Nausea, or Sickness, denotes a propensity and exertion to vomit, which may be induced by various causes, such as apoplexy, fevers, violent pain, crude aliment, indigestion, diseases of the liver, etc. but especially by any local irritation of the digestive organs.
This affection, though disagreeable, is often very serviceable, by relieving the stomach when overloaded with incongruous matter, and by promoting expectoration in cases where the lungs are oppressed with mucus or phlegm. Farther, it often induces sensible perspiration, and contributes to the proper distribution of the fluids throughout the body: hence, nausea has proved to be an excellent remedy in various complaints, where it was artificially excited, by the smallest doses of emetics. In some cases, however, it is injurious to the patient, especially when too violent, or too frequently repeated ; as it is apt to debilitate the stomach; so that, in consequence of the necessary exertions, the patient becomes exhausted, and is apt to be afflicted with ruptures or other maladies.
Pregnant women are particularly subject to nausea and vomiting, which, if they be not timely mitigated, are productive of the most serious consequences. With a view to afford some relief in those distressing situations, Dr. MarcaRd recommends the use of acidulated mineral waters, especially those of Sedlitz. The water of pure ammonia, or caustic vegetable alkali, has lately been prescribed with success by Dr. John Sims, who has often found it eminently useful in cases where acidity prevails, such as heart-burn, cough upon taking food, and other complaints of pregnancy. This judicious practitioner directed twenty drops of the pure ammonia to be taken in a glass of water, from which the patient experienced immediate relief.