Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 23.djvu/19

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9
THE REMEDIES OF NATURE.

that in Guinea-pigs, rabbits, and other animals, the symptoms of tuberculosis can be artificially produced by a repeated inoculation with scrofula virus; and in the children of scrofulous parents the inherited taint often leads to the development of a malignant form of tuberculosis. Consumptives should therefore avoid all scorbutific articles of diet: salt meat, pickles, indigestible made dishes, rancid fat, pungent spices, cheese, and all kinds of intoxicating liquors. A predilection for such diet is often encouraged by the circumstance that in the incipient stages of consumption it can be indulged without apparent inconvenience to the digestive organs. The victims of pulmonary disorders often enjoy an omnivorous appetite. But they should not forget that their diseased lungs act as an absorbent of all morbid matter, and that the immunities of the digestive apparatus are purchased at the expense of the respiratory organs.

Pathological conditions, involving an abnormal waste of tissue, require, indeed, an extra supply of nutritive aliments, and the patient may claim the right to indulge his appetite in regard to the quantity of his food, but he should earn that right by restricting himself in regard to the quality. His diet should be nutritious, non-stimulating, and slightly aperient; the regulation of the quantum may be trusted to the promptings of Nature. The first full meal, however, should not be taken before the morning exercise. Those who are in the habit of wasting the energy of the day's prime on the digestion of a massive breakfast may palliate their craving with a glass of sweet milk, or a piece of brown bread, dabbed with treacle or cream. Fresh cream, Graham bread, honey, beans baked with butter instead of pork, and a liberal dessert of such fruit as sweet grapes, pears, strawberries, or stewed prunes, at about 1 p. m. At six or seven a similar meal; for the sake of variety, perhaps buckwheat-cakes instead of bread, and apple butter instead of honey. In point of quantity let the supper rival the dinner, with the proviso that the rules of the bedroom hygiene shall be duly observed, for, if the vigor of the digestive organs is aided by a liberal supply of oxygen, it is a fallacy to suppose that the night is an unfavorable time for the assimilation of a hearty meal. Animals rest after repletion, and some of them never sleep till they have a good meal to digest. There is no doubt that after meals neither mental nor muscular exertion is favorable to the performance of the organic functions which concur to effect the nutrition of the system. And, if the stomach can bear it, before going to bed an extra glass or two of sweetened cream may be taken—not as a food, but as a medicine. It is an established fact that fat counteracts a tuberculous diathesis. The inhabitants of the polar regions consume enormous quantities of non-nitrogenous food. Our negroes, to whom the climate of the United States must be semi-polar, lose no opportunity to gorge themselves with fat meat. The poor monkeys of our Northern menageries are ravenously fond of sweet milk and cream; instinct teaches them that