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brought to my recollection an experiment I had somewhere met with, "of a piece of putrid meat being made sweet by being suspended over a tūb of wort in the act of fermenta tion. The idea flashed into my mind, that the yeast might correct the putrid nature of this disease; and I instantly gave him two large spoonfuls. I then told the mother, if she found her son better, to repeat this dose every three hours. I then set out for my journey. Upon my return, after a few days, I anxiously inquired after the boy, and was informed he was recovered. I could not repress my curiosity, though I was greatly fatigued with my journey, and night was come on. I went directly to where he lived, which was three miles off, in a wild part of the moors. The boy himself opened the door, looked surprisingly well, and told me he felt better from the instant he took the yeast.”
CI. Easy and effectual Cure for Wens.
Chisholme, Roxburgshire, Nov. 20, 1799.
MR. URBAN, HAVING had a wen of the strumous kind, of large size and long standing, upon the side of my face, immediately below my right ear, I was informed by different people that, if I would apply salt and water to it, I should get rid of it. In August 1798, I put a quantity of salt and water into a saucepan, and boiled it for 4 minutes; with which I bathed the whole surface frequently while it continued warm, as also after it became cold, so often as 10 or 12 times daily; always stirring up the salt deposited at the bottom of the bason, and incorporating it again with the water, before I applied it. On the 11th day from the first application, while shaving, 1 observed a small discharge; which being assisted by a gentle pressure, the whole contents were soon emptied, without the smallest pain and without blood.
Being informed of some others who had been benefited in like manner from the same application, and knowing myself of some late instances under my own iinmediate direction, I
feel it a duty thus to make it public; being convinced it can produce no bad effect, and every person having it in his power to make the trial. At the same time, I beg leave to caution that no one should be disheartened from the length of time it may be necessary to continue the application; as, in some cases, it has required three or four months, though in the last only thirty days; but in all, without pain or inconvenience of any kind, or any previous notice of the discharge, till it actually took place.
CII. On the Asthma.
Chudleigh, Feb. 22. For the satisfaction of A constant Reader, who requests to know if there be any simple but effectual cure for an asthma, I take the liberty to trouble you with the following remarkable instances of the good effects of honey in asthmatic cases, as related by Dr. Monro; and sincerely wish that a fair trial of it may be attended with a farther confirmation of its utility in relieving that dreadful malady.
“The late Dr. John Hume, one of the commissioners of the sick and hurt of the royal navy, was for many years violently afflicted with the asthma. Having taken many medicines without receiving relief, he at last resolved to try the effects of honey, having long had a great opinion of its virtues as a pectoral. For two or three years he ate some ounces of it daily, and got entirely free of his asthma, and likewise of a gravelly complaint, with which he had long been afflicted. Åbout two or three years after he had recovered his health, when he was sitting one day in the office for sick and hurt, a person labouring under a great difficulty of breathing, who looked as if he could not live many days, came to him, and asked him by what means he had been cured of his asthma. Dr. Hume told him the particulars of his own case, and mentioned to him the means by which he had found relief. For two years afterwards he heard nothing of this person, who was a stranger to him, and had seemed so bad that be did not imagine that he could have lived many days, and
therefore had not even asked him who he was; but at the end of that period, a man, seemingly in good health, and decently dressed, came to the sick and hurt office, and returned him thanks for his cure, which he assured hiin had been entirely brought about by the free use of honey."
I beg leave just to observe, that as there are several species of asthma, arising from different causes, and in some degree differing in their effects, though generally distinguished by the appellations of the humid or moist, and dry or spasmodic, it can scarcely be expected that the same medicine should be efficacious for all or both of them; however, the honey, which seems peculiarly adapted to the dry asthma, can produce no ill effect on the moist, and is known to be in many other respects very salutary. The herb hore. hound has likewise been experimentally found efficacious in asthmatic complaints; a strong decoction of it habitually drunk in a morning, fasting, and two or three times or oftener in the day, of the quantity of a large tea-cup, or half a pint, has been known to be successful in relieving the dry asthma, so far as to render its paroxysms very tolerable, and without much inconvenience; and, for the humid, I believe, it seldom fails if persevered in, as may be judged from its salutary efficacy in defluxions, and curing the worst of colds. From the experience I have had of it on myself, in my own family, and others, I am sure that I am justified in thus recommending it, as well as Culpepper, from whom I originally had it, and whom others will do well to consult.
