Friction, in medicine, is the act of rubbing a diseased part with oils, unguents, and other matters, in order to ease, relieve, and cure it-Friction is also performed with a flesh-brush, a linen-cloth, or with flannel ; which last is the most eligible. It is a kind of exercise that remarkably contributes to the health of sedentary persons ; for it excites and kindles the natural warmth ; diverts defluxions ; promotes perspiration : opens the pores ; and tends to dissipate stagnant humours.
This operation is particularly be-deficial to the nervous, debilitated, and studious ; being an useful .substitute For other exercise. Hence-we recommend to such individual* to spend half an hour every morning and evening in rubbing their whole body, especially their limbs, with a clean piece of flannel. It ought, however, to be observed, that this practice will be of the greatest service when the stomach and bowels are empty. . Lastly, we venture to affirm, that the most important purposes to which friction may be rendered subservient in the animal econo-my, have hitherto been almost entirely neglected : we are, however, conn need from experience, that medicated frictions, or the introduction of the most active medicines into the human system, by-rubbing them in properly on the surface, might be attended with the most happy effects, especially in all chronical diseases. Common sense appears to have long since pointed out this excellent method of administering medicines, even to the Indian savages, though it is little practised in enlightened Europe, where the stomach is doomed to be the field of battle, for deciding commotions and irregularities in our complicated frame. But who is hardy enough to maintain, that the digestive organ was by Nature destined to be the exclusive vehicle of drugs, and to serve a* their common laboratory ?