Front Page Titles (by Subject) THE RATIONALE OF FOOD IN ACUTE DISEASES. - The Writings of Hippocrates and Galen
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THE RATIONALE OF FOOD IN ACUTE DISEASES. - Hippocrates, The Writings of Hippocrates and Galen 
The Writings of Hippocrates and Galen. Epitomised from the Original Latin translations, by John Redman Coxe (Philadelphia: Lindsay and Blakiston, 1846).
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THE RATIONALE OF FOOD IN ACUTE DISEASES.
Although Fœsius constitutes but a single book alone of this treatise, Haller (why, is not adequately explained) has divided it into four,—the heads of which are here successively given, together with the preface and argument of each.
Preface. The first three parts of this work seem to be genuine; the fourth, although very ancient, even anterior to Erasistratus, appears to Galen to be spurious. In the first book, Hippocrates writes upon his Ptisan, in opposition to the Gnidians, who had entirely neglected the rules of diet. He next attacks the physicians of his own period, who, in the commencement of an acute disease, exhausted the patient by starvation, but allowed food at a period more advanced. In opposition to which, he contends, that in the beginning of acute diseases, the diet should be of the lightest kind, such as mulsa,a or barley water; and that the physician might gradually advance to more substantial food, as ptisan, &c.b
Chap. I. The ancients wrote nothing worthy of record on the subject of diet, so far as we can judge from the Gnidian sentences. The physician is best appreciated in acute diseases. Great discrepancy of opinion among them in these.
Chap. II. The ptisan is preferable in acute diseases. It should be prepared from the best barley, and thoroughly boiled. It should be very slippery (lubricissima)—and is an excellent corrector of thirst. It is sometimes useful, at times injurious. What the ancients meant by siderati. Of the proper or improper time of giving slops, or broths (sorbitiones).
Preface. In this book is contained Hippocrates’ treatment of pleurisy, by venesection, fomentations, mulsa, oxymel;—in lowseated pain of the side, he prescribes venesection.
Subject.—In case of pleurisy, the treatment is stated, as consisting of fomentations, venesection, glysters, purging, and other evacuations. It then treats of barley water, ptisan, maza, and bread; of water, wine, aqua mulsa—vinegar and mulsa; finally, an ample detail is afforded of the varied and frequent changes of appropriate measures in five chapters.
Chap. I. Of attempts to be made for removing the pain of pleurisy, by means of warm fomentations, or venesection, or loosening the bowels by black hellebore, peplium,a or such like articles, and of the proper occasion of using them.
Chap. II. Accustomed food and drinks to be preferred; a sudden change of diet is injurious in health, but not in disease.
Chap. III. Hints as to the safe prescribing of diet to the sick. In the commencement of disease, the patient should be fed with slops and barley water; and during its violence the lightest possible diet must be employed.
Chap. IV. Symptoms of depraved diet, and indicating a fatal issue, &c. Of rest and exercise under like circumstances, &c. Of what concerns the bowels.
Chap. V. A change from spare to copious diet, or from continual rest to excessive labour, is very injurious: it is useful to be aware of this. Of the use of barley water; and of the symptoms of watchfulness and of somnolency.
Preface. Here Hippocrates states the efficacy of drinks in acute diseases. Of water alone he speaks unfavourably; of mulsa; of oxymel; of wine, in the use of which he is liberal. Of baths, in what cases most useful.
Chap. I. Of wines, and their effects.
Chap. II. Of aqua mulsa (hydromel), when useful or the reverse.
Chap. III. Of oxymel (acetum mulsum), when useful or otherwise.
Chap. IV. Water alone of little benefit in acute diseases, and why so?
Chap. V. Bathing, not proper for all persons, nor at all times.
Preface. To me, says Haller, this book appears undoubtedly spurious, both from its numerous prescriptions, and various remedies not mentioned in the legitimate writings of Hippocrates. Comments are interspersed on subjects totally different from his. Pretty good histories are given of various diseases, as pleurisy, angina, cholera, dropsy, for which last are recommended cantharides and other acrids. Then follow dietetic precepts respecting flesh and vegetables, aphorisms on condiments, and conclusions of too general a character, deduced from individual events: vomits are ordered dietetically three or four times a month, as in the books on diet. Some chirurgical observations also are given.
Subjects treated of.—Treats of many acute and other diseases. Of causos, angina, aphonia, inflamed præcordia, catarrh, ulcerated trachea, [arteriæ ulceratione,] heat of the lungs, different fevers, pleurisy, peripneumony, dysentery, jaundice, tetanus, dropsy, hemorrhoids; abscesses; their symptoms; pains of the side, eyes, loins, and other parts; of all which the diagnostics, prognostics, and therapeutics are given.
Gardeil has but few remarks on this treatise; he includes the four books, as given by Haller, in one, as Fœsius does. He merely remarks that this is the fifth treatise in the fourth section of Fœsius, and that we find in it the same attention in observation, and the same excellence of judgment, which have rendered Hippocrates so admirable in all that has reached us of his writings in more than 2000 years.