H. MUGG. MR. URBAN, A CONSTANT Reader inquires, whether there be any cure for the asthma. Being myself affected with asthmatic complaints, I am equally with bin desirous of information on the subject; but apprehend that a rational mode of treatment must be adapted to the particular circumstances of the case, the detail of which would scarcely be admissible into your publication. You will give me leave, however, to acquaint him, that I had laboured under a troublesome cough for some time, which, during the three winter months, bore the character of a common catarrhal cough. At length it abated considerably in the day time, but returned with sudden violence at going to bed, and at, or soon after, getting up in the morning, beginning and accompanied with a sense
of stricture about the sternum, with short difficult respiration. In this state it was nearly allied to asthma; or, rather, it might be considered as a variety of that disease. Opium and æther afforded me relief; but I was unwilling to persevere in the use of such mixture, because of the effects of opium on the system; therefore, at the suggestion of an acquaintance, I was induced to make trial of mustard seed, and think I have derived great benefit from it. I take about a tea-spoonful of white mustard seed bruised, and made into a bolus with a very little honey, two or three hours before going to bed, and as much more when I awake at 6 or 7 in the morning. The consequence has been, that I have little or no cough or sense of stricture at night, only a slight easy expectoration in the morning, and am freer from all uneasy sensation about the thorax in the course of the day.
Let me add that the greater number of cases of inveterate asthma are too obstinate to yield thus readily, and some are deemed incurable. It is my sincere wish that your Constant Reader's may not be of this latter class; and that he or some other fellow-sufferer may find relief from the use of so innocent a remedy as that proposed by,
Yours, &c. 1800, April.
W. MR. URBAN, In some of your last numbers, I have noticed several pre. scriptions for the relief or cure of asthmatic complaints ; and I have no doubt but that most, or all of them, have been, and may be, of service in particular cases. Of a perfect cure of an asthma, I never heard ; though I am sensible that, by proper management, the complaint may be removed for considerable intervals of time. Being one of the unfortunate brotherhood, though no member of the faculty, I am anxious to contribute my mite to the relief of some of my fellow-sufferers; and I think I could not well pitch upon an easier mode of communication, than by requesting you to allot a corner of your valuable Repertory to a few lines of mine upon the subject.
My complaint is what is called a dry asthma. I have had it from a child; at intervals perfectly free; the fits returning sometimes when least expected, and not easily got the better of when you suffer them to take possession for any length of time. They come on generally at night, after having been in bed a little while; are longer or shorter
according to circumstances, and according to the resistance the patient makes. For, independent of every other remedy, I must advise to leave the field of battle to the enemy on its first appearance; I mean, to get out of bed immediately, and sit down in an easy chair in an erect posture.
I remember, amongst many other intervals of different duration, two intervals in my life of about eighteen months each, during which I never remained for more than one hour in bed in the night, on account of this troublesome disorder, sitting up the remainder of the night under the most painful anxiety, which nothing at that time could remove, but which was to be endured with a perfect resignation. Several remedies were tried to no purpose; and the only relief I could procure myself was, every now and then, by abstaining for a week or a fortnight from going to bed at ali.
I need not tell those, who are experimentally acquainted with the nature of this disorder, to what a situation the body was reduced under such a long and unceasing affliction; but I must hasten to tell them how I got the better of the enemy, so as, if not to destroy him, at least to blunt his power; for, thank God! I have been now a great many years, by an incontrovertible experience, perfectly the master to prevent a fit of asthma, whenever, by some cause or other, an asthmatical disposition has got into the habit of the body, and which is, of consequence, itself very soon removed. The thing is not new, and, perhaps, I have myself contributed a good deal to its being better known, though its efficacy has not always been admitted. It is nothing more or less than a strong infusion of coffee.
I was led to try it in the last of those long asthmatical affections mentioned above; however, without much faith in the remedy, considering it merely as one of those nostrums which one meets with so frequently in society for every disorder, But, to my utmost astonishment, one night, after having for the first time taken a strong infusion going to rest, I slept that night as soundly as ever I did in my life, without the least touch of asthma whatever. The experiment was too beneficial to me not to try it again and again; and it has been constantly attended with the same success. 1 at that time got, after a few doses, entirely the better of that long asthmațical affection ; and, at every recurrence of the disorder I have recourse to the
panacea, which proves to be one to me.
My way of taking it, is one or two dishes, as hot as I can YOL. III.