Gene-ral Stimulants are sub-divided into two classes, diffusable and permanent stimulants: the first comprising narcotics and anti-spasmodics, and the second tonics and astringents.

2689. Narcotics are medicines which stupefy and diminish the activity of the nervous system. Given in small doses, they generally act as stimulants, but an increased dose produces a stupefying effect. Under this head we include arcohol, camphor, aether, the hop, and opium.

2690. Alcohol, or rectified spirit, is a very powerful stimulant, and is never used as a remedy without being diluted to the degree called proof spirit; and even then it is seldom used internally

It is used externally in restraining bleeding, when there is not any vessel of importance wounded. It is also used as a lotion to burns, and is applied by dipping a piece of lint into the spirit, and laying it over the part.

Freely diluted (one part to eighteen) with water, it forms a useful eye-wash, in the last stage of ophthalmia.

Used internally, it acts as a very useful stimulant when diluted and taken moderately, increasing the general excitement, and giving energy to the muscular fibres; hence it becomes very useful in certain cases of debility, especially in habits disposed to create acidity; and in the low stage of fevers.

Dose. - It is impossible to fix anything like a dose for this remedy, as much will depend upon the individual; but diluted with water, and sweetened with sugar, from half an ounce to two ounces may be given three or four times a-day. In cases of extreme debility, however, much will depend upon the disease.

Caution. - Remember that alcohol is an irritant poison, and that the indulgence in its use daily originates dyspepsia or indigestion, and many other serious complaints. Of all kinds of spirits, the best cordial and stomachic is brandy.

2691. Camphor is not a very steady stimulant, as its effect is transitory; but in large doses it acts as a narcotic, abating pain, and inducing sleep. In moderate doses it operates as a diaphoretic and anti-spasmodic, increasing the heat of the body, allaying irritation and spasm.

It is used externally as a liniment when dissolved in oil, alcohol, or acetic acid, being employed to allay rheumatic pairs; and it is also useful as an end brocation in sprains, bruises, chilblains, and, when combined with opium, it has been advantageously employed in flatulent colic and severe diarrhoea, being rubbed over the bowels.

When reduced to a fine powder by the addition of a little spirit of wine and friction, it is very useful as a local stimulant to indolent ulcers, especially when they discharge a foul kind of matter; a pinch is taken between the finger and thumb, and sprinkled into the ulcer, which is then dressed as usual.

When dissolved in oil of turpentine, and a few drops are placed in a hollow tooth and covered with jewellers' wool, or scraped lint, it gives almost instant relief to toothache.

Used internally, it is apt to excite nausea, and even vomiting, especially when given in the solid form.

As a stimulant it is of great service in all low fevers, malignant measles, malignant sore throat, and running small-pox; and when combined with opium and bark, it is extremely useful in checking the progress of malignant ulcers, and gangrene.

As a narcotic it is very useful, because it allays pain and irritation, without increasing the pulse very much.

When powdered and sprinkled upon the surface of a blister, it prevents the cantharides acting in a peculiar and painful manner upon the bladder.

Combined with senna it increases its purgative properties; and it is also used to correct the nausea produced by squills, and the irritating effects of drastic purgatives and mezereon.