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doubtless, desirable, that the young graduate should know every thing relating to chemistry and natural history, contained in the pages of Pereira, or Royle, or Ballard and Garrod, or in the Dispensatory of the United States by Messrs. Wood and Bache; but such knowledge, however desirable, cannot certainly be in. dispensable. Where, consequently, it is a matter of moment, that the aspirant for medical honours should, at an early period, be sent forth in the practical exercise of his calling, the necessaries should be inexorably demanded, but the luxuries may be postponed for after attainment.
The appearance of the Annuaire de Thérapeutique of M. Bouchardat we have heralded more than once. This is the seventh year of its advent, and we are pleased to learn from its author, that “its success has increased year by year, so that it has now attained a circulation equalled by few works on medicine or pharmacy.” “I take to myself”-he adds—“ more and more credit for having borrowed of M. Arago the idea of termi. nating each volume by one or more unpublished works, to which I devote all my attention ; and I am of opinion, that these memoirs have contributed much to cause the Annuaire to be sought after; so that my publisher has been obliged to reprint three years that were exhausted.” p. v.
To such memoirs contained in the present number, we shall restrict our reference at present. The body of the Annuaire, like that of Ranking and of Braithwaite, is indeed a kind of Col. lectanea or Adversaria, similar to the Record department of our own Journal, and therefore does not admit of analysis. Many of the articles have indeed been already published in those Recueils.
Our readers are aware, that, according to the views of Liebig, aliments admit of classification into the azoted or nitrogenized, or such as are capable of forming organized tissues; and the non-organized or non-nitrogenized, such as are inservient only to respiration —views, which we have always considered not only to demand proof, but to be, in some respects, unsupported by observation; and to be based rather on chemi. cal than physiological results. From the chemists they have received, however, great attention, and MM. Bouchardat and Sandras in the Annuaires' for 1843 and 1945, and in the supplement to that of 1846, examined into the digestion of fatty, saccharine and amylaceous substances, and endeavoured to discover the rôle of these substances in nutrition; and to complete the inquiry, they have, in the Annuaire before us, examined the “ Digestion of Alcoholic Drinks;" and after a detail of certain experiments on animals and man, have made the following conclusions :
“ By comparing and associating the results of the experiments which we have just detailed, a clear idea may be formed of the mode of absorption of alcoholic drinks, the changes induced by them in the animal economy, and the rôle which they play in nutrition. We may begin by remarking, that for alcoholic drinks the first period of digestion, properly so called, which consists in a solution, is wanting, as it is also wanting in the digestion of fatty bodies. Alcoholic drinks undergo no other alteration in the digestive apparatus than that of being diluted by the gastric juice and mucus, the saliva, and the other fluids that may be poured into the digestive apparatus. The absorption of alco. holic drinks is effected, as Magendie had already shown, by the orifices [?] of the veins. It is especially in the stomach that this absorption takes place, when alcoholic drinks are given either in great excess or mixed with sugar. This absorption may be continued through the remainder of the intestines.
“ The chyliferous vessels contribute, in no respect, to the absorption of alcoholic drinks. After they have been taken, the chyle may be very abundantly collected, if they have been given with fatty aliments : in such case the chyle exhibits no appreciable trace of alcohol.
“When alcoholic drinks are introduced into the torrent of the circulation, the alcohol is not eliminated by any of the secretory apparatuses: a small proportion only is evaporated from the lungs, and may be collected with the gases and vapours which are constantly exhaled from that organ.
“ If the alcohol is introduced into the circulating apparatus in too great quantity, the arterial blood preserves the colour proper to venous blood; and the alcohol may occasion all the phenomena of asphyxia.
“ The alcohol, under the influence of the oxygen incessantly introduced into the economy by respiration, may be immediately converted into water and carbonic acid. But in many of our observations we have obtained an intermedial product of combustion, acetic acid.
“ The alcohol and the products derived from it disappear
rapidly from the economy: when it is introduced simultaneously with glucose or dextrine, its destruction is more rapid than that of these last bodies.”
The results, therefore, of the observations of MM. Bouchardat and Sandras do not throw much light on the use of alcoholic agents as elements of combustion or respiration. Of late, it has been urged by Chossat and others, that when animals die of inanitiation, the fatal effects are owing to the fatty matters from within and without being consumed, and to the cooling influence thus induced ; and it has been conceived that in long protracted fevers, alcoholic stimulants may be serviceable as calorifying agents : and that if they be properly given, they may sustain the vital flame' until the malignant disturbing agent or influence has passed away. It may be so : yet we think mischief is often done by over-stimulation in such cases; and the excitant has appeared to us not unfrequently to act most injuriously, by exhausting the slight amount of excitability remaining in the tissuies. Life consists in a reciprocal action between special excitants and excitable membrane; and it cannot be too strongly borne in mind, that we may exhaust that excitability by the very agents employed to arouse it; and that life may really be sooner extinguished by the very means we employ to maintain it. As we sooner exhaust the feeble fire by endeavouring to fan it into greater vigour, so may we produce, by excitants, a flickering of the flamma vitalis, the thermum emphytum or Biolychnium prior to its more speedy extinction.
