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phosphates, sometimes oxalates, according to the varying condition of the system, which always displays a very reduced vitality.
In this, as in all other diseases of the urinary organs, where chemistry is called into our aid, there is great danger of their being treated as though the body were a mere laboratory, wherein we could modify these secretions at our will, overlooking the essential cause of the ailment; but, however useful and necessary such examinations may be, it behoves the practitioner carefully to eschew being implicitly guided by them; as some cases of this disease are treated successfully by alkalies, others by acids; some by restricted, others by a generous diet; for though medicinal remedies are most useful, and in the majority of cases requisite, they will be of little avail, if not well supported by carefully-applied general and dietetic measures.
I think that the size of the crystals of oxalates passed will often afford a good indication of the extent of the oxalic diathesis. If the crystals, especially the reniform, be large, distinct, much inclined to become clustered, crystalize on the hairs, &c., much oxalate of lime is passing. As the case improves, the crystals lessen in size and numbers till at length they become undistinguishable, except to the educated eye. Though it is unusual, the reniform bodies may continue to the last, when, in some positions, they may become in appearance almost like a blood-corpuscle ; in the majority of cases these crystals are not to be found.
It has been suggested (by whom originally I cannot learn,) that these reniform bodies are not oxalate of lime, but lithic acid, modified in shape by the presence of oxalic acid. This can scarcely be, for I have, with several different specimens, macerated the whole deposit in liquor potasse, to get rid of any free lithic acid; then, in diluted acetic or muriatic acid, whereby the phosphates and lithates are separated; yet both the cuboid and reniform crystals have remained quite unaltered. I have not succeeded in throwing down crystals of oxalate of lime, when a deposit of free lithic acid and oxalates was dissolved in sulphuric acid, and the former separated by the addition of water, perhaps from sufficient care not having been taken in the matter.
Should it be desired to separate any deposit of these salts for examination, it is most easily effected by decanting the upper layers of fluid, adding distilled water to the remainder, with or without potass, or acetic acid. The oxalates soon fall to the bottom, and may be readily collected on a watch-glass, without heat or any other process that could modify its composition after leaving the body. By careful manipulation you may obtain and weigh all the crystallized salt in a given specimen. To those not conversant with the salt naturally deposited, yet desirous to examine it, one of the best modes of learning all its usual shapes and sizes is to add a dilute solution of oxalic acid to fresh healthy urine, when after some hours the characteristic crystals will be found in abundance,
I do not know whether this city more abounds with cases of this disease than most others, but among its labouring population, of the class next above the poor, such as policemen, schoolmasters, carpenters, &c., (some hundreds of whom come wholly under my observation, dyspepsia, of an atonic character, and marked by the pallid, depressed, emaciated countenance, with more or less hypochondriasis, pain of the side, (often of great intensity,) or of the back, and the passage of oxalate crystals is most rife:, though in most cases readily amenable to judicious treatment. From my own observation this form of dyspepsia does not seem so common among
the women of this class as among the men, even in those, wherein from their appearance and symptoms I had fully expected to find it. Of the presence of the oxalates in the more acute or in cutaneous diseases, I can say nothing, not having examined them for that purpose. -Provincial Med. and Sur. Journal.
TRANSACTIONS OF THE PHARMACEUTICAL SOCIETY. On E.stract of Indian Hemp. By Andrew Robertson, Esq., Professor of Chemistry to the Medical College, Calcutta.--A num. ber of pounds of the extract of hemp were prepared by meI think upwards of thirty in all for the purpose of having its medical properties fully tested by European medical men. A quantity went io Paris, another to Berlin, another 10 London, sent by different parties, and for my share of the matter I sent four pounds of it to Scotland, irt of which went to you. I do not care about making more of it, as its preparation is most tedious and troublesome, in which I was tormented by the excise regulations of the country, for both the plant and the spirits used are the subject of heavy duties and stringent precautions, and the cost price of the extract to me, counting nothing for trouble, was fully fifteen shillings per lb. Dr. O'Shaughnessy made his extract with alcohol, in a Papin's digester, at a heat above the boiling point of alcohol-the extract so obtained is brown; mine is of a deep green, and gives a grass-green tincture to alcohol, and has six times the activity of the brown, as ascertained by trial on hospi. tal patients. If a speedy effect is desired is given as a tincture ; if a deferred and protracted, as a pill.
