Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 23.djvu/323

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THE REMEDIES OF NATURE.

generation of animal caloric has to be increased to balance the depression of the external temperature. Hence the invigorating effect of mountain-air, of sea-bathing, and, in high latitudes, of sea-voyages. The first dose of the tonic can be applied in-doors: sponge and shower baths, or Franklin's air-baths—a few minutes' pause between undress and bed-time.

People who have got rid of the night-air superstition can almost defy dyspepsia by sleeping in a cross-draught, or, in cold weather, at least near a half-open window. Cold, fresh air is an invaluable aid to the assimilation of non-nitrogenous articles of food (fat meat, butter, etc.). Stifling bedrooms almost neutralize the effects of out-door exercise. Winter is, therefore, on the whole, the most auspicious time for beginning a dyspepsia-cure. In summer a highland sanitarium is the best place to start with, or, for coast-dwellers, a surfy sea-shore. Early rising, a cold bath before breakfast, frequent ablutions, deep draughts of cold water, flavored with Seltzer and sugar or a few drops of raspberry-sirup, an air-bath before going to bed, and wide-open bedroom-windows, will score an important point in favor of Nature—the return of a normal appetite, and with it of renewed strength and mental elasticity. If the after-dinner affliction should show no direct signs of abatement, the patient must bide his time, and, under no circumstances, resort to the drug-exorcism. Temporary blue-devils are far preferable to a persistent blue-pill Beelzebub. But aid Nature by all legitimate means. Masticate thoroughly every mouthful of solid food. Eschew spices. Avoid pickles, cheese, salt meat, sour-krout, and hot drinks. Take a light breakfast, a lighter lunch, postpone the principal meal till the day's work is done, and make the after-dinner hour as pleasant as possible. Court fresh air at all times of the day and the night, and, in the course of two or three weeks, the capacity for active exercise will return. That point gained, the problem of recovery is reduced to a question of perseverance. The distress of the first attempts suggests almost the expediency of an unconditional surrender, but, after a dozen morning promenades in the park, and as many dumb-bell soirées, the three chief remedies begin to work hand in hand—exercise, refrigeration, and temperance. Exercise spices nonstimulating food, fresh air promotes digestion, and restored digestion gives strength for more exercise.

There will be fluctuations in the progress of convalescence. The valor of it, the confidence in the possibility of complete expiation, will sometimes falter under the realizing sense of past sins. The very effectiveness of the remedies will demonstrate the almost unpardonable mistake of their long neglect. But the stomach is not implacable, and, in spite of a few fretful relapses, it will, on the whole, accept the terms of reconciliation and ratify the treaty from week to week, till

    braces us up, gives us a sharp appetite, and we indulge freely in food which, while the cold weather continues, can be tolerated by the system." (Dr. C. E. Page.)