The “notice of the principal counterpoisons and the remarks on the Therapeutics of poisoning by M. Bouchardat” we pass by for the present, as we design to insert it in toto in the Record department of our next number.
The Medical Student's Vade Mecum, or Manual of Examina
tions upon Anatomy, Physiology, Chemistry, Materia Medica, Surgery, Obstetrics, Practice of Medicine, Poisons, 8c. Second Edition, revised and greatly enlarged. By GEORGE MENDENHALL, M. D., Lecturer on Pathology in the Medical Institute of Cincinnati, etc. 12mo. pp. 574. Lindsay and Blakiston : Philadelphia, 1847.
We spoke in suitable terms of commendation of this work on the appearance of the first edition, and are glad to find that the
present is even more valuable than the former. About one hundred and fisty pages of matter has been added, embracing some subjects entirely omitted in the first edition, whilst “ others have been rendered more full.” For the purposes of a medical student, we regard it as decidedly the best manual of examinations in our language.
The Virginia Springs, with their Analysis; and some remarks
on their character, together with u Directory for the use of the White Sulphur Water, and an account of the diseases to which it is applicable, etc., and an account of the different Routes to the Springs. By John J. MOORMANN, M.D., Resident physician at the White Sulphur Springs. 12mo.pp. 219. Lindsay & Blakiston : Philadelphia, 1847.
The Sulphur Springs of Virginia are among the most remarkable mineral springs of the country, and indeed of the world. Whether we regard the active constituents of the waters which render them medicinal, the mountainous region in which they are situated, and the varied and picturesque scenery along the road which the visiter from almost every quarter travels to arrive at them, we discover hygienic influences of the most powerful character, to impress anew the exhausted energies of the valetudinarian. Besides sulphur and the salts of lime, soda, magnesia, iron, &c., present in the waters of most of them, in various proportions, some contain iodine, and various gases, as sulphuretted hydrogen, carbonic acid, etc., and vary in temperature from 49°, as at the “Salt Sulphur," in Monroe, to 106°, at the “ Hot Springs,” in Bath County.
Dr. Mourmann's work, although professedly an account of the different springs of Virginia, is mainly occupied with an account of the “White Sulphur," at which he resides, and a critical notice of a work on “ The Mineral Springs of Western Virginia,” by William Burke, formerly, and perhaps now, "Proprietor of the Red Sulphur Springs.” In this part of the volume, Dr. M. commits the common error of all disputants, of supposing that the public take the same interest in personal controversies as the individuals thenselves otherwise, the book contains much to interest the seeker after health, who may be thinking of journey.
ing to the mountains and springs of Virginia, and might, we think, with a little effort, and some self-denial, have been made to include much more, even without extending its pages. As it is, however, the physician will find in the analyses of the various Springs information which will enable him to judge of their adaptation to the conditions of patients laboring under derangements for which they are visited, whilst the public will learn from it the different routes and distances to be travelled to arrive at the several Springs.
Water versus Hydropathy; or an Essay on Water and its true relations to Medicine. By EDWARD HARTSHORNE,
M. D. This is a brochure of 131 pages, duodecimo, in which the author has attempted to show the general therapeutic properties of cold water, and the classes of cases to which, internally and externally, it is adapted. Although the advocate for a less restricted use of this siinple but energetic agent, in the cure of dis. eases, than the mass of physicians probably are, at least in practice, he very justly ridicules the exclusive reliance upon it which characterizes the modern tribe of hydropathists. The book contains many facts and useful suggestions which may not always be present to the mind of the experienced physician, whilst they cannot but be instructive to the tyro; and to the latter, in particular, we commend its perusal, as well for the reasons we have stated, as the example of thoughtful inquiry it exhibits, on the part of one but recently from their ranks.
The Diseases of Females ; including those of pregnancy and
childbed. By FLEETWOOD CHURCHILL, M. D., author of "the Theory and Practice of Midwifery,” etc. etc. Fourth American edition, with illustrations. With notes by ROBERT M.
. Huston, M. D., etc. etc. 8vo. pp. 600. Lea & Blanchard, Philadelphia, 1847. .
The appearance of a fourth edition of the work of Dr. Churchill on the Diseases of Females, in so brief a space of time, is high evidence of its general approval by the physicians of the United States.