Dr. Bennett** considers that its operation consists in the stimulation of the lymphatic glands and vesse's, thus increasing the activity of the capillary system. By its action on the former the process of assimilation is facilitated, and the appetite increased. The quantity of the blood is thus improved, and the different organs of the body become better nourished and receive more turgor vitalis. From Dr. Theophilus Thompson's observations, it appears that the Oil improves the richness of the blood; its red corpuscles become increased. Whilst taking it, patients often gain an almost incredible increase of weight, exceeding many times the amount of the Oil which has been taken during the period.* Some assort that its operation is that solely of a nutritive agent; others, that its action is purely chemical; while a third class ascribe all the benefit derived from it to the presence of Iodine and Bromine. Dr. De Jongh believes that the beneficial operation of Cod Liver Oil does not depend solely upon the Iodine, nor upon the Phosphorus, nor on the biliary matter, nor on the fat, but upon the admixture of these ingredients, the union of the whole forming a compound which acts in a way which cannot be imitated by the disunited components. An observation of Klencke's merits attention. He observes, that there exists a great similarity between this Oil and bile; that the Oil contains fat, resin, and saline constituents of the same character as those of the bile. From this circumstance, he concludes that it acts as a succeda-neum to bile in the process of chylification. This view is also supported by Dr. Panck, of Moscow. Dr. Garrod,§ on the other band, is of opinion that it acts simply as an oil, and that it is superior to other oils on account of its being more readily assimilated. If it be true, as Winkler asserts, that the Oleine differs from ordinary Oleine in not yielding Glycerine, this may in part explain its value. Dr. Theophilus Thompson and Dr. Williams also conclude that the oil owes its action chiefly to its Oleine. Dr. Williams believes that the Oil acts as a nutrient, affording fat of a better kind, more fluid, less proue to change, and more capable of being absorbed into the tissues than other forms of fat. Dr. Theophilus Thompson || thinks that its action is promoted by the addition of Liq. PotassAe.
* Essentials of Mat. Med. and Therap.,p. 330. Mat. Med., vol. ii. part ii. p. 790. Op. cit., vol. ii. part ii. p. 788. § Pereira, vol ii., part ii. p. 786.
|| Op. cit., p. 783.
¶ Brit, and For. Med.-Chir. Rev., Jan. 1856. ** Op. cit., p. 51.
1812. The immediate action of Cod Liver Oil on the stomach and bowels is to produce increased appetite, the proper assimilation of food, and an improved colour and character of the evacuations. The skin, from being acrid, burning, or cold, becomes warm and pex-spirable, and the health and strength, after some perseverance in the remedy, gradually improve. Occasionally it acts as a diuretic. Most patients acquire embonpoint under its use.
One great objection to the use of this Oil is its nauseous taste. Various modes of disguising it may be tried, thus: - 1, it may be given on orange wine or on orange or lemon juice, or on a mixture containing Tr. Aurantii with a little Nitric Acid and Syrup; 2, it may be given floating on porter or bitter ale, or on some aromatic water; 3, in emulsion, with confection of Almonds and T. Cardam. Co.; 4, with the addition of a few drops of Acid. Nitric. Dil. to the vehicle; 5, with hot milk; 6, in the form of pills. To form these Des Champes directs 600 parts of the Oil, 20 of Water, and SO of Caustic Soda. A miss is formed which, with Traga-canth Powder, can be made into pills. Should it still nauseate, a drop or two of Dilute Hydrocyanic Acid maybe added. Mr. Spencer Wells¶ advocates its administration in capsules, either alone or combined with Quinine, the Iodides of Mercury, Iron, &c. Each capsule may contain exx. of the Oil.