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.
"These chemicals are preferred because they do not withdraw water, as salt does, whilst, furthermore, they retain the natural colour of the food-substances." But it has been repeatedly shown that the use of borax in this way is calculated to induce a diseased state of the kidneys. Dr. Harrington has experimented on cats for clearing up the question. Twelve cats were selected, of which one received no preservative; six received borax in varying amount, and four received other preservatives). Of the six cats who took borax, one died at the end of six weeks, whilst the others survived to 133 days, more or less. Of these six cats five showed mischief done to the kidneys.
Professor Koch, of Berlin, when speaking about infection by bovine tuberculosis through Milk, reasoned that as in cases of infection by poisoned meat this infection is widespread, and unmistakable, yet tuberculous meat, whereof a large amount is consumed daily, causes no such widespread infection thereby; and if the tuberculous meat is so harmless, why not equally so tuberculous milk? There can be no doubt that most persons have in this way eaten tuberculous bacilli; how is it then that infection therefrom is not widespread? In the course of 1901 Professor Koch received a number of notices from persons who for several years had been drinking tuberculous milk harmlessly, and who only discovered it on the death and inspection of the cow which had supplied the said milk; and yet they did not become morbidly affected.
In the south of France, Milk is sometimes flavoured with garlic, but aromatic herbs are more to the liking of the English stomach. A certain Danish soup is preferred in Holland to animal broths in hot weather, this being a thick milk mess. "Rinse some soup plates, or bowls, with hot water to which a teaspoonful of vinegar has been added; pour fresh Milk in at once, and put in a warm place; in eight hours this should be thick; serve cold, with brown bread-crumbs, some powdered cinnamon, and sugar." In the quaint Babee's Book occurred a curious passage concerning the relation between Milk, and wine, as then regarded: -
"Milk before wine I would 'twere mine! Milk taken after is poison's daughter".
Pepys also (1667) records a pretty story (related by Muffet in Health's Improvement, 1655) about Dr. Caius, who built Caius College at Cambridge: "That being very old, and living at that time only upon woman's milk, he, while he fed upon the milk of an angry, fretful woman, was the same himself; and then, being advised to take it of a good-natured, patient woman, he did become so, beyond the common temper of his age." In Pepys' Diary it is told he called out stoutly for "plenty of brave wine, and, above all, Bristol Milk," this latter being a rich beverage made of the best Spanish wine, and "famous over the whole kingdom." Again, Milk-punch is a drink concocted of new Milk, spirit (brandy, rum, or whisky), sugar, and nutmeg. "I don't know," replied Mr. Pickwick (when asked to decide as to the character of a drink contained in a small case-bottle, which Mr. Bob Sawyer let down through the coach-window by his walking-stick with some affected carelessness), "but it smells, I think, like 'Milk-punch.' " Pepys (June 13th, 1668) "at the house of Uncle Butts, in Bristol, had good entertainment of strawberries, a whole venison pasty (cold), and again a liberal allowance of (the aforesaid) Bristol Milk"; "which rich beverage," says Lord Macaulay, "is made of the best Spanish wine, and celebrated over the whole kingdom as Bristol Milk." Burnt milk is said by Lincolnshire rustics, to be "bishoped" because on a certain occasion all the villagers ran to their doors so as to see a bishop pass by, and meantime their milk left on the fire became scalded.
Tom Hood wrote to Dr. Elliot's little girl about dandelions, that "they are large, yellow star flowers, which often grow about dairy-farms, but give very bad milk".
In the treatment of continued fever, where success depends altogether upon maintaining the patient's strength throughout weeks of wasting illness, Milk can play a most important part. It is essential that plenty of sustenance should be continuously taken during the course of the fever. Recent research has shown that such a free administration of food does not, as was formerly supposed, tend to raise the temperature of fevered patients; also that the food is not under these circumstances merely poured into a digestive apparatus unable to deal with it; since the absorption, at all events of light nutriment, goes on as perfectly in the febrile as in the non-febrile state. Seeing, moreover, that the waste by fever is chiefly of the bodily solids, or proteids, it follows that a reparative supply of the same must be kept up in the dietary. Supplementary thereto as economizing these sclids are milk sugar, and fats, almost equally essential. And then, again, the nourishment given with a liberal hand must be liquid. It is demanded in plenty by the burning tissues under constant fever, whilst because of the dry, parched mouth, mastication would be difficult.
Milk, therefore, best meets these several needs; four pints in the day will generally suffice for the patient's comfort; it may be taken plain, or diluted with water, (alkaline, or effervescing.) If additional sweetness is desired, milk sugar is one of the simplest, and best materials to use, dissolving one or two teaspoonfuls of this in a little hot water, and adding it to each tumblerful of milk; or arrowroot, or cornflour may be made with milk into a thin gruel. An egg-white mixture will sometimes help when very little food can be taken at a time, or where vomiting is troublesome. "Imperial drink" will serve to supply a certain quantity of sugar when allowable; but if the bowels are relaxed barley-water should be substituted. Alcohol will be necessary if the circulation falters, the pulse being small, quick, and perhaps irregular, or if nervous exhaustion is declared by sleeplessness, tremors, and low wanderings of the mind; or, again, if the digestive powers appear to be failing, as shown by inability to take food, by dry tongue, and relaxed bowels, the temperature being persistently high; particularly if the patient was already in a feeble bodily state when attacked, as in elderly, or alcoholic subjects.
Sound malt whisky, with water, is as good a form of alcohol as any other, or, if the prostration is extreme, brandy (genuine Cognac) must be preferred. If wine is chosen by preference, or necessity, then old sherry is best because of its restorative ethers; or good, dry, effervescing champagne, if sickness is present. For the delirium of a hard drinker bottled stout is found to exert a particularly sedative effect.
Lactose (Sugar Of Milk) is credited with the dispersion of rheumatic deposits, and chronic enlargements about joints, to an extent almost marvellous, if steadily taken every day for some long continuance of three months, or more, whilst at the same time a suitable diet is adhered to. The dose of lactose is from half to one teaspoonful twice a day, in water, or milk. When rheumatic gout, with deposits about the enlarged joints of feet, hands, knees, etc., prevailed as the result of freely indulging in alcoholic liquors, a hundred or more years ago, so that the nether limbs of such drinkers were no longer shapely, trousers were introduced. They may be said to have owed their origin to old-world royalty, which in those days ate, and especially drank, heavily, and consequently became disfigured by gout in the lower limbs. Then noted personages, so as to vindicate their character, and symmetry of form, adopted the device of close-fitting pantaloons; to wit, George the Fourth, as Prince Regent; with his brothers the Dukes of York, Clarence, Cumberland, and Sussex, as well as the French Princes, afterwards regnant as Louis the Eighteenth, Charles the Tenth, and Louis Philippe. King Frederick William the Third of Prussia, and many other illustrious personages also adopted pantaloons, which were at the time a source of endless ridicule and entertainment, to Gilray, and other caricaturists of the age.
Within the last few years a marked return has been made by men of all classes in this country to garments shaped closely fitting to the leg, as gaiters, and particularly knickerbockers, with hose; which fact has perhaps a bearing on improvement in the size, and symmetry of their legs, by reason of more temperate eating and drinking in these modern days.