previous next


When pain seizes the side, either at the commencement or at a later stage, it will not be improper to try to dissolve the pain by hot applications. Of hot applications the most powerful is hot water in a bottle, or bladder, or in a brazen vessel, or in an earthen one; but one must first apply something soft to the side, to prevent pain. A soft large sponge, squeezed out of hot water and applied, forms a good application; but it should be covered up above, for thus the heat will remain the longer, and at the same time the vapor will be prevented from being carried up to the patient's breath, unless when this is thought of use, for sometimes it is the case. And further, barley or tares may be infused and boiled in diluted vinegar, stronger than that it could be drunk, and may then be sewed into bladders and applied; and one may bran in like manner. Salts or toasted millet in woolen bags are excellent for forming a dry fomentation, for the millet is light and soothing. A soft fomentation like this soothes pains, even such as shoot to the clavicle. Venesection, however, does not alleviate the pain unless when it extends to the clavicle. But if the pain be not dissolved by the fomentations, one ought not to foment for a length of time, for this dries the lungs and promotes suppuration; but if the pain point to the clavicle, or if there be a heaviness in the arm, or about the breast, or above the diaphragm, one should open the inner vein at the elbow, and not hesitate to abstract a large quantity, until it become much redder, or instead of being pure red, it turns livid, for both these states occur. But if the pain be below the diaphragm, and do not point to the clavicle, we must open the belly either with black hellebore or peplium, mixing the black hellebore with carrot or seseli, or cumin, or anise, or any other of the fragrant herbs; and with the peplium the juice of sulphium (asafoetida), for these substances,[p. 67] when mixed up together, are of a similar nature. The black hellebore acts more pleasantly and effectually than the peplium, while, on the other hand, the peplium expels wind much more effectually than the black hellebore, and both these stop the pain, and many other of the laxatives also stop it, but these two are the most efficacious that I am acquainted with. And the laxatives given in draughts are beneficial, when not very unpalatable owing to bitterness, or any other disagreeable taste, or from quantity, color, or any apprehension. When the patient has drunk the medicine, one ought to give him to swallow but little less of the ptisan than what he had been accustomed to; but it is according to rule not to give any draughts while the medicine is under operation; but when the purging is stopped then he should take a smaller draught than what he had been accustomed to, and afterwards go on increasing it progressively, until the pain cease, provided nothing else contra-indicate. This is my rule, also, if one would use the juice of ptisan (for I hold that it is better, on the whole, to begin with taking the decoction at once, rather than by first emptying the veins before doing so, or on the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, or seventh day, provided the disease has not previously come to a crisis in the course of this time), and similar preparations to those formerly described are to be made in those cases.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (A. Littre)
hide References (6 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: