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This copious list contains but a moiety of the virtues that the gratitude or the credulity of mankind bestowed on this alien, from a, then, new found world.
An accidental, or an empirical application of it, seems first to have raised its reputation in Europe as a cure for wounds, ulcers, and cutaneous diseases. T'he history of this is remarkable enough. A relation of a page of the M. Nicot, before mentioned as having afforded the generic name to
this family of plants, had a creeping ulceration upon the 1 cheek, which seems to have been noli me tangere or herpes
eredens. It had spread over the check, seized the nose, and corroded its alæ. By an application of the green leaf and juice of the tobacco, which Nicot had then growing in bis garden at Lisbon, this corroding ulcer was cored in twelve days. This occasioned' its application to be extended. Wounds were suddenly healed* by it; tetters werc removed ;
Discusses the king's evil, and removes
Or in the lungs. Mr. des Maizeaux is less an elegant than a faithful translator : The latin muse of the Italian physician makes a homely appearance in her English vestment. Castor Duranti resided at Rome, where he was esteemed to be a great physician and agreeable poet : Pope Sixtus the 5th held him in high consideration. He died at Viterbo in 1590, and left several works on medicine and botany in Latin and Italian. His work, Il Tesoro della sanita, nel quale si da el modo di conserver la sanita e prolongar la vita, e si tratta della natura di cibi, e dei rimedi, e dei nocumenti loro. 4to. Roma, 1589, may possibly state more particu. larly the grounds of his attachment to the Nicotiana. Perhaps, when he lavished his praises on the plant, he intended, with courtly dexterity, to flatter the cardinal who imported the inestimable treasure. . * There is an interesting circumstance connected with this sudden healing of wounds by the use of Tobacco. When enumerating the vir
nd strumo the written the paned any of
and strumous tumours discussed. So said the oral traditions, and even the written records of that period. Succeeding, times have not justified the panegyric. Modern surgery never has recourse, with these views, to any of the species of Nicotiana. It is not certain, however, that a fotus, cataplasm, or even an unguent prepared with the N. Tabaccum, might not be employed, with advantage, in some cases of indolently painful tumours, and scrofulous ulcerations. In cases of local spasm, perhaps in Trismus and Hydrophobia, they might be had recourse to as an auxiliary at least. In those obstructions of the canal of the urethra called strictures, it appears that bougies medicated with Tobacco* have been emi. nently useful.
tues of this plant, old Gerarde says, “ I doe make hereof an excellente balsame to cure deepe wounds and punctures, made by some narrow sharpe pointed weapon. Which balsame doth bring up the flesh from the bottome verie speedily, and also heale simple cuts in the flesh according to the FIRST INTENTION, that is, to glew or soder the lips of the wound together, not procuring matter or corruption to it, as is commonly seene in the healing of wounds.” Historie of plants, folio. Lond. 1633. p. 360. Who was the discoverer of healing wounds by this simple and rational process is not of much importance. Gerard certainly has the honour of having employed it in the darkness and ignorance of the 16th century, (the 1st edition of the Historie of Plants was in 1597,) of understanding its principle, and using even the same term employed in modern surgery. He certainly did not learn the art of curing wounds by the first intention from TALLA COTIUS, for his work, “ de curtorum Chirurgia per insitionem, &c." 'was but just published at Venice; the princeps edition, folio, bearing the date 1597. With the above passage extant in Gerard, no surgeon of a subsequent period can fairly claim the discovery. The author of the “ Triall of Tobacco," is so enamoured of Master John Gerard's balsam, that he considers it to have an excellence surpassing all others. After inserting the recipe, he adds, from Gerard, “ I send this jewell to you women of all sorts, especially to such as cure and helpe the poor and impotent of your countrey without reward. But unto the beggarly rabble of witches, charmers, imposters, and such like cozeners, that regard more to get. monic, than to help for charitie, I wish this inedicine farre from their understanding, and from those deceivers, whom I wish to be ignorant herein." He entirely overlooks, as many others did, the efficient point 80 clearly stated by Gerard, “ that is, to glezu or sodex the lips of the wound together, not procuring malter or corruption to it.” !
