Indigestion, or Dyspepsia, a complaint which chiefly consists in the loss of appetite, and is generally attended with nausea, flatulence, vomiting, heart-burn, cos-tiveness, as well as other unpleasant symptoms, without any immediate affection either of the sto-mach or other parts.
Indigestion arises from a variety of causes, such as the eating of hard, unwholesome food, and un-ripe fruit; drinking too large draughts of liquor during, or immediately after dinner; the immoderate use of opium, and of spirits; taking too large quantities of tea, coffee, or any warm relaxing liquors; tampering with emetics or laxatives; the want of free air and exercise; and in consequence of indulging in any of the depressing passions.
Persons of weak, delicate habits, particularly the sedentary and studious, are frequently subject to indigestion. A radical cure of it can be effected only by removing the debility of the stomach and whole system. With this intention, emetics, or gentle purgatives, should be previously administered, in order to clear the alimentary canal. Next, tonics, such as valerian, Peruvian bark, etc. may be resorted to with advantage; and, if the complaint be accompanied with putrid eructations, or other signs of putrescen-cy, it will be advisable to take the strongest antiseptics, especially the marine acid or spirit of salt, sufficiently diluted with water. Many, however, have been effectually cured by the liberal use of cold water alone. In great laxity of the stomach, considerable benefit has been derived from the use of the columbo root, in small and frequent doses. - The chalybeate waters are, to phlegmatic habits, in general, of great service; and the moderate drinking of sea water has often been productive of good ef-fects.
Medicines, however, will be of little or no advantage, unless the patient take moderate and daily exercise in the open air, and endeavour to preserve a cheerful, contented mind. Early rising ought to form an indispensable part of his attention; while his diet should consist principally of solid, but tender aliment, which he, from experience, has found easy of digestion.