DysenterY, or Bloody Flux, an infections disease, at-tended with a discharge of blood and purulent matter by stool; violent griping; a continual inclination to go to stool ; pains in the loins; fever, etc.
Unwholesome night-air, damp places, and a suppression of in-sensible perspiration, may be considered as the principal causes of this disease ; which is also, though rarely, occasioned by the immode-rate eating of unripe, acrid fruit.— Toe opinions of practitioners, on the cure of the dysentery, being at great variance; one class of them proposing to cure it by bleeding and emetics (considering it as a "rheumatism of the bowels"); another by purgatives and astringents; a third by violent sudorifics (treating it as a "fever of the intestines'), we shall not detain the reader with their different notions, but briefly observe, that the treatment of the disorder chiefly depends on two circumstances : 1. Whether it be accompanied with fever ; and, 2. Whether the patient be of a sanguineous temperament, and plethoric habit, - or the contrary. In both the former cases, we advise the reader not to attempt the cure of a disease which has often baffled the talent of the most learned and experienced, but immediately avail himself of medical advice, especially as the malady is contagious.
If, however, the dysentery be unattended with febrile symptoms, and the patient of a phlegmatic rather than choleric temperament, he may then take, at the commencement of the disease, a brisk emetic of a scruple or half a dram of the ipecacuanha-root in powder, and afterwards one grain of it every four or six hours : such medicine having, by experience, been found singularly efficacious. Hence, .we do not venture to suggest either opium, antimoniall tartar, rhubarb,
6r any other drug; as they can be of service only in particular cases. But the greatest advantage in this complaint will generally be derived from the application of clyster-;, which should consist of decoctions of the bruised ipecacuanha-root, namely, one dram boiled in a pint of water, till the third part be evaporated ; or alternately, three quarters of' a pint of fresh milk, in which one ounce of mutton-suet has been dissolved, should be administered hike-warm, and both repeated every six or eight hours.
The regimen in dysentery is of the utmost consequence. Animal food, whether solid or liquid, must be abstained from, till the violent symptoms have subsided, when chicken-broth may be allowed. The use of the salep-root in the form of jelly, and the white of an egg and starch, taken in small portions, will afford sufficient nourishment, While they tend to restore the natural and abraded mucus of the intestines. In the decline of the disease, a solution of fresh mutton-suet in hot cow's-miik, to which a little starch and sugar may be added, after the fat has been removed from the top, affords both a wholesome and palatable dish. The copious use of ripe grapes has, in this disease, often procured very great relief: and, though the unlimited and promiscuous eating of fruit, in every stage and species of dysentery, may not always be proper, yet, in those cases where Nature points out such indulgence, by the ardent desire of the patient, or where the blood appears to be in a broken, dissolved state, and a putrid acrimony infests the bowels, there is no danger to be apprehended from a free allowance of ripe, sub-acid fruit, which will, in general, be attended with happy effects.