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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 24.djvu/215

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203
THE REMEDIES OF NATURE.

but it will often protest its disability to retain the whole quantum. A small but increasing percentage will be assimilated, and, if the corresponding enlargement of the rations is not overdone, the patient, at the end of the third or fourth week, may be rewarded by the return of something like positive appetite, i. e., a craving for more solid food. Try a slice of rice-pudding and fruit-jelly, or a homœopathic dose of blanc-mange. Try a soft-boiled egg or a baked apple. Eschew cordials. Avoid food-extracts, even strong beef-tea, which for a person in such circumstances is a stimulant rather than a nourishment. In the mean time watch the weather, and on the first clear day screen the lower windows, open the upper sashes, and treat the patient to a sunbath. Sunlight, applied for half an hour to the bare skin, is a better tonic than cold water, which invigorates a healthy man, but exhausts an asthenic invalid. In the form of tepid sponge-baths, however, water should be applied as soon as the patient can bear the fatigue of keeping on his legs for a couple of minutes. The first decided gain in strength employ in the preparatory exercises of pedestrianism. Carpet the room, clear a track for a circular walk, provide supports at proper intervals, a small table in one corner, a chair or a curtain-strap in the other. Interest the patient in his progressive achievements, keep a record-book, procure a boxful of chips and tally off each round. Three miles a day mark the time when the sanitarium can be transferred to the out-door world. In a vineyard country devote the vintage season to a three weeks' grape-cure. The cure consists in dining on bucketfuls of ripe grapes and transparent slices of wheat bread. Grape-breakfasts, grape-luncheons, and grape-suppers, ad libitum, but no bread, nor anything else that could interfere with the system-renovating effect of the sweet abstersive, that has been tried with signal success in the treatment of bilious dyspepsia, gout, and cutaneous diseases.[1] Extreme caution in the use of animal food, acids, and fermented beverages, for the first six months at least, is as necessary as after an attack of dysentery, which should be similarly treated, except that a more rapid recovery of strength will permit a speedier return to out-door and active exercise.

Colic can generally be traced to the presence of fermenting fluids, and'is the penalty of excessive indulgence in such beverages as mush, new beer, fresh cider, together with sour milk and watery vegetables, but may in rarer cases indicate the agency of more dangerous substances,

  1. The grape-cures of Thionville, Staremberg, Meran, Lintz, and the Bergstrasse, near Mannheim, are yearly visited by thousands. In the United States the best facilities might be found at Hammondsport, Flushing, and Iona Island, New York; Salem, Massachusetts; Hagerstown, Maryland; Lebanon, Columbia, and Eagleville, Pennsylvania; Golconda, Illinois; Hermann, Missouri; Cincinnati, Delaware, and Kelly's Island, Ohio. All Southern California is now studded with vineyards, and the Trauben-kur of Meran hardly excels the grapes of San Gabriel and Annaheim. Five cents a pound for the ripest bunches is the average price on Kelly's Island; in California from two to three cents a pound; in larger quantities perhaps even less.