Certain advocates of fasting employ the lavage as a routine practice. Dr. Tilden formerly employed it as a daily measure. This proved to be too great a tax upon his patients so he reduced its use to three times a week. From my own experience with the measure, I consider even this too great a tax upon the energies of the patient.

Others employ the lavage only when there is actual nausea and gastric distress. They wash out the stomach to relieve the faster of discomfort. This measure often brings considerable relief, but at a big price. The insertion of the stomach tube is a severe enough tax on most patients. Pouring a gallon or more of water, with or without soda or other drug, into the stomach, also taxes them. The retching and vomiting occasioned by this procedure leaves the patient weak and nervous for hours. The relief afforded by the lavage is short-lived and the cost in nerve force is too great to justify it.

Many who employ the fast have the patient drink large quantities of water and then induce vomiting, where vomiting does not occur from the use of the water alone. I do not employ and do not approve of forcing measures. Vomiting can and does occur when a real need for it exists without resorting to forcing measures. Nausea and gastric distress are most often due to lowered or increased gastric tone and there is, in such cases, nothing to be expelled.