Cache-Control: public, max-age=1024000 Pharmacopoeia Extemporanea: A Colic Glyster

A Colic Glyster.

Take Canary Wine, Linseed Oil, each 6 ounces, Oil of Amber half a dram; to which may be added Liquid Laudanum 40 drops, mix.

It brings good Assistance in horrid tormenting Pains of the Bowels, and pertinacious Costiveness, for as much as it recreates the Membranous Substance of the Guts, explicates Corrugations of the Fibres, expells Wind and softens Excrements.

But if a Colic (which often occurs) takes up its Stage high, either in or just below the Ventricle, the Glysters, though never so powerful, signify little of nothing, because their comfortable Operation reacheth not up into the small Guts.

Since I penned this, I find the same in Crato (Consil. 10. p.85.) Clysteria, si malum supraumbilicum est, parum juvant--- dum Obstructiones in superioribus partibus sunt, parum materiam attingunt; & sape usurpata Incomodum afferunt. If the Obstruction be fixed above the Navel, Glysters scarce can reach the Matter, do little good, and are often incommodius.

Upon this reason it is, that Sennertus (de Colica 881.) saith, and is quoted by Riverius, If Glysters (which frequently chances) do no good, and the Matter is fixt in the upper Intestines, they are not to be obstinately insisted on too long. 'Twas observ'd, that when a certain Patient had had 30 Glysters, without any manner of Relief; another Physician cured him presently, with Manna 1 ounce and half; and Oil of sweet Almonds 2 ounces, in fat Chicken Broth.

N.B. What is hitherto said, is to be understood of the Bilious Colic. But

In the Hysteric Colic, Glysters are generally to be avoided, for they provoke the tender Fibres, excite the stronger Convulsions and Dolours, render the Disease more outragious and hard to be cured, and now and then raise it up to such a Degree that it becomes Mortal. Which young Practisers may do well to take notice of.

Now as we find nothing of the Small Pox before the Arabian Authors, nor of the Rickets before Dr. Glisson. And the Romans (as Pliny assures ur, lib. 26. cap.1.) knew not the Colic it self before Tiberious had it: So neither did we ever read of the Hysteric Colic, as such, before Dr. Sydenham; and therefore whatsoever others have said before him of the Cure of the Colic, must by no means be referred to the true Hysteric sort.

I can't deny indeed, but that C. Piso publish'd (1618) his Opinion of the Colics being Nervous: And our Famous Dr. Willis made a much further advance since upon a like Hypothesis. But yet its manifest, that neither of them had a clear perception of this spirituous Colic, so as to distinguish it rightly from the Humoral one. And therefore they never did, nor could establish a proper Method for its particular Cure.

No, this Atchievement was reserv'd for the immortal Sydenham. He it was that first plainly describ'd it and distinguish'd it, and determined it so different from the Bilious Colic, that the self same Method which cures one, hightens and enrages the other. And he being our particular Author for this Disease (for none has written to much Purpose of it since that I know of) I think it not Pains ill placed, to give an Abstract of what he delivers.

Only first I crave leave to produce a remarkable passage out of Lewis Duretus, who though he dy'd above 100 Years before Sydenham, and could not in those dark times make out a thorough Discovery, yet went a great way with it, both as to Notion and Practice.

In Hollerium [c. 41. p. 407.] Aliquando dolor Colicus praenuncius est Arthritidis, & Paralysis; aut Translatione Materia ad superiores patres, aut temeraria Curatione; ut si Clysteres Materiam discutientes primo injeceris. Nam si innascatur dolor Colicus a Repentina a collectione materiae; & injiciantur Clysteres Carminativi, sit Disseminatio materia.

A Colic is sometimes the fore-runner of a Gout or Palsy, and that iether from a translation of the Matter to the superior Parts, or from Male Practice, as when Glysters are given that discuss. For where the Colic is caused by a sudden Collection of Matter, if Carminative Glysters be injected, they will disperse the Matter into other parts.

Now by superior parts, its evident he can mean nothing but the Brain, and its Appendixes the Nerves. By sudden collection of Matter, I think we may fairly understand (tho' he had a clear and distinct Notion of ) the Ataxy of the Spirits, whose (194,195) Spasmodic Explosions are as sudden as the blast of Gun-Powder. And in such a Colic, he saith Glysters are Male Practice, because they drive the Convulsions out of the Bowels into the Genus Nervosum.

