In which the different Effects, Advantages and Disadvantages of Animal and Vegeta­ble Diet are explain'd.

By JOHN ARBUTHNOT, M. D. Fellow of the College of Physicians, and of the Royal Society.

LONDON: Printed for J. TONSON in the Strand.



WHAT gave Occasion to the following Essay is briefly what follows, my learned and worthy Friend Dr. Cheyne, some rears ago published an Essay upon Health and long Life, in which he gave a Proof both of his Judgment and Humanity. This Book was receiv'd by the Publick, with the Respect that was due to the Importance of its Con­tents; it became the Subject of Con­versation, and produc'd even Sects in the dietetick Philosophy. In some of those symposiac Disputations amongst my Acquaintance, being appeal'd to; I happen'd to affirm that the dietetick Part [Page iv] of Medicine depended, as much as any of the rest, upon scientifick Principles: Being call'd upon to make good my As­sertion, I compos'd the following short Treatise which is properly speaking only an Essay or Attempt of a Physiology of Aliment. The most of it was wrote in a Situation, where I had no As­sistance except from Extracts out of some imperfect Editions of the Works of the most learned and industrious Boerhaave, and from a very excellent Edition of his Chymistry by Dr. Shaw, and Mr. Cham­bers. This I am oblig'd to say once for all, to save my self the Trouble of perpetual Quotations: The Circumstan­ces of ill Health, and Absence from my Books in which I compos'd it, and the Want of Leisure since to correct it suf­ficiently, may he some Excuse for the Want of that Accuracy which the Sub­ject deserves, and which I frankly own, I have discover'd in some Things of small moment since the Book was printed off. I am likewise obliged to [Page v] make use of a very common and tri­vial Reason for publishing it at this Time, viz. the Approbation of some Friends who perus'd it, and persuaded me that it might be of some Use to the Publick. I can say but little of the Merit of the Performance, but a great deal of that of the Subject; for surely the Choice and Measure of the Mate­rials of which the whole Body is com­pos'd, and what we take daily by Pounds, is at least of as much Impor­tance, as of what we take seldom, and only by Grains and Spoonfuls.

The Reader must not be surpriz'd to find the most common and ordinary Facts taken notice of: In Subjects of this Nature there is no room for In­vention; many important Consequences may be drawn from the Observation of the most common Things, and analogous Reasonings from the Causes of them.

I believe a Reader with as much Anatomy as a Butcher knows, and mo­derate Skill in Mechanicks, may un­derstand [Page vi] the whole Essay, provided he goes through it at Leisure, and with Attention: To a Person so qualify'd many Observations concerning his own Constitution will occur, which I was not capable of making; as for the hard Words which I was oblig'd to use, they are either Terms of Art, or such as I substituted in the place of others, that were too low, and vulgar; the Reader will find most of them explain'd at the Beginning of the Book: And I hope an Indulgence to a few, will not be reckon'd an Indignity to the rest; and that I shall not be suspected of Affectation, where my principal Inten­tion was Perspicuity. In Subjects of this Kind, one is oblig'd in the same Paragraph, to join many Particulars together in one Proposition; because the Repetition of the Substantive Verb would be tedious and unnecessary. This hinders the Stile from being smooth, but not from being perspicuous.

[Page vii] I have laid a Plan for treating the other Parts of Diet, as Air, Rest, and Motion after the same Manner; but I am oblig'd to delay the Execution of my Design till I have more Leisure.

I do not presume to instruct the Gen­tlemen of my own Profession; and if any of them shall instruct me better, I declare before-hand that I am very willing to be convinc'd: I will not de­fend any Mistake, and at the same time I do not think my self oblig'd to answer every frivolous Objection.


  • OBservations drawn from the Alterations which the Aliment undergoes in its Passage into the Blood. Page I
  • The Necessity of Chewing. 1, 2
  • The Virtues and Usefulness of the Spittle for Digestion. 3
  • The proper Aliment of such as do not chew, ibid.
  • The Action of the Stomach upon the Aliment explain'd. 5
  • The Liquor of the Stomach in a sound State not acid. 6
  • How spirituous Liquors hurt the Stomach. 7
  • Conjectures about the Causes of Depravation, and Loss of Appetite. 7, &c.
  • The Effects and Cure of too great Repletion of the Stomach. ibid.
  • Symptoms of Depravation of the Functions of the Stomach. 9, &c.
  • The Digestion of the Stomach resembleth vegeta­ble Putrefaction, and abolisheth the specifick Difference of all Substances. 9, &c.
  • [Page]The Qualities of the Gall, its Action in dissol­ving the Aliment. Bitters a sort of subsidiary Gall. Symptoms of Depravation of the Func­tions of the Gall. Page 12
  • The Quality and Use of the pancreatick Juice. 14
  • Substances too Viscous or Acrimonious, why hurt­ful in the first Passages. 15
  • Symptoms of Depravation of the Function of the Intestines. ibid.
  • The Mechanism of Nature in converting Ali­ment into Animal Substances. 18
  • The Liquors secern'd from the Blood, re-enter it again with the Aliment. 19
  • Unsound Juices, weak solid Parts, and Ob­struction of the Glands of the Mesentery hin­der Nutrition. 20, &c.
  • The Aliment of a Nurse quickly turn'd into Milk. 22
  • Nutrition not proportional to the Quantity of A­liment. 23, &c.
  • The Aliment enters into the Blood by several other Passages, besides the Thoracick Duct. 24
  • Thin and liquid Aliment refresheth the Spirits the soonest. 25
  • Observations drawn from the Circulation of the Chyle with the Blood. 25
  • Chyle cannot pass through the smallest Vessels of an Animal Body in a healthy State. ibid.
  • [Page]The Lungs the first and chief Instrument of San­guification, the Mechanism of this Action ex­plain'd. Page 26
  • Faulty Lungs hinder Nutrition. 30
  • The Necessity of such as have faulty Lungs tak­ing small Quantities of Aliment at a time. 31
  • Why the Lungs are so sensible of Acrimony in Aliment. ibid.
  • How good Air assists Digestion. 32
  • The Chyle not perfectly assimilated into Blood by its Circulation through the Lungs. ibid.
  • The Mechanism of Nature in converting the Chyle into Animal Juices during its Circula­tion with the Blood through the Body. 33
  • Good Blood and a due Degree of projectile Mo­tion, necessary for converting the Chyle into Animal Substances. 35
  • The Strength of the Aliment ought to be propor­tional to the Strength of the solid Parts. ibid.
  • The extreme Tenuity of the Aliment before it can serve the Animal Purposes. 36
  • Hence the Inconveniences of Viscidity and Acri­mony of Aliment. 37
  • The Necessity of Reparation of the Fluids and Solids of an Animal Body. 38
  • The Quantity of real Solids in an Animal very small, that they proceed from the Brain and Spinal Marrow. 39
  • The manner of Nutrition, and Accretion of the solid Parts explain'd. 40
  • An Animal, the nearer to its Original, has the more Channels through which the Fluids pass. 43
  • Hence some practical Rules for Diet according to the different Stages of Life. ibid.
  • [Page]The nutritious Juice of an Animal resembles the White of an Egg, and the Heat proper for Nutrition equal to that from the Incubation of a Hen upon her Eggs. Page 45
  • The Necessity of the frequent Repetition of Ali­ment, the bad Effects of long Abstinence, and the manner how starving kills an Animal. 46
  • Why an Animal may subsist long upon mere Wa­ter. 47
  • Observations drawn from the Nature and most simple Analysis of vegetable Substan­ces. 48
  • All Animals made immediately or mediately from vegetable Substances. ibid.
  • Vegetables proper to make or repair Animal Sub­stances. 49
  • The Aliment of Vegetables. The Diversity of Juices of the several Parts of Vegetables, and the Variety of Juices taken in a Plant which is eaten raw. 52
  • The Mechanism of Plants seems to be more va­rious than that of Animals. ibid.
  • In what the specific Qualities of Plants reside. 53
  • The Effects of the several Ingredients of Plants upon Human Bodies. ibid.
  • Tastes the Indexes of the Ingredients of Plants. 55
  • Plants have different Effects as they are Acid or Alkaline. 56
  • [Page]Of the Qualities of the several Kinds of Ali­mentary Vegetables, particularly of the fari­naceous or mealy Kind. Page 57
  • Fermentation renders mealy Substances more easy of Digestion. 59
  • The Qualities of several Sorts of Fruits, Leaves, Stems, Roots of Alimentary Vegetables. 60, &c.
  • The Ingredients into which Vegetables resolve themselves by the most simple Operation of Cookery and Chymistry. 63
  • Vegetable Emulsions. 64
  • Vegetable Putrefaction. ibid.
  • Of the fragrant Spirit of Vegetables. ibid.
  • The Virtues of Infusions, Decoctions, Jellies, Rob-extracts, express'd Juices, and essential Salts of Vegetables. 67
  • The volatile Parts of Plants lost by Cookery. 68
  • The vascular or solid Parts of Plants incapable of change in an Animal Body. 70
  • Fermentation of Vegetables. 71
  • Observations from the Nature and most sim­ple Analysis of Animal Substances. 71
  • Account of the constituent Parts of Animal Sub­stances. 73
  • Animal Solids, what? ibid.
  • Blood the universal Juice from which the rest are deriv'd. 74
  • The characterestick Differences of Animal and vegetable Substances, consider'd as Aliment. ibid.
  • [Page]Of the exhaling volatile Oil, or Spirit of Ani­mals. Page 75
  • Of the Water contain'd in Animal Substances. 76
  • Of Animal Salts. ibid.
  • Of Animal Oils. 78
  • Animal Nourishment depends on the Food and manner of living of the Animal from which it is taken. 78
  • Animal Aliment more easily transmutable into Animal Substances than Vegetable. ibid.
  • Fish Diet, its Effects. 79
  • The different Qualities of Animal Food accord­ing to the Age, Element, Diet, &c. of the Animal. 80, &c.
  • Of the Qualities and most simple Analysis of Ani­mal Substances. 83
  • Animal Fluids in a sound State, neither Acid nor Alkaline. 84
  • Experiments upon Milk, Urine, the White of an Egg, Serum of the Blood, Bones and Ani­mal Solids. 84, &c.
  • Experiments on Human Urine, its Nature. 90
  • Experiments of the Mixture of several Alkaline and Acid Substances with the Serum of the Blood. 99, &c.
  • Of the Effects of different Alimentary Sub­stances upon the Fluids and Solids of a Human Body. 107
  • Alimentary Substances when they have enter'd the Blood, are not entirely divested of their original Qualities, ibid.
  • [Page]The small Activity of Alimentary Substances compensated by their Quantity. Page 108
  • Their Medicinal Qualities to be consider'd in this Subject. 109
  • Enumeration of the several Actions upon the Fluids and Solids of a Human Body. 110
  • As by stimulating, contracting, relaxing the So­lids, constipating the Capillary Tubes, 110
  • Upon the Fluids by diminishing or increasing their Quantity. ibid.
  • Altering their Qualities by attenuating and con­densing; rendering them mild or acrimonious. 111
  • Coagulating and diluting, increasing or diminish­ing their projectile Motion. ibid.
  • That the Fluids and Solids of a Human Body are capable of those Alterations, may be de­monstrated by ocular Inspection when they are open'd by a Wound or Sore. ibid.
  • Enumeration and Explanation of the Effects of the several Kinds of Alimentary Substances. 113
  • Of such as act with small Force upon the So­lids. ibid.
  • Great Changes produced in a Human Body by stimulating the Solids. Of Alimentary Substan­ces which stimulate. 114
  • Of Alimentary Substances which contract the So­lids. 115
  • The bad Effects of fermented Spirits of Aliment which relaxeth the Solids; nothing taken as Aliment has the Quality of totally obstructing the Capillary Tubes. 118, 119
  • Of the Effects of several Sorts of Aliment upon the Fluids. 119
  • [Page]Of Aliment attenuating. Page 120
  • Of Aliment thickening. ibid.
  • Density a good Quality of Blood, which is in­creas'd by Labour. ibid.
  • The Qualities of sound Blood. 121
  • Of the several Sorts of Acrimony. 122
  • Of Aliment anti-acid. 122
  • Of Acrimony alkaline, Aliment which subdues it, Aliment demulcent, opposite to both acid and alkaline Acrimony. 122, 123
  • The Effects of increasing or diminishing the pro­jectile Motion of the Blood in producing of Acrimony. 124, &c.
  • Of Diluting. 126
  • Of Coagulating the Fluids. 127
  • Of increasing and diminishing the Quantity of Fluids. 128
  • Of Aliment pectoral. Lenitive. 129
  • Of Diureticks. 131
  • Of Sudorificks. ibid.
  • What increaseth and diminisheth insensible Per­spiration. 132
  • Of Aliments heating and cooling. 135
  • Cepbalick. Cordial. 137
  • Carminative. 138
  • The Qualities of Coffee, Tea and Chocolate. 139, &c.
  • [Page xvii]Of the different Intentions to be pursued in the Choice of Aliment according to diffe­rent Constitutions. Page 145
  • Enumeration of the several Sorts of Constituti­ons. 146
  • The Causes and Symptoms of lax Fibres, and the proper Diet for such Constitutions. 150, &c.
  • The Causes and proper Diet of too strong and elastick Fibres. 155
  • The Causes and proper Diet of plethorick Con­stitutions. 161
  • Of sanguineous Constitutions. 162
  • Of acid Constitutions. 167
  • Of such as abound with a spontaneous Alkali. 174
  • The proper Diet for the muriatick Scurvy. 181
  • The Causes, Symptoms, and proper Diet of phlegmatick Constitutions. 182, &c.
  • Of too great Fluidity. 187
  • The Causes, Symptoms and proper Diet of oily or fat Constitutions. 188
  • Of the Quantity of Aliment in general. 194, &c.
  • The Causes, Symptoms, and proper Diet of me­lancholick or atrabilarian Constitutions. 200, &c.
  • General Inferences from the foregoing Doctrine relating to the Aliment of Human Creatures in the several Stages of Life. 205
  • The bad Effects of Excess in several Sorts of Ali­ment. 209, &c.
  • [Page xviii]General Rules about the Choice of Aliment, with­out regard to particular Constitutions, absurd. 211
  • The different Effects, Advantages, and Disad­vantages of Vegetable and Animal Aliment explain'd. 213
  • That both Sorts are proper for Mankind. 214, &c.
  • Proofs from Anatomy, that Human Creatures are Carnivorous. 214, &c.
  • The Conformity of the Doctrine of this Essay to that of Hippocrates. 220


  • ABsorbent, that sucks in a Li­quid.
  • AEquilibrium, equal Weight, Force or Balance.
  • Alimentary Duct, the whole Passage of the Aliment from the Mouth to the Anus.
  • Anodyne, abating Pain.
  • [Page xx]Aorta, the great Artery which proceeds from the left Ventricle of the Heart, and carries the Blood thro' the Body.
  • Atrophy, decay,
  • Bronchia, the Air-Pipes of the Lungs.
  • Carminative, dispelling Wind.
  • Cacochymy, Redundance of ill Humours.
  • Caput mortuum, the thick Matter which remains after Distillation.
  • Chronical Disease, that does not kill soon.
  • Coagulum, a Curd.
  • Contraindication, when a Remedy is pro­per and improper for different Rea­sons.
  • Conical, in the form of a Sugar-loaf ta­pering and diminishing by Degrees.
  • Cylindrical, like a Drum equally wide.
  • Cystick, belonging to the Gall-Bladder.
  • Defrutum, Wine sodden to a thick Con­sistence.
  • Demulcent, mild, abating Acrimony.
  • Depletion, emptying.
  • Duodenum, the first of the Guts.
  • [Page xxi]Ebullition, boiling.
  • Elastick, springy.
  • Elasticity, Springiness.
  • Eluted, cleansed, wash'd away.
  • Emetick, vomitory.
  • Emissary, that throws out a Liquid.
  • Ephemera, a Fever that lasts but one Day,
  • Eructation, belching.
  • Evanescent, vanishing, or growing ex­tremely small.
  • Exudes, sweats out.
  • Foetid, stinking.
  • Hepatick, from the Liver.
  • Hydraulicks, raising or forcing of Water thro' Pipes.
  • Ichor, a watery Humour flowing from Ulcers.
  • Immeability, what renders unpassable.
  • Incubation, hatching of an Egg.
  • [Page xxii]Lacteals, Vessels which carry the Chyle thro' the Mesentery.
  • Lixivium, a Lye or a Solution of some fixed in Water.
  • Leucophlegmatick, pale and phlegmatick, bloated.
  • Membrana adiposa, a Membrane which contains the Fat.
  • Mastication, chewing.
  • Mesentery, a membranous Part in the middle of the lower Belly, to which the Guts are connected.
  • Mucus, Snot.
  • Nidorose, with the Flavour of something hot or burnt.
  • Narcotick, causing Sleep, stupifying,
  • Omasus, one of the Stomachs of a rumi­nating Animal.
  • Omentum, the Caul.
  • [Page xxiii]Pancreas, Sweet Bread, a large Salivary Gland in the lower Belly.
  • Papillous, like a small Nipple.
  • Parotids, Glands behind the Ear.
  • Peristaltick, alternate Motion of the Con­traction and Dilatation of the Guts, commonly tending downwards.
  • Plethora, Fulness.
  • Ramification, branching.
  • Repletion, filling, Fulness.
  • Sapa Rob Extract, Juices boil'd and eva­porated to several Degrees of Consis­tence.
  • Sanguification, making of Blood.
  • Siliquose, that has Pods.
  • Sphincter, a Muscle which shuts up any Cavity of the Body.
  • Stimulus, what irritates.
  • Styptick, binding.
  • Subclavian Vein, a Vein which passeth under the Collar-bone.
  • Suppuration, gathering of Matter, ripen­ing of a Boil.
  • [Page xxiv]Tetrapetalous, Flowers that have four Leaves.
  • Thoracick Duct, a Canal through which the Chyle passeth from the Lacteals in­to the Blood.
  • Tophaceous, chalky, gritty.
  • Villous, douny, with a Pile like Velvet.
  • Viscidity, a sticking or gluish Quality.


AS the following Treatise is chief­ly design'd for Persons not bred up in the Profession of Phy­sick, it is necessary to give a general Notion of the Mean­ing of some Chymical Words that fre­quently occur in it.

The Principles of Natural Bodies ac­cording to the Chymists, are Water, Earth, Oil, Salt, Spirit, of all which every one has some general Notion; but the Diver­sity [Page xxvi] of the Names and Qualities of Salts and Spirits occasions some Confusion in the Minds of such as are ignorant of Chy­mistry.

The Chymists define Salt from some of its Properties, to be a Body fusible in the Fire, congealable again by Cold into britle Glebes or Crystals, soluble in Wa­ter so as to disappear, not malleable, and having something in it which affecteth the Organs of Taste with a Sensation of Acrimony or Sharpness. Of Native Salts there are,

First, Sea-Salt and Sal Gemmae, or Rock-Salt which are of the same Nature. The first in all appearance being a Solu­tion of the Second in the Water of the Ocean; these two are perfect Salts, fixt, and immutable by any Power in Animal Bodies; for the other Salts are never found in the Urine of any Animal that swallows them down, but Sea-Salt is al­ways found in the Urine of every Animal that takes it, and in no other.

Secondly, Sal Nitre, or Sal Petre, which is more easily dissolv'd by Fire, and less easily by Water than any other Salt, it is cold and affects the Tongue like a saltish Ice: It seems to be of a middle Nature between Fossile and Animal, being pro­ducible from Animal Excrements inter­mix'd with vegetable Salts.

[Page xxvii] Thirdly, Sal Ammoniac of two Sorts, the ancient described by Pliny and Dios­corides no more to be found: And the Modern which is a Compound of Fossile, Animal and Vegetable Salt. This Salt cools Water, it is fix'd in a gentle Fire and sublimes in a great one, its Taste is quicker than that of common Salt re­sembling that of Urine.

Fourthly, Borax, a Fossile Salt of a sweetish Taste, it promotes the Fusion of Metals.

Fifthly, Alum, which tho' no pure Salt, has most of the Properties of Salts, being soluble in Water, &c.

Salts are divided into Acid and Alka­line: Of Acid or Sour, one has a Notion from Taste; Sourness being one of those simple Ideas, which one cannot more plainly describe. What being mix'd with an Acid causeth an Effervescence, is call'd an Alkali.

Effervescence in the Chymical Sense, signifies an intestine Commotion, produ­ced by mixing two Bodies together, that lay at rest before; attended sometimes with a hissing Noise, Froathing, and E­bullition: For Example, let us place in the first Class, Acids as Vinegar, Juice of Lemons, Juice of Oranges, Spirit of Ni­tre, Spirit of Alum: In the second Class, other Saline Substances obtain'd from A­nimals [Page xxviii] and Vegetables, by Distillation, Putrefaction, Calcination, as Spirit of Urine, Spirit of Harts-horn, Salt of Tar­tar; because the Substances of the second Class, being mix'd with the Substances of the first raise an Effervescence, they are call'd Alkalis. There is a third Class of Substances, commonly call'd Absorbents, as the various Kinds of Shels, Coral, Chalk, Crabs-eyes, &c. Which being mix'd with the first Class, likewise raise an Effervescence, and are therefore call'd Alkalis, tho' not so properly; for they are not Salts and have nothing common with the second Class, except this Quality of fermenting with Acids.

It is observable that a violent Cold, as well as Heat may be produced by this Ebullition; for if Sal Ammoniac, or any pure volatile Alkali dissolv'd in Water be mix'd with an Acid; an Ebullition with a great Degree of Cold will ensue, there­fore, I think (with leave of the Chy­mists) Effervescence not so proper a Word to express this intestine Motion. There is another Criterion of Acid and Alkali by the Change of Colour which they pro­duce in some Bodies; for Example, those Liquors, which being pour'd to the Syrup of Violets turn it red, are Acids; those which change it into a green Colour, are reckon'd Alkalis. Thus Oil of Vitriol [Page xxix] Syrup of Violets red, and Oil of Tartar green.

The Word Alkali, comes from an Herb call'd by the Egyptians, Kali. This Herb they burnt to Ashes, boil'd them in Wa­ter; and after having evaporated the Wa­ter, there remain'd at the bottom a white Salt, this they call'd Sal Kali, or Alkali. It is corrosive, producing Putrefaction in Animal Substances, to which it is ap­ply'd.

Substances which are not perfectly A­cid but naturally turn so, I call Acescent. Substances which are not perfectly Alka­line but naturally turn so, I call Alka­lescent.

These are not Qualities in Bodies mere­ly imaginary, but have very different and contrary Effects upon Human Bodies.

Salts which are neither Acid nor Al­kaline, are call'd Neutral, so are Sal Am­moniac, Sea-Salt, Sal Gemmae, Borax, Alum, Nitre, which as long as they re­tain their Saline Quality, are neither A­cid nor Alkaline. But the Chymical Pro­ducts of them all (except Sal Ammoniac) are generally Acid.

Fix'd Salts are such as sustain the Fire without flying away.

Volatile Salts fly away with a small Heat, affecting the Nose with an urinous Smell.

[Page xxx] There are volatile and fix'd Alkalis.

The essential Salts of Plants are such as shoot upon the Sides of the Vessels, which contain their express'd Juices.

In Distillations what trickles down the Sides of the Receiver in certain unctious Rivulets, if it will not mix with Water, it is call'd Oil, if it will mix with Wa­ter, it is call'd Spirits; Spirits are either inflammable, or not inflammable. The last either Acid or Alkaline. Alkaline Spi­rits, are subtile volatile Liquors, that run in Veins down the Sides of the Receiver in Distillations, which will not take Fire, mix with Water, and contain some Al­kaline Salt, as Spirit of Harts-horn. Such are obtain'd from all the Parts of Ani­mals, from all Plants by Putrefaction, and from the pungent Kind, as Mustard, Horse-Radish, &c. without it. Acid Spi­rits are subtile Liquors which come over in Distillations, not inflammable, miscible with Water, such are obtain'd from Ve­getables distill'd with Water, and like­wise from Fossils; inflammable Spirits are subtile volatile Liquors which come over in Distillations, miscible with Water, and wholly combustible; such Spirits are ob­tainable from Plants by a previous Fer­mentation, and not without it. By the Spirit of a Plant or that of an Animal, we understand that pure elaborated Oil, [Page xxxi] which by reason of its extreme Volatility exhales spontaneously, in which the Odour or Smell consists.

Soap is a Mixture of a fix'd Alkaline Salt and Oil, in common Use its Virtues are cleansing, penetrating, attenuating and resolving. Any Mixture of any oily Sub­stance with Salt may be call'd a Soap.

Bodies of this Nature are call'd Sapo­naceous.

He who would skilfully treat of the Nature and Choice of different Sorts of Aliment, ought to draw his Observations from the following Particulars. First, From the Alterations which the Aliment undergoes in its Passage into the Blood. Secondly, From the Alteration it under­goes during its Circulation with the Blood. Thirdly, From the Nature and most simple Analysis of Vegetable Sub­stances. Fourthly, From the Nature and most simple Analysis of Animal Substan­ces. Fifthly, He ought to treat of the Effects of different Sorts of Alimentary Substanees upon the Fluids and Solids of a Human Body. Sixthly, Of the diffe­rent Intentions to be pursued in the Choice of Aliment in different Constitu­tions. Tho' I have neither Time, Abi­lity, nor Observations sufficient to handle those Particulars so fully as they deserve, [Page xxxii] I hope at least to give a Specimen how they ought to be treated.

This is agreeable to the Doctrine of Hippocrates, who tells you in his first Book of Diet, that to write duly upon it, one must understand the Nature of Ali­ment, and of the Person it is given to.

For the Ease of the Reader, I have set down every thing in distinct Propositions with Inferences and Observations; the first in Roman, the other in common Numbers.


