From the earliest ages to the present time, among all nations and in all climates, men have been addicted to the use of stimulants. The causes of the existence of a fact so widely spread cannot lie upon the surface. They must be sought for either in the nature, or the surroundings of man; and can not be removed either by moral suasion, or by legal represion. And while we make no question that the entire and total abstinence from any use of stimulants is by far the best, for any man in purely healthful conditions, we cannot reasonably hope for such abstinence, on the part of those who are so poorly supplied with physical and social comforts as are the masses at present.
Under such circumstances, and in view of the consequences of intoxication which meet us on every hand, we look with satisfaction upon the introduction of such a beverage as Lager Bier. The percentage of alcohol is so small (in specimens from six breweries, analysed by Wachenroder, averaging only 3.794.) that we can readily understand that a man may drink the enormous quantities testified to in several recent trials, without producing what is ordinarily called intoxication. The percentage in brandy, as given by Brande, is 53.39, in rum, 53.68, Irish whiskey, 53 90, Scotch whiskey, 54.32, and gin, 57.60. Burton ale contains 8.88 percent, or more than three times the quantity in Lager Bier. Still, that Lager Bier is sufficiently exhilarating to satisfy the appetites, of those who would otherwise use more concentrated forms of alcohol, is shown by its large and constantly increasing consumption; and by the great inroads it is making upon the use of other drinks.
Lager Bier, moreover, seems, in an especial manner, adapted to the wants of our American people. It has been asserted that the race in America is degenerating in physique; and we all know that the peculiar sharp features, which now constitute the typical American countenance, did not belong to our European ancestors. Whether the feverish activity, which we see everywhere prevailing, is owing to our peculiar atmospheric and meteorological conditions, as is thought by many, or to the increased anxiety occasioned by our novel social and political surroundings, or to a union of both these causes, we need not inquire; but it seems to be well settled, that this almost morbid activity and earnestness prevents the deposit of adipose tissue; and the wonderful progress we have made in the line of material wealth is dearly paid, for, by the loss of that robust health, which is so characteristic of the slower and graver Englishman.
Setting aside for the present, the question of the directly nutritive qualities of Lager Bier, it seems perfectly clear, since the quantity of lupulin and other similar substances so far exceeds that of alcohol, that the effects, although as we have shown, slightly exhilarating, are on the whole, more sedative than stimulating, and thus beautifully fitted to aid in the development of adipose tissue, by allaying that excessive nervous activity to which we have referred.
Indeed we frequently hear the use of Bier objected to, on the ground that it causes an unnatural deposit of fat, and that it occasions a lethargic and torpid condition. That such results may follow its excessive use, we fully realize; but with our conviction of the too rapid course of our American life, and of our too great devotion to the production and accumulation of material wealth, we think this but a small evil. The character of the injury, said to result from its excessive use, plainly indicates the benefits of its moderate employment. And, of course, it is only of a moderate use, that our remarks are applicable; in view however, of the ordinary forms of alcoholic drinks, we gladly hail its advent among us, even with the possibilities of its being used to excess.
Our position is not one of theory alone, but is abundantly confirmed by experience. Who that has visited any of our great German festivals, either of the Singing Clubs, or of the Turnverein, can have failed to observe the quiet order and good humor that prevailed, after copious libations of Lager Bier?
Even if these were accompanied with some heaviness of the eye, and slowness of motion, he must be gratified at the contrast when he called to mind the savage ruffianism that too often manifests itself at our own out-door gatherings when brandy, whiskey and rum furnish the principal excitement. The same difference may be seen, between the appearance and demeanour of the company, in the Lager Bier saloons of our cities, and in the ordinary bar-rooms for the sale of distilled liquors. Nor can these differences be charged wholly to the greater quiet and soberness of our German brethren; for the same thing may be observed among the quicker and more excitable Irish and Americans.
