Bile, is a yellow, or greenish, saponaceoua liquor, secreted in the liver, and collected in the gall-bladder, into which it regurgititates as it were, into a blind gut, and is thence discharged into the. lower
; of the duodemum, or beginning of the Jejumum. (See ABDOM). [its principal use appears to be that of sheathing or blunting the acids contained in our daily food, and thus enabling the milky liquor, called chyle, after being mixed with bile in the duodenum, to enter the lacteal veins, or milk vessels, which convey a nutritious supply to the whole body. (See Lacteals). Hence an increased quantity of aliment requires a greater proportion of bile, to pro-mote its digestion ; and, accordingly as the stomach is more or less distended with food, it presses on the gall-bladder to obtain a proportionate quantity of bile, which hen mixed with the chyle, as before described.—See CHYLE. and Liver.
Bile is a very important fluid in the animal economy, insomuch, that from an excessive secretion of it, the inhabitants of warm climates become liable to many tedious and often fatal di A superabundance- of bile in the first pass either flows again into the. stomach, and is productive of general languor, nausea, a foul tongue, loss of appetite, and indi-. when it is determined the intestines, it is generally attended with a painful diarrhcra. in the temperate climates, however, a vitiated and superfluous bile is more frequently diffused through the whole body. in case, the skin assumes a yellow colour, the urine becomes sensibly impregnated with bilious. matter, the pulse is preternatural-ly quick, and the patient complains of heat, thirst, head-ach, and other symptoms of fever. His body becomes gradually emaciated, and his visage strongly indicates the disorder of the constitution. - Various are the causes of this extensive derangement of the different bodily functions; but we may safely assert, that most persons, particularly in hot climates, contract bilious diarrhoeas, colics, fevers, and chronic diseases of the liver, by intemperance in eating animal food, drinking spirituous liquors, and by braving the sudden transitions of temperature, from the intense heat of day to the piercing chilness of night, and thus checking insensible perspiration—one of the most necessary excretions of the human body. For the cure of such maladies as may arise from numerous and diversified causes, no general plan can be safely prescribed. But it deserves to be remarked, that the greatest benefit may be derived from adopting a proper diet and regimen; both with a view to prevent and relieve bilious diseases. Hence we would advise persons liable to eructations, flatulency, and costiveness which arise from a vitiated bile, to abstain from all acrid, watery, and oily food, especially butter and fat meat; to abandon hot liquors, such as tea, coffee, punch, etc. to regu-late the depressing passions of grief, anger, and anxiety; to exchange a hasty and irascible for a more placid and composed temper; and on the whole to pursue a calm, steady, and temperate course of life.
Filiated Bile, is a common disease in infants, who are suckled by intemperateor passionate nurses; or, in consequence of their being fed with improper nutriment, such as viscid pap made of flour, instead of biscuit or well baked bread; animal food, before they are twelve months old; gingerbread and pastry. This complaint manifests itself by green stools, and an acrid quality of the bile, which even excoriates the flesh : the child expresses its pain by incessant crying, and drawing up of the legs. Nature, therefore, frequently removes the evil by copious evacuations, which are spontaneously excited by the acrimonious state of the humours. Hence the impropriety of administering chalk clysters combined with laudanum, or other cordials, and thus in a manner locking up the poison within the intestines ; while the infant becomes most effectually intoxicated. Thence arise convulsions, enlargement of the mesentery, a principal, though remote, cause of consumption; the scald head; and scrophula in all its forms.—Instead of following those dangerous practices, which are calculated only to aggravate, the complaint, two circumstances ought to be attended to, namely. 1. To remove the stimulating matter, by repeated small doses of tamarinds, combined with asolution of manna; and 2. To counteract the preternatural weakness and irritability of the intestinal canal, by the addition of gum arabic, powder of salep-root, or a little jelly made of Iceland moss. In cases, however, where considerable acidity prevails, it will be advisable to give a few grains of magnesia, in intermediate doses : but, if the spasmodic strictures of the abdomen continue, a medical pracitioner should be consulted, whether it be proper to have recourse to a few drops of laudanum, or paregoric elixir, remedies which ought never to be intrusted to dabblers in medicine.