Page 124. Line 14. dele the first more

Page 148. Line 6. dele such as have

Page 155. Line 13. dele such as have


The Nature of Aliments, and the Choice of them, according to the different Constitutions of Human Bodies.

Observations drawn from the Altera­tions which the Aliment undergoes in its passage into the Blood.


MASTICATION is a very necessary Preparation of solid Aliment, without which there can be no good Digestion. By chewing, solid Aliment is divided into small [Page 2] Parts; in a human Body, there is no other Instrument to perform this Action, but the Teeth. By the Action of chewing, the Spittle and Mucus is squeez'd from the Glands, and mix'd with the Aliment, which Action if it be long continued, will turn the Aliment into a sort of Chyle. The Spittle is an active Liquor, immedi­ately deriv'd from the arterial Blood. It is saponaceous, as appears by its froathing, and likewise by distilla­tion, and consequently is attenuating, resolving, penetrating, and deter­ging. After long Abstinence, it is ex­tremely acrid, and copious, it fer­ments with the juices of Vegetables, and consequently disposeth them to be chang'd into inflamable Spirits, it discovereth its Virtues in several Chirurgical uses. Besides, in the action of chewing, the Mucus (which is an Humour different from the Spittle, and by its Viscidity collects Air) mix­eth with the Aliment, and helps to [Page 3] attenuate it. The necessity of Saliva or Spittle to dissolve the Aliment, ap­pears from the contrivance of Na­ture in making the salivary Ducts of Animals, which ruminate or chew the Cud, extremely open. Such Animals as swallow their Aliment without chewing, want salivary Glands; and Birds have them placed in their Maw. There are instances of Men who swallow'd their Meat whole, but Ruminated or chew'd the Cud after­wards. (Rumination is given to A­nimals to enable them at once to lay up a great store of Food and after­wards to chew it.) And Animals ru­minate more upon Hay than Grass, the Food being harder. From all which Observations it appears, that the Solution of the Aliment by Ma­stication is very necessary; and that without it the Aliment could not be duly disposed; for the other changes which it receives as it passeth through the Alimentary duct.

[Page 4] First, A great loss of Spittle causeth a decay of Appetite. This has been confirm'd by Experience in several, who have made it their constant cu­stom to chew Mastick; chewing and smoaking of Tobacco is only good in phlegmatick People.

Secondly, The humour of Saliva­tion is not properly Spittle, but pu­trified Blood.

Thirdly, The depravation of the Instruments of Mastication, by a paralytical disposition, or by the want of Teeth, as in old Men and Infants, is a natural Indication of a liquid Dyet, as of Milk and Broaths, and even such of them as take Solids ought to chew in order to make an expression of the Spittle.


The Change which is made of the Aliment in the Stomach, is effected by Attrition of the solid Parts, or inward Coat of the Stomach, and [Page 5] the action of a dissolvent Liquor assisted with Heat.

The Liquor in the Stomach con­sists of that which is separated from its inward Coat; of the Spittle, which is almost continually swal­low'd, and the Liquor which distills from the Gullet. By the help of this Liquor, and the constant Attrition of the solid Parts, the Aliment is dissolv'd by an Operation resembling that of making an Emulsion, in which Operation the Oyly parts of Nutts and Seeds being gently ground in a Marble Mortar, and gradually mix'd with some watery Liquor, are dissolv'd into a sweet, thick, turbid milky Liquor, resembling the Chyle in an Animal Body. That the Sto­mach in Animals levigates the Sub­stances, which it receives, is evident from the Dissection of some Animals which have swallow'd Metals, which have been found polish'd on the side next the Stomach. Birds being [Page 6] without Teeth to make the first preparation of their Aliment, have strong and nervous Stomachs, to make this Attrition the stronger; and this motion in them hath been both seen and heard. The Rugae or Plyes of the inward Coat of the Stomach contribute to the detain­ing the Aliment in the Stomach. The Heat in Land Animals helps likewise to the Solution of the Ali­ment, but not much, for Fishes have a strong digestion without it, tho' by the tryal of the Thermo­scope, they have more heat than the Element which they swim in. It has been show'd before that the Spittle is a great Dissolvent, and there is a great quantity of it in the Stomach, being swallow'd constantly, at least in Sleep. He who eats a Pound of Bread swallows at least as much Spit­tle as Bread. This Liquor of the Stomach in a sound state is not Acid, for it has been found by Experiments, [Page 7] that Pearls have pass'd through Cocks and Hens undissolv'd.

1. The Liquor of the Stomach, which with fasting grows extremely Acrid, and the quick sensation of the inward villous Coat of the Stomach, seem to be the cause of the Sense of Hunger.

2. Such as have, by the use of spirituous Liquors, weaken'd and de­stroy'd some of the solid parts of the Stomach, cannot recover a right Digestion, for this inward villous Coat when destroy'd cannot be restor'd.

3. This Liquor of the Stomach may (by reason of some saline Acri­mony) be made of some determined quality, and affect human Creatures with Appetites of other Animals, which in that case they can take without hurt; or it may likewise occasion an exorbitant Appetite of usual things, which they will take in such quantities till they vomit it up like Dogs, from whence it is call'd [Page 8] Canine; in the first case the Organs of Taste are vitiated; both Diseases are cur'd by Dyet, opposite to this Acrimony, whether Alkaline, Acid or Muriatick.

4. Thirst and Hunger denote the state of the Spittle, and Liquor of the Stomach. Thirst is the sign of an Acrimony commonly Alkales­cent or Muriatick.

5. A Paralytical disposition of the Nerves of the Stomach, a deprav'd condition of the Liquor of the Sto­mach, something viscous, fat and oyly remaining there, destroys the Sensation of Hunger.

6. The Action of the Stomach is totally stop'd by too great Repleti­on, in which case both the Orifices of the Stomach by a necessary Me­chanism close, and neither will ad­mit nor expel any thing. In which case relaxing, as by warm Water, is the only proper Expedient.

[Page 9] The Signs of the Functions of the Stomach being deprav'd, are Pains in the Stomach many Hours after Repast; Eructations either with the Taste of the Aliment Acid, Nido­rose, or Foetid, resembling the Taste of rotten Eggs; Inflations, or the Sen­sation of Fulness; Sickness, Hickup, Vomiting, a Flushing in the Coun­tenance, Foulness of the Tongue. In general, whatever be the State of the Tongue, the same is that of the in­ward Coat of the Stomach. When the Taste of the Mouth is bitter, it is a Sign of a Redundance of a bi­lious Alkali, and demands a quite different Dyet from the case of Aci­dity or Sowerness.


By Digestion in the Alimentary Duct the specifick Difference of all Substances is abolish'd, and the whole Action resembles Putrefaction.

[Page 10] Digestion is a Fermentation be­gun, because there is all the Requi­sites of such a Fermentation, Heat, Air and Motion, but it is not a compleat Fermentation, because that requires a greater Time than the Con­tinuance of the Aliment in the Sto­mach. Vegetable Putrefaction resem­bles very much Animal Digestion. Vegetable Putrefaction is produced by throwing Green succulent Vege­tables in a Heap in open warm Air, and pressing them together, by which all Vegetables acquire, First, A Heat equal to that of a Human Body. Secondly, A putrid stercoraceous Taste and Odour, in Taste resembling pu­trid Flesh, and in Smell Human Foe­ces. This putrid Matter being di­still'd, affords, First, A Water im­pregnated with an urinous Spirit, like that obtainable from Animal Substances, which Water is seperable into Elementary Water, and a vola­tile Animal Salt. Secondly, A vola­tile [Page 11] oyly Alkaline Salt. Thirdly, A volatile thick Oyl. Fourthly, The remainder being calcin'd affords no fixt Salt; in short, every thing hap­pens as if the Subject had not been Vegetable, but Animal. Putrefaction utterly destroys the specifick Diffe­rence of one Vegetable from ano­ther, converting them into a pulpy Substance of an Animal Nature: Making the same Alteration very near as if the Vegetable had gone through the Body of a sound Ani­mal, for tho' such an Animal should entirely live upon Acids, no Part of its Body affords any acid fix'd Salt. * This is so far true, that even the Herbs taken out of the Omasus of ruminating Animals afford the same Contents as putrefied Vegetables. But tho' this Action of Putrefaction comes the nearest to Animal Digestion, it so far differs from it, that the Salts [Page 12] and Oyls are only detain'd in the Animal Body so long as they remain benign and friendly to it; but as soon as they putrefy entirely, are ei­ther thrown off, or must produce mortal Distempers.


The Gall is the principal Dissol­vent of the Aliment, and when it is peccant or deficient, there can be no right Digestion.

The Bile is of two Sorts, the Cy­stick or that contain'd in the Gall­Bladder, which is a sort of Repository for the Gall, and the Hepatick or what flows immediately from the Liver. The Cystick Gall is thick and intensly bit­ter, so that one Drop of it will make a whole Pint of Water bitter. The He­patick Gall is more fluid and not so bitter. There is no other bitter Hu­mour in a Human Body, besides Gall, except the Wax of the Ear. [Page 13] The Gall is not a perfect Alkali, for it does not ferment with an Acid, but it is Alkalescent, entirely oppo­site to Acescents, and soon corrupti­ble, and convertible into a Corrosive Alkali. It is a saponaceous Sub­stance, being compos'd of an Alka­line Salt, Oyl and Water, all which can be extracted from it. The Bile, like Soap, takes out Spots from Wool or Silk, and the Painters use it to mix their Colours; by this sapona­ceous Quality, it mixeth the oyly and watery Parts of the Aliment to­gether. But tho' the Bile be an Oyl, it is not combustible till dry. These Qualities make it a most powerful and proper Dissolvent, which ap­pears by Experience. The Milk in the Stomach of Calves, which is co­agulated by the Runnet, is again dis­solv'd, and rendered fluid by the Gall in the Duodenum. Voracious Ani­mals, and such as do not chew, have a great Quantity of Gall, and some [Page 14] of them have the Biliary Duct in­serted into the Pylorus. It is like­wise the chief Instrument (by its Ir­ritation) of the peristaltick Motion of the Guts. Such as have the Bile peccant or deficient are reliev'd by Bitters, which are a sort of subsidia­ry Gall. The learned Boorhaave has found the Gall of an Eel, which is most intensely bitter, a most effectual Remedy in such Cases. The com­mon Symptoms of the Excretion of the Bile being vitiated, are a yel­lowish Colour of the Skin, white hard Foeces, a Loss of Appetite, a lixivial Urine.


The Bile is so acrid, that of itself it could not be admitted into the Lacteal Vessels. Therefore Nature has furnish'd another Humour, viz. the pancreatick Juice to temper its Bitterness and Acrimony, after it has done its Office.

[Page 15] The Pancreas is a large salivary Gland separating about a Pound of an Humour like Spittle, in twelve Hours. The Bile mix'd with Spit­tle loseth its Bitterness in time, and even Wormwood eat with Bread will do so, because it is mix'd with a great quantity of Spittle. The pan­creatick Juice likewise mixeth the Parts of the Aliment rendring the Chyle Homogeneous. When the Bile is not separated in the Liver the Foe­ces are white, but this is not occa­sion'd by the Mixture of the pan­creatick Juice.


Acrimony and Tenacity are the two Qualities in what we take in­wardly most to be avoided.

The papillous inward Coat of the Intestines is extremely sensible, and when the Acrimony is so great as to affect the solid Parts, the Sensation of [Page 16] Pain is intolerable. The peristaltick Motion of the Guts, and the conti­nual Expression of the Fluids, will not suffer the least Matter to be ap­ply'd to one Point the least instant of Time; for the smallest quantity of Turpentine or Pitch will stick to the Fingers, but not to the Guts. But this Motion in some Human Creatures may be weak in respect to the Viscidity of what is taken so as not to be able to propell it, the consequence of which is dangerous, and perhaps fatal to the Life of the Creature. Substances hard, cannot be dissolv'd, but they will pass; but such whose Tenacity exceeds the Powers of Digestion will neither pass nor be converted into Aliment. Be­sides, the Mouths of the Lacteals may permit Aliment too acrimoni­ous, or not sufficiently attenuated, to enter in People of Lax Constitutions, whereas their Sphincters will shut a­gainst them in such as have strong [Page 17] Fibres. The Mouths of the Lacteals may be shut up by a viscid Mucus, in which case the Chyle passeth by Stool, and the Person falleth into an Atrophy.

1. Fat or Oyl is necessary, as for Animal Motion, so likewise for this peristaltick Motion, of the Intestines, and lean People often suffer for want of it, as fat People may by Obstru­ction of the Vessels. The Omentum will melt by strong Motion, as has been found in Horses by hard run­ning.

2. This peristaltick Motion, or re­peated Changes of Contraction and Dilatation, is not the Lower Guts, else one would have a continual need­ing to go to stool. Wind and Di­stention of the Bowels are Signs of a bad Digestion in the Intestines, (for in dead Animals when there is no Digestion at all, the Distention is in the greatest Extremity) and Diarhaeas which proceed from Acrimony, La­xity [Page 18] of the Bowels or Obstruction of the Lacteals.


The Mechanism of Nature in con­verting our Aliment; into Animal Substances consists chiefly in two Things. First, By mixing constant­ly with it Animal, Juices already pre­par'd. Secondly, By the Action of the solid Parts as it were churning them together. This is evident, if we consider first the vast quantity of Saliva mix'd with the Aliment in chewing. He that eats a Pound of Bread mixeth it very near with as much Spittle, and this separated from Glands that weigh only about four Ounces. Afterwards, the same Ali­ment is mix'd with the Liquor of the Stomach, the Bile and pancrea­tick Juice, and if we compute the quantity of Bile and Pancreatick, from the Weight of these Viscera in [Page 19] respect of the salivary Glands, we shall find still a vastly greater quantity of these Animal Juices mix'd with the Aliment; this is not all, for when the Chyle passeth through the Me­sentery, it is mix'd with the Lymph (which is the most spirituous and e­laborated Part of the Blood) from the Glands of the Mesentery: So that the Juices of an Animal Body are as it were* cohobated, being excreted and admitted again into the Blood with the fresh Aliment; all the while the solid Parts act upon the Mixture of Aliment and Animal Juices so as to make the Mixture more perfect; besides, none of these Juices, except the Liquor of the Inte­stines, are mix'd with the Foeces of an Animal, which in a sound State are hard. So that one may com­pute that a Pound of Bread before it enters the Blood, is mix'd perhaps [Page 20] with four times the quantity of Ani­mal Juices. The same Oeconomy is observ'd in the Circulation of the Chyle with the Blood, by mixing it intimately with the Parts of the Fluid to which it is to be assimilated.

1. From whence it follows, that an Animal whose Juices are unsound or solid Parts weak can never be duly nourish'd, for unsound Juices can never duly repair the Fluids and Solids of an Animal Body, and without a due Action of the solid Parts, they never can be well mix'd. The Stomach, the Intestines, the Muscles of the lower Belly, all act upon the Ali­ment; besides, the Chyle is not suck'd but squeez'd into the Mouths of the Lacteals by the Action of the Fibres of the Guts: The Mouths of the Lacteals are open'd by the intestinal Tube, affecting a streight instead of a spiral Cylinder. Thus it is plain, that the Chyle must be peccant in Quantity or Quality when these Acti­ons [Page 21] and Organs are too weak, and whatever strengthens the solid Parts must help the Digestion.

2. Diarhaeas and strong Purgati­ons must spoil the first Digestion, because of the great Quantities of Animal Liquids which they expel out of the Body; a vast Quantity and Variety of Animal Liquors are car­ried off by Purging, Air, Spittle, Mucus, all the Liquors that are sepa­rated in the Glands of the Alimenta­ry Duct, both Sorts of Bile, the pan­creatick Juice, Lymph, and sometimes Blood; computing the Quantity of these Secretions, makes it plain that the whole Juices may be carried off by purging, and when those Liquors are expell'd out of the Body, which by their Mixture convert the Ali­ment into an Animal Liquid, this cannot so well be perform'd.

3. The peristaltick Motion of the Intestines is the last that ceaseth in an Animal Body, for it remains af­ter [Page 22] the Motion of the Heart is ceas'd. By the Entry of the Chyle and Air into the Blood, by the Lacteals, the Animal may again revive.

The Obstruction of the Glands of the Mesentery, is a great Impediment to Nutrition, for the Lymph in those Glands is a necessary Constituent of the Aliment before it mixeth with the Blood, and for the same Reason young Animals are most and best nourish'd, for the mesenterick Glands are largest in the Vigour of Youth; in old Age they vanish, and are ly­able to Obstructions. Therefore scrophulous Persons can never be duely nourish'd, for such as have Tu­mors in the Parotids often have them in the Pancreas and Mesentery.

4. In tabid Persons Milk is the best Restorative, for it is Chyle al­ready prepar'd; if a Nurse after be­ing suck'd dry eats Broath, the In­fant will suck the Broath almost un­alter'd.

[Page 23] 5. The Chyle by Reason of the Smoothness of its Particles is white, it grows more grey in the thoracick Duct where it still retains the Fla­vour of the Aliment.

6. Animals which take a large quantity of Aliment by the Mouth may be less nourish'd, than those that take a smaller, for according to the Force of the* chylopooetick Or­gans, a larger or less quantity of Chyle may be extracted from the same quantity of Food.

Astriction of the Belly is com­monly a Sign of strong chylopooe­tick Organs.


The most subtile Part of the Chyle passeth immediately into the Blood by the absorbent Vessels of the Guts, which discharge themselves into the [Page 24] meseraick Veins; their Largeness and Number demonstrate this, for they are numerous and vastly larger than their correspondent Arteries; besides, wherever there are Emissaries, there are absorbent Vessels, ex. gr. in the Skin, by the absorbent Vessels of which Mercury will pass into the Blood.

Birds which have strong and large Breasts, small Bellies, and their Ribs upon their Backs have no Lacteals nor thoracick Duct, and their Ali­ment passeth immediately into the meseraick Veins. If one considers the Capacity of the Thoracick Duct, and the Slowness of the Passage of the Aliment by the Lacteals through it, and at the same time the great quantity of some Liquors, as of cha­lybeat Water, which in some pass in a small Time by Urine; by an easy Calculation he will be able to de­monstrate that such a Quantity could not pass into the Blood by the Tho­racick Duct in so short a time.

[Page 25] Therefore when the Intention is to give an immediate Refreshment to the Spirits, as after great Abstinence and Fatigue, Thin or liquid Aliment is the properest, and for the same Reason Chalybeat Waters seem to be a proper Remedy in Hypochon­drical cases; their subtle and divided Particles are taken immediately into the Miseraick Vessels, and carried streight into the Liver and Spleen.

Observations drawn from the Circula­tion of the Chyle with the Blood.


THE Chyle of it self cannot pass through the smallest Vessels (for it neither will pass by Urine nor Sweat) therefore it cannot nourish the Animal, till it is converted into [Page 26] Blood; and it is converted into Blood by the Mechanism of Nature above describ'd, viz. by intimately mixing it with the Particles of the Liquor, to which it is to be assimi­lated, as will appear by what fol­lows.


The Lungs are the first and chief Instrument of Sanguification.

The Chyle first mixeth with the Blood, in the Subclavian Veins, and enters with it into the Heart, where it is very imperfectly mix'd, there being no Mechanism nor Fermentation by extraordinary Heat, &c. to convert it immediately into Blood, which is first effected by the Lungs. The Wind­pipe divides it self into a great num­ber of Branches call'd Bronchia, these end in small Air-Bladders dila­table and contractible, capable to be inflated by the admission of Air, and [Page 27] to subside at the Expulsion of it. The Pulmonary Artery and Vein pass along the surfaces of these Air-Blad­ders in an infinite number of Rami­fications. A great number of those Air-Bladders form what we call Lo­buli, which hang upon the Bronchia, like bunches of Grapes upon a Stalk. These Lobuli constitute the Lobes, and the Lobes the Lungs. Let us see what effect an Engine so contriv'd will have upon the crude mixture of Blood and Chyle; first, as the Blood and Chyle pass through the Ramifi­cations of the Pulmonary Artery, they will be still more perfectly mix'd, a red Liquor, and a white Liquor passing through only one Tube, will both retain their Original Colours; but if this Pipe is divided into Branches, and these again subdivided, the red and white Liquors, as they pass through the Ramifications, will be more intimately mix'd, and both Colours will be blended together; [Page 28] the more Ramifications, the mixture will be the more perfect; but this is not all, for as this mixture of Blood and Chyle passeth through the Arterial Tube, it is press'd by two contrary forces, that of the Heart driving it forward against the sides of the Tube, and the elastick force of the Air pressing it on the opposite side of those Air-Bladders, along the surface of which (as was said before) this Arterial Tube creeps. By those two opposite forces, the parts of the Liquor are compress'd together, and as it were churn'd, and more inti­mately mix'd. Moreover by the al­ternate motion of those Air-Bladders, whose surfaces are by turns freed from mutual contact, and by a sud­den Subsidence meet again by the ingress and egress of the Air; the Liquor is still further attenuated, dissolv'd, and chang'd into a homo­geneous Fluid.

[Page 29] 1. The force of the Air upon the Pulmonary Artery is but small, in respect of that of the Heart, but it is still something, and whatever the effect of it be, it encreaseth, and di­minisheth with the Gravity of the Air, to which the Elasticity is pro­portional.

As to the admittance of the weighty and elastick parts of the Air into the Blood, through the Coats of the Vessels, it seems contrary to Experience. The spumous and florid state which the Blood acquires in passing through the Lungs, is easily accounted for, from its own Elasti­city, and the violent motion before describ'd: The Aerial Particles in the Blood and Chyle expanding them­selves. That the air in the Blood Vessels has a communication with the outward Air, I think seems plain from the Experiments of Human Creatures being able to bear Air of much greater Density in diving, and of [Page 30] much less upon the tops of Moun­tains, provided the Changes be made gradually; otherwise the Air within the Vessels being of a less Density, the outward Air would press their sides together, and being of a greater Density, would expand them so as to endanger the Life of the Ani­mal.

1. As much Blood passeth through the Lungs, as through all the rest of the Body. The Circulation is quicker and Heat greater, and their Texture is extremely delicate; upon all which Accounts they are extremely sensible of any Force either from the too vio­lent Motion or Acrimony of the Blood.

2. Since the Lungs are the first and chief Instrument of Sanguifica­tion, the Animal that has that Or­gan faulty, can never be duly nou­rish'd, nor have the Vital Juices, (which are all deriv'd from the Blood) in a good State; and this is true, un­derstanding [Page 31] the Lungs only as an Instrument of Digestion, and ab­stracting from an Acrid and Purulent Matter, that mixeth with the Blood in such as have their Lungs ulce­rated; therefore such as have a faulty Circulation through the Lungs, ought to eat very little at a time, because the encrease of the quantity of fresh Chyle must make that Circulation still more uneasy, which indeed is the case of Consumptive, and some Asthmatick Persons, and accounts for the Symptoms they are troubled with after eating. The great Rule of Dyet for Consumptive People, and upon which the whole Cure depends, is taking their Aliment in small Quantities. It happens very often unfortunately for Asthmatick Persons that they have Voracious Appetites, and consequently for want of a right Sanguification are often Leucophleg­matick.

[Page 32] 3. The Choice as well as Quan­tity of Dyet, is of great Importance to such as have weak Lungs, for it was observ'd* that the Chyle in the Thoracick Duct retain'd the Origi­nal Taste of the Aliment, which not being yet converted into Blood, and intirely subdued by Circulation, must operate upon the Lungs into which it enters in this Condition, according to its original qualities. The Lungs being the chief Instru­ment of Sanguification, and acting strongly upon the Chyle to bring it to an Animal Fluid, must be reacted upon as strongly.

4. Good Air assists the Digestion, as it is an Instrument of Sanguifica­tion in the Lungs.


The Chyle is not perfectly assi­milated into Blood by its Circulation [Page 33] through the Lungs, for it is known by Experiments of Blood-letting, that several Parts of it remain un­mix'd with the Blood, swimming a top like an oily Substance, even eight Hours after repast, and no doubt this Digestion, as well as that through the Alimentary Duct, is different in different Subjects.


After the Chyle has pass'd through the Lungs, Nature continues her usual Mechanism to convert it into Animal Substances, during its Cir­culation with the Blood, viz. by in­timately mixing the Parts of the Aliment; with these of the Animal Juices, by the action of the solid Parts.

The mixture of Blood and Chyle after its Circulation through the Lungs, being brought back into the left Ventricle of the Heart is drove again by the Heart into the Aorta, [Page 34] through the whole Arterial System, every Particle of the Body receives some Branch from the Aorta, except some of the solid Parts of the Liver. The Arteries are Elastick Tubes, en­dued with a Contractile Force, by which they squeeze, and drive the Blood still forward, it being hin­der'd from going backward by the Valves of the Heart. The Arteries are Conical Vessels, with their Ba­ses towards the Heart, and as they pass on, their Diameters grow still less and less. The Celerity of the Motion diminisheth by the encrease of the Friction of the Fluid, against the sides of the Tubes. Without this Motion, both the Blood and the Chyle, would be converted into one solid Mass, but on the contrary by the continuance of it, the Fluid be­ing compress'd by the sides, of the Tube; especially in the small Ves­sels, where the Points of Contact are more; the Blood and Chyle are [Page 35] still more intimately mix'd, and by Attrition or Friction attenuated, by which the mixture acquires a greater Degree of Fluidity, and Similarity or Homogenerety of Parts. Therefore,

1. Good Blood and a due Pro­jectile Motion or Circulation, are ne­cessary to convert the Aliment into laudible Animal Juices.

2. The Strength of the Aliment (by which I understand its Resistance to the solid Parts) ought to be pro­portion'd to the Strength of the solid parts, and as Animals that use a great deal of Labour or Exercise, have their solid Parts more elastick and strong, they can bear and ought to have stronger Food, too thin Nou­rishment being quickly dissipated by the vigorous Action of the solid Parts.

