This section is from the book "Materia Medica And Therapeutics Inorganic Substances", by Charles D. F. Phillips. Also available from Amazon: Materia medica and therapeutics.
When digestion is accompanied with discomfort and oppression, or with acidity, pyrosis, and flatulence, especially if there be a tendency to diarrhoea, and to acidity of urine, lime-water and the carbonate of lime are often more serviceable than alkalies, because they are not only antacid but astringent. I have found them specially useful in the dyspepsia of chlorotic women, marked by the above symptoms, and generally by craving for acids and dislike to animal food. When flatulent distension affects the lower bowel, lime-water has been used in enema as absorbent of carbonic and other gases. Dr. Habershon has recommended the carbolate of lime in such conditions (Lancet, i., 1868). For cases of acid dyspepsia, when flatulent distension is not so prominent a symptom, but when there are heartburn and pain with evidence of gastric congestion, the bicarbonate of lime, dissolved with an excess of carbonic acid in the slightly effervescent form known as carrara water, is very useful, for it is less nauseous to some patients, and more easily tolerated than lime-water, so that more of it may be given at a time; it may be mixed with an equal part of milk, while of lime-water not more than one-eighth part should be used.
For the special symptom of nausea and vomiting from irritative gastric conditions, milk and lime-water is a simple and often effective treatment; given frequently in small quantities, iced, it provides digestible nourishment which is sometimes better retained than any other. It is valuable in the vomiting of pregnancy, and even in that of gastric ulcer, in which latter malady only a dessertspoonful in a wineglassful of milk should be tried at a time. The lime acts partly as a sedative to the mucous membranes, partly as an antacid, and partly mechanically by breaking up the curd of milk; hence it is particularly useful as an addition to cow's milk for children brought up by hand, only in any case where constipation is marked, soda-water may be substituted for a time.
Mr. Metcalfe Johnson has written highly of the value of hydrated phosphate of lime in the sickness of pregnancy; and Dr. Leared of the chloride (1/2 dr. to 1 dr. liq. calcis chloridi) in sarcinous vomiting. Dr. Cleland specially recommends the saccharate as a better antacid than magnesia, and useful in dyspepsia dependent on either too little or too great secretion of gastric juice; it does not constipate like other lime compounds; it may, however, cause nausea if taken on an empty stomach (Edinburgh Medical Journal, 1859).
Carrara water is suitable for taking with wine at the later meals, and several other natural mineral waters containing lime are of acknowledged value in gouty and acid forms of dyspepsia generally (vol. i., p. 173): Seltzer contains 3 gr. of carbonate in the pint, Pyrmont 4, Kreuzbrunnen 4.13 with much carbonic acid, Wildungen 5.4 to 9.7, and Pouges (a Spa between Paris and Lyons) contains as much as 12 gr., and is of great repute. Dr. Basham found such waters especially suitable for hypochondriacal, but not for anaemic cases.