Worms, are the meanest of the lower animals. Those which infest the bowels of the human body, are generally divided into three kinds, namely, 1. the asta-rides, or small round and short white worms ; 2. the teres, or lum-bricus, a round and long worm; and, 3. the taenia, or tape-worm. - Having already treated of the first and third kinds, under their respective heads, we shall now give an account of the second, or round worm.
Symptoms of Worms : - Paleness of the face ; itching of the nose ; dilatation of the pupil; grinding of the teeth during sleep; voracious, or bad appetite; fetid breath; nausea, while the belly is mostly inflated, hard, and painful. Eruptions often appear, particularly on the face : and, in the morning, the patient is affected with a copious flow of saliva, and an uncommon craving for dry food, such as bread, potatoes, etc.
The manner in which worms originate in the human body, is not yet ascertained ; but, in general, it has been observed, that they are found principally in persons and children of a weak and relaxed digestion; in such as eat great quan tities of fruit, and raw vegetables ;.
Cure: - To expel such as already exist in the body, and to prevent their re-production, it will be advisable to administer strong purga-tives and tonics. - With the former intention, a variety of medicines have been recommended, and many unprincipled empirics have levied contributions on the credulous; but one of the most efficacious remedies, is a composition of jalap and calomel, when used in the manner directed p. 190 of this volume: the dose should be repeated twice or three times, during the space of a fortnight. On the intermediate days, the patient may use the solution of emetic tartar mentioned in the same page; or a dram of the powder of tin, mixed with honey or treacle, twice in the day. The following treatment has likewise, in many instances, been attended with success. Take of pulverized worm-seed, two drams; jalap, valerian, and AEthiops mineral, of each one dram ; mix the whole with a sufiicient quantity of trea-cle, or honey, to term an electuary ; of which a tea-spoonful is to be taken twice a day. The operation of these medicines may be considerable increased by clysters, consisting of strong solutions of salt with the addition of oil.
The principal tonics to be used against worms, will be the Peru- , Valerian, and Steel ; but none of these active drugs can with safety be resorted to, without proper advice. - The patient's diet should be duly regulated : his beverage ought to consist of cold water, or sweetened with honey, carefully avoiding new beer, and all fermented liquors. - Coffee, tea, and fat broths, must also be abstained from; but a draught of water, in which crude mercury has been boiled, taken every morning before breakfast, is asserted to be one of the most efficacious diet-drinks. - With regard to solid food, the bread ought to be well baked, and a slice spread with treacle and scraped carrot, garlick, or pulverized wormseed, eaten every morning, has often been productive of good effects. Onions, horse-radish, salted and dried animal food (even sound Dutch herrings, occasionally), as well as spices, and ripe fruit, are here proper articles of food. On the other hand, all such substances as tend to occasion flatulence; especially white cabbage, pease, dried beans, potatoes, and other farinaceous articles; for instance, pastry, confectionary, and whatever is of a fat and oily nature, particularly pork, ham, Sec. must be carefully avoid
Children troubled with worms, should take moderate exercise; and be directed to masticate their food properly. It is farther absolutely necessary, that the motions of their limbs and body should never be constrained by tight garments, particularly those around the belly and hips ; as such injudicious practices cannot fail ultimately to impair their digestion.