This section is from the book "Meals Medicinal", by W. T. Fernie. Also available from Amazon: Meals Medicinal: With "Herbal Simples" Curative Foods From the Cook in Place of Drugs From the Chemist.
Originally the Lozenge was a square, flat slab of gravestone, on which "losangc" or flattery was inscribed; but this grim and deceitful recorder has given place to our modern little oval tablet of hard paste, serving as a vehicle for this or that spice, medical ment, fruit, or what not, to be sucked in the mouth, and provoke a flow of saliva. Such saliva is alkaline, and if swallowed repeatedly during the slow mastication of a hard lozenge, it will correct dyspeptic acidity in the stomach. This will specially occur if the lozenges contain some stimulating ingredient, as ginger, cayenne pepper, etc., or if they be made with the herb Pellitory, which is an active excitant of the salivary glands in the mouth. A very sensible relief is thereby afforded when the digestive processes hang fire: and this accounts for the habit which country dames acquire of carrying about with them in their capacious pockets Peppermint drops, or a piece of ginger root, to be put into use for comforting a stomach-ache; thereby "besides the cordial carminative condiment," says Sir W, Roberts, "or essence, the advent of a bland gummy solution, as in jujubes, and the like, probably acts topically as a soothing application to the irritated mucous lining membrane within the stomach, allaying its morbid sensitiveness, and thus disposing it to a more regular performance of its functions in dealing with the next meal." After the same manner putrescent food which is retarded within the intestines, may be corrected by Cinnamon lozenges; and constipation may be obviated by Liquorice lozenges.
At New York two tabloid restaurants have been opened of late, and with success so far in that busy, bustling city where life is all hurry, and time with most men means money. All manner of liquid foods, such as soups, beef extracts, milky preparations, cocoa, and the like, are provided in these restaurants, as compressed into lozenges, and capsules, to be sucked, or swallowed. These may consist of anything, from a cut off the joint, together with vegetables, and a sweet to follow; likewise, of, fish, game, mutton chops, or bread and cheese. Three lozenges, taken in three minutes are said to be equal to an ordinary meal which would occupy three-quarters of an hour; and a single capsule can keep a business man going as long as a hastily-snatched mutton chop, with potatoes. The lozenge tea, and the tabloid supper, may be similarly tried for a change, so as to save time over these meals.
But. as to exhibiting food profitably in the form of lozenges, to attempt this is quite a delusion. Dr. Hutchison explains the matter thus: "If we drive off all the water from five ounces of meat, there will be left behind not more than an ounce of what is practically pure proteid nourishment. And this proceeding may be regarded as the maximum degree of concentration which can be wrought on proteid food. In other words, an ounce of any artificial food can never represent more than five ounces of lean meat. Any more concentrated proteid nutriment than that is a chemical impossibility. And one can realize hence the absurd pretensions of such alleged sustenance as is attributed to beef lozenges, and the like, two or three at a time. Even if these did consist of pure proteid (which they never do), it would require at least an ounce of them to be equal in value to five ounces of fresh meat: so that the amount of nourishment contained in a single lozenge of the sort must be very small indeed".