3. The Defects of the first Con­coction are not to be mended by the second; for if the Chyle passeth into the Blood in a bad State, as the force of Fibres, which contribute to [Page 36] the second Digestion is limited, it is not sufficient to convert a Peccant Liquor, into laudable Animal Juices.


The Aliment as it circulates through an Animal Body, is reduc'd almost to an imperceptible tenuity, be­fore it can serve the Animal Purposes.

The Blood in live Animals, con­sists of red Globules, swimming in a Serum or watery Liquor. The smallest Vessels which carry the Blood, or red Fluid by Lateral Branches separate the next thinner Fluid or Serum, the Diameters of which Lateral Branches are less than the Diameters of the Blood Vessels, and will not in a healthy State ad­mit the red Fluid. Such may be call'd Serous Arteries. Those Serous Arteries emit Lateral Branches which carry Lymph, a Liquor still more Limpid than Serum, and from the [Page 37] Liquor which they carry may be call'd Lymphatick Arteries, trans­mitting their Liquor into the Lym­phatick Veins, those Lymphatick Arteries will not admit Serum. How far this progression goes is not cer­tain; ten capillary Arteries in some parts of the Body as in the Brain, are not equal to one Hair, and the smallest Lymphatick Vessels are a hundred times smaller than the smal­lest Capillary Artery. What Mecha­nism is that which can attenuate a Fluid compounded of the Ingredients of Human Aliment, as Oil, Salts, Earth, Water, so as to make it flow freely through such Tubes?

1. Hence one can easily perceive the inconveniency of Viscidity which obstructs, and Acrimony that destroys the Capillary Vessels.

2. Obstructions must be most incident to such parts of the Body, where the Circulation and the E­lastick force of the Fibres are both [Page 38] smallest, and those are the Glands which are the extremities of Arte­ries form'd into Cylindrical Canals.

3. Hence too solid or viscous Aliment is hurtful to scrophulous Persons.


The Fluids and Solids of an Animal Body demand a constant Reparation.

An Animal in order to be moveable must be flexible, and there­fore is fitly made of separate and small solid Parts replete with proper Fluids. The whole Body is nothing but a System of such Canals, which all communicate with one another, mediately or immediately (for a Lym­phatick Vessel communicates with the Artery, by the intermediate Gland.) In this moveable Body the fluid and solid Parts, must be con­sum'd by the Muscular Motion, and the perpetual Flux of the Liquids; [Page 39] a great part of which are thrown out of the Body by proper Emissa­ries, and the smaller Solids are like­wise rubb'd off, mix'd with the Fluids, and in that form exhal'd. Therefore both Fluids and Solids de­mand a constant Reparation.

1. The Quantity of Solids not Morbid in an Animal Body is very small, as appears by Atrophies, or Decays; and likewise by Microscopes, those Solids are entirely Nervous and proceed from the Brain, and Spinal Marrow, which by their bulk appear sufficient to furnish all the Stamina or Threads of the solid Parts. The Solids are originally form'd of a Fluid, from a small Point, as appears by the gradual Formation of a Foetus. The Solids and Fluids differ, only in the degree of Cohe­sion, which being a little encreas'd turns a Fluid into a Solid. How the Fluids are repair'd has been already explain'd. The Nutrition [Page 40] of the Solids is somewhat more ob­scure.


Nutrition of the Solids is per­form'd by the circulating Liquid in a due degree of tenuity in the smallest Vascular Solids.

The Fluids and Solids of an Ani­mal Body, are easily transmutable into one another. The white of an Egg (a Fluid resembling the Serum of the Blood, and of which a whole Animal is made) will coagulate and turn Solid by a moderate Heat, and the hardest of Animal Solids are re­solvable again into Gellys.

As the white of an Egg by Incu­bation, so can the Serum by the action of the Fibres be still more and more attenuated. A Fluid moving through a flexible Canal, when the Canal grows extremely small and slender, by its Friction, [Page 41] will naturally lengthen, and as it were Wire-draw, the Sides of the Canal, according to the Direction of its Axis, and as the Canal is leng­then'd or Wire-drawn, it grows still smaller and slenderer so as that the evanescent solid and fluid scarce dif­fering, the Extremities of these small Canals will by Propulsion be carried off with the Fluid continually, and likewise continually repair'd and new ones made in their room. The Force of the Fluid will likewise separate the smallest Particles which compose the Fibres so as to leave vacant Intersti­ces in those Places where they co­her'd before, which vacant Places will be again fill'd up by Particles carried on by the succeeding Fluid (as a Bank by the Mud of the Cur­rent) and which of course must be reduced to that Figure which gives the least Resistance to the Current, and consequently must apply them­selves to the inward Surface of the [Page 42] Canal so as to preserve the Tube, the System of Tubes that is the Animal entire.

1. Those Tubes that are most re­cently made of Fluids are most fle­xible and most easily lengthen'd, such Tubes as have often suffer'd this Force grow rigid, and hardly more extendi­ble therefore.

2. An Animal the nearer to its Original, the more it grows.

3. To this Motion of Elongation of the Fibres is owing the Union or Conglutination of the Parts of the Body, when they are separated by a Wound.

4. From the foregoing Doctrine it is easy to explain the Formation of the most solid Parts of the Body, for when the Fluid moves in several small Vessels, which by the Contact of their Sides stop the Current of the Fluid those Canals by degrees are abolish'd and grow solid, several of them united grow a Membrane, [Page 43] these Membranes further consolidated become Cartilages, and Cartilages, Bones; consequently, an Animal the nearer it is to its Original, the more Pipes it hath, and as it advanceth in Age still the fewer. Many of our Vessels degenerate into Ligaments the very Sutures of the Skull are abolish'd in old Age.

5. Many practical Rules may be drawn from the foregoing Doctrine, for the Diet of Human Creatures according to their different States of Life, and the Condition of the So­lids, it is evident that the Diet of Infants ought to be extremely thin, such as lengthens the Fibres without Rupture; but in a young Animal, when the Solids are too Lax (the Case of rickety Children) the Diet ought to be gently Astringent.

The Aliment likewise ought to be different according to the State of the Solids, in Animals full grown: tho' an Animal arrives at its full [Page 44] Growth at a certain Age, perhaps it never comes to its full Bulk, till the last Period of Life. The Membra­na adiposa invests almost every Part of the Body, so that there is hard­ly any Fibre, but is sheath'd with a Part of it. This Membrane sepa­rates an oily Liquor call'd Fat, ne­cessary for many Purposes of Life; when the Fibres are Lax, and the Aliment too redundant, great part of it is converted into this oily Li­quor, all the superfluous Weight of an Animal beyond the Vessels, Bones and Muscles is nothing but Fat; but the Conversion of the Aliment into Fat is not properly Nutrition, which is a Reparation of the Solids and Fluids, and Fat properly speaking is neither. But I shall treat more par­ticularly of these Subjects in their proper Place.

7. The Matter of Nutrition is most subtile, and Nutrition the last and most perfect Animal Action, to [Page 45] perform it by the foregoing Propo­sitions, there must be a due Degree of projectile Motion, or Celerity of Circulation to which Attrition and Heat is proportional. The Heat e­qual to Incubation, is only nutri­tious; any thing less or more is in­sufficient, and the nutritious Juice it­self resembles the White of an Egg, in all its Qualities. By too weak a Circulation the Aliment approacheth to these Qualities which it would ac­quire by a small Degree of Heat without Motion, is viscous imper­fectly mix'd, and the Person in this Condition is subject to all the Acci­dents of a Plethora, by too strong a projectile Motion the Aliment tends to Putrefaction is dissipated; and the solid Parts instead of being re­pair'd are destroy'd. Hence may be deduc'd the Force of Exercise in help­ing Digestion, and likewise the Rules for regulating the Times and Degrees of it. But those are foreign to my Subject.


The frequent Repetition of Ali­ment is not only necessary for re­pairing the Fluids and Solids of an Animal Body, but likewise to keep the Fluids from the putrescent alka­line State, which they would ac­quire, by constant Motion, and At­trition, without being diluted, by a fresh Emulsion of new Chyle.

An Animal that starves of Hunger dies feverish, and delirious as appears by Experiments upon Cats and Dogs, for the most fluid Parts are dissipat­ed, what remains turns alkaline and corrosive affecting the tender Fibres of the Brain. The most severe Or­ders of the Church of Rome who practise Abstinence, feel after it fe­tid hot Eructations and Head-Aches. Long Abstinence does not kill by want of Blood, for twenty Days fast­ing will not diminish its quantity so [Page 47] much as one great Hoemorage. An Animal can never dye for want of Blood, while there is a quantity suf­ficient for the continuity of the Pres­sure, it makes, so apply'd to the Brain, as to produce Animal Spirits. Besides the Diminution both of the Fluids and Solids in an Atrophy, is much greater than what can happen by being starv'd. Therefore fasting kills by the bad State, not by the insufficient quantity of Fluids.

Any watery Liquor will keep an Animal from starving very long by diluting the Fluids, and consequent­ly keeping them from this alkaline State; which is confirm'd by Expe­rience, for People have liv'd twenty four Days upon nothing but Wa­ter, and the Stories of long Absti­nence where Water has been allow'd are not incredible.

[Page 48] 1. Long Abstinence in hot bi­lious Constitutions may be the Pa­rent of great Diseases, yet it is more troublesome to acid Constitutions by the Uneasiness it creates in the Sto­mach.

Observations drawn from the Nature and most simple Analysis of vegeta­ble Substances.


ALL Animals are made imme­diately or mediately of Vegeta­bles that is by feeding on Vegetables, or on Animals that are fed on Ve­getables, there being no Process in infinitum.


Vegetables are proper enough to repair Animals as being near the [Page 49] same specifick Gravity, with the Ani­mal Juices, and as consisting of the same Parts with Animal Substances, Spirit-Water, Salt, Oil, Earth; all which are contain'd in the Sap, they derive from the Earth, which con­sists of Rain-Water, Air, putrified juices of Plants, and Animals; and even Minerals for the Ashes of Plants yield something which the Loadstone attracts. Plants are either eat raw, or prepar'd by the Arts of Cookery.


The Sap is diversify'd, and still more and more elaborated and ex­alted as it circulates through the Ves­sels of the Plant.

The Sap when it first enters the Root, and is not subdued by the Ac­tion of the Plant retains much of its own Nature, and has not much of the Vegetable; being earthy, watery, poor, and scarce oleaginous. The Sap after it has enter'd the Root is more and [Page 50] more elaborated as it passeth into the Stem, Branches, Leaves, Flowers, Fruit and Seeds. The Juice of the Stem is like the Chyle in an Animal Body, not sufficiently concocted by Circu­lation, and is commonly subacid in all Plants. This Juice is yielded in great Plenty by Incision in some Plants. The Juices of the Leaves are, First, That obtain'd by Expression which is the nutritious Juice ren­der'd somewhat more oleaginous; from this Juice proceeds the diffe­rence of the Taste of the Leaves of Plants. Secondly, Wax which is scrap'd off by the Bees and is a ve­getable Substance. Thirdly, Manna which is an essential Sacharine Salt sweating from the Leaves of most Plants.

The Juices of the Flowers are, First, The express'd Juice a little more elaborated. Secondly, A vola­tile Oil and Spirit wherein the par­ticular Smell of the Plant resides. [Page 51] Thirdly, Honey exuding from all Flowers the Bitter not excepted, this is gather'd by the Bees, and suck'd in by their Trunks into their Sto­machs. The Juice of the Fruit is still the Juice of the Plant more ela­borated. The Juice of the Seed is an essential Oil or Balm design'd by Nature to preserve the Seed from Corruption. The Bark contains be­sides the common Juice, an oily Juice which sweats out of divers Plants, when this Juice is in greater Plenty than can be exhal'd by the Sun, it renders the Plant ever Green. This Oil farther inspissated by Evaporati­on turns by degrees into Balm, Pitch, Rosin, &c. Besides all these there is a peculiar Juice in each Species not reduceable to Water, Oils, Bal­sam, which may be call'd the Blood of the Plant. Thus some Plants up­on breaking their Vessels yield a milky Juice; others a Yellow of pe­culiar Tastes and Qualities.

[Page 52] 1. Hence it follows, that he who eats a whole raw Plant, or the ex­press'd Juice of it, takes in a greater Variety of Substances, than he who feeds on the same Plant prepar'd or on some of the Parts of it, for all Plants have the most of the fore­mention'd Ingredients, at least in small Quantities.

2. Vegetables differ from Fossils, and Animals in that being burnt to Ashes they yield a fix'd Alkaline Salt which in those of a sharp Scent, as Mustard, Onions, &c. is in a very small Quantity.

3. The Effects of vegetable Sub­stances upon Human Bodies are more Various than these of Animal Sub­stances; and the Mechanism of Plants seems to be more various than that of Animals, for the, same Plant produceth as great a variety of Juices as there is in the same Animal, and the different Plants a greater Varie­ty, and yet the Aliment of Plants is [Page 53] one uniform Juice; for from the same Soil may be produc'd a great variety of Plants, whereas different Species of Animals live upon very different sorts of Substances; both Mechanisms are equally curious, from one uniform Juice to extract all the variety of vegetable Juices, or from such variety of Food to make a Fluid very near uniform, the Blood of an Animal.

4. The specifick Qualities of Plants reside in their native Spirit, Oil and essential Salt; for the Water, fix'd Salt and Earth appear to be the same in all Plants.

The Effects of the foremention'd Ingredients of Plants are as follows, Vegetable Salts are capable of resolv­ing the coagulated Humours of a Human Body, and of attenuating, by stimulating the Solids and dis­solving the Fluids: Salts likewise pro­mote Secretions, Oils relax the Fibres, are Lenient, Balsamick, and abate [Page 54] Acrimony in the Blood. It is by Virtue of this Oil, that Vegetables are nutrimental, for this Oil is ex­tracted by Animal Digestion as an Emulsion, and abounds most in Plants of full Growth, and when the Salts and Water are in least abun­dance. Aromatick Plants tho' they abound with Oil, yet it is not soft and nutritious, but as it is mix'd with a Spirit, is too heating.

The Volatile Salt and Spirit of Vegetables is penetrating, heating and active, contrary to the Proper­ties of Acids. The Balsams of Plants contain a Volatile Salt, such Balsams when depriv'd of their Acids change into Oils. Wax consists of an acid Spirit of a nauseous Taste, and an Oil or Butter which appears white. This Oil is Emollient, Laxative and Anodyne.

Honey is the most elaborate Pro­duction of the Vegetable Kind, be­ing a most exquisite vegetable Soap, [Page 55] resolvent of the Bile, Balsamick and Pectoral. Honey contains no in­flammable Spirit before it has felt the Force of Fermentation, for the Distillation of it affords nothing that will burn in the Fire.

The Fruits of most Vegetables are likewise Soaps, all Soaps (which are a Mixture of Salt and Oil) are at­tenuating and deobstruent resolving viscid Substances; for meer Water dissolves nothing but Salts: but as the Substance of Coagulations is not merely Saline, nothing dissolves them but what penetrates and relaxes at the same time, that is a Soap or a Mixture of Oil and Salt.

6. Tastes are the Indexes of the different Qualities of Plants as well as of all sorts of Aliment: Different Tastes proceed from different Mix­tures of Water, Earth, Oil and Salt, but chiefly from the Oil and Spirit mix'd with some Salt of a peculiar Nature. A Muriatick or Briny Taste [Page 56] seems to be produced by a Mixture of an acid and alkaline Salt, for Spi­rit of Salt and Salt Tartar mix'd, pro­duce a Salt like Sea Salt. Bitter and acrid differ only by the sharp Parti­cles of the first, being involv'd in a greater quantity of Oil than those of the last. Acid or sowr proceeds from a Salt of the same Nature With­out a Mixture of Oil; in austere Tastes the oily Parts have not disen­tangled themselves from the Salts, and earthy Parts, such is the Taste of un­ripe Fruits. In sweet Tastes, the a­cid Particles seem to be so atte­nuated, and dissolv'd in the Oil, as to produce only a small and grate­ful Titillation. In oily Tastes, the Salts seem to be intirely disentan­gled.

Vegetables have very different Ef­fects on Human Bodies as they con­tain acid or alkaline Salts, and are to be us'd according to the different Constitution of the Body at that [Page 57] time, as will appear by what will be said afterwards. All the Tetrapeta­lous siliquose Plants are Alkalescent.


Mankind take as Aliment all the parts of Vegetables, but their proper­est Food of the Vegetable King­dom is taken from the Farinaceous, or mealy Seeds of some Culmiferous Plants, as Oats, Barley, Wheat, Rice, Rye, Maes, Panick Millet; or of some of the siliquose legumi­nous, as Pease, Beans, &c. Those as they are Seeds (by what was said, Prop. III.) contain the most elabo­rate part of the Plant, are oily, and therefore proper to make the Ani­mal Emulsion of Chyle, and their Oil is not highly exalted, and hot as that of Acrid and Aromatical Plants, but mild and benign to hu­man Bodies.

[Page 58] Barley is Emollient, moistning and expectorating. Oats have some of the same qualities. Barley was chosen by Hippocrates as proper Food in inflammatory Distempers. Rice is the Food of perhaps two thirds of Mankind, it is most kindly and be­nign to human Constitutions, pro­per for the Consumptive, and such as are subject to Haemorages, next to Rice is Wheat, the Bran of which is highly Acescent and Stimulating. Therefore the Bread that is not too much purged from it is more whole­some for some Constitutions; Rye is more Acid, Laxative and less nourishing than Wheat; Millet is diraetick, deterging and useful in Diseases of the Kidneys. Panick af­fords a soft Demulcent Nourishment both for Granivorous Birds, and Man­kind. Mays affords a very strong Nourishment, but more viscous than Wheat. Pease being depriv'd of any Aromatick parts are mild, and de­mulcent [Page 59] in the highest degree; but being full of Aerial Particles are fla­tulent, when dissolv'd by Digestion. Beans resemble them in most of their qualities. All the foremention'd Plants are highly acescent except Pease and Beans.

The mealy parts of the foremen­tion'd Plants dissolv'd in Water, make too viscid an Aliment to be constantly us'd, and justly condemn'd by Hippocrates. Therefore Mankind have found the means to make them more easy of Digestion by ferment­ing, and making some of them into Bread, which is the lightest and pro­perest Aliment for human Bodies, Leaven by its Acid Salt, dividing the Mucous and oily parts of the Meal.

The next sort of Substances which Mankind feed on, are Fruits of Trees, and Shrubs, these all contain Water or Flegm, a great Quantity of Oil, much elaborated, and an essential Salt, upon the different mixtures of [Page 60] these Ingredients, depend their diffe­rent Qualities, by which they are sharp, sweet, sow'r or Styptick. Of Fruits some are Pulpy, others contain'd within a hard Shell, which last are indeed the Seeds of the Plants, to which they belong, and contain a great deal of Oil, entangled with Earthly Parts and Salts, which often­times make them hard of Digestion, and pass the Alimentary Duct un­dissolv'd. There are other Fruits which contain a great deal of cooling viscid Juice, combin'd with a Ni­trous Salt, which sometimes makes them offensive to the Stomach; such are many of the low Pomiferous kind, as Cucumbers, Pompions, tho' a­mongst those, Melons when good, have a rich Juice, and somewhat A­romatick; they are Diuretick, and there are instances of their having thrown People into bloody Urine.

Of Alimentary Leaves, the O­lera or Pot Herbs afford an excel­lent [Page 61] Nourishment, amongst those are the Cole or Cabbage kind, Emol­lient, Laxative, and resolvent Alka­lescent, and therefore proper in cases of Acidity. Red Cabbage is reckon'd a Medicine in Consumptions and spittings of Blood. Amongst the Pot Herbs are some Lactescent Pa­pescent Plants, as Lettuce, and En­dive, which contain a most whole­some Juice, resolvent of the Bile, Anodyne and Cooling, extremely useful in all Diseases of the Liver. Artichokes contain a rich Nutritious Stimulating Juice.

Of the Stems of Plants, some contain a sine Aperient Salt, and are Diaretick and Saponaceous, as Asparagus which affects the Urine with a Fetid Smell (especially if cut when they are White) and therefore have been suspected by some Physi­cians as not friendly to the Kidneys, when they are older and begin to ramify they lose this quality.

[Page 62] Of Alimentary Roots, some are Pulpy, and very Nutritious, as Tur­neps, Carrots, these have a fattening Quality, which they manifest in feed­ing of Cattle. There are other Roots which contain an Acrid Volatile Salt, as Onions, Garlick, Leeks, Ra­dishes, the mildest of these is Selery. Those sorts of Roots are Alkalescent and heating; and therefore proper in cases of Acidity. The Fungus kind, as Mushrooms, Truffles afford an Alkaline Salt, and much Oil, some of them being poisonous make the others suspicious if taken in too great Quantities.

There are many Vegetable Sub­stances us'd by Mankind, as season­ings, which abound with a highly exalted Aromatick Oil, as Thyme, Savoury, and all Spices. Those are heating and the most of them hard of Digestion. The most friendly to the Stomach, is Fennel: Mustard, which is us'd in Seasoning [Page 63] abounds with a most Pungent Salt and Oil, extremely active, and heat­ing. Sugar is an essential Salt of a Plant combin'd with an Oil, which renders it Inflammable.


To give an Account of the In­gredients into which Vegetables re­solve themselves by the most simple O­perations of Cookery and Chymistry.

The Operations of Cookery and Chymistry fall much short of the, vital force of an Animal. Body, no Chymist can make Milk or Blood of Grass, yet it gives some light to this Subject, to show into what Parts Vegetables resolve themselves by such Simple Operations, as barely sepa­rate their Parts without confounding or destroying them.

The two Operations already men­tion'd, viz. making an Emulsion and Vegetable Putrefaction resemble Animal Digestion the most.

[Page 64] 1. In making an Emulsion, the oily Parts of Vegetables dissolve in­to a white Liquor, resembling Chyle. Our Vegetable Food consists of mealy Seeds, Fruits, Bread, &c. Upon which the Teeth and Jaws act as the Pestle and Mortar, the Spittle, Bile, Pancrea­tick Juice, &c. art the Men­struum instead of the Water, which the Chymist employs, the Stomach and Intestines are the Press, and the Lacteal Vessels the Strainers, to se­parate the pure Emulsion from its Foeces. The Chyle is white, as con­sisting of Salt, Oil, and Water of our Food, much levigated or smooth. This likewise constitutes the white­ness of Emulsions.

2. Vegetable Putrefaction (by what has been mention'd before) turns Vegetable Substances into an Animal Nature.

3. Amongst the Ingredients of Vegetables that which constitutes the most spiritous and fragrant part of [Page 65] the Plant, is what passeth by Per­spiration, and exhales by the action of the Sun. This is as it were the presiding Spirit of the Plant, from which it draws its peculiar flavour, and is the most active Principle in the Vegetable. Thus every Plant has its Atmosphere, which have very various effects on these who stay near them, producing Head Achs, Sleep, Fainting, Vapours; and o­thers, a great refreshment of the Spi­rits. It is reported, that in Brazil there are Trees which kill those that sit under their shade in a few Hours. This fragrant Spirit is obtain'd from all Plants which are in the least Aro­matick, by a cold Still, with a heat not exceeding that of Summer.

4. If to a Plant you pour hot Wa­ter, and let it stand a sufficient time, the Liquor strain'd is call'd the infu­sion of the Plant, if the Plant be boil'd in the same Water, the strain'd Li­quor is call'd the Decoction of the [Page 66] Plant. The Infusions and Decoctions of Plants contain the most separable parts of the Plants, and convey not only their Nutritious but Medicinal Qualities into the Blood. This is plain by many Experiments. The Infusion of Cassia Fistularis makes the Urine Green. The Infusions and De­coctions of Rhubarb, and Saffron will in a quarter of an Hour tinge the Urine with a high Yellow.

5. The most oily parts are not separated by a slight Decoction, till they are disentangl'd from the Salts, for if what remains of the Subject after the Infusion and Decoction, be continu'd to be boil'd down with the addition of fresh Water, a fat sapid odorous viscous inflammable frothy Water will constantly be found floating a top of the boiling Liquor, which being scumm'd off and gently dry'd, will flame away in the Fire. This Liquor is a kind of Soap consi­sting of the Oil and Salt of the Plant.

[Page 67] 6. Infusions and slight De­coctions contain more of the Speci­fick Qualities of the Plant than these which are more violent, for by a strong Decoction some part of the Taste and Smell fly off every Mo­ment.

7. The Infusion and Decocti­on prepar'd as before being evapo­rated to a thicker Consistence, ac­cording to the several Degrees of Thickness passeth into a Jelly, Defru­tum, sapa Rob extract which contain all the virtues of the Infusion or De­coction freed only from some of the watery parts.

8. The utmost force of boiling Water is not able to destroy the structure of the tenderest Plant. The Lineaments of a White Lily will re­main after the strongest Decoction.

9. The Extract obtain'd by the former Operation burnt to Ashes, and those Ashes boil'd in Water, and filtrated, yield a fiery Salt.

[Page 68] 10. The greater Quantity of vo­latile Salt any Plant contains, which is the case of the more pungent in Taste, and Odour, the less it affords of this fixt Alkali: Those fix'd Al­kaline Salts do not preexist in the same form in the Plant, for Acid Plants as Sorel will afford by this O­peration, an Alkaline Salt. Those Salts grow still more fiery and Alkaline by a greater degree of Heat. Of all the Essential Salts of Plants, that which is in most common use in Aliment, is Sugar, which rather dissolves Flegm, than increaseth it; fot it grows tenacious only by long boiling, it is a Sal Oleosum, for it is both soluble in Water, and fu­sible in Fire.

