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JOHN G. COFFIN, M. D., EDITOR.
THE BEST PART OF THE MEDICAL ART, IS THE ART OF AVOIDING PAIN.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 23, 1827.
As a namber of persons have mis- treatment of various diseases, are taken the intention of this paper, it so well established in several counhas bees thought proper to say that tries of Europe, and so partially its chief object is to promote Health, and imperfectly uuderstood among by pointing out the more common us, that we have thought it might and prevalent causes of disease, and be acceptable both to the medithe means of avoiding or of counter- cal and general reader, to see Mr. acting them. Health may also be Green's account of its introduction promoted by invigorating and con- and effects in England.* firming the feeble and valetudinary,
Introductory Observations and thus rendering them superior to The valuable remedy, which the influence of atmospheric changes is the subject of the present and other sources of physical de publication, though it is spoken rangement, by which, though harm- of by several medical writers, less to the robust, the tender and susceptible are always in danger of Glauber and Boerhaave, was
by Hippocrates and Celsus, by falling into sickness. It is intended
first practised to any useful to be intelligible to all classes of
extent in France. So benefireaders, that it may be made conducive to the improvement and preser
cial, so astonishing, were its
effects in that country, that vation of all.
The Medical Intelligencer in its they awakened the attention, present size, with its present editor, procured the aid, and secured views and objects, takes its origin the protection, of its vigilant from the the No. published on the government; but this aid and 3d of October last. It is now adapt
* The Utility and Importance of i umied and intended for the public gene. gating Baths illustrated : or, a Series of rally, as well as for the medical pro- Progress, and final Establishment, by or
Facts and Remarks, showing the Origin, fession. The present yolume began der of the French Government, of the May 23, 1826.
Practice of Fumigations for the Cure of various Diseases of the Joints, Paralytic
Affections, Gout, Rheumatism, Bilious SULPHUR BATHING.
and Nervous Disorders, all Complaints of
long standing, and Diseases of the Skin. The safety and utility of the fumes Second Edition. By JONATHAN GREEN, of burning sulphur, as applied to Member of the Royal College of Surgeons,
London, and late Surgeon in his Majesthe surface of the body, in the ty’s Navy. London. 1826.
BOSTON MEDICAL INTELLIGENCER.
protection were not obtained the remedy here considered till it had passed through a has long been under the conslow and strict ordeal, which sideration of the faculty, it is was intended, according to the to Dr. Gales that the public results of the investigation, are indebted, as chiefly instrueither to overthrow its claims mental in bringing it into geneto praise and to adoption, or ral and useful application. His to establish its merits and uti- mode was, at first, attended lity on a solid foundation, and with many inconveniences,such on proofs and conclusions which as would arise from medicatwere decisive and unequivo- ed fumes, more or less power. cal. That the result was ex- ful, affecting the organs of res
. tremely favorable,—that the piration; but as these objectestimony which this ordeal tions, from the exercise of inafforded, was highly satisfac- genuity, and practice, were tory, the statements and ex- gradually overcome, the govtracts, introduced into the fol- ernment of France judged it lowing pages, will be sufficient right to grant him å pension to show.
In confirmation of of 6000 francs per annum, and them, the original documents, the exclusive privilege of havwhich have been published in ing several private bathhousės France, and have excited in the city of Paris. Dr. among its medical men a very Gales likewise possesses many strong sensation, may be
presents received pealed to and consulted. from the allied sovereigns, and
The remedy was first re- persons of the first distinction, sorted to in a very inconve- who witnessed the curative nient mode, for the cure of process of these baths at his that simple, though frequent, house. This remedy, howtroublesome, and contagious ever, notwithstanding its accomplaint, scabies, or itch, knowledged importance and which it invariably cures, with- growing celebrity, might, from out the aid of any other re- the inconveniences attendant medy, either external or inter- on the employment of it, have nal. Every improvement in fallen into disuse, had it not art or science must have its been for the interposition of origin, and frequently in cir- Dr. D’Arcet, a man of scicumstances that seem at first ence and ingenuity, who suctrifling,—thus the laws of gra- ceeded in inventing an appavity originated in the fall of ratus, by wbich all the former an apple, and Britannia's power obstacles were removed; and may be deduced from the cul- even the face, in his improved ture of the acorn.
Though apparatus, may be submitted
to the medicated fumes, the this class of diseases the attenpatient breathing at the time tion which their frequent octhrough a tube terminating in currence demand. When the the external air. The appa- obstinacy and contagiousness ratus, indeed, is now so com- of these diseases are considerplete as to leave nothing more ed, it will, perhaps, seem into be desired ; and it is ac- explicable.
