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On Airs, Waters, And Places   

carried along and moving with a wind which does not allow them to
rest, suddenly encounters another wind and other clouds from the
opposite direction: there it is first condensed, and what is behind is
carried up to the spot, and thus it thickens, blackens, and is
conglomerated, and by its weight it falls down and becomes rain. Such,
to all appearance, are the best of waters, but they require to be
boiled and strained; for otherwise they have a bad smell, and occasion
hoarseness and thickness of the voice to those who drink them. Those
from snow and ice are all bad, for when once congealed, they never
again recover their former nature; for whatever is clear, light, and
sweet in them, is separated and disappears; but the most turbid and
weightiest part is left behind. You may ascertain this in the
following manner: If in winter you will pour water by measure into a
vessel and expose it to the open air until it is all frozen, and
then on the following day bring it into a warm situation where the ice
will thaw, if you will measure the water again when dissolved you will
find it much less in quantity. This is a proof that the lightest and
thinnest part is dissipated and dried up by the congelation, and not
the heaviest and thickest, for that is impossible: wherefore I hold
that waters from snow and ice, and those allied to them, are the worst
of any for all purposes whatever. Such are the characters of
rain-water, and those from ice and snow.
9. Men become affected with the stone, and are seized with
diseases of the kidneys, strangury, sciatica, and become ruptured,
when they drink all sorts of waters, and those from great rivers
into which other rivulets run, or from a lake into which many
streams of all sorts flow, and such as are brought from a considerable
distance. For it is impossible that such waters can resemble one
another, but one kind is sweet, another saltish and aluminous, and
some flow from thermal springs; and these being all mixed up
together disagree, and the strongest part always prevails; but the
same kind is not always the strongest, but sometimes one and sometimes
another, according to the winds, for the north wind imparts strength
to this water, and the south to that, and so also with regard to the
others. There must be deposits of mud and sand in the vessels from
such waters, and the aforesaid diseases must be engendered by them
when drunk, but why not to all I will now explain. When the bowels are
loose and in a healthy state, and when the bladder is not hot, nor the
neck of the bladder very contracted, all such persons pass water
freely, and no concretion forms in the bladder; but those in whom
the belly is hot, the bladder must be in the same condition; and
when preternaturally heated, its neck becomes inflamed; and when these
things happen, the bladder does not expel the urine, but raises its
heat excessively. And the thinnest part of it is secreted, and the
purest part is passed off in the form of urine, but the thickest and
most turbid part is condensed and concreted, at first in small
quantity, but afterwards in greater; for being rolled about in the
urine, whatever is of a thick consistence it assimilates to itself,
and thus it increases and becomes indurated. And when such persons
make water, the stone forced down by the urine falls into the neck
of the bladder and stops the urine, and occasions intense pain; so
that calculous children rub their privy parts and tear at them, as
supposing that the obstruction to the urine is situated there. As a
proof that it is as I say, persons affected with calculus have very
limpid urine, because the thickest and foulest part remains and is
concreted. Thus it generally is in cases of calculus. It forms also in
children from milk, when it is not wholesome, but very hot and
bilious, for it heats the bowels and bladder, so that the urine
being also heated undergoes the same change. And I hold that it is
better to give children only the most diluted wine, for such will
least burn up and dry the veins. Calculi do not form so readily in
women, for in them the urethra is short and wide, so that in them
the urine is easily expelled; neither do they rub the pudendum with
their hands, nor handle the passage like males; for the urethra in

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