11. Another manner of preparing Vegetables is by expressing their Juices. Those express'd Juices, con­tain the true Essential Salt of the Plant, for if they be boil'd into the consistence of a Syrup, and fet in a [Page 69] cool place; the Essential Salt of the Plant will shoot upon the sides of the Vessels. Those Essential Salts of Plants differ according to the Plant unto which they belong, but are re­duc'd into three Classes. First, Those of Acid Astringent, Austere Vege­tables as of unripe Fruits which re­semble the Tartar. Secondly, Those of succulent watery Plants, as En­dive, Cichory which afford a fine nitrous kind of Salt soluble in Wa­ter, and very cooling. Thirdly, Those from oily Aromatick and odorife­rous Vegetables, which will hardly afford any till their Oils be extract­ed from them: feom hence it ap­pears that the express'd Juices of Ve­getables not filtrated very clear con­tain their whole Specifick Virtues.

12. In the preparations of Coo­kery the most volatile parts of Ve­getables are destroy'd; if any of them are retain'd it is in Decoctions which are made in Balneo.

[Page 70] Decoctions, when we take the Li­quor, contain the Specifick Virtues of the Plants, when we feed upon the Plant it makes their solid parts more tender, and deprives them of a great deal of their more subtile Oils.

13. The vascular and solid parts of Plants are incapable of any change in the Animal Body, for the remain­der of a strong Decoction held over a clear Fire will burn to Ashes, which is true Elementary Earth. The fibrous and solid parts of Plants, pass unalter'd through the Intestines, and sometimes by sticking there oc­casion great disorders. Grains and Nuts pass often through Animals unalter'd. The Excrements of Horses are nothing but Hay, and as such combustible.

14. Vegetable Substances contain a great deal of Air, which as they are dissolv'd in the Alimentary Duct expands itself, producing all the dis­orders of Flatulency.

[Page 71] 15. There are other Preparations of Vegetables by Fermentation, whereby they are wrought up into spirituous Liquors, which may be call'd by the general name of Wines. Such fermented Liquors have quite diffe­rent qualities from the Plant itself, for no Fruit taken Crude has the intoxicating Quality of Wine.

Observations from the nature and most simple Analysis of Animal Sub­stances.

AN Animal consider'd in its material part, cannot well be defin'd from any particular origanical part, which in some species are want­ing, in others are more than one, nor from its locomotive Faculty; for there are some which adhere to Rocks, and other places. The. Cha­racteristick [Page 72] of an Animal is to take its Aliment by a voluntary action, by some aperture of the Body, which may be call'd a Mouth, and to convey it into another call'd the Intestines, into which its Roots are implanted, whereby it draws its Nourishment much after the manner of Vegetables, only a Vegetable has its Root planted without itself, and an Animal its Root within its self. A Foetus in the Womb is indeed nourish'd like a Plant, but after­wards by a Root planted within itself, perhaps too an Animal may be distinguish'd from a Vegetable in that its Juices move through the Ca­nals by a projectile Motion.


To give a short account of the con­stituent Parts of Animal Substances.

An Animal consists of solid and fluid Parts, unless one should reckon some [Page 73] of an intermediate nature as Fat and Flegm.

1. The solids sèem to be Earth bound together with some Oil, for if a Bone be calcin'd so, as the least force will crumble it, being im­mers'd in Oil it will grow firm again.

The last Animal Solids are Earth in its greatest Simplicity, for the Chymists make Vessels of Animal Substances calcin'd, which will not vitrify in the Fire; for all Earth which hath any Salt or Oil in it, will turn to Glass.

2. The Fluids of Animals are more crude, and resemble those of Vegetables, as they are nearer the Root of the Animal. Thus Chyle may be said to be a, vegetable Juice in the Stomach and Intestines, and pour'd upon Blood it seems like Oil; as it passeth into the Lacteals it grows still more Animal, and when it has circulated often with the Blood, it is entirely so.

[Page 74] 3. Blood is the most universal Juice in an Animal Body, and from which all the rest are deriv'd, the red part of it differs from the Serum, the Serum from the Lymph, the Lymph from the nervous Juice, and that from the several other Humours that are separated in the Glands.

4. Animal Substances differ from Vegetable in two Things. First, In that being reduc'd to Ashes they are perfectly insipid, all Animal Salts being volatile, flying off with great Heat. Secondly, In that there is no sincere Acid in any Animal Juice.

5. And yet the Parts of the one are transmutable into the nutritious Juice of the other. An Animal can nourish a Plant, and a Plant an Ani­mal, by which it seems probable that Vegetables have the Power of con­verting the alkaline Juices of Ani­mals into Acids. From the two foremention'd Differences of Vegeta­ble and Animal Substances follows, [Page 75] First, That all Animal Diet is alka­lescent, or anti-acid. Secondly, That Animal Substances containing no fixt Salt, want the assistance of those for Digestion, which preserve them both within and without the Body from Putrefaction.

6. The constituent Parts of Ani­mals are, First, Earth. Secondly, A peculiar Spirit analogous to that of Plants. Thirdly, Water. Fourthly, Salts. Fifthly, Oil.

7. The Earth as was before ob­serv'd is sincere, and immutable.

8. The Spirit is an oily Substance so attenuated as to become volatile. This Spirit seems to be distinguish'd in every Species, and Individual; a Blood-Hound will follow the Tract of the Person he pursues, and all Hounds the particular Game they have in Chase, and the Faculty by which they distinguish particular Men seems to be analogous to ours of dis­tinguishing the different Species of Vegetables by their Scent.

[Page 76] 9. Therefore, since the Animals of the wild kind have their Scent, and consequently this presiding Spi­rit more high, it is probable that their Juices are more exalted in Pro­portion.

10. Water is the chief Ingredient in all the Animal Fluids and Solids; for a dry Bone distill'd affords a great quantity of insipid Water. There­fore Water seems to be proper Drink for every sort of Animal.

11. The Juices of Animals con­sist of Water impregnated with Salts of a peculiar Nature (excepting Chyle which as was said before may be reputed a vegetable Juice, and often contain Acids) These Salts are neither acid, nor perfectly volatile; for in the Evaporation of Human Blood by a gentle Fire the Salt will not rise, but only the Spirit, and Water, not perfectly fix'd; for Hu­man Blood calcin'd yields no fix'd Salt, nor is it a Sal Ammoniac; for [Page 77] that remains immutable after repeat­ed Distillations; and Distillation de­stroys the ammoniacal Quality of Animal Salts, and turns them alka­line, so that it is a Salt neither quite fix'd, nor quite volatile, nor quite acid, nor quite alkaline, nor quite ammoniacal, but soft and benign, approaching nearest to the Nature of a Sal Ammoniac. The elementary Salts of Animals are not the same, as they appear by Distillation; these Alterations being made by Fire. Those Salts are of a peculiar benign mild Nature in healthy Persons who have a vital Force to subdue all the sapid Substances which they feed upon, but in such who have not that vital Force, or commit some Error in their Diet, these Salts are not sufficiently atte­nuated, and retain their original Qua­lities, which they discover in Cahe­xies, Scurvies of several kinds and other Distempers. The Cure of which chiefly lies in the choice of Aliment [Page 78] with Qualities opposite to the Na­ture of these Salts.

12. Animal Oil is various accord­ing to Principles inherent in it, but being freed from the Earth, Salts, &c. it is a simple unactive principle, and the same in all Animals.

13. Animal Substances are more easily assimulated into Animal Sub­stances, and therefore it seems pro­bable that they are more nourishing to Human Bodies than Vegetable.

The Nature of Animal Food must depend upon the Nature, Age, Diet, and other Circumstances of the Ani­mal we feed upon.

Animal Juices as well as Vegetable are in their greatest Perfection when the Animal is full grown; young A­nimals participate of the Nature of their tender Aliment, as Sucklings of Milk.

Animal Nourishment differs con­siderably as the Animal is terrestrial, amphibious, or aquatick. Fishes con­tain [Page 79] more of Animal Salts and Oil, for they corrupt sooner than terres­trial Animals, some Fishes as the Thornback when dry'd, taste of Sal Ammoniac.

The muscular Fibres of Fishes are generally more small and tender than those of terrestrial Animals, and their whole Substance more watery. Some Fishes as Whitings, can be almost entirely dissolv'd into Water.

From which Qualities a Diet of Fish is more rich and alkalesccnt than that of Flesh, and therefore very im­proper for such as practise Mortifi­cation. The Inhabitants of Sea-Port Towns are generally prolifick.

The Oils with which Fishes a­bound often turn rancid, and lie hea­vy on the Stomach, and effect the very Sweat with a rancid Smell, which is found to be true in some Places where the Inhabitants live entirely upon Fish.

[Page 80] Notwithstanding the redundant Oil in Fishes they do not increase Fat so much as Flesh, by reason of their watery Quality.

Water-Fowl abound with the same rancid Oil as Fish.

Fish being highly alkalescent, wants to be qualified by Salt and Vinegar.

14. Another Difference of the Flesh of Animals depends upon the diffe­rence of their Food, from which it is not hard to determine their Qua­lities consider'd as Aliment. Those Animals that live upon other Ani­mals have their Flesh and Juices more alkalescent, than those that live upon Vegetables.

15. The difference of the Quali­ties of the Flesh of the same Species, depends upon the manner of living of the Animal.

Abstracting from other Conside­rations, the most healthy Animal affords the best Aliment, and the castrated; than those that are not so.

[Page 81] An Animal that feeds itself takes the most proper Food, in the pro­perest Quantities (if it has plenty enough) has better Air, and more Exercise, all which contribute to make the Animal more healthy; for these Reasons Hippocrates commends the Flesh of the wild Sow above the tame. The wild Kinds of Animals having more Exercise, have their Jui­ces more elaborated and exalted; but for the same Reason the Fibres are harder, especially when old. For this Reason perhaps the Roe-Buck is the finest of the Venison Kind. This Rule in some measure holds true with Fishes; Sea-Fish living in an Ele­ment more agitated, and River-Fish are better than those in Ponds.

Eels for want of Exercise are fat and slimy, for this Reason perhaps Fish without Fins and Scales were for­bid the Israelites.

As the Fibres of fat Animals are often more tender and moist than [Page 82] those of lean, they are more coveted by Mankind, and tame Fowls of­fering themselves as it were to Man­kind, seem to be their natural Food.

16. The Juices of the same Ani­mal in Decoctions are often more nourishing, when the solid Parts are not so good, and the Broth made of grown Animals more nourishing than that of young; for of the Parts of the same Animal the muscular Flesh with the nervous Parts, afford the best Nourishment as containing the most spirituous Parts. The dif­ference of the muscular Flesh taken in Substance depends upon the Hard­ness, Tenderness, Moisture or Dry­ness of the Fibres. The Glands dif­fer according to the particular Juices which they separate from the Blood. Of all the Glands the Livers are the most corruptible. Stall-fed Oxen and cramm'd Fowls are often diseas'd in their Livers.


To give an Account of the Na­ture and most simple Analysis of A­nimal Fluids and Solids.

The properest Subjects for such an Enquiry are, First, The Fluid which begins to receive an Animal Nature without having perfectly attain'd to it, and approaches nearest to the Nature of Chyle, viz. Milk. Se­condly, That which having attain'd an Animal Nature by Circulation is noxious if retain'd in the Animal; U­rine. Thirdly, An Animal Fluid no ways excrementitious, mild, elabo­rated and nutritious, and from which every part of a perfect Animal can be form'd; the White of an Egg. Fourthly, The nutritious Juice of a healthy Human Body which resem­bles the White of an Egg in most of its Qualities. Fifthly, The Bones.

[Page 84] 1. None of the Animal Fluids a­bove mention'd, in a sound State is either acid or alkaline. First, If to any quantity of warm new Milk you pour Oil of Tartar per deliquium, or any other Alkali, no Effervescence will follow, but the whole Body of the Liquor will remain at rest, though it appear somewhat thinner. To another Quantity of warm Milk pour Spirit of Nitre, or any strong Acid, and again no Motion nor Ebullition will appear, only the Milk presently after will become thicker than it was; mix together the two Parcels of Milk, upon which the Experiments were made, and a great Effervescence will immediately arise; from whence the Proposition is evident, that Milk is neither an Acid nor Alkali, but when there is an Acid and Alkali mix'd in it, they manifest themselves by their Conflict: Milk doth not discover it­self to be Acid or Alkaline by Trials with the Syrup of Violets.

[Page 85] The same Experiments hold in two Parcels of the Urine of a heal­thy Person before it has stood twelve Hours.

The same Experiments succeed on two Parcels of a White of an Egg, only it grows somewhat thicker up­on mixing with an acid. The Serum of the Blood stands the same Trials of Acids and Alkalis.

2. The Milks of several Animals differ but very little as to their sensi­ble Qualities; Womens Milk is the sweetest, as to their nutritious Quali­ties they seem to stand in the fol­lowing Order. That of Women, Asses, Mares, Goats, Sheeps, Cows. The Milk of Animals which make hard Dung is most nourishing.

3. Milk standing some time, na­turally separates into an oily Liquor, call'd Cream, and a thinner, blue and more ponderous Liquor, call'd skimm'd Milk, neither of which Parts is naturally acid or alkaline (but may [Page 86] turn so by standing for some time) nor in the least acrimonious, for be­ing let fall into the Eye they cause no Pain or Sensation of Sharpness. Milk is a kind of Emulsion, or white Animal Liquor resembling Chyle pre­pared chiefly from Vegetables, and after it has been mix'd with the Ani­mal Juices of the Saliva, Bile, pan­creatick Juice, &c. is easily separated from them again in the Breasts.

4. It differs from a vegetable E­mulsion by coagulating into a curdy Mass with Acids, which Chyle and vegetable Emulsions will not: Acids mix'd with them precipitate a to­phaceous chalky Matter, but not a chyly Substance; for as was before observ'd, if you pour Spirit of Nitre into any Quantity of boiling new Milk, and no Conflict or Efferves­cence will follow, but the Liquor di­vides itself into Curd and Whey, which Whey turns spontaneously a­cid, and the Curd will turn into [Page 87] Cheese as hard as a Stone; which shows that the most solid Parts of Animals may be made of Milk. The same Effect of turning Milk into a hard Curd, may happen in a Human Body that abounds with Acids.

5. Milk drawn from a sound Ani­mal fed on Vegetables, standing in a Heat equal to that of a Man in Health, will soon separate itself into a Cream, and a more serous and ponderous Liquor, which after twelve Days attains to the highest Degree of Acidity. But if the Milk be drawn from some Animals that feed only upon Flesh, that have fast'd long, are feverish, or have under­gone hard Labour, it will be more apt to turn rancid and putrify than turn acid, acquiring first a saline Taste which is a Sign of Putrefacti­on, and then it will turn into an Ichor.

6. If to a quantity of boiling new Milk you add by Degrees any [Page 88] fix'd Alkali, as Salt of Tartar, or Oil of Tartar per deliquium, there will be a lighter Coagulum form'd than by an acid. The Milk by boiling will change into a yellow Colour, and run through all the intermediate Degrees, till it stops in an intense red. The same thing happens by the alkaline Powers of the Body; for when an Animal that gives Suck turns feverish, that is, its Juices more alkaline, the Milk turns from its na­tive genuine Whiteness to Yellow; to which the Suckling has an Aver­sion: This was the Case (as the learned Boerhaave tells us) of the Cows of Holland.

7. If a Nurse should abstain from all acid Vegetables, from Wine, Malt-Drink, and feed only on Flesh, and drink Water, her Milk instead of turning sour will turn putrid, and smell like Urine. An alkalescent Diet except that of Water is often the Case of Nurses in great Fami­lies. [Page 89] Their Milk subjects the Child to Fevers; on the other Hand the Milk of poor People that feed upon an Acescent Vegetable Diet, subjects the Child to Diseases, that depend upon Acidity in the Bowels, as Cholick: The Symptoms of such a Constitution are a sour Smell in the Faces, sour Belchings, 'Disten­sions of the Bowels, and Paleness of the Flesh. The Cure of both Dis­eases is effected by a change of Diet in the Nurse from Alkalescent to Acescent or contrary ways as the case requires. The best Diet for Nurses is a Mixture of both.

It follows likewise from the forego­ing Observations, that no Nurse should give Suck after twelve Hours fasting, and that a tendency to Yellow, is an early Sign of a Fever in the Nurse.

8. Recent Urine as it is neither Acid, nor Alkaline, distill'd yields a Limpid Water, neither Acid nor Al­kaline, Saline nor Inflammable, and [Page 90] what remains at the Bottom of the Retort is neither Acid nor Alkaline; but being exhal'd by the Consistence of a Syrup, passeth through all the degrees of Colours, Yellow, Red, Brown and Black; and this soapy Water being calcin'd affords some Quantity of Sea Salt, but only in the case of the Animal's taking Sea Salt with its Food.

9. Hence Sea Salt passeth unal­ter'd through all the Strainers of a human Body, the moderate use of it is very proper to preserve Bodies through which it passeth from Cor­ruption, it detergeth the Vessels, and keeps the Fluids from Putrefaction. The Ancients gave the Sal Gemmoe in putrid Fevers.

All human Urine distill'd affords a Water of a fetid Odour which that of Animals fed on Vegetables does not. The Urine of hard Drinkers and feverish Persons affords a Liquor extremely fetid, but no [Page 91] Inflammable Spirit, what is Inflam­mable stays in the Blood, and affects the Brain. Great Drinkers commonly die Apoplectick.

10. The Urine is a Lixivium of the Salts that are in a human Body, and the proper Mark of the State and Quantity of such Salts, and therefore very certain Indications for the choice of Diet may be taken from the state of Urine. Though the Salts of human Urine be neither Acid nor Alkaline, these Salts may by the violent Motion of the Blood be turn'd Alkaline, and even Corro­sive, and when they begin to turn so, they affect the small and tender Fibres of the Brain more sensibly than other Parts.

11. Recent Urine distill'd with a great Heat, and dry Sand will afford a Volatile Alkaline Salt, and after the same manner the Heat of a hu­man Body as it grows more intense makes the Urine smell still more [Page 92] strong, and of a deeper Colour. But as long as those Alkaline Salts are carried off by Urine, the Brain and Nerves are less affected, but on the contrary, when in a Fever these Salts are left behind, that is when the Urine turns pale, the Patient is in danger.

12. Recent Urine distill'd with a fix'd Alkali is turn'd into an Alka­line Nature, whence it seems proba­ble that Alkaline Salts taken into a human Body, have the power of turning its benign Salts into fiery and volatile, on which account they seem improper in inflammatory Di­stempers, where the Salts are already too much attenuated. Hippocrates who found out this by Experience order'd in such a case Things of an Acid Nature. In general a high co­lour'd Urine indicates an Acid cool­ing Diet, for it is certain an Acid or Alkalescent Diet makes a great difference in the Salts of a human Body.

[Page 93] 13. The Rob or Sapa of Urine distill'd with quick Lime affords a siery, but not an Alkaline Spirit, and Lime Water given inwardly in the Case of a Diabetes, will bring the Urine from Limpid Pale to be of a higher Colour, which shows the Power of a Lixivium of quick Lime to unlock the Salts that are entangled in the viscid Juices of some scorbutic Persons.

14. Recent Urine will likewise crystalize by Inspissation and afford a Salt neither Acid nor Alkaline, but of an active Nature, which may be properly call'd the essential Salt of a human Body. Urine becomes Alkaline by Digestion in a heat not greater than that of a human Body, and throws off a stony Matter to the Sides of the Vessel.

15. The Urine long detain'd in the Bladder as well as a Glass will grow red, fetid, cadaverous and alka­line. The Case is the same with the [Page 94] stagnant Water of Hydropical Per­sons, which at last produce a Drought and feverish Heat.

16. From hence very good Rules may be drawn for the Diet of Ne­phritick and Dropsical Persons, that it ought to be such as is opposite to and subdueth the Alkalescent Nature of the Salts in the Serum of their Blood; those manifest themselves in the Urine, which as was said before is the Lixivium of the whole Body. Sal Ammoniac may likewise be ob­tain'd from Urine, which is nearest to the Nature of an Animal Salt.

17. The White of an Egg resem­bles the Nutritious Juice of an Ani­mal Body, from the White of an Egg every part of a perfect Animal is form'd, for during the Incubation of the Hen, there is nothing of the Egg consum'd but the White.

18. The White of an Egg is a viscous, unactive, insipid, inodorous Liquor capable of mixing with Wa­ter, [Page 95] and so mild that appply'd to the most sensible part, the Eye, it causeth no Pain.

19. It is neither Acid nor Alka­line, for if the Juices of an Animal Body were either, so as by the mix­ture of the opposites, to cause an Ebullition, they would burst the Vessels.

20. The White of an Egg gra­dually dissolves by Heat, exceeding a little the Heat of a human Body, a greater degree of Heat will thicken it into a white, opaque, dry, viscous Mass, and this is the Case of the Se­rum of the Blood, upon which dif­ferent Degrees of Heat produce con­trary Effects.

Attention ought to be had to this Maxim in the Management of Diet, Exercise and all outward and inward Application to human Bodies and warm Cataplasms discuss, but scalding hot may confirm the Tumor. Heat in general doth not resolve and attenuate [Page 96] the Juices of a human Body, for too great Heat will produce Concre­tions.

21. Spirit of Wine mix'd cold with the White of an Egg, coagu­lates it as much as boil'd Water, which shows that Spirit of Wine is an immediate Styptick; so that in­jected into the Veins it is sudden Death, and taken by the Mouth in great Quantities is sometimes sudden, but always certain Death. Spirituous Liquors are so far from attenuating, volatilizing and rendring perspirable the Animal Fluids, that it rather condenseth them and hardneth the Solids, and therefore properly us'd to hinder the growth of young Ani­mals, and this it will do by mere external Friction; thereby coagulating the Juices in the Extremities of the Vessels, hardening and abolishing the Canals, and so increasing their Re­sistance against the Force of the in­fluent Liquid, which would other­wise [Page 97] stretch them. This plainly de­monstrates the bad Effects of inflam­mable Spirits on human Bodies.

22. The Water gain'd from the White of an Egg by a gentle Distil­lation, is neither Acid nor Alkaline; but by a strong Distillation it affords an Alkaline Spirit, Salt, two kinds of Oil, and an Earth, which is another instance of the Alterations great de­grees of Heat cause in Animal Sub­jects; and hence we may conclude that Volatile Salts never exist in their own form, in an Animal Bo­dy, that the Heat requir'd to make them Volatile endangers the life of the Animal; hence a highly Alkas­cent Diet in hot Constitutions must be hurtful,

23. The White of an Egg will putrify and turn Alkaline by Di­gestion, a single Grain of this pu­trify'd Substance has operated like a Poison, causing Vomiting and a Loose­ness, the Antidote of this Poison is some [Page 98] Acid Liquor, and such are indeed in­dicated when the Juices of a human Body verge to Putrefaction. The White of an Egg during Incubation is dissolv'd, but not properly speak­ing putrify'd, for in such a State it would be unfit for Nutrition.

24. It seems probable that the Bile in a human Body by stagnating putrifies, causing a Cholera Morbus in the first Passages, and a Pestilen­tial Distemper when it mixeth with the Blood. In such a state of the Bile, the Aliment ought to be thin to dilute, demulcent to temper, or acid to subdue and destroy an Alka­line Acrimony.

The Nutritious Juice of a healthy Animal resembles the White of an Egg in most of its Qualities, but this nutritious Juice being a subtile Liquor, scarce obtainable from a human Body, the Serum of the Blood is fairly substituted in its place.

[Page 99] 25. The Serum of the Blood stands the foremention'd Trials, and discovers itself to be neither Acid nor Alkaline, only Oil of Vitriol thickens and the Oil of Tartar thins it a little.

26. The Serum of the Blood di­gested in a Heat not greater than that of a human Body in health, will gradually become thinner, be­gin to smell Cadaverous and putrify, and at last, like the White of an Egg, turn to an Alkaline Ichor, that fer­ments with Acids, and committed to Distillation affords like the White of an Egg, an Alkaline Salt. This shows the Effect of gentle Heat in dis­solving Coagulations, for even the Viscous Matter which lies like Leather upon the extravasated Blood of Pleu­ritick People may be dissolv'd by a due Degree of Heat.

27. When the Blood stagnates in any part of the Body, it first coa­gulates [Page 100] then resolves, turns Alkaline, Putrid and Corrosive.

28. As the Serum of the Blood is resolvable by a small Heat, a greater Heat coagulates it so as to turn it horny like Parchment, but when it is throughly putrified it will no longer concrete. The Blood of some Persons who have dy'd of the Plague could not be made to con­crete, by reason of the Putrefaction already begun.

29. The Serum of Blood coa­gulates like the White of an Egg with cold Spirit of Wine.

30. The Serum of the Blood is more Saline than the White of an Egg, perhaps by the Salts taken in Nourishment, and has something of a more fetid urinous Scent.

31. The Serum of the Blood af­fords by Distillation an exceeding limpid Water, neither Acid nor Al­kaline, which shows that the most [Page 101] subtile part of the Blood approacheth nearer to Water than any other Li­quor, and that the Blood naturally contains no volatile Salt.

32. These Experiments are to be made on the Blood of healthy Ani­mals: It is possible in a lax and weak habit of Body, where the Chyle is not throughly assimilated by Cir­culation, but floats on the Blood like Oil, that such a Serum might af­ford quite other Contents, and per­haps even an inflammable Spirit, by reason of the Vegetable Nature of the Chyle.

33. The Serum of the Blood by a strong Distillation affords a Spirit, or Volatile Alkaline Salt, and two kinds of Oil, and an Earth which still proves the Effect of Heat in hu­man Bodies, in changing the benign Salts into Alkaline.