We are glad to learn that many of our population are adopting Bier in place of the strong drinks to which they have been so unfortunately addicted. For instance, among the men employed in the upper part of this city, in opening streets, and similar work, who are mostly Irish, it is now very frequent, when they are paid off for the week, for parties who formerly spent the evening in whiskey shops, to club their money together and buy a cask of Lager Bier, instead. The result is what might be expected, and instead of fights and drunken rows, ending with going home to beat and abuse their wives or families, they pass the evening in jovial relaxation, and go peaceably and quietly home. We are informed by a physician residing near Yorkville, who sees much practice among these workmen, that sickness of all kinds, and especially delirium tremens, has rapidly diminished among them, as a direct consequence of the introduction of Lager Bier. He finds also that when cases of disease occur, in the persons of those who now drink Bier, they yield much more readily to the action of medicines, than they formerly did in the same individuals, while using whiskey and rum.
In what has thus far been said, our reference has been to Lager Bier, as beverage. The subject is unfinished however, without allusion to the elements of nutrition contained within it, which render it useful in connection with its tonic properties, as an article of diet, for patients whose constitutions are below par, and whose powers of assimilation require frequent stimulants. There are beyond doubt many patients whose digestion is slow and imperfect, when unassisted by piquant sauces, highly seasoned food, or something else of this character. It is much to be regretted that such is the case, but the fact remains.
The habit, common to our city people, of working the brain immediately after filling the stomach, has the effect of drawing the blood from the stomach, where it properly should be during the process of digestion, to the cerebrum; and unless some article of diet, rather more stimulating than ordinary plain food is taken before, during, or after a meal, assimilation is slow and deficient. Stimulating sauces, pickles, &c, are certainly injurious. They ultimately aggravate the very conditions which at first they suppress. The complexions of those who use them to any great extent become clouded, the skin thick and coarse, and the digestion more than ever enfeebled, and more than ever requiring their aid.
Now Lager Bier has in many instances proved of great service as a substitute for these condiments. We are now speaking of clinical results occurring under our own and our friends' observation. The appetite for sauces like Worcestershire and walnut catsup has, to our own knowledge, gradually disappeared entirely, in one case whose enormous and increasing consumption of the powerful condiments above named had become a matter of some anxiety, and what seemed to be a chronic disease of the stomach disappeared, with no actual medication, unless such is implied in the use of Lager Bier.
The weak and nervous women who abound in our cities, would find in Lager Bier, an excellent article of diet. Instead of the strong preponderance of the nervous element in their systems as at present witnessed, we should find more composure of manner, with an increased deposit of adipose tissue, and less of that look of fixed anxiety and continual worry, which make the thin, haggard faces of those who have passed thirty. The beauty of American -women is proverbial, but short-lived; it seldom exists beyond the birth of the fist child. The nervous tension found in our women, is a concomitant, if not a cause, of this rapid destruction of all fullness and embonpoint, and we are well assured that Lager Bier will greatly lower this nervous excitability, and must therefore be of service in the preservation of beauty and health.
SYSTEM OF HUMAN ANATOMY-General and Special. By ERASMUS WILSON, M.D., F. R. S. Edited by WILLIAM H. GOBRECHT, M. D. New and improved American from an enlarged London Edition, 8vo., pp. 616. Philadelphia, Blanchard & Lea.-1858.
The very learned and doubtless very distinguished author of the late Report against the introduction of Homoeopathy into Bellevue Hospital asks, somewhere in his highly imaginative production,-“If Homoeopathy be a true Science of medicine why have we not an Homoeopathic Anatomy, Obstetrics, Physiology, etc?” thus giving the Governors of the Alms House to understand that there is such a thing as Allopathic Anatomy. Whether the authors, for we understand it required several allopathic magnates to produce the remarkable Report above referred to, intended to deceive the board of Governors in thus leaving them to infer that all the books on Anatomy were on Allopathic Anatomy only; or whether they accidently betrayed in this, as in other instances, their own lamentable ignorance; we are of course unable to state
Certain it is however that in the whole course of our medical reading we have not as yet stumbled upon either an Allopathic Anatomy, Physiology, or even Chemistry. These being individual Sciences in their own right belong neither to the Allopathic nor Homoeopathic School exclusively, but are in fact the joint property of both. When therefore the Medical luminaries who wrote the ridiculous Report against Homoeopathy, set up the silly claim to an exclusive Anatomy, and call upon Homoeopaths to get up one of their own. they must pass with most men, as exceedingly stupid or as eminently, and satirically funny. The ordinary text books on Anatomy being thus works in which Homoeopathists have a certain moral right to be interested, as a legitimate consequence of the partnership with the other School in the full possession of this Science as the foundation of medical art, we desire to call attention to a new Edition of Wilson's Anatomy recently published by Blanchard & Lea.
