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CHAPTER X. CURE OF THE HYSTERICAL CONVULSION.

THE uterus in women has membranes extended on both sides at the flanks, and also is subject to the affections of an animal in smelling; for it follows after fragrant things as if for pleasure, and flees from fetid and disagreeable things as if for dislike. If, therefore, anything annoy it from above, it protrudes even beyond the genital organs. But if any of these things be applied to the os, it retreats backwards and upwards. Sometimes it will go to this side or to that,--to the spleen and liver, while the membranes yield to the distension and contraction like the sails of a ship.

It suffers in this way also from inflammation; and it protrudes more than usual in this affection and in the swelling of its neck; for inflammation of the fundus inclines upwards; but if downwards to the feet, it protrudes externally, a troublesome, painful and unseemly complaint, rendering it difficult to walk, to lie on the side or on the back, unless the woman suffer from inflammation of the feet. But if it mount upwards, it very speedily suffocates the woman, and stops the respiration as if with a cord, before she feels pain, or can scream aloud, or can call upon the spectators, for in many cases the respiration is first stopped, and in others the speech. It is proper, then, in these cases, to call the physician quickly before the patient die. Should you fortunately arrive in time and ascertain that it is inflammation, you must open a vein, especially the one at the ankle, and pursue the other means which prove remedial in suffocation without inflammation: ligatures of the hands and feet so tight as to induce torpor; smelling to fetid substances--liquid pitch, hairs and wool burnt, the extinguished flame of a lamp, and castor,

since, in addition to its bad smell, it warms the congealed nerves. Old urine greatly rouses the sense of one in a death-like state, and drives the uterus downwards. Wherefore we must apply fragrant things on pessaries to the region of the uterus--any ointment of a mild nature, and not pungent to the touch, nard, or Ægyptian bacchar, or the medicine from the leaves of the malabathrum, the Indian tree,1 or cinnamon pounded with any of the fragrant oils. These articles are to be rubbed into the female parts. And also an injection of these things is to be thrown into the uterus. The anus is to be rubbed with applications which dispel flatus; and injections of things not acrid, but softening, viscid, and lubricant, are to be given for the expulsion of the fæces solely, so that the region of the uterus may be emptied,--with the juice of marsh-mallow, or of fenugreek, but let melilot or marjoram be boiled along with the oil. But, if the uterus stands in need of support rather than evacuation, the abdomen is to be compressed by the hands of a strong woman, or of an expert man, binding it round also with a roller, when you have replaced the part, so that it may not ascend upwards again. Having produced sneezing, you must compress the nostrils; for by the sneezing and straining, in certain cases, the uterus has returned to its place. We are to blow into the nostrils also some of the root of soapwort,2 or of pepper, or of castor. We are also to apply the instrument for dry-cupping to the thighs, loins, the ischiatic regions, and groins, in order to attract the uterus. And, moreover, we are to apply it to the spine, and between the scapulæ, in order to relieve the sense of suffocation. But if the feeling of suffocation be connected with inflammation, we may also scarify the vein leading along the pubes, and abstract plenty of blood. Friction of the

countenance, plucking of the hair, with bawling aloud, in order to arouse. Should the patient partially recover, she is to be seated in a decoction of aromatics, and fumigated from below with fragrant perfumes. Also before a meal, she is to drink of castor, and a little quantity of the hiera with the castor. And if relieved, she is to bathe, and at the proper season is to return to her accustomed habits; and we must look to the woman that her menstrual discharges flow freely.

1 A species of wild cinnamon or cassia-tree. See Edinburgh Greek Lexicon, Appendix, under the term.

2 The Saponaria officinalis.

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