ; some were washing productive of no bad conse- their bodies with
though the rubbing themselves with small change from heat to cold, and branches of oakleaves tied tofrom cold to heat, is often re- gether like a rod; some were iterated ; on the contrary, the pouring hot water on their removal of disease is frequent- heads, others cold water; a ly known to succeed ; and, it few, almost exhausted by the is worthy of remark, that this heat, were standing in the custom is found among most open air, or repeatedly plunguncultivated nations, from the ing into the Volkof." experience of its utility. In another account, he says,
In these countries, and in “ Having taken off Lapland, the same mode of I laid myself down on the bathing, as well as of produc- whighest bench, while the ating Vapor, maintains, as in Ja- tendant was preparing tubs of pan;—from heated Aints the hot and cold water, and conapartment is raised to a high tinued to increase the vapor temperature, and by this by pouring hot water on heatmeans, in Iceland, their dry ed stones. Having dipped a
bunch of twigs into the hot ritability of the stomach,* and that, water, he repeatedly sprinkled on many occasions, it will furnish a and rubbed with it my whole salutary beverage. The same ob
servation will apply to balm tea. , body. In about half an hour Tea. There is no subject which I removed to the lower bench, has occasioned a greater controversy which I found much cooler; amongst dietetic writers than the when the attendant lathered described as a poison ; by another it
subject of tea. By one party it is me from head to foot with is extolled as a medicine, and a valsoap, scrubbed me with flannel uable addition to our food; while of ten minutes, to the water thus introduced into the
some refer all its beneficial effects for the space of ten minutes, and throwing several buckets system, and its evil consequences to of warm water over me, till the high temperature at which it is the soap was entirely washed drank. In order to understand the off, he finally dried' me with value of the different arguments
which have been adduced in support, napkins.
or to the disparagement, of this bev“ As I put on my clothes in erage, it will be necessary to inquire a room without a fire, I had into its compusition. Two kinds of an opportunity of remarking distinguished by the epithets black
tea are imported into this country, that the cold air had little ef- and green. Both contain astringent fect on my body, though in so and narcotic principles, but in very heated a state'; for, while I different proportions; the latter prowas dressing, I felt a glow of ducing by far the most powerful inwarmth which continued dur- the primary operation of every nar
fluence on the nervous system, As ing the whole night. This cir- cotic is stimulant, tea is found to excumstance convinced me, that hilarate and refresh us, though there when the natives rush from exist individuals who are so morbidly
sensible to the action of certain bodthe Vapor Baths into the riv- ies of this class, that feelings of deer, or even roll in the snow, pression, accompanied with various their sensations are in no re- nervous sensations, and an unnatural spect disagreeable, nor the ef- vigilance, follow the potation of a fect in any degree unwhole- single cup of strong tea; while oth
ers experience, from the same cause, some."
symptoms indicative of derangement of the digestive organs : but these
are exceptions from which no geneOF DRINKS.
ral rule ougbt to be deduced. The Continued from page 215.
salubrity of the infusion to the geneSage Tea. The virtues of sageral mass of the community is estabhave been so extravagantly praised lished by sufficient testimony to outthat, like many of our remedies* the weigh any argument founded on inplant has fallen into disuse from the dividual cases. It must, however, disgust which its panegyrists have be admitted, that if this beverage be excited. I am convinced, however, taken too soon after dinner, the dithat in the form of infusion it pos- gestion of the meal may be disturb. sesses some power in allaying the ir.
* It is frequently used by the Chinese * Pharmacologia, vol. 1, p. 35. as a tonic for debility of the stomach,
ed by the distension it will occasion, after dinner, as so universally pracas well as by its influence as a dilu- tised by the French, no doubt must ent; the narcotic and astringent prin- counteract the evil effects which the ciples may also operate in arresting peculiar form of their diet is calcuchymitication ; but when a physician lated to produce. Coffee, like tea, gives it his sanction, it is with the uó- has certainly an antisoporific effect derstanding that it shall be taken in on many individuals ; it imparts an moderate quantities, and at appoint. activity to the mind which is incomed seasons. When drank four hours patible with sleep: but this will after the principal meal, it will as. rarely occur if the beverage be tasist the ulterior stages of digestion, ken for several hours before our acand promote the insensible perspira- customed period of repose. It seems tion; while it will afford to the sto- to be generally admitted, that it posmach a grateful stimulus after its la- sesses the power of counterating the bors. With regard to the objection effects of narcotics; and hence it is urged against its use, on the ground used by the Turks with much adof temperature, it will be only ne- vantage, in abating the influence of cessary to refer to the observations the inordinate quantities of opium which have been already offered on they are accustoined to swallow. this subject. lo enumerating, how- Where our object is to administer ever, the advantages of tea, it must it as a promoter of digestion, it not be forgotten that it has introduc- should be carefully made by iofusion; ed and cherished a spirit of sobriety; decoction dissipates its aroma. The and it must bave been remarked by addition of milk is one of questionable every physician of general practice, propriety; that of sugar, or rather that those persons who dislike tea, sugarcandy, may be allowed.* I frequently supply its place by spirit have known some persons who have and water. The addition of milk never taken this beverage without certainly diminishes the astringency suffering from acidity in the stomach: of tea; that of sugar may please the where this happens, the practice palate, but cannot modify the virtues must be abandoned. of the infusion.
CHOCOLATE. lo consequence of the Coffee. The hostility which has large quantity of nutritive matter been manifested, against the use of which this liquid contains, it should tea, has been extended, with equal be regarded rather as food than rancor, against that of coffee ; and, drink. It is prepared by reducing probably, with equal injustice. The the cocoa nut into paste, with sugar, principle on which its qualities de- milk, or eggs: it is also frequently peod is more stimulant than that of mixed with different aromatics, the tea, and certainly exerts a different
Coffee has been often imitated by the species of action on the nervous sys- torrefaction of various grains. In the tem, though it is very difficult to de
“ Fourth Century of Observacions” in the fine the nature of this difference. If “ Miscellanea Curiosa” we find a critical taken immediately after a meal, it is dissertation on the coffee of the Arabians, not found to create that disturbance and on European coffee, or such as may in its digestion whicb has been votic- be prepared from grain or pulse. Dillenied as the occasional coosequence of tions made with peas, beans, and kidney
us gives an account of his own preparatea; on the cootrary, it accelerates beans ; but says, that made of rye comes the operations of the stomach, and nearest to true coffee, and was with diffiwill frequently enable the dyspeptic culty distinguished from it. This fact is to digest substances, such as fat and curious, inasmuch as a spurious coffee has oily aliment, which would otherwise been lately vended, which is nothing
more than roasted rye. The article is occasion much disturbance. The well known, under the name of “ Hunt's custom of taking coffee immediately EconomiCAL BREAKPAST POWDER.”