34. The Serum of the Blood is attenuated by Circulation, so as to pass into the minutest Channels of an [Page 102] Animal Body, and become fit Nutri­ment for it, but by the continual At­trition, and Heat of some of its Particles becomes sharp and offensive to the Body: Nature has provided the Kid­neys to discharge them. Hence ap­pears as by Prop. VIII. Chap. II. the continual Necessity of a fresh Re­cruit of Chyle, which like an Emul­sion dilutes the Serum, the Mischiefs arising from the Retention of Salts, that ought to pass by Urine, and likewise the proper Indications for cooling and diluting, in such an Al­kalescent State of the Fluids.

35. It appears by Experiments made upon Bones, and other Ani­mal Solids, that they consist of the same Principles with the Fluids, a dry Bone distill'd affords a great Quantity of insipid Water, after the Bones have undergone the Violence of the Fire, the Ashes afford no fixt Salt, only sometimes in Animals that take Sea Salt, there will be a [Page 103] very small Proportion of that in the Ashes.

36. The Animal Fluids and So­lids are resolvable into the same Principles, and this is true not only of the Fluids and Solids themselves, but likewise of all Preparations of them. The Gellies made of the Decoction of lean Flesh, and Bones in clear Water are resolvable into the same Principles as the Flesh and Bones themselves, and if these De­coctions be repeated till the Water comes off clear, the Remainder yields no Salt by Distillation and little Oil; therefore it is possible to extract the whole Virtues of Animal Substances by Decoctions, but the gentlest, ex­tract the most volatile and finest Parts after the Oil or Fat is sepa­rated.

37. Preparations by Cookery of Fish or Flesh ought to be made with regard to rectifying their most noxi­ous and slimy Substances, and to re­tain [Page 104] those that are most Nutritious; such Preparations as retain the Oil or Fat are most heavy to the Sto­mach, which makes bak'd Meat hard of Digestion.

38. By Experiments of the Mix­ture of different Substances with the Serum of the Blood, it appears that all Volatile Alkalis thin it, and Acids coagulate it. I said Volatile Alkalis for the Serum being mix'd with an equal Quantity of Oil of Tartar per deliquium, will grow somewhat thicker, and an Alkaline Vapour ariseth from the Mixture; but the fame Propor­tion of Spirit of Sal Ammoniac makes the Serum thinner without causing any Alteration in the Scent or Colour.

39. Spirit of Vitriol pour'd to pure unmix'd Serum coagulates it as if it had been boil'd. Spirit of Sea Salt makes a perfect Coagu­lation of the Serum likewise, but with some different Phenomena from [Page 105] the former. The Spirit of Nitre pro­duceth the same Effect.

The Serum which is mix'd with an Alkali being pour'd to that which is mix'd with an Acid raiseth an Ef­fervescence, at the Cessation of which the Salts, of which the Acid was com­pos'd, will be regenerated.

40. Vinegar is an Acid of a very peculiar Nature cooling and yet not coagulating; for Spirit of Vinegar gently dilutes the Serum of the Blood, and even the Oil of Tartar being pour'd to this Mixture causeth no Effervescence; tho' Honiberg says, that Spirit of Vinegar concentrated, and reduc'd to its greatest strength will coagulate the Serum.

41. The Mixture of the Solutions of Sea-Salt, Sal Gemmae, Borax Ni­tre, and Sal Ammoniac, cause no change of Colour in the Serum; but dissolve its Texture a little, all except that of the Borax. Glaubers Salt maketh a strong Coagulation of the [Page 106] Serum by reason of the Oil of Vi­triol it contains.

42. All saponaceous Substances, which are a Mixture of Oil and al­kaline Salt, thin the Blood without causing any Effervescence; Spirit of Harts-Horn given in great Quanti­ties will produce Hemorrhages, which I have known by Experience, and therefore is very improper in ma­ny Cases. Boerhaave in his Chymis­try, says, That Sal volatile oleosum will coagulate the Serum on Ac­count of the Alcahol or rectify'd Spi­rit it contains.

43. The Tincture of Salt of Tar­tar, viz. a Preparation of the high­est rectify'd Spirit of Wine, and the strongest fix'd Alkali, preserves the Serum in a neutral State; for the Spi­rit of Wine tends to coagulate, and the Alkali on the contrary to dissolve it, whence it becomes neither thicker nor thinner.

[Page 107] 44. What we take in common Aliment is endued with the above mention'd Qualities in some degree. Therefore from these Experiments ve­ry useful Indications for Diet may be taken according to the different State of the Blood, as will appear by what follows.

Of the Effects of different alimentary Substances upon the Fluids and So­lids of a Human Body.


Different Sorts of Aliments are not subdu'd or assimilated by the vital Force of a Human Body so in­tirely, as to be divested of their ori­ginal Qualities; but while they re­pair the Fluids and Solids, act va­riously upon them, according to [Page 108] their different Natures. There­fore,

1. The proper Way of treating the Subject of Aliment is to consider the Actions of the several Sorts of it upon the Fluids and Solids of Hu­man Bodies, and to separate at least in Idea their Alimentary from their Medicinal Qualities.


The Diseases of Human Bodies often require Substances of more active Principles, than what are found in common Aliment, in or­der to produce sudden Alterations: But where such Alterations are not necessary, the same Effect may be obtained by the repeated Force of Diet, with more Safety to the Bo­dy, where the less sudden Chan­ges are less dangerous. The smal­ler Activity of Aliment is compen­sated by its Quantity, for accord­ing [Page 109] to the Laws of Motion, if the Bulk and Activity of Aliment and Medicines are in reciprocal Propor­tion, the Effect will be the same.

1. All Bodies which by the Ani­mal Faculties can be changed into the Fluids and Solids of our Bodies are call'd Aliment. But to take it in the largest Sense, by Aliment I understand every thing which a Hu­man Creature takes in common Diet, as Meat, Drink, and Seasoning, as Salt, Spice, Vinegar, &c.

2. It has been explain'd Prop. VII. Chap. II. how the Aliment in moving through the capillary Tubes at last, as it were stagnates and unites itself to the Vessel or Tube through which it flows. But in this Motion it will act differently, both upon the Fluid and Solid, according to its different Nature. Every thing that acts up­on the Fluids must at the same time act upon the Solids, and contrary­wise, yet one may separate these two Actions in Idea.


To enumerate the different Acti­ons upon the Fluids and Solids of a Human Body.

There is a multitude of Words to express the various Alterations which are produc'd in a Human Body by Diet and Medicines, but as far as relates to our present Subject, they may be reduc'd to the following ge­neral Heads.

1. The Actions upon the Solids are, First, Stimulating or increasing their Vibrations or oscillatory Mo­tions. Secondly, Contracting, that is diminishing their Length, and in­creasing their Thickness. Thirdly, Re­laxing or making them more flexible in their less coherent Parts. And Lastly, Constipating or shutting up the Cavity of the capillary Tubes.

2. The Actions upon the Fluids are either changing their Qualities or their Quantity.

[Page 111] 3. Their Qualities are chang'd by, First, Attenuating and condensing, that is diminishing or increasing the Bulk of their Particles. Secondly, By rend­ring them acrimonious or mild. Thirdly, By coagulating and diluting, that is, making their Parts more or less coherent. Fourthly, By increasing or diminishing their Motion through the Vessels.

4. The Quantity of the Fluids is increas'd or diminish'd by the Increase or Diminution of the Quantity of A­liment; or by the suppressing or pro­moting Animal Secretions.

5. That all these Actions can be perform'd by Aliment as well as Me­dicines, is plain from Reason, Ex­perience and in some Cases by ocu­lar Demonstration, by observing the Effects of different Substances upon the Fluids and Solids of a Human Body when the Vessels are open, and gape by a Wound or Sore. The Ef­fects of tepid Water and farmaceous [Page 112] Substances in relaxing; of Spirits, in stopping Hemorrages, and consolidat­ing the Fibres; the Power of al­kaline Absorbents in subduing Acri­mony, and of Oil in stopping Per­spiration is well known to Chirur­geons, who are likewise well ac­quainted with the Influence of Diet upon the Wounds and Sores of their Patients, and from the Condition of the one, can guess at the Errors or Regularity of the other. Acrid Sub­stances will break the Vessels, and produce an Ichor instead of laudable Pus. The chief Intention of Chi­rurgery as well as Medicine, is keep­ing a just Equilibrium between the in­fluent Fluids, and vascular Solids, when the Vessels are too lax, and don't sufficiently resist the Influx of the Liquid, it begets a Fungus or proud Flesh; when the Balance is on the other side, it produceth a Cica­trice. Were it not criminal to try Experiments upon Patients, which [Page 113] they too often try upon themselves, I could answer that the Doctrine of this Chapter would be verify'd by Experience in Wounds and Sores, as it is often perceptible even in an Issue.


To explain the Effects of diffe­rent alimentary Substances upon the Fluids and Solids of a Human Body.

1. The first sort of Alimentary Substances are such as are of so mild a Nature, that they act with small Force upon the Solids, and as the Action and Re-action are equal, the smallest Degree of Force in the Solids digests and assimilates them; of such sort is Milk and Broths made of the muscular Parts of Animals, which are as it were already prepar'd, and easi­ly converted into Animal Substances; these are proper. Nourishment for weak Bodies, and agree perfectly [Page 114] well with them, unless there be some particular Acrimony in the Stomach, which sometimes makes them offen­sive, and which Custom at last will overcome.

2. Those Things which stimulate the Solids, produce the greatest Al­terations in an Animal Body. This is seen in many Instances. Violent Sneezing produceth Convulsions in all the Muscles of Respiration, and an universal Secretion of all the Hu­mours, Tears, Spittle, Sweat, U­rine, &c. So great an Alteration can be produc'd only by the Tickling of a Feather, and if the Action of Sneezing should be continu'd by some very acrid Substance, it will at last produce Head-ach, Vomiting, uni­versal Convulsions, Fever and Death, Therefore such active Substances as taken inwardly in small Quantities make great Alterations in the Fluids, must produce this Effect by their sti­mulating Quality.

[Page 115] 3. Acrid Substances, which are small enough to pass into the capil­lary Tubes, must stimulate the small Fibres, and irritate them into greater Contraction, and stronger Vibrati­ons.

4. Many things which we take as Aliment, or with our Aliment have this Quality in some degree: As the Juices of acid Vegetables, fermented Liquors, especially sharp Wines, fermented Spirits, aromatical Vegetables as Fennel, Savory, Thyme, Garlick, Onions, Leeks, Mustard, which abound with a volatile pun­gent Salt, all Spices, in general all Vegetables, which being corrupted easily resolve themselves into a fetid oily Alkali. Onions, Garlick, Pep­per, Salt, and Vinegar taken in great Quantities by their Stimulus, excite a momentary Heat and Fever, and therefore in some Cases to be men­tion'd afterwards are very proper.

[Page 116] 5. The solid Parts may be con­tracted various Ways. First, By dis­solving their Continuity, for when a Fibre is cut through, it contracts itself at both Ends; therefore all Things which are so acrimonious as to destroy the small Fibres must contract them. Secondly, Whatever makes a Depletion of the Vessels gives room to the Fibres to contract; therefore Abstinence produceth this Effect in the best Manner. What­ever shortens the Fibres, by insinuat­ing itself into their Parts, as Water in a Rope, contracts; fermented Spirits possess their Quality in a great Degree.

6. The more oily any Spirit is, the more pernicious, because it is harder to be eluted by the Blood. Brandy is more easy to be so, than Spirit of Juniper, and that than Spi­rit of Aniseseed. Compound aro­matical Spirits destroy, First, By their fermentative Heat. Secondly, By [Page 117] their oily Tenacity. Thirdly, By a caustick Quality residing in Spices apt to destroy the solid Parts, but these Qualities render them proper in some Cases taken in small Quan­tities.

7. Fermented Spirits contract, harden and consolidate many Fibres together, abolishing many Canals, es­pecially where the Fibres are the ten­derest as in the Brain, by which Qua­lity they destroy the Memory and intellectual Faculties.

8. Acid austere Vegetables have this Faculty of Contracting and strengthning the Fibres without some of the bad Effects of fermented Spi­rits, as all Kinds of Sorrel (the Vir­tues of which lie in an acid astrin­gent Salt, a sovereign Antidote a­gainst the putrescent bilious Alkali) several Kinds of Fruits, as Quinces, some sorts of Pears with the Marma­lades made of them, Medlars, Ca­pers, Barberries, Pomegranates, Purs­lain, [Page 118] such are easily distinguish'd by a rough styptick Taste. Amongst Drinks Austere Wines, unripe Fruits likewise have the same Quality, but are apt to obstruct the Nerves, and occasion Palsies.

9. Relaxing the Fibres is making them flexible, or easy to be leng­then'd without Rupture, which is done only in the capillary vascular Solids. Amongst Liquids endued with this Quality of relaxing, warm Water stands first, next watery Decoctions of farinaceous Vegetables, or Grains, as Oats, Barley, &c. All sweet and mild Garden-fruits, almost all Pot­Herbs, Spinage, Betes, Cabbage, Cole­worts, and all that Tribe. Red Cab­bage besides is reckon'd a good Pec­toral; some of the lactescent and papescent Plants, as Lettuce, Cicho­ry, whose Milk is anodyne and re­solvent, therefore good in Diseases of the Liver; but all such Vegeta­bles must be unfermented, for Fer­mentation [Page 119] changes their Nature. Oils express'd from mild Plants, Animal Oils, Cream, Butter, Marrow, which last is of all oily Substances the most penetrating.

10. It is not probable that any thing which Human Creatures take as Aliment, should have the Quality of entirely constipating or shutting up the capillary Vessels, because such Substances could hardly enter the Lacteals, and if they did, would stop the Circulation in the Lungs, but all viscid Aliment such as is made of farinaceous Substances unsermented, neither pass the Lacteals, nor circu­late so easily as the same Substances fermented. Some of the Fungus Kind gather'd by mistake for edible Mush­rooms, have produced a Difficulty of Breathing.

11. The Qualities of the Fluids can be likewise chang'd by Diet, as First, By attenuating or diminishing the Cohesion of the Parts of the [Page 120] Fluid. The Cohesion of the Parts depends upon the Weight and Quan­tity, therefore Abstinence and a slen­der Diet attenuates, because Deple­tion of the Vessels gives room to the Fluid to expand itself.

12. Whatever penetrates and di­lutes at the same time; therefore Water impregnated with some pene­trating Salt, attenuates most strongly; Water with Sal Ammoniac will pass through a Human Skin. To this Quality may be justly ascrib'd the great Effects of medicated Waters, all stimulating Substances by increas­ing the Motion of the Blood atte­nuate, unless they increase the Mo­tion so much, as at last to produce Coagulation.

13. Thickening the Blood is most easily brought about by exhaling the most liquid Parts by sudorisick or watery Evaporations; but this brings it into a morbid State. Acid austere Vegetables before mention'd, have [Page 121] this Quality of condensing the Fluids, as well as strengthning the Solids.

14. The Blood of labouring Peo­ple is more dense and heavy than of those who live a sedentary life, and the Diseases which People imagine proceed from the Thickness of Blood, come often from the contrary Cause; too thin Blood strays into the im­mediately subordinate Vessels which are destin'd to carry Humours secre­ted from the Blood, according to what was said Prop. V. Chap. II. This causes an Obstruction falsly ascrib'd to the Thickness of the Blood.

The Qualities of Blood in a healthy State are to be florid when let out of the Vessel, the red Part congeal­ing strongly and soon together in a Mass moderately tenaceous,swimming in the Serum, which ought to be with­out any very yellow or greenish cast. The Gravity of Blood to Sea-Water is as 26 is to 25, that of the Serum to [Page 122] the same Water, as 300 to 353, it's an easy matter to examine extrava­sated Blood by these Marks.

15. Acrimony is not Natural, but induc'd into the Fluids of an Ani­mal Body. Acrimony may be intro­duc'd by Diet, that is either Muria­tick, (Briny) or Acid, which likewise is of two sorts, of things naturally Acid; or (made so by Fermentation) Aromatick, consisting of Salts, and highly exalted Oils, intimately uni­ted. Or Secondly, by increasing the Velocity of the Blood, and conse­quently the Attrition of the Parts.

16. Acrimony in the Blood it self is commonly of three Sorts accord­ing to the Nature of the Salts in which it resides. Acid, Alkaline or Muriatick as in the Sea Scurvy, but the last approaches more towards the Alkaline, and admits of the same Cure: Acid Acrimony resides chiefly in the first Passages, proceeding often from the Weakness of Digestion, and [Page 123] the too long Duration of Vegetables, and Milk in the Stomach. Animal Substanccs are all Alkalescent, of Vegetable Substances some are Acid, others Alkalescent, and each Sort is to be used according to the two dif­ferent Intentions.

17. Antiacid Vegetables are, First, All kinds of Garlick, Onions, Leeks, and Selery, the Actiscorbutick Plants, Carrots, Turnips, Eringo Roots, Asparagus, Horse-radish, Mu­stard, Cabbage. Secondly, All Ani­mal Substances especially of such as live on other Animals; the Juices of which are more Alkalescent than of the Animals which live upon Vegetables, such are most Fishes, es­pecially some of the Testaceous kind. Thirdly, Water as it dilutes and subdues Acidity. Fourthly, Oils are Antia­cids so far as they blunt Acri­mony, but as some times they are hard of Digestion they produce Acrimony of another Sort.

[Page 124] 18. On the other Hand when the Acrimony is Alkaline, which is more frequently the Case in the circulating Juices. The proper Diet is Decocti­ons of Farinaceous Vegetables which seem appointed by Nature, for the Vegetable Diet of human Creatures. This Alkaline Acrimony indicates the copious use of Vinegar, and Acid Fruits, as Oranges, which con­tain a Juice most effectual in the Cure of the Muriatick Scurvy of Ma­riners; the Juice of Lemons is like­wise more proper and more cooling and astringent than that of Oranges. In this case all the mild Antiscorbu­ticks are indicated as Sorrel, Cichory, Lettuce, Apples, and of Liquids Whey: On the contrary all the A­crid Antiscorbuticks, as Scurvygrass, Horseradishes, Mustard, &c. are hurt­ful in this hot Scurvy.

19. There is a third sort of Antiscorbuticks proper in this Alka­lescent State of the Fluids, which [Page 125] is call'd Astringent, such as Pome­granates, Capers, and most of the common Pickles prepar'd with Vine­gar. The Extremity of Alkali is Putrefaction. All Acid Substances, and Sea Salt resist Putrefaction, but as it is a sharp solid Body unalterable in an Animal Body, when it is taken in too great Quantities in a constant Diet of Salt Meat, it breaks the Vessels, produceth Erosions of the solid Parts, and all the Symptoms of the Sea-Scurvy, which is to be cured by Acid Vegetables, and not by hot Antiscorbutick; all Spices likewise induce this Acrimony, as was hinted before.

20. There are other Substances which are opposite to both Sorts of Acrimony which are call'd demul­cent or mild, because they blunt or sheath these sharp Salts, as Farinaceous Legumes, such as Pease, Beans, Len­tils. Native Oils of Animals, as Cream, Butter, Marrow, which last [Page 126] is a Specifick in that Scurvy which occasions a Crackling of the Bones, in which case Marrow performs its natural Function of moistening them. All Plants which are without Smell or pungent Taste are demulcent, as likewise all the Alimentary Parts of sound Animals, for none of their Juices will hurt the Eye or a fresh Wound. Acrimony which is not viscid may be cur'd by Diet, but Vis­cidity requires more active Substances to dissolve it.

21. Whatever renders the motion of the Blood more languid than na­tural disposeth to an Acid Acrimo­ny: What accelerates the Motion of the Blood beyond what is natural disposeth to an Alkaline Acrimony.

22. The next Alteration which is made in the Fluids is rendering it more thin, which is perform'd by Diluting, there is no real Diluent but Water, every Fluid is diluent as it contains Water in it. Water dilutes, [Page 127] but at the same time relaxeth, this last Quality is taken off by mixing some Acid Juice with it: Water mix'd with Acids resists the Heat and Alkalescent State of the Fluids, as long as there is Thirst, a quick Pulse, Dryness, with a free Passage by Urine, and Stricture of the Vessels, so long is Water safely taken.

23. Opposite to Dilution is Co­agulation or Thickening, which is perform'd by dissipating the most liquid Parts by Heat, or by insi­nuating some Substances which make the Parts of the Fluid cohere more strongly. All Vegetables which make a black Tincture with the Vitriol of Steel have this Quality, they have commonly a rough styptick Taste: Vinegar as was said before is an A­cid very particular, for it doth not coagulate: Inflammable Spirits co­agulate the Fluids, and harden the Solids in a strong Degree.

[Page 128] 24. Resolving what is congeal'd is turning it into a Fluid again; this can be perform'd by watery Liquors, impregnated with some penetrating Salt, but more effectually by sapa­naceous Substances compos'd of Oil and Salt, such are Honey, and the Robs and Gellies of most Fruits. Vinegar and Honey mix'd is a strong resolvent. Spissitude is subdu'd by Acrid things, and Acrimony by in­spissitating.

25. The second Manner of Ope­rating upon the Fluids is by in­creasing or diminishing their Quan­tity, the first is perform'd by a plen­tiful Diet, and the Suppression of E­vacuations, the second either by a spare Diet or promoting the Animal Secretions, that is expelling the Fluids out of the Body. Tho' Secre­tions of the laudable Juices are best accomplish'd by increasing the Fluids.

26. Whatever generates a Quan­tity of good Chyle, must likewise [Page 129] generate Milk, such is new Milk season'd with Sugar or Salt. This will increase the Milk when it is di­minish'd by the too great use of Flesh Meat: Gruels made of Grains, Broths, Malt Drink not much hopp'd, Posset Drinks, and in gene­ral whatever relaxeth, have the same Effect.

27. There are as many good Pectorals of the Alimentary, as of the Medicinal kind, as all Prepara­tions of Barley, Oats, Honey, all Saponaceous Substances before-men­tion'd which attenuate Flegm.

28. There is Aliment lenitive ex­pelling the faeces without stimulating the Bowels, such are Anim al Oils quite fresh (for by standing they grow Acrid) as Cream, Butter, Mar­row, Broths made of the Parts of Animals about the Mesentery, Oils express'd from ripe Fruits (from un­ripe they are austere and astringent) the Juices of mild and ripe Fruits, [Page 130] Decoctions of farinaceous Vegeta­bles, natural Soaps as Honey, Sugar, such Diet is proper for the hot Con­stitutions of warm Countries, where strong Perspiration exhales the Mois­ture. Water, Milk, Whey, taken in the open Air without much exercise so as to make them perspire, relax the Belly.

29. There are Aliments which besides this lubricating Quality, sti­mulate in a small Degree. Gellies made of the solid parts of Animals, as of their Horns, stimulate by the Salts that are in them. Salted Flesh which often throws Ships-crews into Fluxes, Shell Fishes which have a Sa­line Taste, Garden Fruits which have any Acrimony, most sorts of Berries, some of which will produce Diarrhoeas, warm Water mix'd with Honey, and Honey mix'd with Acids dissolve Flegm in the Bowels. There are o­thers which promote the Secretion of Bile, such as all natural Soaps, the [Page 131] Juices of Fruits sharp, and sweet, es­pecially Grapes, the immoderate use of which will produce a Cholera Mor­bus.

30. Diureticks are Decoctions, Emulsions and Oils of Emollient Vegetables, in so far as they relax the Urinary Passages: Such as relax ought to be try'd before such as force and stimulate. Those Emollients ought to be taken in open Air to hinder them from perspiring, and on empty Stomachs. Vegetables which abound with essential Salt, are Diu­retick by stimulating, as Sorrel, Chervil, Parsly, Eringo, &c. and likewise all such as contain an Aro­matical Balsam as Asparagus, Fen­nel, &c.

31. As to Sudorificks, it ought to be consider'd that the Liquid which goes off by Sweat, is often the most subtile part of the Blood, and ought not to be forc'd away without ma­nifect necessity. The Matter of in­sensible [Page 132] Perspiration is mild, that of Sweat resembles Urine, and yields a Volatile Salt, oily and fetid. When Sweat is vehement it will grow Bloody. The Matter of Sweat is the watery part of our Drink impregnated with this Salt, sometimes in weak and consumptive People, Crude, Chyle, and sometimes (as was said before) the most elaborate subtile part of our Blood, as in fat People who have a small insensible Perspiration.

32. Sweat is produc'd by chang­ing the balance between the Fluids and Solids (in which it must be confest that true Health consists) so as the projectile Motion of the Fluids overcome the Resistance of the Solids; therefore it is produc'd by relaxing the Passages of the Skin. Secondly, By diluting. Thirdly, By dissolving the Blood. Fourthly, By accelerating its Motion. Water dilutes and relaxes at the same time, therefore the best and safest Sudorifick, watery [Page 133] and Acid things mix'd prove strong Sudorificks; Spices by Heating, and dissolving the Blood are not so pro­per and safe Sudorificks.

33. Insensible Perspiration is the last and mod perfect Action of A­nimal Digestion; the keeping it up in due measure, is the cause as well as sign of Health, and the least Deviation from that due Quantity, the certain forerunner of a Disease, therefore the best Indications for Diet are taken from the Measure of Per­spiration.

The Food which is most Vapo­rish and Perspirable is certainly the most easily digested, but such may be proper or improper, for the A­nimal according to its Circumstances, especially the Quantity of its Mus­cular Motion. By Prop. IV. Chap. II. The strength of the Aliment must be proportion'd to the action of the Solids upon it, which in an Animal under a course of exercise or hard [Page 134] labour is much stronger; therefore Aliment too Vaporose or Perspira­ble, will subject it to the inconve­niences of too strong a Perspiration, which are Debility, Faintings, and sometimes sudden Death. What di­minisheth Sweating, or the sensible Perspiration increaseth the insensible, for that reason a Strengthning and Astringent Diet often conduceth to this purpose. According to the Ex­periments of Sanctorius the most nourishing Aliment is the least per­spirable except Mutton, which of all others is most so, and Hog's Flesh the least; and for the same rea­son Eels, and all very fat and oily Substances: copious Food of small Nourishment perspires much.