For our own part we have always considered Wilson's as the best and most convenient book on this subject, and with the recent additions in the way of cuts and letter press, it is certainly superior to all others of which we know anything. It is particularly recommended to Students as being eminently practical, correct, and carefully written. To the older practitioners who now and then desire to rub up their anatomical knowledge, Wilson's Anatomy will perhaps prove more useful than any other, as most of the others are either too bulky and diffuse, or are too much condensed and curtailed.
Mr. J. T. P. Smith, the Homoeopathic pharmaceutist of Brooklyn, has sent us advanced sheets of this admirable “vade mecum.” The book is intended to supply a want long felt by many practicing physicians and is really of much more value than would appear from its small size and humble pretentions. In addition to the blank pages intended to be filled with the “Visiting list,” after the manner originated by Blanchard & Lea; and which has saved so many of us a world of trouble, there is a condensed Repertory. The preparation of this epitome, which is of course a compilation from the larger Repertories, seems to us an exceedingly happy hit. There is certainly, both among physicians and laymen, a prejudice against taking a repertory into the bed-room of the patient; and though some of the best Homoeopathic practitioners in the country are in the constant habit of turning over the leaves of their books in the presence of the sick, we have not yet been able to overcome our repugnance to such a proceeding. We cannot help thinking the habit is calculated to lessen the confidence of the patient and thus indirectly to bring our School into disrepute.
We are fully aware that the habit has arisen, with those who possess it, in a full and deep conscientiousness. This determines them to leave no pains untried and no care neglected, which shall aid in securing the benefit of the invalid, through the accurate selection of a drug perfectly homoeopathic to .the case. We can hut admire the genuine honesty of purpose, thus exhibited, in spite of its “bad appearance,” and if any way can be suggested, whereby the same careful consideration of the remedy can be entered upon without attracting the attention and perhaps exciting the distrust of the patient, it seems a plain duty to adopt it. This way seems to lie through this admirable little abridgement which, because attached to the “visiting list,” is easily consulted without attracting notice; and must always be found of much assistance.
It is perhaps, the opinion of some, that physicians should be always so “au fait” in a knowledge of the materia medica, as to grasp the remedy at once, without reference to their books. In many cases this is easy enough. We have certain common types of disease for which we have no hesitation in prescribing certain remedies, and almost always do so prescribe without very much thought. But there are also cases of daily occurrence which arc somewhat obscure, and in finding a proper remedy for these a pocket Repertory is no mean assistance. The fact that, from the disjointed and unconnected arrangement of the symptomatology, no man can possibly carry the pathogenesis of the different remedies in his head, unless he excludes therefrom every thing else-which God forbid!-is reason sufficient for the employment of one of these aids. The less conspicuous its use the better-of course-and this little physician's diary fills all the indications, and will doubtless come into very general use. As to size, it is a little thicker, otherwise the same, as those usually sold by Blanchard & Lea. Dr. Minton of Brooklyn is the compiler of the Repertory, and has done his work well.
|Source:||The AMERICAN HOMOEOPATHIC REVIEW Vol. 01 No. 03, 1858, pages 129-133|
|Description:||Book-notices; AN ANALYSIS OF LAGERBIER its Medicinal and Dietetic Qualities BY HENRY ANDERS; SYSTEM OF HUMAN ANATOMY-General and Special By ERASMUS WILSON; THE HOMOEOPATHIST'S VISITING LIST - Book of Engagements and Pocket Repertory for 1859; MAJORITY AND MINORITY REPORTS OF THE TEN GOVERNORS, In reference to introducing Homoeopathy into Bellevue Hospital.|
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