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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find the pulp of these always occasions incovenience to the convalescent. Dr Cullen gives a pretty good account of all these & I shall refer you to him. There are many among them that should be boiled, others roasted—Stewed with rich syrups they constitute the sweet meats of the confectioners, and when in this state they are best when eaten with milk. Peaches, quinces, Raspberries make the best—In this way the crab apple is a very pleasant fruit, which when dried is very improper to be eaten. One of the best preparations of these fruits as a dish for the sick, is the common roasted apple. It prevents hunger & keeps open the bowels. I often prescribe it when much nutriment would be improper. Water melons and cucumbers sometimes the most dreadful colics and yet are much eaten in this City in summer. An absurd and fatal prejudice has prevailed among

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people that it was necessary to swallow the stones of cherries and other fruits, in order to assist digestion; it arose from those mechanical ideas of digestion which considered these as necessary to assist digestion in tbe human stomach, as pebbles in the stomachs of the Gallinacea - This danger of this we must be convinced of from a recollection of the many dreadful symptoms induced by it as witnessed in colics, flatulency and death. Dissection in these cases has shewn a large ball of stones so agglutinated as to stop up the alimentary canal. The Edenburg volumes of transactions contain an account of death from cherry or plum stones, and Dr Physick gives a case which fell under his notice of death from persimmons. When such things have been swallowed we should first give an emetic and then castor oil until the alimentary canal is completely evacuated. Dr Cullen gave the preference to the pulp of grapes over all the others, but professor Barton preferred

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the strawberry, perhaps the latter comes to greater perfection in this than in any other country. Grapes have been prescribed in dystentary but they are very improper, except the juice of the dried fruits. we may say that they are good in costive habits. Many of our own fruits dried have excellent qualities. The roots, leaves, stems &c of several vegatables particularly the varieties of the cabbage are much used as wholesome aliment. Among these we may mention the cauliflower. Many of these are indigestable and improper fr the femal stomach. The carrot is tender and a good vegetable but not very easy of digestion. I now hasten gentlemen to another important article of our aliments the Potatoe. This as we have before told you contains much fecula, according to the expts of H. Davy about one fourth of it is composed of this. In great diseases of the bowels it has been accused of

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Animal food

inducing flatulences et&c. But is certainly the safest and one of the most valuable of all vegetables, and when mixed with flour makes an excellent bread. upon the whole it is one of the most valuable & wholesome vegetables we have. I refer you to Dr Cullen for the remainder of the vegatables and even to say something of Animal Food. But first we must recollect that the eccentricities of the human stomach are very great. After the fortieth year Dr Rush said the stomach became shy of new acquaintances. This is not quite so correct as another observation of his, that green peas when they first come almost always produce Colics et&c. That animal food was intended for man is not at the present day denied, and it has been used in all ages and in most countries. The flesh of quadrapeds has been said to be the most proper aliment because it is already assimilated to ourselves. This is a bad argument & would prove that blood is the best food for man

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When we know that blood is one of the most indigestable of all aliments. It would also reject the ceralia as they are so dissimilar to our fluids & solids. Now the Cerealia are among the substances most easily converted into chyle & Cullen must be wrong. It is not necessary here to inquire what are the peculiar properties or qualities of animal food the ultimate composition is of better consequence to us and chemistry has thrown little light on the subject of comparative nutrition. Dr Cooper of Carlisle has given some opinions relative to the nutritious quality of fats et&c to which I refer you and I hope you will not forget that the process of digestion is partly formed by the gastric liquor. The flesh of carnivorous animals is not so good as others. old authors have endeavoured to account for this on the principle of alkalescency, but this is intirely unworthy of notice.

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