A Stomach too void or too full stops Perspiration. The Fruits of the low Pomiferous Plants as Cucum­bers, Melons, &c. stop Perspira­tion, therefore they are wisely provi­ded by Nature in a Season when the [Page 135] Perspiration is too great. Variety of Meats diminish Perspiration, Honey in cold Constitutions increaseth Per­spiration, except when it promotes too great a Secretion of the Bile, and then it diminisheth it: Drinking excessively during the time of Chy­lification, stops Perspiration. Let those who sit long at their Bottle af­ter Meals consider this.

The most sure sign of a deficient Perspiration is Flatulency or Wind.

34. The Menses are promoted. First, By every thing which occasi­ons a Plethora, such are all Aliments of easy Digestion, taken in sufficient Quantity. Secondly, By all Sapona­ceous Substances, which incide the Mucus in the first Passages. Thirdly, By Spices and warm Vegetables which abound with a Volatile oily Salt. Of these we have spoken be­fore.

35. Heat in Animal Bodies is produc'd by the Attrition of the Fluids [Page 136] and Solids, for when that ceaseth as in Death, there is extremity of Cold, The solid parts of Animals rubbing against one another would in time produce a Heat capable to destroy the Parts, had not Nature provided an oily Substance to lubricate and moisten them; when that fails as happens sometimes in the Scurvy, Gout, and Rheumatism, an Inflam­matory Heat is often produc'd.

36. Stimulating Substances taken in Diet increase Heat, because they increase the Oscillatory Motion of the Solids, but most of all In­flammatory Spirits. Whatever in­creaseth the Density of the Blood, even without increasing its Celerity, heats, because a denser Body is hot­ter than a rarer. Extreme Cold at last heats. Cold in Animal Bodies is produc'd by Causes contrary to those productive of Heat, as First, by di­minishing the force of any Stimulus, as by Whey, Milk, Water, &c. [Page 137] Secondly, By all Things which relax. Thirdly, Alkaline Substances in re­spect of Acid, and Acid in respect of Alkaline are cooling.

37. Cephalick are all such Things as attenuate the Blood so as to make it circulate easily through the capil­lary Vessels of the Brain. A Cor­dial properly speaking is not always what increaseth the Force of the Heart; for by increasing that the Animal may be weaken'd as in in­flammatory Diseases. Whatever in­creaseth the Natural or Animal Strength, the Force of moving the Fluids and the Muscles is a Cordial, such are such Substances, as bring the Serum of the Blood into the properest Condition for Circulation and Nutrition, as Broths made of Animal Substances, Milk, ripe Fruits, and whatever is endued with a wholesome but not pungent Taste. Whatever relaxes the too strict, or strengthens the too lax Fibres, what [Page 138] in some Cases dispels Wind, what excites and takes off the sluggish Mo­tion of the Animal Spirits, as Spi­ces, Wine, and spirituous Liquors.

38. Carminative are such Things as dilute and relax at the same time, because Wind occasions a Spasm or Convulsion in some Part; whatever promotes insensible Perspiration is Carminative, for Wind is perspirable Matter retain'd in the Body.

39. All emollient relaxing Diet, and all things which destroy Acrimo­ny, abate Pain.

40. There are several Things ta­ken in Diet which kill Worms, as Oil, and Honey.

Whoever attends to the Particu­lars barely hinted at in this Chapter, will easily perceive that all the In­tentions pursued by Medicines, may be obtain'd and inforc'd by Diet.

It may be expected that I should say something in this Chapter of the Qualities of three exotick Plants, [Page 139] whose Infusions and Decoctions are now much us'd in common Aliment, Tea, Coffee and Chocolate: There are many Treatises wrote about them, which ascribe to them both good and bad Qualities, which they have not. There is lately published a ve­ry learned and elaborate Dissertation upon Tea, by Doctor Thomas Short, in which the Author with great Knowledge, Industry, and Skill, has not only given us the natural Histo­ry of the Plant, but likewise its A­nalysis.

But as the Infusions and Decocti­ons of the foremention'd Vegetables in common Water, are the only Pre­parations of them in Use, there is no necessity in this Place of considering any of their Contents, but such as are extracted by those simple Opera­tions of Cookery.

The green Leaves of Tea contain a narcotick Juice, which exudes by Roasting. This is perform'd with [Page 140] great Care before it is expos'd to sale. The several Methods of discovering the Adulterations of Tea by Coppe­ras, Galls, Spirit of Harts-horn, one may see in the foremention'd Trea­tise. Tea by its manner of affecting the Organs of Taste and Smell, con­tains very little of a volatile Spirit; its Rosin or fix'd Oil which is bit­ter and astringent, cannot be ex­tracted by Water, but demands recti­fy'd Spirit. The active Principles of it extracted by Infusion, are the most separable Parts of its Oil or Gum, and its Salt.

Its Salt and Gum are astringent; chalybeat Water draws from it a Tincture of the same Colour as that from Oak-leaves. It is acescent as appears by its Effects upon Stomachs troubled with Acidity. So that Tea is an Infusion of a Plant acescent, and moderately astringent in warm Water.

[Page 141] As a watery Liquor, it is diluting and stimulating by its Salt: By its astringent Quality it moderates the relaxing Quality of warm Water. By what has been said before in this Chapter, Water endu'd with any sa­line stimulating Substance is very pe­netrating, and goes into the most inward Recesses of the circulating Juices by its Quality, and re­fresheth the Brain and Animal Spi­rits; but by its styptick and stimu­lating Quality it affects the Nerves, very often occasioning Tremors, by its Heat it promotes Perspiration, by its watery Quality it dissolves what is viscid in the Stomach, and so ay help Digestion; but a strong Decoction of it is emetick, and drinking too great Quantities may relax and weaken the Tone of the Stomach.

As stimulating and diluting it is diuretick, but as it is astringent, it is not quite so proper where relax­ing [Page 142] the urinary Passages is neces­sary.

Milk abates some of the foremen­tion'd Qualities, making it more soft and nutritious, and Sugar as a Salt increaseth its Stimulus. From those Hints it follows, First, That Tea is proper only for such whose Bodies are in such a State as demands some of the foremention'd Alterations. Who these are, will be shown more plainly in the following Chapter. Se­condly, That the immoderate Strength and Quantity of this Liquor may be hurtful in many Cases, and to most People.

Coffee has in common with all Nuts an Oil strongly combin'd, and entangled with earthy Particles.

The most noxious Part of its Oil exhales in roasting to the Abatement of near 1/4 of its Weight.

One Pound of Coffee by Dis­tillations afforded of volatile Spirit, [Page 143] six Ounces six Drachms: of Oil, two Ounces, two Drachms, two Scruples: of Caput mortuum five Ounces three Drachms. Tho' the Chymist did not, or could not calcine the Caput mortuum so as to obtain its fix'd Salt, to be sure it must have some.

What is extracted by Water from Coffee, is the most separable Parts of Oil which often swims a-top of the Decoction. This Oil is Volatile, and consequently very little Nutri­tious.

Volatile Oils refresh the Animal Spirits, but likewise are endued with all the bad Qualities of such Sub­stances, producing all the Effects of an oily and aromatical Acrimony mention'd in the following Chapter, as Dryness, Heat, Stimulation, Tre­mors of the Nerves, from whence it has been accus'd of causing Palsies, Leanness, Watchfulness, and destroy­ing masculine Vigour.

[Page 144] From these Qualities it is easy to imagine that it must be hurtful to hot, dry, bilious Constitutions, and perhaps beneficial to Phlegmatick, and that drank in too great a Degree of Strength or Quantity hurtful to every Body.

Chocolate is certainly much the best of those three exotick Liquors, its Oil seems to be both rich, ali­mentary, and anodyne; for an Oil as soft as that of sweet Almonds can be extracted from the Nut, and the Indians made Bread of it. This Oil combin'd with its own Salt and Su­gar, makes it saponaceous and de­tergent, by which Quality it often helps Digestion and excites Appetite, when it is mix'd with Vanillios or Spices; it acquires likewise the good and bad Qualities of aromatick Oils, which are proper in some Cases and Constitutions, and very improper in others.

Of the different Intentions to be pur­sued in the Choice of Aliment in dif­ferent Constitutions.

WHolesome and unwholesome are relative not real Quali­ties, therefore to affirm that such a Thing is wholesome or unwholesome, without describing the Subject in all its Circumstances to which it bears these Relations, is, with Submission, talking Nonsense.

To make these Terms of whole­some and unwholesome Aliment in­telligible, there are two Things ne­cessary, First, To shew what Aliment is proper for what Intention. Se­condly, What Intention is proper to be pursued in such a Constitution of a Human Body The First is the Subject of the foregoing Chapter, and the Second of this.


To enumerate the most common Diversities of the Constitutions of Human Bodies.

The most common Diversities of Human Constitutions arise either from the solid Parts as to their dif­ferent Degrees of Strength and Ten­sion; in some being too lax and weak, in others too elastick and strong; or from the different State of the Fluids, which, as they consist of Spirit, Water, Salts, Oil and ter­restrial Parts, differ according to the Redundance of the whole, or of a­ny of these Ingredients, and there­fore are plethorick, phlegmatick, oily or fat, saline, earthy or dry by the Dissipation of the most fluid Parts, which last Constitution is call'd, by the Antients, Atrabilarian or Melan­cholick. A plethorick Constitution in which true Blood abounds, is [Page 147] call'd Sanguineous. A saline Constitu­tion is either Acid, Alkaline, or Mu­riatick, according to the Difference of the Salts which occasion it.

2. In some of these Senses, tho' every Human Constitution is mor­bid, yet are their Diseases consistent with the common Functions of Life, and leave them under their own Conduct as to their Manner of liv­ing, and therefore are a proper Sub­ject for this Discourse in which I am far from pretending to instruct the Brethren of the Profession, or antici­pating their Directions to such as are under their Government.

3. I think it proper to advertise the Reader of two Things. First, That I endeavour to give the most simple Idea of the Distemper of the Constitution, and the proper Diet, abstracting from the Complications of the First, or the Contra-indicati­ons to the Second. Secondly, That in a Discourse of this Nature, the [Page 148] Reasonings must be precise, tho' the Practice may admit of great Lati­tude.


To explain the Causes, Symptoms and proper Diet of such as have weak and lax Fibres.

1. In all the Fibres of an Animal Body, and in the Sides of all the Canals, there is a contractile Power whereby the Fibres endeavour to shorten themselves. This is evident; for if a Fibre be cut transversly, both the Ends shrink, and make the Wound gape; the Force oppos'd to this contractile Power of the Fibres, is the influent Liquid. Health con­sists in the Equilibrium between those two Powers, when the Fluids move so equally, that they don't press up­on the Solids with a greater Force than they can bear, and no more in one Part than in another; and on [Page 149] the other hand when the Solids re­sist, and act upon the Fluids so e­qually that there is no uneasy Sensa­tion, the Animal is in Health; on the contrary when ever this Equili­brium between the influent Fluids and Solids is taken away the Animal is in a morbid State; and whatever destroys it in any Point, destroys it in some measure through the whole Body.

2. The first and most simple So­lids of our Body are perhaps merely terrestrial, incapable of any Change or Disease; of these Elements are constituted the smallest Fibres, of those Fibres the Vessels, of those Ves­sels the Viscera or Organs of the Bo­dy; therefore the Weakness and La­xity of the Fibres, Vessels, Viscera, and all Parts of the Body may be considered as one Disease, tho' it must be own'd that the Disease is not always universal, and there will be sometimes a Weakness in some [Page 150] Organ with a great Degree of mus­cular Strength.

3. A Fibre is said to be weak when the Cohesion of its Parts is so small that it may be broken, or re­solved by a Force not much greater than what happens commonly in the Body of a healthy Person: Debility of the Vessels or Organs is so small a Cohesion of the constituent Parts as makes them unable to discharge the common Functions of Life, con­sider'd in a State of Health. Tho' there is a Debility of Fibres in In­fants absolutely speaking, yet it is no Disease, because their Fibres be­ing lax, lengthen by the Influx of the Liquids which is the Cause of their Growth; but in adult Persons, when the Fibres cannot any more yield, they must either break or lose their Spring.

4. Laxity of a Fibre is such a small Cohesion of its Parts, as suf­fers it to be lengthen'd by a small [Page 151] Force: Laxity is a Species of Debi­lity.

5. The most common Causes of Debility of Fibres are, First, A De­fect or great Loss of the vital nutri­tious Juices: If there is not Blood enough the Chyle cannot be easily assimilated. A Person who loseth daily great Quantities of Blood turns Dropsical and Leucophlegmatick. An elastick Fibre like a Bow, the more it is extended, restores itself with the greater Force; if the Spring be destroy'd, it is like a Bag only passive as to the Influx of the Li­quid. Secondly, Nourishment too viscid and glutinous to be subdu'd by the vital Force; of this Sort Hip­pocrates reckoned unfermented Bread. Thirdly, A sedentary Life, for Mo­tion increaseth the Circulation of the Juices, and consequently the Appli­cation of the solid Parts to one an­other. Fourthly, Too great an Ex­tention of the Fibres by Plenitude; [Page 152] a Lute-string will bear a hundred Weight without Rupture; but at the same time cannot exert its Elasti­city, take away fifty, and imme­diately it raiseth the Weight. Fifth­ly, A moist Atmosphere. The At­mosphere is what keeps the Fibres of an Animal Body together, we feel our Fibres grow strict or lax ac­cording to the State of the Air; ma­ny who live healthy in a dry Air, fall into all the Diseases that depend up­on Relaxation in a moist one. Last­ly, A natural Weakness from the Frame and Constitution of the Body.

6. The common Signs and Ef­fects of weak Fibres are Paleness, Smoothness, Coldness of the Skin, Colour of the Blood not Florid (for what maketh that is a strong action of the Solids) a weak Pulse, Tume­factions in the whole Body or Parts, Stagnation of Humours, and its consequence Putrefactions; for when the force of the Vessels and Pressure [Page 153] of the Air is taken off, all the Hu­mours expand themselves, and what stagnates must putrify; if a Person of a firm Constitution begins to bloat, and from being warm grows cold, his Fibres grow weak. Anxiety and Palpitations of the Heart are a sign of weak Fibres: Acid Eructati­ons upon taking Vegetable Food, or Nidorose upon taking Animal is a sign of weak Organs of Digestion. Depravation of the Humours from a sound State, to what the Physicians call by the general Name of a Caco­chymy, Spots and Discolorations of the Skin are signs of weak Fibres; for the lateral Vessels which lie out of the Road of Circulation, let gross Humours pass, which could not if the Vessels had their due Degree of stricture. Atrophy as denoting a De­struction or Obstruction of the Ves­sels, which carry the Nourishment, and Dropsies proceed from a Laxity of the Fibres being too weak to re­turn the Fluid.

[Page 154] 7. It is evident that the Aliment of Persons with weak Fibres, ought to be such as requires but a small force to convert it into Animal Sub­stances, such is that mention'd Chap. V. Prop. IV. V. Milk is the Chylous part of an Animal already prepar'd, the Cheesy part is separa­ted and dissolv'd by the Bile, and the more Serous and Spiritous Part en­ters into the Blood, meer Whey is too relaxing, Eggs taken warm from the Hen; for the most elaborate and spiritous Part is lost in the dressing Broths made of Flesh, which are the Nutritious Animal Juices separated from the solid Parts. The Alkales­cent Quality of them may be corre­cted, if necessary, by mixing them with some Acid. Decoctions, and Creams, or Jellies of well fermented Bread, (for Fermentation as was hinted Chap. III. Prop. IV. destroys the glutinous oily Viscidity with which mealy Sub­stances abound) austere Wines di­luted [Page 155] with Water, which cool more than Water alone, and at the same time do not relax, Vegetables with an acid austere Juice mention'd Chap V. Prop. IV. VIII. are all pro­per in this Case. Relaxation from Ple­nitude is cur'd by spare Diet, and from any Cause by that which is contrary to it. Care must be taken in contracting the Fibres, not to obstruct the Vessels.


To explain the Symptoms, Causes, and proper Diet of such as have too strong and too elastick Fibres.

1. A State opposite to the former is too great Rigidity and Elasticity of the Fibres, which is such a Degree of Cohesion as makes them inflexible to the Causes, to which they ought to yield, so as to preserve the Ani­mal in Health: Too great Elasticity is that Quality by which they not only resist against Elongation, but [Page 156] restore themselves with too great Pressure and Force upon the moving Fluid.

Rigidity of the Organs is such a State as makes them resist that Ex­pansion, which is necessary to carry on the Vital Functions. Rigidity of the Vessels and Organs must neces­sarily follow from Rigidity of the Fibres, both as the Fibres are their constituent Parts, and likewise be­cause by the strong Force of the Heart and Motion of the Fluids, many of the Solids are compacted into one, and the Canals, through which they flow'd, abolish'd as by Prop. VII. Chap. II.

2. True Health consists in such a Flexibility of Fibres as yield to the Force of the Heart, so as to admit the influent Fluid, and then such a due Spring to restore themselves so as to drive it forward; for if the Ca­nals were entirely rigid, or the Force of the Fibres in restoring themselves [Page 157] were either in Equilibrium with, or exceeding that of the Heart, there could be no Circulation, even if the Vessels drive back the Blood with too great a Force upon the Heart, it will produce Polypose Concreti­ons in the Ventricles of the Heart, especially when the Valves of the Heart are apt themselves to grow too rigid, if but one Drop of Blood re­main in the Heart at every Pulse; those in many Pulses will grow to a considerable Mass.

3. It is easy by the Laws of Hy­draulicks to determine the natural Effects of such a Constitution, which is the Parent of acute Diseases, as Laxity of Chronical.

4. The Cause of such a Disease besides the Natural Constitution and Frame of the Body is too long a Continuance of such Diet as strengthens the Fibres, hard Exercise or Labour, such as use it, according to Hippocrates are not easily cur'd of [Page 158] Pleurisies; such a Constitution is easily known by the outward ap­pearances of the Body being lean, warm, hairy, scraggy, dry without a Disease, with hard and firm Muscles, for the great Force by which the small Vessels restore themselves, makes them grow narrow, expelling the Liquor they contain, and scarce ad­mitting what is influent by which the Vessels grow hard and contract­ed; lastly by the Strength of the Pulse, and the Force of the vital Actions.

5. The Rules of Diet for such a Constitution may be drawn from Prop. IV. of the foregoing Chapter. First, Abstinence from things us'd in the contrary State of too great Laxity. Milk is too nourishing, but Whey proper as an Emollient. Au­stere and strong Wines are improper but much more so are inflammable Spirits which harden the Fibres; Wa­ter is the proper Drink being strongly [Page 159] relaxing, there is no better way of suppling a Carcass then by drenching it in Water. All Emollient Nourish­ment, such as Fruits which contain a Mucilage, and may be boil'd into Jel­lies. Pot Herbs of the Emollient kind, such things as resolve and cleanse, that is take away any tenacious So­lid which adheres to the Fibres, such are Vegetable Soaps, the chief of which is Honey. The Animal Food should be prepar'd in Broths rather than in any other form, all things which increase Fat, all oily Substan­ces. The Animal Oils, Cream, But­ter, Marrow, farinaceous Substances unfermented, as little Salt in the A­liment as possible, for Salt hardens.

6. From those two Causes of the Laxity and Rigidity of the Fibres, the Methodists an ancient Set of Physicians deriv'd all Diseases of hu­man Bodies with a great deal of Reason, for the Fluids derive their Qualities from the Solids. There [Page 160] seems hardly any other Account to be given of the different Animal Se­cretions, than the different Configu­ration, and Action of the solid Parts, which from one Homogene­ous Liquor separate so many various Fluids in an Animal Body, and I am of Opinion, that in most cases where the Juices are in a morbid State, if one could suppose all the unsound Juices taken away, and sound Juices immediately transfus'd, the Quality of the solid Parts re­maining the same, after many Circulations the sound Juices would grow morbid. The Methodists err'd in so far as they consider'd the Dis­ease inhering only in the Vascular Solids, and applied their Remedies chiefly to them, not reflecting that the Solids themselves can be changed by working upon the Fluids.


To explain the Causes and proper Diet of Plethorick Constitutions.

The Diseases of the Fluids are first a Plethora, or too great abundance of laudable Juices, the Causes of which are strong Chylopoetick Organs, plenty of wholesome Diet, a middle Age, sanguineous Temperament (of which afterwards) Laziness or want of muscular Motion, moist Air, Sup­pression of usual Evacuations. The Effects are Impatience of Heat or La­bour, Extension of the greater Ves­sels, Compression of the lesser, Lace­rations upon small Causes, a Stoppage of Circulation by too great a weight upon the Heart, Suffocation, &c. the Remedies for this Constitution are opposite to the Causes of it, spare Diet, Exercise and proper Evacutions, only it must be observ'd that Pletho­rick Bodies are not to be cur'd by [Page 162] long Abstinence; because in that case the most liquid parts fly off, and the grosser remain: Blood-letting re­moves a Symptom, but often in­creases the force of the Chylopoe­tick Organs, and consequently the Disease.


To explain the Symptoms and proper Diet of sanguineous Consti­tutions.

1. A sanguineous Constitution (in the common Acceptation of the word) that is of a Person who abounds with Blood is different from a Ple­thorick; the common outward Sign of such a Constitution is a florid Appearance in the Countenance, a Blueness and Fullness of the Veins, Softness of the Flesh, a particular vivid, fair, but not pale Colour of the Skin, such a Constitution with a great Appearance of Health is sub­ject to many Diseases.

[Page 163] 2. The Blood as was observed, Prop. V. Chap. II. consists of red Globules swimming in a thin Li­quor call'd Serum, the red part is smallest in quantity. The red Glo­bules are Elastick, and will break, one red Globule into six small, and then they will turn yellow, those yellow Globules break into o­thers still smaller, and then they grow more white and transparent; the Vessels, which admit the smaller Glo­bules, cannot admit the greater with­out a Disease. Therefore as the Blood passeth through narrower Channels, the Redness disappears more and more. All the Chyle is white, and acquires this red Colour by Circulation. A free and strong Projectile Motion of the Blood must occasion a florid Ap­pearance upon the Skin in such Constitutions, because a stronger Motion forceth the red part into more capillary Vessels. To which likewise there is commonly another [Page 164] Cause that concurs, the greater Trans­parency of the Vessels occasioned by the Thinness and Delicacy of their Coats. That this is the Case of san­guineous Persons is plain, from their great Veins appearing blue and trans­parent by the Colour of the Blood in them.

3. Therefore such Persons seem to be susceptible of Diseases, that de­pend upon a strong projectile Mo­tion of the Blood, and too great Thinness and Delicacy of the Vessels; by the first they are subject to In­flammatory Distempers, for the greater Action or Reaction of the Fluids and Solids produceth a greater Attrition, to which Heat is proportional: This great Attrition must produce a great Propensity to the putrescent alkaline Condition of the Fluids, and conse­quently to Suppuration: a stronger projectile Motion of the Blood, must likewise occasion greater Secretions, and loss of liquid Parts; and from [Page 165] thence perhaps Spissitude and corea­ceous Concretions, which are always found in Animals that die of too strong a Circulation.

If the Vessels are in a state of too great Rigidity so as not to yield, a strong projectile Motion occasions their Rupture and Haemorragies; es­pecially in the Lungs, where the Blood is abundant; if the Vessels in­stead of breaking yield, it subjects the Person to all the Inconveniences of an erroneous Circulation, (that is, when the Blood strays into the Vessels destin'd to carry Serum or Lymph, according to Prop. V. Chap. II.) From whence will follow Obstructions and Inflammations, and as the Thin­ness and Delicacy of the Vessels pro­bably reigns through the whole Sys­tem, it must affect the Glands and Lymphatick, as well as the Blood Vessels; and such Constitutions must be subject to glandulous Tumours, and Ruptures of the Lymphatick, [Page 166] and all the Diseases thereon depen­dent.

4. The natural Helps from Diet are first Moderation in the quantity, and all things which relax the Veins; for what does so, prevents too vigo­rous a Motion through the Arteries: Therefore relaxing and cooling are proper Intentions in the Diet, only where there are signs of too great a Thinness in the Fluids. Subacid Sub­stances are proper, tho' they are a little Astringent; for Persons who take a great deal of Vinegar, abate their florid Colour, which is the Disease of such a Constitution.

For such a Diet the Reader is re­fer'd to the foregoing Chapter.

A Saline Constitution of the Fluids is either Acid, Alkaline, or Muria­tick, as in the Sea-Scurvy: Of these in their turns.


To explain the Symptoms, Cau­ses, and proper Diet of Acid Con­stitutions.

1. It has been demonstrated b­fore, that the Juices of a sound Ani­mal, are neither Acid nor Alkaline, by the Experiments mention'd Chapter IV. All the Substances Fluid, and Solid, of an Animal fed, even with acescent Substances, yield by fire, nothing but Alkaline Salts. Those Experiments which endeavour to shew the contrary, have been made upon Animals, which had taken much Sea-Salt, which is never totally changed in an Animal Body. The ingenious and learned Boerhaave fed a Sparrow with Bread four Days, in which time it eat more than its own weight, and yet there was no Acid found in its Body or Excrements. The reason of this is, that the vital [Page 168] Force of a sound Animal is capable to transmute the Acid Substances it takes in Aliment, into soft nutritious animal Liquids by its vital Force (by which is understood the summ of all those Powers in an Animal Body, which converts its Aliment into Fluids of its own Nature) a Cow fed with Trefoil, Daisies, Sorrel, gives Milk, in which there is not the least Acidity; but if this vital Force is weak, it is insufficient to sub­due the Acidity of the Substances taken by the Mouth. The Liquors, which are made of fermented Plants, as Wine and Malt Liquors standing in a Heat not greater than that of a human Body, turn sour; and so they will in a human Body that has not sufficient vital Force to change them, which makes no more Alteration in such Substances, than a Vessel with the same degree of Heat and Moisture. Thus weak Stomachs vo­mit up the Wine that they drink in [Page 169] too great Quantities to be digested, in me form of Vinegar. Put Bread into the Stomach of a dying Man, and it will follow its own Nature, and undergo the Alteration that is merely the Effect of Heat. A weak Stomach will turn Rye-Bread into Vinegar, and a Plough-Man will digest it. Mealy Substances ferment­ed turn sour, and unfermented be­ing mix'd with a small Quantity of Water they turn viscid, and then hard like Stones: accordingly given to a weak Child they still retain their Nature; for Bread will give him the Cholick, and unfermented farinaceous Substances will fill his Belly with a viscous Humour.