As the process by which it was prepared is an idea of my own, since copied by others, and which probably may be claimed by them afterwards, I may mention it to you. It is a variation of the process of percolation, alcohol in vapour being the agent. A still was charged with strong spirits, and its nose introduced into the side of a cask in which the plant was pushed.
The vapour of the alcohol, and alcohol at a boiling heat thus acted on the plant, instead of cold alcohol in the usual mode of percolation. First issued a thin tarry matter containing much resin latterly, a brown liquor containing little resin but much extractive. At this point water was substituted for the spirit in the still, and as much as possible of the spirit retained by the plant thus expelled from it. From the bottom of the cask a pipe led to a common condensing worm. Part of the alcohol was recovered from the fluid by distillation, the rest dissipated by evaporation in Wedgewood ware on a VOL. X.
sand-bath, not exceeding the temperature of 150 deg. Fahr. One hundred weight of the plant was used at one operation, and about eight pounds of extract obtained. The operation was conducted so slowly as in all its stages to last a fortnight.
The extract of hemp has been long known in the East, in a most widely extended range of countries, under the names of Gunjah, Churrus, Hashish, Beng or Bang, the emerald cup of Haider, &c., and under every name renowned for its exciting and narcotic qualities. It is used by the natives here in the same way as opium is by the Chinese, and on that account is the object of fiscal regulations and duties. It is known throughout all India, Arabia, Syria, and Eygpi. You will find it in the Arabian Nights, translated by Lane, under the name of Beng, as the narcotic used by Haroun Alraschid, and others. There cannot, therefore, be a doubi that it is a drug nearly as active as opium.
The inactivity of the drug, therefore, prepared in Britain, I can attribute only to faulty, preparation and overheating, or to its being made from old and decayed plants. The good plant is of a greenish brown, the heads loaded with a sticky resin; the bad is palish-brown and does not adhere to the fingers. The good extract gives a grass-green tincture, the bad a brownish. My extract was made from dried plants of good quality, as it cannot be readily obtained fresh in Calcutta.
Mr. Fordred stated, that it had recently come to his knowledge that some of the extract, sold in London as extract of Indian hemp, was made from the plant grown in the neighborhood of London, and he believed possessed but little, if any, of the narcotic properties of the Indian plant. The extract made from the hemp (Cannabis sativa) grown at Mitcham, was of a green colour, and being apparently an aqueous extract contained bui little resin, while that prepared from the plant grown in India contained a large proportion of resin.
He thought it important, as many medical practitioners in different parts of the country were trying the efficacy of this remedy, that they should be cautioned to be particular in obtaining the extract of the Indian heinp.
Mr. Redwood said, that much of the extract made from the hemp plant imported from India, as well as the extract which had been imported ready made, was found to possess but little narcotic power when tried in this country; certainly they had not realized the er pectations which were formed from the accounts of its action given by medical men in India. Dr. O'Shaughnessy, when last in this country, had admitted that the extract, even some that he had brought from India himself, had failed to produce the effects he anticipated, when tried in our hospitals ; and he had undertaken, on his return 10 India, to have some extract very carefully prepared, and sent over to this country. Mr. Squire had received a quantity of this extract, and he presumed it was that alluded to in the paper just read, as having been made by Mr. Robertson.
Mr. Bartleit had witnessed the effect of a very small dose of extract of Indian hemp, obtained from Mr. Squire, on one of his assistants, and the action was that of a powerful narcotic. The young man stated that he felt all the symptoms of intoxication.
Dr. Ure had been recommended the use of the extract of hemp by his son; but although he tried it for some time, he never experienced the slightest effect from it. The extract was the same as the above, having been obtained from Mr. Squire.
The Chairman thought that the present state of medical knowledge, in reference to the action of Indian hemp, was very unsatisfactory and imperfect.-Dublin Med. Press.