But to come to Sydenham, he saith (Epist. to Cole, p.141.) Its manifest enough that the whole of Hysteric Affections is to be accounted for, from the Animal Spirits being not rightly disposed, and not from corrupted Semen or Menstruous Blood, sending up malignant Vapours in to the Parts affected, nor from (I know not what) perverse depravation or congestion of Humours, And if the Fomes lay in Matter, then Vomiting, Purging, Bleeding, Fasting and the like, would prevent the Hysteric Affects; whereas we see (on the contrary) they constantly excite them.

De Morb. Acut. p.228. Bleeding and repeated Purging, which are most apparently indicated in the beginning of the Bilious Colic, have no place here, except where there's a very great fulness of Blood and Humours, which sometimes (tho' seldom) I have found in Women of mighty sanguine Temperament and Viragoes. For Experience teaches that the Pain, and all the other Symptoms will be exasperated by the Tumult which Evacuations cause. And I have more that once observ'd, that the repetion even of the most mild Glysters, hath brought on a continued Series of Symptoms.

And if we do but consider the Circumstances to which this Disease is mostly owing, such as too great loss of Blood, violent Passions of the Mind, hard Labours of the Body and the like; all which forbid such things as may raise up a greater perturbation of the Spirits, and instead call for Anodynes:

I say if we consider this, then Reason joins us with Experience, and tells us, this Disease is produc'd by the Ataxy and inordinate Motion of the Spirits, than by any fault of the Humours. And I doubt not in the least, but that this Disease (which though it brings bitter Pains, yet of itself no hazard of Life) often becomes Mortal, by miscarriages of this kind.

Epist. to Dr. Cole p.167. I affirm, That often repeated Evacuations (which are certainly much indicated in the Bilious) do in the Hysteric Colic, not only, not restrain the Pains and Vomiting, but irritate them, further (by promoting the Perturbation of the Spirits, which Perturbation is the true cause of these Symptoms) whence at length the Malady turns to Convulsions, and then quickly off goes the Sick.

Thus the great Man absolutely forbids repeated Bleeding, Purges and Glysters. Speaks home to the Purpose, and positively in the Case, urges Reason and Experience both. And his Opinion hath stood in his Works above 30 Years, and they have been printed in several Countries, as in England twice or thrice, in Strasburg, Geneva, Leipsic, Amsterdam. And I remember not any design'd opposition to it in any Book in all this time: Only a little spiteful Libeller has of late (to defend an ill Cause) shew'd his Teeth and bark'd at it.

And now because this great distinction of Bilious and Hysteric Colic, and their respective Cure, is so immediately Practical, and of such concern in Practice; it were to be wish'd, that some Person or Society, of sufficient Ability and Integrity, would be so public-spirited, as to give us their Experience, Reason and last Thoughts, concerning it, to the end, that if it be an universally true Doctrine, they may establish it as such, or if it want distinguishing, they may clear it, and set us right. And this would be better Work, than running into Parties and Factions, and Abusing and villifying one another, and by that means (accidentally at least) ruining the Repute of (next to Divinity) the most useful and Honourable Profession in the World.

We had a most lamentable Instance lately, of a Symptomatic, Hysteric Colic, which because it may occasion more Caution for the future, and had been fouly represented, merits a true Relation. But being too long to crowd in here, it must find a place at the end of the Book. However since an unknown Glyster was given, and a great deal depends upon it, perhaps I may strike some light into the dark Case by subjoining what follows.

Ettmuller (vol. 1. p. 615.) saith Bartholine observ'd, That a Glyster of the Decoction of Tobacco caused wonderful Disturbance, Convulsions, cold Sweats, and other most terrible Symptoms; and tells us, he himself had seen the very same in his Practice. And (p. 1301.) Clyster ex Decocto Tabaci summe periculosus est, cum usum ejus (subito ac modo applicatus fuerit) Praecordiorum Anxietates, Lypothymias, Vomitus, Sudores circa frontem frigidos, totius feralem quasi Pallorem, aliaq; similia Symptomata insecuta fuisse noverim. A Glyster of the Decoction of Tobacco is a most extreamly dangerous thing, for I have known where there have followed (immediately, as soon as ever it was Injected) Sickness and Anguish at Heart, Swooning, Vomiting, cold Sweats, cadaverous Paleness, and other the like frightful Symptoms. And I my self (who wrote this) had a Relation given to me of one Mr. O. who from a Glyster of Tobacco infused in Sack, when he had a Colic upon him, fell presently into horrid burning Pains, Convulsions, Faintings, and so perish'd miserably upon the spot, as 'twere all in Flames.

Thomas Fuller
Pharmacopeia Extemporanea 1710