* In two cases of stricture in the urethra, Dr. Shaw of Philadela : phia, employed bougies medicated with Tobacco. Both cases appear to have received permanent cures. In one case, a thin smooth leat of strong Tobacco, (N. Tabac:) previously moistened with water, waar wrapped around a small sized bougie, and carried down to the stric.
. In the topical application of this plant the practitioner must carefully watch for the effects it may produce on the general system. Disturbance in the first passages, torpor of the brain, and a deathlike syncope, seem to have arisen from its application in the form of poultice or ointment. Where the cutis is exposed by a removal of the cuticle, or in extensive ulceration, this is most likely to happen. From its application to the scrobiculus cordis, where the cuticle has been whole, these symptom's have occurred. * To the varied forms
ture, where it was kept fifteen minutes, when it passed the stricture and went into the bladder. At this time the patient complained of sickness, and perspiration appeared on the forehead. As soon as the bougie was withdrawn, be discharged half a pint of urine, which flowed in a natural stream. The application of the bougie was repeated twice a day for three days, and the patient was cured. In another similar case the bougie was smeared over with an extract of Tobacco. A sensation of sickness and debility also took place in this case, while the bougie remained in the urethra. The operation was repeated three times, and produced such torpor and relaxation of the sphincter vesicæ, as to ren. der the patient unable to retain his urine. This inconvenience was removed by T. Lyttæ. These cases are sufficiently marked to raise an. expectation of great utility from the employment of bougies medicated with Tobacco. In those deplorable suppressions of urine, where every effort is unavailing to pass an instrument into the bladder by the urethra, is it justifiable ever to proceed to the desperate operation of puncturing the bladder, without first trying the effect of the TOBACCO Bougie?
.* Its property of occasioning severe vomiting, when applied in the form of cataplasm to the region of the stomach, though an inconvenience in some instances, presents a powerful resource in others. In that torpor of the stomach occasioned by an over dose of opium, or in any instance where it is desirable to evacuate its contents, the organ itself being insensible to the stimulus of emetic substances taken into it, or the power of deglutition being lost, may some good be expected from the Tobaceo cataplasm? In cases of asphyxia, and, perhaps, apoplexy, where bringing the stomach into action is to be considered as the most powerful means of exciting the system, may not the same application be einployed? The injection, whether of smoke or decoction, is certainly less manageable. The cataplasm can be instantly removed, but the practitioner must submit to the frightful energy of the enenia. Even the external application of this potent substance requires careful attention. A middle-aged countryman and his wife applied an infusion of Tobacco to the skin for the cure of the itch. in an hour they felt as if intoxicated with spirits. This was followed by violent head-ach, dry hot skin, excessive vomiting and purging; spasmodic contractions of the hands and arms, and considerable dyspnäa. These symptoms continued as long as the solution of Tobacco remained on the skin. The warm bath speedily removed the derangement, Med. Comment Edin. xi. 327.
of cutaneous diseases Tobacco has been applied either as a lotion or an unguent; even modern practice does not reject it in Tinea Capitis. Until the introduction of the quicksilver ointment superseded it, a decoction of Tobacco was the remedy used by shepherds for that contagious disease in sheep called the scab. *
The external application of Tobacco bas not been confined to the cure of local affections. It has been thus employed with a view to the removal of some discases of the system over which the materia medica has generally had but little in. fluence. Epilepsy and general conyulsions have been cured by the application of Tobacco in cataplasm and injection. For the verification of this we fortunately have not to look into the records of remote and credulous ages. The most enlightened physician of the present age, the late Dr. James Curry, has left this evidence of its medicinal powers. + 66 In a case of epilepsy, which occurred in the hospital practice, the paroxysm returned periodically every afternoon, In this instance a cure was effected by a cataplasm, formed chiefly of Tobacco, to the scrobiculus cordis, about half an hour before the expected return, by which a powerful impres. sion on the system was produced, and the paroxysm of epi, , lepsy prevented. This practice, repeated several days at the expected periods, probably destroyed the diseased association, for the cure was permanent. I was induced to use To bacco on this occasion from having observed it to succeed in