2. As no Acid is naturally in an Animal Body, but must be taken in by the Mouth; so if it is not sub­du'd in the Passages of the Chyle, it may get into the Blood; and if there is not a sufficient Quantity of Blood, and Strength of Circulation [Page 170] to subdue it, it may infect the whole Mass of the Fluids; but this is a morbid State. The Experi­ments made upon Chyle have never discover'd any Acidity in it; but the Subject of these Experiments has been always the Chyle of healthy Animals.

3. The first and principal Seat of Acidity is the Stomach; this Quali­ty of the Chyle is in some measure taken off in the Duodenum, and by the Mixture of Bile with it, grows less in the other Parts of the alimentary Duct, and still less in the Thoracick Duct, because great Quantities of Animal Liquors have been mix'd with it; but at last it may (as was said before) infect the Blood: Thus it is found by Experience, that the Sweat is sometimes acid, which is a Sign of Recovery after acute Distempers, where the Blood was in the contra­ry alkalescent Disposition.

[Page 171] 4. The Antecedent Concomitants and Effects of such a Constitution, are Acids taken in too great Quan­tities: Sour Eructations, a craving Ap­petite, especially of terrestrial and ab­sorbent Substances, the Case of Girls in the Green Sickness, Sourness in the Stomach, Pain in the Stomach (which tho' sometimes occasion'd by an acrid Bile, this Cause may be distinguish'd by the Absence of other Symptoms) Colical Pains about the Navel, the West-India dry Gripes are perhaps occasion'd by the too great Quantities of Acids, as Lime-juice in Punch. The Colicks of Infants proceed from Acidity, and the Air in the Aliment expanding itself while the Aliment ferments; for Oil of Vi­triol will throw the Stomach into involuntary Contractions, Inactivity and Change of Colour in the Bile; for Acids change the Colour and Consistence of it. Bile is the chief Instrument of Digestion, and as was [Page 172] said before, Prop. V. Chap. I. can attenuate the cheesy Substance in the Stomach of a Calf, and render it fluid; hence bilious Constitutions ea­sily digest Cheese, a sour Smell of the Faeces (when the Bile is redun­dant, they smell cadaverous) acid Sweats, Paleness of the Skin; for as was observ'd before, taking much Vinegar will make the Lips pale. It is possible that Tumors in the Breasts may be the Effect of Acidity in the Milk, and Convulsions in Infants may be occasion'd from Acidity pas­sing into the Blood, and affecting the tender Fibres of the Brain. Some Sorts of cutaneous Eruptions are oc­casion'd by feeding much on acid unripe Fruits, and farinaceous Sub­stances.

5. Acidity, as it is not the natu­ral State of the Animal Fluids, but induc'd by Aliment, is to be cur'd by Aliment, with the contrary Qua­lities; for which the Reader is re­ferr'd [Page 173] to the foregoing Chapter. An­ti-acid Medicines are ineffectual with­out a Diet of the same Kind; all Animal Diet is Alkalescent, especial­ly of such as feed upon other Ani­mals, as Infects, Fish; and especially Shell-Fish. Acidity in the Infant may be cur'd by a Flesh-Diet; in the Nurse. There are a great many anti-acid Vegetables which do not easily ferment, but putrify, as all the warm Anti-scorbuticks: Selery, As­paragus, Cabbage, Turnips, Carrots, Onions, Leeks, Radishes, Mustard, Eringo-Roots and Nettles, are An­ti-acid. In Cases of Acidity, Water is the proper Drink, its Quality of re­laxing too much may be corrected by boiling it with some Animal Sub­stances, as Ivory, Harts-horn: Absti­nence from fermented Liquors is ne­cessary.

6. This Distemper is most inci­dent to Children, because of the De­bility of their Fibres and Milk-Diet, [Page 174] to such as lead a sedentary Life, to those who take much Bread and Wine, and vegetable Acids, to Girls dispos'd to the Green Sickness, and to Artificers who deal in the Prepa­rations of Acids, as Distillers, Dyers.


To explain the Symptoms, Cau­ses, and proper Diet of Constituti­ons, which abound with a spontane­ous Alkali.

1. A Constitution opposite to the former is that which abounds with a spontaneous Alkali. No Animal un­putrify'd being burnt, yields any al­kaline Salt, but putrify'd yields a volatile Alkali, therefore in a healthy Animal no true Alkali is found; but as an Animal degenerates from this State, by such Diseases as increase the Attrition and Heat of the Fluids, the Animal Salts formerly benign approach towards an alkaline Nature, [Page 175] Human Blood, when it is first let, is mild, and will not make the Eye or a fresh Wound smart. Let it stand in a Degree of Heat equal to that of a Human Body, it will grow in three Days, fetid, the Salt of it volatile and alkaline fermenting with Acids, the Oil that remains volatile and rancid; the Blood in the Vessels may at last arrive at the same State, but must pass thro' infinite Degrees, and be­fore it comes to the last, the Ani­mal will be destroyed. All Animal Substances expos'd to the Air turn Alkaline of their own accord, and some Vegetables by Heat will not turn acid but alkaline: Every Plant in that State of Putrefaction by Prop. III. Chap. I. is converted as it were into an Animal Substance, by Chy­mical Trials yielding the same Con­tents.

2. The Causes of such a Distem­per, is a Diet of alkalescent Substan­ces. If a Woman should live upon [Page 176] Vegetables, Bread, and fermented Liquors, her Milk would be acescent or ready to turn sour; if only on Animal Food her Milk would be apt to turn fetid and putrid, but not sour.

If it was possible to take Mustard in great Quantities, it would quick­ly bring the Blood into this alkaline State, and destroy the Animal; the warm antiscorbutical Plants taken in Quantities will occasion stinking Breath, and corrupt the Blood. All Animals that live upon other Ani­mals have their Juices more alkales­cent, than such as live upon Vegeta­bles, and for that Reason perhaps Fishes have this Quality more than terrestrial Animals; for in the open Air they putrify sooner, by what was said Prop. I. Chap. IV. An Ani­mal with a strong vital Force of Di­gestion will turn Acids into Animal Substances; but if its Food be in­tirely alkalescent, its Juices will be [Page 177] more so. No Person is able to sup­port a Diet of Flesh and Water with­out Acids, as Salt, Vinegar, and Bread, without falling into a putrid Fever. If his Diet consisted of Snails, Fish, especially their Livers, Shell-Fish, Vipers, ravenous Birds, as some who feed upon Insects and alka­lescent Vegetables, the Effect would happen sooner. Eggs and Spanish Wines, taken in great Quantities with­out Exercise, will occasion a Fever. A­bundance of good Blood and laudable Juices disposeth towards this alkales­cent State. Likewise long Abstinence, (by which the Fluids are depriv'd of a Dilution of the cooling Emulsion of fresh Chyle. See Prop. VIII. Chap. II.) great Strength of the Bowels, and a right State and Abundance of Bile. Bile is an anti-acid. Another Cause is a vigorous Action of the Vessels, through which the Juices circulate, which is the Reason strong healthy and young People are more in peril [Page 178] by pestilential Fevers, than the Weak and Old.

Violent Animal Motion produ­ceth this alkaline State. Two hard Bones rubb'd hard against one ano­ther, or with a File, produce a fetid Smell. It is possible to produce a Gangrene by strong Friction, and yet Stagnation of the Fluids turns them putrid.

The Effects of such an alkalescent State in any great Degree, are Thirst, and a Dejection of Appetite, which pu­trid Things occasion more than any other; (those who are troubled with Acidity have often a bad Digestion, but a craving Appetite) nidorose e­ructations, which are different from a­cid, Foulness of the Tongue and Palate, a bitter and hot Taste in the Mouth, Thirst, Sickness, Loathing, bilious Vomitings and Dejections of a cadaverous Smell, iliacal Pains with Heat. These are the Effects of it in the alimentary Diet. Such a [Page 179] State dissolves the Blood, and dispo­seth it towards Putrefaction, hinders Nutrition; for no Chicken can be hatch'd of a rotten Egg, the Blood turning acrimonious corrodes the Vessels producing Hemorrhages, Pus­tules red, lead-colour'd, black and gangrenous, and almost all Diseases of the inflammatory Kind.

3. The Aliment of such Persons ought to be acescent Substances, as Bread, Vinegar, such as are describ'd in the foregoing Chapter. Acids keep Animal Substances from Putre­faction; for neither Blood, Flesh or Fat will putrify in Vinegar, or sour Wine: The Effect of the strongest Acids, even Oil of Vitriol in putrid Fevers, is known by Experience, in which your alkaline Spirits must be hurtful, farinaceous Things, especial­ly such as are made of Oats, are proper as having an acescent Quali­ty; it is a common Mistake that People in such a State should for­bear [Page 180] Wine. Thin Wines, as Rhenish, Moselle mix'd with Water are pro­per in a Fever. But when the Dis­temper is attended with great Heat, Milk mixed with Water is the pro­perest Drink. The properest Sea­soning is Salt-petre; Sea-salt creates Thirst, Water is the only Diluent; but as it has no Acidity in it, it is better mix'd with Limon, or with the Rob or Jelly of some acid Fruit, sometimes the demulcent Aliment mention'd Prop. IV. of the foregoing Chapter, will be of great Use.

The muriatick Scurvy induced commonly by too great Quantity of Sea-salt, and common among Mariners, is rather an artificial than a natural Disease, spontaneous only in few who have a great Disposition towards it. Its common Symptoms are a saline Taste in the Spittle, Itch­ing and red Erosions of the Skin, great Thirst, Dryness of the Skin, a lixivial Urine sometimes with a fatty [Page 181] Substance like a thin Skin a-top, Relief from watery and acid Sub­stances. The Cure of this Distem­per lies in a Diet of fresh unsalted Things, watery Liquors acidulated, farinaceous emollient Substances, sour Milk, Butter Milk, acid Fruits, and avoiding of the hot Antiscorbuticks of the Mustard Kind, the Rule of Diet is not much different from that in the alkaline Scurvy before men­tion'd.

5. It is of great Importance to know whether cutaneous Distempers proceed from an acid or alkaline Cause, because, according to the dif­ference of the Cause, there must be quite opposite Methods of Cure; they may be distinguish'd first by the difference of the Diet that occasion'd them, crude Aliment, farinaceous Sub­stances, unripe Fruits, and other Aces­cents will sometimes produce the Scur­vy and Itch, and even Leprosies de­pending on the same cause, in which [Page 182] volatile Salts, and such as are taken from Animal Substances are indica­ted. Secondly, From the Absence of the concomitant Symptoms of the one, and the other: in the acid Acri­mony, there is not Thirst, Heat nor so great a Dejection of Appetite as in the Alkaline. Thirdly, The Ero­sions of the Skin are not of so deep a Colour in the Acid as Alkaline. In general, an Attention to the Symp­toms before enumerated may be a Guide to the Diet.

6. Another Constitution of the Fluids of a Human Body, may be properly call'd Glutinous or Phleg­matick: Phlegm amongst the An­cients signified a cold viscous Hu­mour contrary to the Etymology of the Word which comes from [...], to burn; but amongst them there were two Sorts of Phlegm, cold and hot. A cold Tumor they call'd sim­ply Phlegmonem; when it came from glutinous Blood, they call'd it Phleg­monem Phlegmenodem.

[Page 183] 7. Phlegm or Pituite is a Sort of semi-fluid, it being so far solid, that one Part draws along several other Parts adhering to it, which doth not happen in a perfect Fluid, and yet no Part will draw the whole Mass, as happens in a perfect Solid.

8. The Pituite or Mucus secern'd in the Nose, Mouth, Palate, Stomach, Intestines, and Wind-Pipe, is not an excrementitious but a laudable Hu­mour, necessary for defending those Parts from which it is secern'd, from Excoriations, as happens in the Nose, when the Pituite is too thin. The Want of it in the Wind-Pipe occa­sions Hoarseness, in the Gullet and Difficulty of Swallowing. The Pituite defends the Intestines from the Acri­mony of the Ingesta, and lubricates the Extremities of the Joints. There­fore those are mistaken who imagine that Phlegm cannot be too much purg'd off; but when the Phlegm is either too viscous, or separates in too [Page 184] great a Quantity, it brings the Body into a morbid State; this viscous Phlegm seems to be the vitrious Pi­tuite of the Ancients.

9. The first Seat of it is the ali­mentary Duct where it creates Cru­dity, Dejection of Appetite, a Sense of Repletion and Sickness; for it hinders the natural Contraction of the Fibres, and that Sense of Irrita­tion which produceth Hunger. A Sensation of Fullness without eating is a sure Sign of a phlegmatick Sto­mach. In the Intestines it occasions a Tumor of the Belly, with an Atro­phy in the rest of the Body; for the viscous Crust stops the Entry of the Chyle into the Lacteals. The Case of rickety Children. In the Body it often affects the Lungs, Phlegm may be so concocted in the Lungs by the Evaporation of its most liquid Parts as to shut up the Passages of the Bronchea, and it makes Paleness in the Skin; for as it was [Page 185] observ'd before, our Aliment in the form of Chyle before it circulates with the Blood is whitish, by the Force of Circulation, it runs through all the intermediate Colours till it settles in an intense Red; as much as the Force of Circulation is defi­cient, so much will the Blood fall short of that florid Colour, and Per­sons in that Condition are call'd Leucophlegmatick; from this Phlegm proceed white cold Tumors, Visci­dity, and consequently Immeability of the Juices; hence Lethargies in old People.

10. The Causes of this phlegma­tick Constitution are, First, Viscid Aliment as of unripe Fruits, farina­ceous Substances unfermented and taken in great Quantities. The Flowers of Grains mix'd with Water will make a sort of Glue. Meals have an Oil in them which makes their Parts adhere. Secondly, Great Loss or Want of Blood which is a natu­ral [Page 186] Soap, preserving itself and the Aliment from Coagulation by con­stant Motion. Thirdly, Weakness and Indigestion in the alimentary Duct which leaves the Aliment viscous. Fourthly, A Defect or bad Consti­tution of the Bile (which is the chief Resolvent of the Aliment) phlegma­tick and bilious Constitutions are opposite. Fifthly, Dissipation of the most fluid Parts by Heat or some great Evacuation, therefore profuse Sweats, and Fluxes of Urine dispose towards this Constitution by thicken­ing the Phlegm. Sixthly, Stagna­tion from the Debility of Instru­ments of Excretion for if the Pi­tuite stagnates, it must grow viscid from Heat. These are the Causes and Symptoms of a phlegmatick cold Constitution, but Spissitude at­tended with Heat grows inflamma­tory.

11. The Symptoms point to the Cure. All the Methods of atte­nuating, [Page 187] mention'd Chap. V. Prop. IV. well fermented Bread, and well fer­mented Liquors, Fermentation de­stroys the Viscidity of farinaceous Substances. High season'd Aliment is proper for Phlegmaticks. Spices, Onions, Garlick, dissolve Viscidity. Water impregnated with some stimu­lating Substance which both dilutes and attenuates. Hot Mineral Wa­ters are the best Dissolvers of Phlegm. All Sorts of Nourishment which pro­mote Heat, and a vigorous Motion of the Blood, and for that Reason Broths made of the most volatile and alkalescent Parts of Animals.

12. A Disease opposite to this Spissitude is too great Fluidity, the Symptoms of which are Excess of Animal Secretions as of Perspiration, Swear, Urine, Liquid, Dejectures, Leanness, Weakness, and Thirst. The Methods in such a Case must be op­posite to the former. Farinaceous Substances, and watery Liquors, un­fermented [Page 188] Gellies of Animal and Ve­getable Substances, all such Things as are describ'd Prop. IV. Chap. V.

13. Another Constitution is the oily or fat; Animal Fat is a Sort of am­phibious Substance, it is scissile like a Solid, resolvable by Heat not greater than what is incident to Human Bodies, circumscrib'd and contain'd in proper Vessels, like a Fluid. The Symptoms of this Constitution are too manifest to want a Description, it co-incides often with the pletho­rick and phlegmatick Constitutions above describ'd. It is but one Spe­cies of Corpulency, for there may be Bulk without Fat, from the great Quantity of muscular Flesh, the Case of robust People. An Animal in the Course of hard Labour seems to be nothing, but Vessels, Bones and mus­cular Flesh. Let the same Animal continue long in Rest, it will per­haps double in Weight and Bulk. This Superaddition is nothing but [Page 189] Fat or Oil, and in this Sense an A­nimal perhaps never arrives at its full Growth.

14. The common Causes of this Distemper are a particular, and per­haps a gentilitious Disposition of Bo­dy, which seems to consist in the Chy­lopoetick or Organs of the first Di­gestion being strong, and the Fibres of the circulating Vessels, especially those about the Panniculus carnosus being lax, according to the Doctrine of the second Chapter. By the Ac­tion of the Fibres of the Vessels up­on the Fluids the oily Parts of the Chyle are intimately mix'd with the Blood, which by Prop. III. Chap. II. will swim a top of it several Hours after Repast; when this Action is not strong enough, and the Chyle ex­tremely copious, perhaps the thicker Oil is never entirely subdu'd; some Sorts of cramm'd Fowl have always a milky Juice swimming a-top of their Blood. Secondly, Quantities of [Page 190] oily Nourishment, Milk, Butter, and oily fermented Liquors. Thirdly, All Things which occasion Coldness in the Skin so as to stop Perspiration, by which the oily Parts are con­geal'd, which Heat resolves and at­tenuates. The Inhabitants of cold moist Countries are generally more fat than those of warm and dry; but the most common Cause is too great a Quantity of Food, and too small a Quantity of Motion, in plain Eng­lish, Gluttony, and Laziness. I am of Opinion that spare Diet and La­bour will keep Constitutions, where this Disposition is the strongest, from being fat. You may see in an Ar­my forty thousand Foot-Soldiers with­out a fat Man amongst them; and I dare affirm that by Plenty and Rest, twenty of the forty shall grow fat.

15. The Oil in Animals is ne­cessary for many Purposes; in all for Motion, in some for Nourishment; such accumulate Fat in the Summer [Page 191] which serves to refresh the Blood in the Penury of Aliment during the Winter, and for that purpose some Animals have a quadruple Omen­tum. But the too great abundance of Fat subjects Human Constitutions to the following Inconveniences.

16. First, It hinders the Motion of the Joints by making them more heavy by filling the Spaces, occupy'd by the Muscles when they contract and swell. Secondly, It subjects them to all the Diseases depending upon a defective projectile Motion of the Blood; for the Blood flows through the Vessels by the Excess of the Force of the Heart above the incumbent Pressure, which in fat People is ex­cessive; and as want of a due Quan­tity of Motion of the Fluids increas­eth Fat, the Disease is the Cause of itself. Thirdly, To Suppurations, of which the Membrana adiposa is the chief Seat. Fourthly, To danger in inflammatory Distempers, a Fever re­solves [Page 192] many Things which stagnate, and amongst others the Fat, which being mix'd with the Blood turns volatile, and occasions an Acrimony much more dangerous than the sa­line; for Salts can be diluted with Water which Oils cannot. That the Fat is dissolv'd by Fevers, is evident from the great loss of Fat which People undergo in Fevers. Amongst those and many other bad Effects of this oily Constitution, there is one Advantage that such of them who arrive to an advanc'd Age, are not subject to the Stricture and Hard­ness of Fibres, the Effect of old Age.

17. The Causes above mention'd lead directly to the Cure; as it is the Product of Gluttony and Laziness, Exercise and Abstinence is the Anti­dote; it has been observ'd that a fe­verish Heat resolves Fat, and there­fore what produceth this Effect in a small Degree so as not to endanger, [Page 193] the Life of the Patient, must be pro­per, such are all acrid and stimulat­ing Substances. Salt, Pepper, Gar­lick, Onions, Vinegar, &c. taken in Quantities will produce a mo­mentary Fever. Salt taken in great Quantities will reduce an Animal Bo­dy to the great Extremity of Aridity or Dryness. The Ancients were so sensible of the Force of Stimulating in this Case, that the celebrated Re­medy against Fat was a certain Quan­tity of the Vinegar of Squills taken every Morning; for the same Reason, saponaceous Substances, as Sugar, Honey, the Juices of ripe Fruits, Pot Herbs with Abstinence from fat Meat, and even an entire Milk-Diet by its Thinness are very effectual. Unfermented watery Liquors are hurt­ful only as they relax, but on the other hand Quantities of oily fermented Liquors commonly increase the Dis­ease. All Things which promote the Animal Secretions, especially Sweat, [Page 194] and insensible Perspiration, and for that Purpose even Water taken in Quantities is sometimes useful. Salts mix'd with Fat harden it, and acid Things congeal Oil; Spirit of Nitre will turn Oil of Olives into a Sort of fatty Substance; but Acids may be us'd as stimulating. If acid Things were us'd only as Coolers, they would not be so proper in this Case, in which it is necessary to keep up a considerable Degree of Heat; but for their foremention'd Qualities they are strongly indicated in the inflam­matory Distempers of fat People, where the Oil disposeth to a rancid Putrefaction; but Abstinence being the chief dietetick Method of pre­venting or curing the Disease, leads me to say somewhat of the Quantity of Aliment in general.

18. By Prop. VIII. Chap. II. The frequent Repetition of Aliment is necessary, not only for repairing the Fluids and Solids, but to keep the [Page 195] Fluids from the putrescent alkaline State, which they acquire by constant Attrition without being diluted; from whence it follows, First That long Abstinence may be the Parent of great Diseases, especially in hot bi­lious Constitutions, and extremely painful to acid Constitutions by the uneasy Sensation it creates in the Sto­mach. Secondly, That the Quantity of Aliment necessary to keep the A­nimal in a due State of Vigour ought to be divided into Meals at proper Intervals in the natural Day, by which Method neither the chylopoe­tick Organs, nor the Blood-Vessels are overcharg'd, nor the Juices de­priv'd too long of fresh Recruits of Chyle. Sanctorius confirms this Ma­xim in his Doctrine of Perspira­tion.

19. The great Secret of Health is keeping the Fluids in due Propor­tion to the Capacity and Strength of the Channels through which they [Page 196] pass; but the Danger is less when the Quantity of the Fluid is too small; than when it is too great, for a smaller Quantity of Fluid will pass where a larger cannot, but not con­trariwise.

20. When the Quantity of the Fluid is too small, the elastick Pow­er of the Canal (in which Life con­sists) exerts itself with too great a Strength upon the Fluid. In which Case there must follow too great a Dissipation of the Fluid, Dryness and a gradual Decay. In too great Repletion either the elastick Force of the Tube is totally destroy'd; or if it continue proportional to the Degree of Extension like a Bow too strongly drawn, it throws the Fluid with too great a projectile Force forward through the Vessels, and back upon the Heart, and subjects the Animal to all the Diseases de­pending upon a Plethory, and may bring it into immediate Danger. [Page 197] Therefore the Diseases depending up­on Repletion are more acute and dangerous than those that depend upon the contrary State. The In­stances of Longevity are chiefly a­mongst the Abstemious. Abstinence in Extremity will prove a mortal Disease, but the Experiments of it are very rare.

21. Such as have an imperfect Circulation through any Organ of the Body, should never charge their Vessels with too great a Quantity of Chyle, this was observ'd Prop. II. Chap. II. of the Lungs, and is equal­ly true in any other Case, as in Head­aches, which eating little relieves, and eating and drinking much occa­sion. A Sensation of Drousiness, Oppression, Heaviness and Lassitude are Signs of a too plentiful Meal, especially in young People.

22. The Measure of insensible Perspiration discover'd by weighing is the best Rule of Diet; therefore [Page 198] in fat People the Use of vaporose or perspirable Food, and exercise (both which increase Perspiration) are pro­per.

23. The Constitution of the Air disposeth the Inhabitants of one Country more to be fat than that of another. Sanctorius's Experiment of Perspiration being to the other Se­cretions as 5 to 3 does not hold in this Country, except in the hottest Time of Summer; so that the Acti­on of Paduan Air in promoting Per­spiration the whole Year round, is equal to ours in the Month of Au­gust.

24. From the foregoing Doctrine, a common Case both of fat and lean Men having great Stomachs may be accounted for: by the last having a great Perspiration, and some of the perspirable Matter in the first not sufficiently attenuated, stopping at the Surface of the Skin, and as it were carried about him. Hunger is [Page 199] only a Warning of the Vessels being in such a State of Vacuity as to re­quire a fresh Supply of Aliment, af­ter Secretions, the Vessels of the fat and lean Man are equally empty; for the Fat is as much out of the Thread of Circulation as what is evaporated, and perhaps the Fat in that Case becomes like a morbid Excrescence, requiring a superfluous Nutrition.

25. Infants and old People sup­port Abstinence worst. The first from the Quantity of Aliment con­sum'd in Accretion, the last from their Weakness, and the small Quan­tity of Aliment taken at once. The Middle-aged support it the best, be­cause of the oily Parts abounding in the Blood.

