College of Physicians of Philadelphia: Robert Pryor Richardson notes on the lectures of John Syng Dorsey, 1817 (10a-198)

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One volume (64 p.) of an incomplete set of notes on materia medica lectures delivered by John Syng Dorsey. Lectures are numbered 2-8; lecture 2 is dated 17 Nov. 1817. Topics covered include animal life, sympathy, nutrients, vegetable food (grains, roots, fruits), animal food (mutton, wild game, poultry, eggs, fish, shellfish, snake, turtle, milk, dairy products), cooking (pickling, soups, roasting, broiling, frying, stewing), and drinks.

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Triticum

use in estimating the operation of medicines—In the farinacea we include wheat Rye, Barley, Corn &c They all contain much nutriment but they differ much in the quantity.

Triticum wheat. The natural history of this you are all acquainted with & you also know that it constitutes a large portion on the food of the inhabitants of Europe & america—I shall say nothing of the process of grinding, but shall make some observations upon bread. The seeds of wheat are composed of mucilage, starch & gluten. The latter is insoluble in water ardent spirit spirit, oil, or ether. Bread is composed of folour, water, & yeast mixed up together; while fermentation is going on it is baked, this immediately stops fermentation. We raise the temp & evaporate the moisture requisite for carrying on the process of fermentation— Dr K has proved in a very ingenious thesis 1790 that this is correct, and done himself

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honour, & science a benefit. The yeast which is put into the bread contains fixed air, heat being applied the air becomes elastic, the water disappears &c. Later chymists say that one lb of flour will make a pound & a quarter of bread. The farinaceous differ much in medical properties according as they are prepared. Unleavened bread is very ancient as we find from reference to the bible & we find in some cases unleavened bread is both nutritious & easy of digestion. Bread is very useful in mixing with the saliva & nutritious parts of animal food & carrying it to the stomach. The very nutritious quality of bread is proved by P Franklin, who lived 12 days on 10lb bread. Stark lived on bread & water, when he eat 38z of bread & 2 lb water he got fat. The greatest quantity he was able to take was 46z. And he found that the 38z agreed with him better than 46. Which shows that even in bread & water there is a great

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quantity of nutriment, & hence the propriety of prohibiting your patients from eating too much of it when it constitutes their diet. Some cannot when in health digest unleavened bread—and yet in a disease of the bowels crackers are an excellent article of diet. Stale bread in much more easy of digestion, this you must all remember & never let your dyspeptic patients have fresh bread—In all chronic cases bread must be well baked. There is nothing perhaps more difficult of digestion than dough. A gentleman of my acquaintance one of the trustees of this university eat some doughed half baked bread; & was seized with apoplexy. Half baked and even fresh bread have produced it. A most valuable beverage for the sick is made by an infusion of toaster bread in water. It becomes very useful after blows on the head & in all those cases when a rigid diet is indispensable.

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nothing can be more important than an attention to this. A man said he lived low when he drank a pint of wine per day, but I tell you gentleman, a low diet in toast & water Some have lived forty days on this alone.

Dr Dorseges 4th Lecture At our last lecture we commenced with saying something on the subject of the nutrientive and said that the subject had been of late years much overlooked. One of the class wished to know after lecture which branch or part of my lecture was the most important. I cannot say which, but only tell you that the present subject is quite worthy your consideration. However unimportant the fermentation of bread may at first appear to you it is far from being so We mentioned the man who thought he was living low when he took a pint of wine per day, & indeed this might have been low living to him if his usual quantity of drink & aliment was much greater.

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There are some men who live almost wholly on vegatable diet, to such when attacked with fever we should give only bread and water. I proceed today with the subject of bread. It has been observed that when people live on vegatable diet, little inflammation takes place. The people of Asia live on unfermented rice, & in Europe & America still a large portion of the inhabitants subsist on unfermented bread & they enjoy good health. In the course of my practice I have found few evils from its use. Hypocrates observed that unfermented bread was not so light & easy of digestion as when it is well fermented—I don't intend to quote him often as authority but in this I thot, he was worthy of mention But sailors after long feeding on unfermented bread feel weak when they change to fermented. To a healthy stomach either is very good. Bread raised by leaven is acid, that by yeast is not.

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