the cure of obstinate intermittents, when appied in the same | manner, previous to the accession of the paroxysm.” 66 In
two recent cases,"Dr. Curry adds, “ I have en ployed the remedyin a different manner. Each of the patients laboured in der general convulsion, and the paroxysm had returned so fre
* The external application of Tobacco makes a great figure in the first writers on this plant. Magnenus has a section of his Exercitatio xiv. entitled, “ Morbi particulares externi quibus Tabacum subvenit.” The subdivisions of this section are, 1. Ad ulcera omnia. 2. Ad pediculas, phtyriasim et tineam. 3. Ad porriginem, achores, et polye pum. 4. Ad ranulam. 5. Ad strumas, tumores thymum. 6. Ad ædema, gangrenam, cancrum, lupum fistulasque. 7. Ad hæmorrhoides, et herniam. 8. Ad verrucas, clavos, cirones, perniones, lapsos ungues. 9. Ad vulnera omnia. 10. Ad morsum canis rabidi, ictus urticæ, punc, tiones, venenatosque morsus. 11. Ad mures, glires, cimices, pulmones marinos, &c. 12. .Ad inflationes ventris, pruritus, ambusta, scabiem, pustulasque et furunculos. To this formidable catalogue may be added its honorable station in the Ars Cosmetica, ad ruborem faciei, dentium nigredinem, cutis asperitatem, VULTUSQUE TRISTITIAM. + Medical Reports, Vol. 1, 163,
quently, as to produce continued coma, and in the byestanders an absolute des pair of recovery. I ordered a decoction of half a drachm of Tobacco in four ounces of water, to be thrown up as an enema. This powerful agent penetrated the system to its very centre, roused the sensibility which the effusion of cold water and other external impressions could •not awake ; excited sickness, vomiting, and profuse perspiration, and interrupted the convulsive actions, which have never since returned. In each of these cases the recovery was altogether unexpected."*
The Tobacco Enema, whether in the form of smoke or decoction, is undoubtedly one of the most powerful agents of the Materia Medica. Its operation is sudden, violent, and in many instances, effectual.t This mode of employing the Nicotiana was early known to writers on the subject. Magnenus recommends clyster tabaci, † for colics, flatulence, in
* In the “ TRIALL of Tobacco," a thin 4to. written in the early part of the 17th century, by Edmund Gardiner, the author asserts that is the suffumigation of Tobacco being taken, is a good medicine for the starknesse or stiffnesse of the neck, called Tetanus, and for any pains or ACHES in the bodie, proceeding of the cause that Tetanus doth.” Fol. 25. When externally applied, especially the Oleum Tabaci, to the neck and spine, the old writers had much confidence in it as a remedy for Tetanus. Vid. Magnenus and Neander.
of The author of the “ Use and Abuse of Tobacco," 8vo. 1720, has this ridiculous direction for the management of the patient after the injection of the Tobacco Enema. “ I have known it used," he observes, “ with very good success, by making a decoction of it in urine, for a glyster, in a violent iliac passion, when several other things failed. The method was this ; after having, with much difficulty, injected the glys. ter, and spread a carpet upon the ground, the patient was constantly rolled upon the floor for some considerable time, till he felt a strong motion for stool ; at which time there was a copious discharge of hard excrements and wind, to the sudden relief of the tormented patient, and the joy of his despairing friends."
I MAGNenus has this curious formula for the Tobacco Enema. R. Fol. Tabac. m. j. fiat decoctio in jure pulli gallinacei pinguis q. s. R. Hujus decocti zix.' Succi tabacini, sacch. rubei äā zss. Mell. violati, olei communis āā zij. fiat clysteri. There cannot be a more. striking instance of the complex absurdity of the extemporaneous formula of this period than is seen in the following recipe for a Tobacco Enema. Take Mercury (Mercurialis perennis, a plant which has ma-, nifested some deleterious properties, and is one of our indigenous vege., tables which should not be overlooked), rue, marshmallow, little centaury, each six handfuls; Tobacco leaves six; root of marshmallow 3ss. ; linseed and fenugreck each'ziij. cummin and anniseed each ziss. boil in a sufficient quantity of water, until one-third part be consumed ;