26. From the foregoing Princi­ples follow naturally the Hippocrati­cal Rules of Diet in Fevers, of giv­ing more or less, more thick, or more thin Aliment, according to the fore­seen time of the Duration of the Fe­ver; [Page 200] for Example, in an Ephemera none, because of its Termination in one Day, in a Fever of four Days Duration less than in one of eight. And as the Fever comes to its Height still subtracting from the Quantity of Aliment, and making it more diluent and thin.

27. We come now to what we may call the earthy or atrabilarian Constitution, where the spirituous and most fluid Parts of the Blood are dissipated, that is the Spirit, Wa­ter and subtile Oil so much evapo­rated, as to leave the Salts, Earth, and grosser Oil in too great a Pro­portion. The Blood grows darkish and thick, such a Constitution the Ancients call'd Atrabilarian or melan­cholick: Melancholy, signifying in Greek, black Gall; whether there be any such Humour as black Gall, is only a Dispute about Words. Hip­pocrates gave such an Humour this Name, and that is sufficient; besides [Page 201] it is matter of fact, that in the Ex­tremity of this Disease, the Gall it­self will turn of a blackish Colour, and the Blood verge towards a pitchy Consistence.

28. The Signs of a Tendency to such a State, are Darkness or Lividi­ty of the Countenance, Dryness of the Skin, Leanness, a penetrating quick Genius, a slow Pulse and Re­spiration. The Causes of it are all such as expel the most volatile Parts of the Blood, and fix the Residue: Great Applications of the Mind to one Object, either such as produce Sadness, or great Joy, both which equally dissipate the Spirits, and im­moderate Exercise in hot Air with un­quench'd Thirst: Aliments of hard Digestion, as dry'd and salted Flesh, unripe Fruits, farinaceous Substances unfermented, and likewise immode­rate Use of spirituous Liquors.

The Effects of such a vapid and viscous Constitution of Blood, are [Page 202] Stagnation, Obstructions, Acrimo­ny, Putrefactions, Viscidity, and im­perfect Secretion of the Gall, a de­fective Circulation, especially in the lateral Branches destined to separate the more fluid Parts, and therefore viscous, and sparing Secretions in the Glands: The Blood moving too slowly through the celiack and me­senterick Arteries, produce various Complaints in the lower Bowels and Hypochondres; from whence such Persons are call'd Hypochondriack: Such as Sensation of Weight, Anxie­ty and Repletion, a bad Digestion; from whence different Kinds of Ali­ment acquire such a State as they affect of their own Nature, acescent, if the Diet is of acid Vegetables, and alkaline or nidorose, if of Ani­mal Substances, especially Fat, which remains rancid so as the Spittle will sometimes flame in the Fire. This Indigestion proceeds from the Inac­tivity of the Gall, which likewise oc­casions [Page 203] a Constipation of the Belly, and a Difficulty of being purg'd. The Urine is sometimes limpid, sometimes thick, which latter is of­ten a Sign of Recovery. The Ob­struction of the Pituite in the lower Belly, forceth it upon the salivary Glands, and produceth Spitting.

29. Such a State of the Fluids at last affects the tender capillary Ves­sels of the Brain by the Viscidity and Immeability of the Matter impacted in them, and disorders the Imagi­nation, and at last produceth Cor­ruption in the Bowels of the lower Belly.

30. It is plain, that the Removal of such a Disease is not to be at­tempted by active Remedies, any more than a Thorn in the Flesh, or pitchy Matter adhering to a Thread of Silk is to be taken away by Vio­lence; what is viscid, ought to be gently attenuated, diluted and carried off. That all Substances, which do [Page 204] heat, will still dissipate the fluid Parts more, and consequently increase the Disease. Therefore Water impregnat­ed with some penetrating Salt, is found to have great Effects in this Distemper. The Diet ought to be opposite to the particular Acrimony, whether acid or alkaline, which it is easy to guess at by No. 5. of this Proposition. It ought to be demul­cent, in both Cases light, and of ea­sy Digestion, moistening and resol­vent of the Bile; of such Nature are vegetable Soaps, as Honey, and the Juices of ripe Fruits, some of the cooling, lactescent, papescent Plants, as Cichory, Letuce, Dandelion, which are found effectual in hot Countries. The Diet proper for all the Intentions in this Case, the Reader may see in the foregoing Chapter.


To draw a few general Inferences from the foregoing Doctrine.

From the Doctrine of this short Essay, it is as easy to determine the Rules of Diet in the different natu­ral States, as in the different morbid States of a Human Body.

1. By Prop. VII. Chap. II. Infan­cy and Childhood demand thin co­pious nourishing Aliment, such as lengthens their Fibres without break­ing or hardening, because of their Weakness and State of Accretion. Milk has all those Qualities.

2. By Prop. IV. Chap. II. The So­lidity, Quantity and Strength of the Aliment is to be proportion'd to the Labour or Quantity of muscular Motion, which in Youth is greater than any other Age, upon which Ac­count a strong and solid Diet would seem to be indicated; but as that [Page 206] Age is still in a State of Accretion, their Diet ought still to be emollient, and relaxing, copious, and without Acrimony.

3. The Diet of a Human Crea­ture full grown, and in the State of Manhood ought to be solid, with a sufficient Degree of Tenacity, with­out Acrimony, their chief Drink Wa­ter cold, because in such a State it has its own natural Spirit and Air, (which Heat destroys) with a Quanti­ty of fermented Liquors propor­tion'd to their natural Constitutions.

4. The Course of the Fluids through the vascular Solids, and the common Animal Functions without any Violence, must in length of Time harden the Fibres, abolish ma­ny of the Canals, and make the So­lids grow together; from whence Dryness, Weakness, Immobility, De­bility of the vital Force both of the first and second Digestion. Loss of Teeth, Depravation of Mastication, [Page 207] the Condition of old Age, which therefore demands a Diet resembling that of Childhood often repeated, but not so copious in Proportion to the Bulk, emollient and diluting.

5. From the Doctrine of the fifth Chapter, it is likewise easy to de­termine the Inconveniences arising from the Excess of any one sort of Diet. Too much Sea-salt produceth Thirst, Hoarseness, Acrimony in the Serum (which destroys its soft nutri­tious Quality) Erosion of the small Fibres, Pains, and all the Symptoms of the muriatick Scurvy.

6. Acids taken in too great Quan­tities, especially such as are austere, as unripe Fruits, produce too great a Stricture of the Fibres, incrassate and coagulate the Fluids; from whence Pains, Rheumatism and Gout, Pale­ness, Itch, and other Eruptions of the Skin: Substances extremely stip­tick are hurtful to the Nerves, and occasion Palsies.

[Page 208] 7. Spices in too great Quantities occasion Thirst; Dryness and Heat, quicken the Pulse, and accelerate the Motion of the Blood, dissipate the Fluids; from whence Leanness, Pains in the Stomach, Loathings, and Fe­vers.

8. Strong Liquors, especially in­flammable Spirits, taken in great Quantities, intoxicate, constringe, har­den, dry, and stimulate the Fibres, and coagulate the Fluids. They cor­rode and destroy the inward Coat of the Stomach and Intestines, and if Digestion be a Putrefaction, Spirits must by their natural Quality hinder that* they produce Debility, Flatu­lency, Obstructions, especially in the Liver, Fevers, Leucophlegmacy, and Dropsies, as by their stimulat­ing they raise the Spirits for a Mo­ment, to which succeeds a propor­tional Depression; they create a Ha­bit [Page 209] and Necessity of continuing the same Course, and increasing the Quantity. Liquors in the Act of Fermentation, as Must and new Ale, are apt to produce Spasms in the Stomach, Cholick and Diarrhaeas.

9. A Diet of viscid Aliment creates Flatulency and Crudities in the Sto­mach, Obstructions in the small Vessels of the Intestines, in the Mouths of the Lacteals and Glands, Tumors and Hardness of the Belly, Coldness, Paleness of the Skin, and Viscidity in the Fluids.

10. A Diet of oily Nourishment relaxeth the Solids, and particular­ly the Stomach and the Intestines, (Monks who take a great deal of Oil are subject to intestinal Hernias) it creates nidorose Eructations, Loath­ings, Oily and bitter Vomitings, ob­structs the capillary Vessels by hin­dering the Entrance of the watery and fluid Part, with which it will not mix; it creates Thirst and Inflamma­tions.

[Page 210] 11. A constant Adherence to one sort of Diet, may have bad Effects on any Constitution. Nature has provided a great Variety of Nou­rishment for Human Creatures, and furnish'd us with Appetites to desire, and Organs to digest them (there is a most curious Bill of Fair in Sir Hans Sloan's Natural History of Ja­maica) as Aliments have different Qualities; a constant Adherence to one Sort, may make the Constitu­tion verge to some of the Extremes mention'd in this Chapter; for heal­thy People, Celsus's Rule I. Chap. I. is a good one, Sanus homo qui bene valet & suae spontis est, nullis obliga­re se Legibus debet, nullum cibi genus fugere quo populus utitur, interdum in couvivio esse, interdum ab eo se absti­nere, modo plus, modo amplius assumere, &c. The Sense of the whole Pas­sage, is, That a healthy Man under his own Government, ought not to tie himself up to strict Rules, nor to ab­stain [Page 211] from any sort of Food in com­mon Use, that he ought sometimes to feast, sometimes to fast, some­times to sleep, sometimes to watch more than ordinary, &c. An un­erring Regularity is almost impracti­cable, and the swerving from it, when it is grown habitual, dange­rous; for every unusual thing in a Human Body becomes a Stimulus, as Wine, or Flesh-Meat to one not us'd to them; therefore Celsus's Rule with the proper moral Restrictions, is a good one for People in Health, and even in Persons diseas'd in any of the Senses of this Chapter, as too strict, too lax, acid and bilious, &c. A constant Adherence to one Sort of Diet, may carry the Case beyond a Cure to the contrary Extreme.

12. General Rules about Diet, without Regard to particular Consti­tutions, are absurd.

13. That with regard to diffe­rent Constitutions, the common Dis­tinction [Page 212] of Diet into Vegetable with Water, and Animal with fer­mented Liquors, is not proper and compleat. First, Because in the E­numeration of Constitutions in this Chapter, there is not one that can be limited and restricted by such a Distinction, nor can perhaps the same Person in different Circumstan­ces be properly confin'd to one or the other. Secondly, Because a ve­getable Diet is not characteriz'd, there is not a general alimentary Quality in which all Vegetables agree; there are Vegetables, acid, alkaline, cool­ing, hot, relaxing, astringent, acrid, and mild, &c. Useful or hurtful, ac­cording to the different Constituti­ons to which they are apply'd, there may be a stronger Broth made of Vegetables than any Gravy-soup.

14. As Flesh-Diet is generally al­kalescent, and many Vegetables are acid and cooling; People of hot bi­lious Constitutions find themselves [Page 213] extremely well in a vegetable Diet and Water, and the same Persons perhaps had enjoy'd their Health as well with a Mixture of Animal Diet qualify'd with a sufficient Quantity of Acescents, as Bread, Vinegar, and fermented Liquors.

15. The Oil of most Vegeta­bles in which their nutritious Qua­lity chiefly consists, seems not to be so hard of Digestion as that of Animals; fat Meat is harder to di­gest than the most oily Plant taken as Aliment: Sick People could not take so great a Quantity of melted Fat, as they can of Oil of sweet Al­monds.

16. Animal Substances are more nourishing, and more easily transmu­table into Animal Juices, than Vege­table, and therefore a vegetable Diet is more proper for some Constituti­ons, as being less nourishing.

17. As the Qualities of Plants are more various than those of Animal [Page 214] Substances, a Diet of some Sorts of Vegetables may be more effectual in the Cure of some chronical Distem­pers, than an Animal Diet.

18. The fibrous or vascular Parts of Vegetables seem scarce changeable in the Alimentary Duct. The Dung of Horses is nothing but the Fila­ments of the Hay, and as such Com­bustible.

19. Vegetables abound more with aerial Particles, than Animal Substan­ces; and therefore are more flatulent.

20. Man is by his Frame as well as his Appetite a carnivorous Ani­mal; the Instruments of Digestion are so well adapted to the proper Food of each Animal, that from the Structure of the First, it is easy to guess at the Second. Most Quadru­pedes that live upon Herbs, have incisor Teeth to pluck and divide them: after they are swallow'd, they are brought up again from one Sto­mach to receive a new Alteration [Page 215] by a second Mastication, after that the Mass so prepar'd, passeth through four Stomachs of different Figures and Structure before it comes into the Intestines. This is the Case of ruminating Animals, except some few; as of Hares who have but one Stomach, by which it appears, that Nature is at a great deal of Labour to transmute Vegetable into Animal Substances: Therefore Herb-eating Animals, which don't ruminate, have strong Grinders, and chew much. There have been several Instances of ruminating Men, and that Quality leaving them, was a Symptom of approaching Sickness, Vid. Philosoph. Transact. & Bonet. Sepulchret. Ana­tom. Granivorous Birds have the Mechanism of a Mill, their Maw is the Happer, which holds and softens the Grain, letting it drop by Degrees into the Stomach where it is ground by two strong Muscles, in which Action they are assisted by small [Page 216] Stones which they swallow for the Purpose, and because this Action of Grinding; cannot be perform'd by the weaker Stomachs of their Young; many of them, as Pigeons, half di­gest the Aliment before they give it. Some Birds that live upon Substan­ces easily dissolvable, as Worms, Eggs, have the Coats of the Sto­machs smooth; as Cuckows. Birds of Prey that live upon Animal Sub­stances, have membranaceous not muscular Stomachs.

The best Instruments for dividing of Herbs are incisor Teeth; for crack­ing of hard Substances, as Bones and Nuts; Grinders or Mill-Teeth; for dividing of Flesh; sharp-pointed or Dog-Teeth, which seem to be so necessary for that Purpose, that an Eagle has such Teeth not in his Bill, but two at the Root of his Tongue to hold his Prey, and three Rows in his Jaws at the Entry of his Gullet. A Human Creature has all the three [Page 217] Sorts of Teeth; the Teeth and Sto­machs of some carnivorous Beasts, don't differ much from the Human. A Lion has generally fourteen in each Jaw; four Incisors, four Ca­nine, and six Grinders, sharpish, for dividing of Flesh as well as cracking of Bones. A Human Creature has commonly sixteen Teeth in each Jaw, two of them only Canine. The inward Coat of a Lion's Sto­mach has stronger Folds than a Hu­man, but in other Things not much different. The Stomachs of Water-Fowl that live upon Fish are Hu­man; therefore it seems that Nature has provided Human Creatures with Instruments to prepare and digest al­most all Sorts of alimentary Sub­stances, as Herbs, Grain, Nuts, by the Structure of their Parts as well as Appetites, they are plainly carni­vorous.

21. It has been objected against this Doctrine, that Granivorous [Page 218] Animals have a long Colon and a Caecum which in Carnivorous are wanting. Now it is well known that a Man has both, Vid. Philoso­phical Transactions; to this it is an­swer'd that the Observation is not true without Exceptions; many car­nivorous Animals have neither Co­lon nor Caecum, and many Grani­vorous have both. There are Ani­mals not carnivorous that have a large Caecum and no Colon, and others that have neither.

There are carnivorous Animals, I mean such as eat Flesh sometimes, that have both Colon and Caecum; but as the Observation is generally true, it proves at least that Mankind is design'd to take vegetable Food sometimes, and it is a fresh Instance of Nature's being at more Labour to assimilate Vegetable into Animal Sub­stances, by affording them a longer and more retarded Passage.

[Page 219] 22. Carnivorous Animals have more Courage, muscular Strength, Activity in Proportion to their Bulk, which is evident by comparing the Cat-Kind, as Lions, Tigers; and likewise the Dog-Kind with Herb eating Animals of the same Bulk. Birds of Prey excell Granivorous, in Strength and Courage. I know more than one Instance of irascible Passi­ons being much subdu'd by a vege­table Diet.

23. Fermented Liquors are pro­per, and perhaps necessary for such as live upon an Animal Diet; for Flesh without being qualify'd with Acids, as Bread, Vinegar, and fer­mented Liquors, is too alkalescent a Diet; and Wine moderately taken, rather qualifies the Heat of Animal Food than increaseth it. Water is the only Diluter, and the best Dis­solvent of most of the Ingredients of our Aliment. It is found by Ex­perience, that Water digesteth a full [Page 220] Meale, sooner than any other Liquor; but as it relaxeth, the constant Use of it, may hurt some Constitutions. As it contains no Acid, it is impro­per with a Diet that is entirely Alka­lescent.

The Doctrine laid down in this Essay, is in most Particulars (I do not say in all) conform to that of the divine Hippocrates, as appears by several Passages of his Works; particularly of his Books of Diet, of his Method of Diet in acute Dis­eases, and Galen's Commentaries both upon those Books, and some others of his Works. I shall instance in some few Particulars as far as relates to that Part of Diet call'd Aliment, without refering to the Editions, Books and Pages, which would be of small Use to my Readers. The Maxims of this great Man are, That Health depends chiefly upon the Choice of Aliment.

[Page 221] That the Physicians before his Time were to be blam'd, for not pre­scribing Rules of Diet.

That he who would skilfully treat the Subject of Aliment, must consi­der the Nature of Man, the Nature of Aliments, and the Constitution of the Person who takes them.

In his Books of Diet, he de­scribes the Qualities of all the Sub­stances which Mankind generally feed upon.

As of all Sorts of Flesh, many of which are not in Use amongst us, as of Dogs, Foxes, Asses, Horses.

That the Flesh of Wild Animals is dryer than that of Tame, of Stall­fed, than of those fed by Pasto­rage.

That the Flesh of Animals, in the Vigor of their Age, and of such as are castrated, is best.

That of Animals, which have not us'd hard Labour, is tenderest.

[Page 222] That Beef is bilious that is alka­lescent, as all Flesh Meat is.

That the Flesh of hot dry Coun­tries is most nourishing.

He is very particular as to Man­ner of Cookery, that Roasting destroys the Humidity.

That salted Flesh should be mace­rated and moisten'd.

That salted Flesh dries, attenuates, and moves the Belly.

He is likewise very curious in tempering the Qualities of his Meats, by Seasonings of contrary Qualities.

He describes the Qualities of the Flesh of most Sorts of Fowl, that the Flesh of granivorous Birds is not so moist and oily as that of Ducks; he is particular as to the Qualities of Fishes fresh and salted, and of all Vegetables both Alimentary and Me­dicinal; that Onions, Leeks, Ra­dishes, &c. are hot and acrimonious, that some of them, as Mustard, and Cresses, will occasion a Disury; that [Page 223] others as Letuce, are cooling and re­laxing; Selery, diuretick; Mint, hot; that the Cabbage Kind resolve the Bile, that such Herbs as are odorous are Heating, Legumes are flatulent, ripe Fruits laxative, and unripe, astrin­gent.

That unripe Cucumbers are hard of Digestion.

That the Fruits of the Earth in hot Countries, are dryer and hotter than in cold.

He is no less exact in describing the Qualities of Milk, Whey, all Sorts of Bread and Water, which he chooses clear, light, without Taste or Smell, drawn not from Snow, but from Springs with an Easterly Expo­sition; tho' he seems to have known something of Mineral Waters, he says nothing of the Use of them.

He is no less accurate in the De­scription of the Qualities of several Sorts of Wines, black, white, austere, oily, thin, with the proper Uses of [Page 224] them, by which it appears, that Wine was seldom or never drunk in his Country without Water. He allows Wine unmix'd after great Dis­sipations of the Spirits by Fatigue, and regulates the Quantities of it ac­cording to the Seasons.

He likewise consider'd the Medi­cinal Qualities of Aliments, and tells you, that of Aliments some are laxa­tive, some moisten, some dry, some bind, some move Urine.

Indeed the Qualities which he a­scribes to alimentary Substances, are the four in common Use amongst the Ancients, as hot, cold, moist, and dry; according to those, his No­tions are often very just and instruc­tive, and nothing can be more so than what follows, that acid, acrid, austere and bitter Substances do not nourish; but by their Astringency create Horror, that is, stimulate the Fibres; that sweet, oily and fat Things are nourishing and anodyne, that Wa­ter [Page 225] dilutes and cools, than Honey is detergent, and Vinegar profita­ble to bilious Constitutions: No less judicious are his Intentions in the Cure of Diseases by Aliment.

That Diseases depend on the Parts contain'd, and the Parts containing, that is, on the Fluids and Solids.

That the solid Parts were to be re­lax'd or astricted as they let the Hu­mours pass, either in too small or too great Quantities.

That Animals consist of Fire and Water, which Division is not so un­compleat as one may imagine; for by Water he seems to understand the unactive, and even the solid Parts, and by Fire all the volatile and active Parts, and that the difference of Con­stitutions, consists in the Excess or De­fect of these Principles, and he com­pares the due Mixture of them to a Sort of Harmony.

That there are in a Human Body Bitter, Salt, Sweet, Acrid and Insipid.

[Page 226] That Contraries are the Remedies of their Contraries.

That Health consists in a due Pro­portion of Blood, Pituite and Gall.

That Redundance of Blood and Gall, are the Causes of acute Distem­pers.

That long Abstinence occasions Bitterness in the Mouth and beating of the Temples, and he finds fault with the Physicians that starv'd their Patients in the beginning of a Dis­temper, and gives a Reason for it conformable to the Principles laid down in this Essay that it dry'd too much, that is, the liquid Parts were dissipated.

That a Man cannot be healthy and digest his Aliment without La­bour, and that the Quantity and Kind of Diet must bear a due Pro­portion to the Labour. His Com­mentator Galen lays down this Apho­rism.

[Page 227] Young, hot, strong and labour­ing Men may feed on Meats giv­ing both a hard and gross Juice (as Beef, Bacon, powdered Flesh and Fish, hard Cheese, Rye-Bread, and hard Eggs, &c.) which may nou­rish slowly, and be concocted by Degrees; for if they should eat Things of light Nourishment, ei­ther their Meat would be too soon digested, or else converted into Cho­ler.

And again, Milk is fittest for young Children, tender Flesh Meat for them that are growing, and li­quid Meats for such as have acute Diseases.

Hippocrates observes, that Paleness is the Effect of Acidity.

That the Choice of Diet should be according to the difference of Constitutions, as in phlegmatick Constitutions, Fish and Flesh well season'd: The Flesh of Fowls (which is an alkalescent Diet) not many [Page 228] Vegetables, black austere Wines. In dry Temperaments, lenitive Fruits, Figs, Raisins, and soft Wines. In such as have a bad Digestion, and moist Bellies (the Case of acid Con­stitutions) the Flesh of Fowl, which is a Diet both alkalescent and of easy Digestion; for such as have dry Bel­lies, Pot-Herbs.

Galen his Commentator tells you, that bitter Substances engender Cho­ler and burn the Blood, giving no general Nourishment to the whole; howsoever they may be acceptable to some one Part, that is (according to what was said in this Essay) that they are a Sort of subsidiary Gall: And again, sharp Spices are most unfit for tender Bodies, whose Sub­stance is easily melted and inflam'd. However, strong Men may eat them with gross Meats, and consequently by the Principles of the Essay; Spi­ces by their melting Quality are pro­per for fat People: Meats over-salted [Page 229] are dangerous: Inflammations, Le­prosies, Sharpness of Urine, and great Obstructions happening to such as use them much, agreeing with none but strong Bodies, as Sailers, Soldiers, and Husband Men, accus­tom'd to hard Labour, and much Toiling.

Fat Meats are not good but for dry Stomachs; for in sanguine and cholerick Stomachs, they are soon corrupted; in phlegmatick Stomachs, they procure Looseness, and hinder Retention.

When any Man is sick or distem­per'd, let his Meats be of contrary Qualities to his Disease; for Health itself is but a Kind of Temper got­ten and preserv'd by a convenient Mixture of Contrarieties. According­ly, in Fevers the Aliments prescrib'd by Hippocrates, were Ptisans and Cream of Barley. Decoctions of some Vegetables likewise with the Mixture of some acid, Hydromel, [Page 230] that is, Honey and Water, Oxymel, Honey and Vinegar, then Wines without Flavour diluted with Water, when there was no Tendency to a Dilirium. Water, Vinegar and Ho­ney in Pleurisies and Inflammations of the Lungs. Sometimes he mixeth Spices, which seems odd; but that must have been for promoting Ex­pectoration; and even in Ulcers of the Lungs, he prescribes Fat and Salt for the same Purpose; and to Wo­men troubled with Pains after Child­bearing, he mixeth his Ptisan with Leeks and Fat; which Practice no doubt he had found successful.

He prescribes great Quantities of Asses Milk as far as an English Gal­lon in proper Cases, especially as a Restorative; and to such as had hot, dry Constitutions, Asses Milk, Whey and Abstinence from Fat and Oil.

No less judicious are his general Maxims for preserving of Health.

[Page 231] A Diet moderate in Quantity with a due Degree of Exercise.

That such as are of hot Constitu­tions, should abstain from violent Exercises, use Bathing in hot Water, rather than Unctions, feed upon Maize (which is his favourite Food) and Pot Herbs.

That one must not accustome one's self to a too regular Diet, because the least Error is dangerous.

That all sudden Alterations in Ex­tremes, either of Repletion, Evacua­tion, Heat or Cold are dangerous.

Galen speaking the Mind of Hip­pocrates, tells us, That the whole Con­stitution of Body may be chang'd by Diet.

That we should take those Kinds of Meats which are best for our own particular Bodies for our parti­cular Age, Temperature, Distempera­ture, and Complexions; for as eve­ry particular Member of the Body is nourish'd with a several qualify'd [Page 232] Juice; so Labourers, and idle Per­sons, Children and Striplings, old Men and young Men, cold and hot Bodies, phlegmatick and cholerick Complexions must have diverse Diets. It is easy to produce a great many more Instances to prove the Con­formity of the Doctrine of the Essay, with the Notions and Practice of Hip­pocrates; but those already mention'd are sufficient, and may be of use to some Readers to confirm by Autho­rity, what they will not be at the Trouble to deduce by Reasoning.


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