One of the most important recent advances in the practical management of sprue is the introduction of the strawberry as an adjuvant to the milk treatment. A diet of milk and strawberries, the amounts of both being gradually raised to 6 pints of the former and 3 lb. of the latter, together with the precautions already insisted on, constitutes on the whole the most generally successful treatment of sprue, sometimes, apparently, leading to a rapid and permanent cure.
When good strawberries are not obtainable the best, though a somewhat inferior, substitute is the banana. Only ripe fruit must be chosen; rotten and unripe fruit being carefully rejected. The fruit must be reduced to a pulp and thoroughly incorporated with the milk.
In Java, where sprue is endemic and particularly virulent, a diet of fruit alone is sometimes employed, and it is said with success. In Europe what is known as the grape cure is occasionally practised.
In Java, when the fruit treatment is adopted most fruits, including bottled fruits, are allowed, the very acid fruits such as pineapples, the members of the citron family, and extremely fibrous, hard, or dense fruit alone being interdicted. No other food is permitted until all symptoms of the disease disappear or the treatment has proved manifestly unsuitable. We have had no experience of this apparently somewhat heroic method, but van der Burgh and others vouch for its efficacy in a proportion of cases that had resisted other methods.
The Mixed Diet treatment is a combination of the preceding methods on the fines already indicated.