Wen, is an indolent tumor, or an enlargement of the thyroid gland, which is situated in the anterior part of the neck. This affection frequently occurs, and is endemial in some parts of England ; for instance, in Derbyshire. It is uncommonly prevalent among the inhabitants of marshy, low countries, surrounded by woods, bordering on rivers and standing waters, or exposed to southerly, hot winds; and especially among females, young people, children, and persons of a delicate or tender habit : even strangers, who settle in these parts, are not exempt from its attacks. Nevertheless, if timely attended to, it is often cured ; but, where it is hereditary, or has been suffered to remain after the age of adolescence, its removal is extremely difficult.
The principal causes of wens are scrophulous matter ; violent exertions; poor, or indigestible food; and bad water. Several authors suppose it to arise from the use of snow-water : thus, FORESTER, in his voyage round the world, ob-serveed glandular obstructions to originate from drinking solutions of ice.
Cure: - Where this malady proceeds from a vitiated lymph, as in the Scrophula, it will be necessary to have recourse to the treatment recommended under that article. - Should it have been induced by frequently taking solutions of ice, or snow, great benefit may be derived from the use of water, saturated with fixed air. - With a view to dissolve the tumor, various remedies have been devised : of which the following deserve particular notice: Electricity in conjunction with alteratives; for instance, mild mercurials and antimonials; hemlock; or 30 grains of the liver of sulphur dissolved in a quart of water, 2 table-spoonfuls of which are to be taken every 3 hours. During such course, Peruvian bark, or other tonics, ought to be used as auxiliaries. Among external remedies, camphor combined with sweet-oil; or a solution of sal ammoniac in vinegar, have often successfully been applied to the tumor.
Internally, the use of burnl sponge (as directed in the article Scro-phula) has been attended with the best effects, in dispersing wens. The inhabitants of Derbyshire, where this remedy is in great repute, take it in the following manner: 15 grains of burnt sponge triturated together with a similar weight of millepedes, and from 8 to 10 grains of cinnabar of antimony ; the whole is to be mixed with honey, or treacle, and taken every morning, two hours before breakfast. This course ought to be continued for two or three weeks; when the medicine be intermitted for a similar period. After such interval, the regular use of the composition is to be re-commenced, but with this difference, that instead of 1, the patient take 4 doses every day, and 3 grains of calomel at night; though, if the latter prove laxative, it will be advisable to reduce the proportion. His diet will require no particular limitation ; except that pure water must be used, instead of malt liquor, and he ought strictly to guard against contracting a cold, or catarrh, during the operation of these alteratives. Such is the method successfully pursued, especially when combined with dry frictions of the part affected, and steadily continued in the summer sea-without resorting to any other external application.