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23 From dysentery there proceeds sometimes leienteria, when the intestines cannot retain anything, and whatever is swallowed is straightway excreted imperfectly digested. Sometimes in the patients this drags on, sometimes it hurries them off. In this affection especially astringents should be put on the chest, and when the skin becomes ulcerated, then an emollient to draw out humour; and the patient should sit in a decoction of vervains; take both food and drink which control the bowel: and have cold water poured over him. Nevertheless, care should be taken lest with all these remedies there be an opposite trouble[p. 437] set up by excessive flatulence. Consequently, little by little, the intestines should be strengthened by some additions daily. As in the case of any abdominal flux, so in this, it is particularly necessary that the patient should go to stool, not as often as inclined, but as often as compelled, so that by such delay the intestines may be got into the habit of holding up their contents. There is another thing which, whilst applicable equally to all similar affections, is to be specially observed in this, that as many beneficial medicaments are disagreeable to the taste, such as the mixture containing plantain and blackberries and any mixture containing pomegranate rind, that shall be chosen which the patient likes most. Moreover, if he loathes all of them, something to excite his appetite should be interposed, less useful, perhaps, but most pleasant. Exercise and rubbing are needed in this disease also, as well as heat, whether of the sun, or a fire, and baths; and according to Hippocrates, a vomit even by white hellebore, when other measures prove of little avail.
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