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8 There is also in the region of the throat a malady which amongst the Greeks has different names according to its intensity. It consists altogether in a difficulty of breathing; when moderate and without any choking, it is called dyspnoea; when most severe, so that the patient cannot breathe without making a noise and gasping, asthma; but when in addition the patient can hardly draw in his breath unless with the neck outstretched, orthopnoea. Of these, the first can last a long while, the two following are as a rule acute. The signs common to them are: on account of the narrow passage by which the breath escapes, it comes out with a whistle; there is pain in the chest and praecordia, at times even in the shoulder-blades, sometimes subsiding, then returning; to these there is added a slight cough. Blood-letting is the remedy unless anything prohibits it. Nor is that enough, but also the bowels are to be relaxed by milk, the stool being rendered liquid, at times even a clyster is given; as the body becomes depleted by these measures the patient begins to draw his breath more readily. Moreover, even in bed the head is to be kept raised; the chest movement assisted by hot foments and plasters, dry or even moist, and later either emollients are to be applied or at any rate a wax-salve made with cyprus, or iris ointment. Next, on an empty stomach the patient should take a draught of hydromel, in which either hyssop or crushed caper root has been boiled.[p. 387] It is also of use to suck either soda or white nasturtium seed, parched, crushed and then mixed with honey; and for the same purpose, galbanum and turpentine resin are boiled together to a coherent mass, and a bit of this, the size of a bean, is sucked every day, or unfused sulphur 1 gram and 0·66 gram of southernwood are pounded up in a cupful of wine and sipped lukewarm. It is also not a foolish idea that the liver of a fox should be dried, pounded and the mash sprinkled into the above, or that the lung of that animal, as fresh as possible, roasted without touching iron in the cooking, should be eaten. In addition to the above, gruels and light food are to be used, at intervals also a light dry wine, occasionally an emetic. Some kind of diuretic is also beneficial, but there is nothing better than a walk until almost fatigued, also frequent rubbings, especially of the lower extremities, either in the sun, or before a fire, done by the patient himself or others, until he sweats.
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