Dr. Willan was knowledged, that, whilst Dr. the first who had the ability Gales has the merit of having and inclination to break brought this desideratum into through the apparent apathy, general practice, Dr. D'Arcet in his valuable and elaborate has the praise of having in- work on Cutaneous Diseases, vented the best mode for its which will be to him a lasting application. This remedy, monument of fame; and to this which was at first awkwardly succeeded the valuable Syapplied, and which was con- nopsis of the much revered fined to an inconsiderable com- Dr. Bateman. The latter plaint, is now, from a more was, indeed, anxiously alive to correct knowledge of its me- the importance of the introrits and effects, and from a duction into this country of perfect arrangement of parts, the remedy here spoken of. conveniently applied, and found Their very meritorious publito be, under judicious applica- cations, on this neglected subtion, a pleasant, a safe, and in ject, have been followed by a numerous instances a certain costly and very comprehenremedy for various diseases, sive work, written by Dr. Aliwhich no one could have anti- bert, physician to the present cipated at the time of its be- king of France, and to the ing first brought into notice. hospital of St. Louis.
Diseases of the skin are so Dr. Gales, upwards of twennumerous, and assume such ty years chief apothecary at varied appearances, as to pro- the hospital of St. Louis, in duce much perplexity with Paris, was the principal perrespect to their classification. son who promoted the estab
The physiology and pathology lishment of the mode here of diseases of the skin, when treated of for curing diseases compared with our knowledge of the skin. But its useful of other diseases, are allowed application did not here terby the best informed men in minate; for patients, who were the medical world to be in a suffering variously, from sciativery backward state.
For ca, palsy, rheumatism, glandureasons difficult to explain, me- lar obstructions, and from othdical men have not given to er diseases, at the same time
with complaints of the skin, ties in Paris, as well as in othfor which they took the fumi- er places. Of the latter there gations, were found to be not are eighteen or twenty of the only cured of the latter, but professors of the medical frequently of their former schools of Paris, and upwards complaints, which had before of forty physicians and surbeen considered hopeless. It geons of the first eminence, was this circumstance which and most of them public teachfirst arrested the attention of ers; of the former, as will, insome of the faculty of physic, deed, in some degree appear at Paris, and which afterwards in the present publication, maoccasioned the French gov- ny personally attended,-ernment to issue its directions. powerful an interest did the
Dr. de Carro, of Vienna, new remedy excite. was the next person who be This practice commonly came much interested in pro- renders a tedious course of inpagating this remedy. Hence ternal medicines unnecessary. it is as fully established in Thus, the coats of the stoGermany as it is in France, mach and bowels, which are Edinburgh has the honor of so important to the present having contributed to the edu- ease and the the future health cation of this indefatigable and of the patient, and which will learned physician, who intro- have so great an influence on duced so effectually the disco- his length of life and amount very of the late Dr. Jenner of enjoyment, will be preservinto Germany, where vaccina- ed from deterioration and intion is never spoken of in the jury; at the same time, that indeterminate manner with his expenses will be diminishwhich many speak of it in this ed, his convenience consulted, country.
and his avocations facilitated. That this publication may In some cases, and those by not be swelled to too large a no means of unfrequent ocsize, the writer will adduce currence, such as syphilitic only a few cases illustrative of cases, where a long continued the practice. These will, he use of medicine has proved trusts, be for the present suff- totally unavailable, a few of cient : otherwise he could quote these
these fumigating bathings cases almost without number, seem to call forth, in the conwhich have been already pub- stitution, new powers; and the lished, and which carry con- patient's immersion in a short viction with them, having been series of fumigating baths apwritten and approved by the pears, in many instances, an first civil and medical authoris excellent and 'efficacious sub
stitute, a substitute which hap efficacy. Thus, these fumipily can be rapidly resorted gating baths will prove to be, to without the delays, the in innumerable cases, a most risks, and the formidable ex- suitable accompaniment and a penses of a protracted jour- most powerful auxiliary to a ney,
for his introduction into a judicious course of medicine. warmer and more genial cli- Medicines, which before were mate. In Francc, in Germa- the source only of inconveny, and some adjoining coun. nience and expense, and which tries, these fumigating baths baffled the skill of the physihave been found to possess a cian, and disappointed the high and admirable degree of hopes of the patient, because efficacy; but in Great
Britain they were inert, and would and in Ireland, where the cli- not affect the system, after mate is more damp and often the preparatory or concomimore cold, where ihe pores of tant use of these bathings, ofthe skin
consequently ten operate with facility, and more frequently closed, and even when they are adminiswhere animal food is more ex- tered in doses, which are tensively used, their efficacy small, and, therefore, both safe will be found to be still more and convenient. decisive.
No medical truth has, inThe effect which these fu- deed, received more general migating baths will have in assent than the inefficacy of connexion with the subject medicines, taken inwardly, for and use of medicine, constitutes the cure of cutaneous comanother of the principal boasts, plaints.
External remedies and of the most gratifying re- stand much in the same precommendations, attendant on dicament; and it was not till their employment. In an in- the discovery of the applicafinite variety of cases, they tion of medical gases, that will be found to supersede the these diseases have been comnecessity, and to preclude the bated with success. expediency, of employing me This great desideratum bedicines; and, where the con- came of double value, on its temporaneous or subsequent being ascertained, with what use of medicine is proper, great efficacy it could be ap which will also happen in a plied to some of the most obvast variety of instances, of stinate and perplexing diseases which a skilful physician will to which the human body is be the best judge, they will liable. be found to facilitate their But the previous statements, operation, and to ensure their weighty as they are, will im