For a pe
Dilatation of the Heart consequent upon Teetotulism. By Richard CHAMBERS, M. D., Physician to the Essex and Colchester Hospital.Case I. A gentleman, aged fifty of good constitution, and accustomed to live freely, became a convert to teelotalism. riod of six months subsequently, there was no perceptible alteration in his state of health ; but about this time he became subject to attacks of nervousness and paroxysms resembling angina, which gradually increased in frequency and intensity up to the time that I visited him. I saw him on August 16th, in consultation with his ordinary attendant. In addition to the above particulars I ascertained, that repeatedly in the course of the night and day, he was subject to attacks of breathlessness, that compelled him to rush to an open window to relieve the sense of impending suffocation. In the intervals he was quite cheerful. He complained of pain in the back of the head; pulse 84; bowels regular; urine copious. On examination of the thorax, (which was extremely well formed,) I found the lungs perfectly sound ; the action of the heart was regular, and its sounds unusually clear, but there was scarcely any impulse. He had been bled the day before, principally at his own request, but with no relief.
As he had latierly been using a restricted diet, I placed him upon meat daily, with four glasses of good old port, and prescribed five grains of the carbonate of ammonia every four hours, and three grains of the sulphate of quinine ihrice a day,
Under this line of treatment he began gradually to amend. At a subsequent period the sulphate of zinc was prescrited for him, and with the alternate use of zinc and quinine, and an increased allowance of wine, his health has been sufficiently restored to enable him to participate in the inanly and trying game of cricket.
Case II. Henry Taylor, aged 30, a working gardener, applied at the Essex and Colchester Hospital, June 4th, 1846, complaining of headache and general weakness. He was of middle stature, and of a full habit, presenting a slightly bloated appearance. His appetite was good; pulse 78; bowels regular. On stethoscopic examination, the lungs were found to be perfecty healthly ; the heart's action was regular, the sounds clear and healthy, but there was only a very slight impulse. He slept indifferently. For the last six months has been a teetotaller, but denies that he was a drunkard previously.
B Pil. saponis ; rhei; utrq., gr. iiss. M. Fiat pilula omni nocte
suinenda. R Ammon. carb., gr. v. ; tinct. camph. comp. dr. ss.; Aquæ, oz. j.
M. Sumat ter indies. 15th. His wife applied for medicine for him to-day, and I found that my suspicions as to his intemperate habits were correct. R Pil. saponis, gr. v.; omni nocte. Rept. haust. To have a
little gin-and-water after dinner. This treatment was continued up to the last fortnight, and being free from complaint he discontinued his attendance.
I bring these cases before the association as examples of dilatation of the heart, consequent upon the adoption of teetotalism. The modus operandi appears to me to be the yielding of the muscular structure of the heart, in consequence of the less stimulating character of the blood; but, in addition to this, it must not be overlooked, that another element may also be in operation, I mean an actual increase in the quantity of blood to be circulated, as I have invariably found that a great increase of appetite accompanies teetoialism; not a healthy appetite, but a morbid craving for food, and to oppose which opium is frequently resorted to.
These cases present the principles of the treatment to be adopted, and there is but one caution necessary, and that is, to draw a careful distinction between actual determination of blood to, and merely congestion of blood in, the brain. In the cases just related the headache was referred to the back of the head, and appears to have arisen from venous congestion, but on the stethoscopic induction I wish to place the chief reliance.-Ibid.
Insanity in Eygpt.—The following extract from a clever work just published, conveys a wretched picture of the condition of the insane in Egypt. It is to be hoped that Ibrahim Pacha was not allowed to leave this country without witnessing the treatment pursued at Hanwell and others of our best conducted asylums.
“ The saddest sight I have seen in Cairo is the Mooristan or madhouse-misery mitigated by nothing but its own oblivious antidote• Razing the written troubles of the brain.'
" A horrid court-yard, surrounded by tiers of iron cages, where men are cooped, and sometimes chained, with less of space, air, light, and cleanliness, than are allowed to a wild beast in one of our travelling menageries. Poor helpless wretches the moping idiot, the gay madman, the furious maniac,-sullen and weeping, laughing and singing, grinning, howling, and tearing behind the bars ;-of all the fearful ills that flesh is heir to,' this overthrow of reason is surely the inost painful to look upon.
omni Membrorum damno major Dementia.' I saw one poor patient brought out of his den and set at liberty; he lay for a few minutes upon a filthy mat on the stone pavement, his features drawn, lived, and stiff—a shudder passed through his wasted srame, and he was dead !