The formation of small, sand-like concretions in the passage from the kidneys is called the gravel; but if they are formed of so large size that they cannot pass the ureters, or urethra, it is called the stone. The gravel often afflicts aged persons; the stone, children from infancy to fifteen years of age. They are attended with fixed pain in the loins or small of the back, sometimes shooting down the thighs, numbness of the thigh or leg on the side affected, frequent disposition to pass water, which flows in a small quantity, sometimes attended with a discharge of bloody urine.
The best article we have ever used as a solvent for the stone, is queen of the meadow root and cleavers, a strong decoction, drunk freely. The diuretic syrup will usually afford relief. In violent paroxysms of pain, fomentations should be applied to the painful part, of hops and wormwood, and a full course of medicine given. I knew an instance where the stone was passed with the water while in the steam box, and a cure immediately effected.
Persons afflicted with the gravel or stone, should avoid the use of fermented liquors, such as cider, beer, and especially wines, and all sour substances; at the same time giving preference to soft, instead of hard water.