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.
Lime-water and lime carbonate are useful in these conditions, especially if gastro-intestinal acidity be present, as it usually is in young children; the breath is then offensive, the motions frequent, loose, greenish, sour-smelling, and deficient in bile; the abdomen is distended, cramping pain occurs at intervals with drawing-up of legs, and there is often sickness. Restriction to milk and broth diet, with the addition of 1 or 2-gr. doses of carbonate of lime, will often cure this disorder; in the diarrhoea of dentition as well as in the more chronic forms connected with strumous or mesenteric disease, such treatment is specially indicated. (Castor-oil may be required at first to remove any cause of direct irritation such as undigested food, mucus, etc., and the use of insoluble lime salts should not be prolonged more than necessary, otherwise irritation or some degree of obstruction may be caused.)
In chronic diarrhoea dependent upon relaxed condition of the alimentary canal, and also when kept up by ulceration of the bowel, I have used lime preparations with the best possible effect. Bretonneau recommended them in enema for these cases.
In the diarrhoea of enteric fever, and of tuberculosis, milk and lime-water may prove of great, if only temporary service, but should not be used in large quantity if hemorrhage or symptoms of acute inflammation be present. The alkaline earth is plausibly supposed to combine with the secretions of the ulcerations and to form a layer which protects the terminations of sensitive nerves against contact with the contents of the bowels. Mialhe especially applied this explanation to the phosphate of lime, which salt has been much used in the treatment of diarrhoea and of acidity, and owing partly to its phosphoric element, is considered to exert a special restorative power: according to him, if given with bread and sugar it becomes changed by the slight acid of the former and by the gastric acids into a soluble acid salt, which does not itself coagulate albuminoid material, but when brought into contact with a small proportion of alkali, becomes converted into an insoluble basic phosphate of gelatinous character, which protects the mucous membrane, and checks diarrhoea.
This salt was the principal ingredient in the "white decoction" of Sydenham. The quinovate of lime is specially commended by Kerner (v. "Vegetable Kingdom").
Aphthous Conditions of the mouth and alimentary tract, when occurring in infants, with green but not necessarily liquid stools, may often be cured by lime-water or prepared chalk.