The headings to 64 paragraphs are to the following effect:
Sec. I. The insufficiency of the doctrines contained in the Gnidian Sentences.
Sec. II. Justice rendered to physicians as to certain remedies in sundry diseases; observations as to their bad classification.
Sec. III. Of the objects of medicine, and difference in their use from the judgment of practitioners.
Sec. IV. Regimen, its previous and complete neglect. The appropriate use of the ptisan as nourishment is of the greatest importance.
Sec. V., VI. Chief regulations for the administration of ptisan.
Sec. VII. The ptisan, how to be made, and its effects according as it is employed. The inconvenience of insufficient nourishment, or of one too strong, after great abstinence.
Sec. VIII. General rule respecting the administration of the ptisan, and as regards regimen.
Sec. IX. Rule as to the proper time of giving food.
Sec. X. Utility of different fomentations; of blood-letting and purging in a stitch of the side, as it may differ in situation; and of the subsequent administration of the purée.*
Sec. XI. The question examined, if it is best to keep the patient at the beginning on a strict abstinence, or to use the ptisan.
Sec. XII. Bad effects of eating more than usual; how to remedy this. The reverse of this considered, and its remedy. Great changes hurtful.
Sec. XIII. XIV. Some general remarks on regimen, on different kinds of bread, &c., and on the different species of wine. Exceptions.
Sec. XV. General rule—It is better to err at the commencement, by defect rather than by excess. Faults from excess are more readily repaired than those from defect. Cases stated, in which an almost absolute abstinence may be pursued.
Sec. XV. (bis.) Diversity of cases from which death may ensue.
Sec. XVI. All sudden changes are injurious.
Sec. XVII. Application of what has preceded, to nutrition.
Sec. XVIII. Brief conclusion concerning the changes of nourishment in acute diseases.
Sec. XIX. to XXIII. Examination as to drinks. Different kinds of wine.
Sec. XXIII. Of hydromel. It is more nourishing and more strengthening than the small white wines, and should be given before, and not after the purée.
Sec. XXIV. Of oxymel—its variety, crude and prepared. It is an excellent drink in acute diseases, as well as hydromel, but is more purgative.
Sec. XXVI. Of water. The author no friend to it in acute diseases.
Sec. XXVII. Of medicinal ptisans.
Sec. XXVIII. Of baths; remarks on their employment; hurtful or beneficial according as they are employed. In whom useful, &c. In whom hurtful.
Sec. XXIX. Of different species of diseases. Ardent fever and its cure, &c. Rules for bleeding in acute diseases.
Sec. XXX. Of orthopnœa, (probably what we call dry asthma.) The inconveniences of purgatives given at its commencement, and generally in the beginning of every inflammatory state. Important rule in their administration.
Sec. XXXI. This paragraph seems to relate to apoplexy, and its treatment.
Sec. XXXII. Of quinsy—its course, symptoms, and cure. [Qu. croup?]
Sec. XXXIII. Fevers from intestinal plenitude, called improperly in our days, putrid.
Sec. XXXIV. Ardent fever with inanition; not to purge before the fourth day; its treatment. Coldness of the extremities in the increase explained.
Sec. XXXV. Of diarrhœa and some other dangerous symptoms in ardent fevers.
Sec. XXXVI. Of fevers in general, &c.
Sec. XXXVII. Of the fever called asodes.
Sec. XXXIX. Of fever with hiccup. Probably a symptom only, not a particular species.
Sec. XL. Of pleurisy and peripneumony, and their modes of cure.
Sec. XLI. Of dysentery.
Sec. XLII. Of bilious fever and bilious colic. General rule as to the termination of diseases.
Sec. XLIII. Rules for administering hellebore.
Sec. XLIV. Distinction between symptoms arising from fatigue and other causes.
Sec. XLV. Inconvenience of aqueous drinks; and those too strong.
Sec. XLVI. Conduct necessary when one repast only is made, if accustomed to two.
Sec. XLVII., &c. Effects of garlic, of cheese, of legumes, of beef, goats’ flesh, pork.
Sec. LII. How to treat cases of fulness of the bowels, but not of the stomach.
Sec. LIII. Two kinds of dropsy, aqueous and flatulent.
Sec. LIV. Of discharges from the bowels, with great heat and irritation.
Sec. LV. General remarks for all diseases.
Sec. LVI. to end. Some recipes and treatment of sundry diseases.
About fifteen or twenty lines in Fœsius and Haller are here omitted, as consisting of a number of recipes, and which Gardeil could not make out.
[a ]Hydromel—sive potus ex aqua et melle fermentando paratus.—Blanchard Med. Lex.
[b ]A decoction of pearl barley, with mashed raisins, liquorice, &c.
[a ]A species of spurge.
[* ]Porridge, Fr. Dict.