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discover something more than the reason of their usefulness in phthisis ; we shall show that they have no exclusive adaptation to that disease, but may be given with equal prospect of benefit in various diseases associated with analogous conditions of the blood : and thus we may come to establish a therapeutical law so widely applicable as to simplify our principles, extend our resources, and consolidate our system of practical medicine. Such a generalization would commend itself to my mind by its freedom from complication and obscurity; for I am sure you will agree with me concerning the evidence afforded by some of the noblest triumphs of philosophy, that, although shallowness and obscurity are continually associated, the ocean of truth is clear as well as deep; and that, in proportion as we approach to science, we shall attain to simplicity.


Substitutes for cod-liver oil-Inquiry regarding the relative value

of different elements of the oil; carbon, bile, olein-Vegetable oils-- Medical use of cold blooded animals; turtle, viperAnimal oils-Instances of good effects from neat's-foot oil; sperm oil; lard oil-Advantage of adding phosphorus to vegetable oil—The long-continued use of oil often necessary to successful treatment Properties of cocoa-nut oil.

At our last lecture, gentlemen, 1 submitted to your observation all the hospital patients at present under my care, who have for any considerable time taken codliver oil. They have all, though in different degrees, experienced benefit from its use; and you have been supplied with evidence of the reasonableness of the confidence now becoming so widely diffused in its virtues. As I proceed to-day, you will perceive the reason why, just at present, there are fewer of my patients than usual on the cod oil treatment. I was anxious to give you an opportunity of forming an opinion regarding the comparative value of some other medicines which are, perhaps, analogous to this fashionable remedy in their properties. In determining on the direction in which such experiments should be made, we should first inquire on what property the virtues of the cod-liver oil depend. Let me therefore, call your attention to its analysis.


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Oleic acid, with brown sub

stance (gaduine and two

peculiar bodies)
Margaric acid
Glycerine ...
Butyric acid
Acetic acid
Fellic and choleic acids, with

some oleine, margarine,

and bili fulvin Bili fulvin and bili-fellinic

acid, and two peculiar sub

stances A peculiar substance,soluble

in alcohol of 30° ... A peculiar substance, inso

luble in water, alcohol,and

Chlorine, with some bromine
Phosphoric acid
Sulphuric acid

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0.02950 0.04060 0.03740 0.084001 0.158801 0:14880 0:05365 0.07890 0·09135 0.01010 0:08595 0.07100 0.00754

0:01136 0·02125 0:08170 0:16780 0·15150 0.00380 0.01230 0.00880 0.01790 0.068101 0.055401 a trace

2.56900 2.60319) 3.00943 100.00000100-00000 100.00000

Soda ...



The chemical hypothesis, which would attribute the efficacy of the remedy to the supply of carbon thus afforded for consumption in the lungs, induced me some years since to try the effect of animal charcoal, administered in doses of fifteen or twenty grains twice or thrice daily. As might have been expected, no advantage was gained, either as respects the local or constitutional symptoms, with the exception of one circumstance of some interest,-namely, the occasional relief of concurrent diarrhoea. This result is in harmony with the observations of Dr. Garrod, on the power of animal charcoal to separate acrid substances from their solutions.* The chemical theory above noticed has suggested the administration of carbon in another form, in which indeed one might expect it to be more readily assimilated,—that is, by means of large doses of syrup

I have not heard of any remarkable advantages derived from this expedient ; and, if my views regarding the remedy be correct, such advantages are not to be expected. If the virtue of the remedy we have been considering be due to the presence of oleine, vegetable oils should exert similar efficacy ; and I formerly administered olive oil and almond oil to a considerable number of patients with some hope of advantage. . I was, however, completely disappointed. The olive oil frequently produced nausea ; and I never observed any decided increase of weight, or amelioration of symptoms, which could be distinctly attributed to its use. Almond oil is less apt to nauseate, and agrees generally better than olive oil, but I could not trace any remedial effect from its use; and am inclined to believe that these oils have no important influence, and can only be regarded as sheathing the mucous membrane. An occasional discrepancy in the results of such experiments may be attributable to the use of lard oil, in the adulteration of vegetable oils. For lard oil, although of all the animal oils probably the least curative, appears, judging from the few experiments which I have made with it, to possess properties more analogous than the vegetable oils exhibit to that obtained from the liver of the cod. Those practitioners

Memoirs of the Medical Society of London.". New Series.


who have spoken with most confidence of the merits of vegetable oils have combined them with iodide of potassium, and these oils may not be an unsuitable vehicle for this remedy, which possesses unquestionable efficacy in many forms of scrofula ; but cod oil has virtues not to be confounded with those of iodine, and produces its best effects in cases where iodine is scarcely admissible. It is, moreover, worthy of consideration, that the comparative efficiency of the different varieties of cod-liver oil is not found to have any relation to the proportionate quantities of iodine which they contain. It has been supposed that the biliary elements incorporated with the oils obtained from fish livers promote their efficacy; but I have not been able to discover any beneficial results from the addition of ox-gall to oils not obtained from the liver, although it is fair to acknowledge that I have not pursued this experiment to any great extent.

In proceeding to place before you examples of the effect of other analogous remedies, it is my impression that you will be led to agree with me that fish oils generally resemble one another in medical properties. Popular observation is favourable to this opinion. In the Scotch Highlands, a broth made by decoction of the common ray has long been used with advantage in the treatment of rickets. Other animal oils besides those obtained from fish have enjoyed a popular reputation. In South America, remedial efficacy is attributed to the oil of the condor, and in the backwoods of the United States to that of the rattlesnake ; and it may not be inappropriate to mention that I have been favoured with a present of oil of scorpions, as it is

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