Home | Texts by category | | Quick Search:   
Works by Hippocrates
Pages of On Ancient Medicine

Previous | Next

On Ancient Medicine   

saltish, and many other varieties; and again there is cold combined
with other qualities. These are what proves injurious; heat, it is
true, is present also, possessed of strength as being that which conducts,
is exacerbated and increased along with the other, but has no power
greater than what is peculiar to itself.

With regard to these symptoms, in the first place those are most obvious
of which we have all often had experience. Thus, then, in such of
us as have a coryza and defluxion from the nostrils, this discharge
is much more acrid than that which formerly was formed in and ran
from them daily; and it occasions swelling of the nose, and it inflames,
being of a hot and extremely ardent nature, as you may know, if you
apply your hand to the place; and, if the disease remains long, the
part becomes ulcerated although destitute of flesh and hard; and the
heat in the nose ceases, not when the defluxion takes place and the
inflammation is present, but when the running becomes thicker and
less acrid, and more mixed with the former secretion, then it is that
the heat ceases. But in all those cases in which this decidedly proceeds
from cold alone, without the concourse of any other quality, there
is a change from cold to hot, and from hot to cold, and these quickly
supervene, and require no coction. But all the others being connected,
as I have said, with acrimony and intemperance of humors, pass off
in this way by being mixed and concocted.

But such defluxions as are determined to the eyes being possessed
of strong and varied acrimonies, ulcerate the eyelids, and in some
cases corrode the and parts below the eyes upon which they flow, and
even occasion rupture and erosion of the tunic which surrounds the
eyeball. But pain, heat, and extreme burning prevail until the defluxions
are concocted and become thicker, and concretions form about the eyes,
and the coction takes place from the fluids being mixed up, diluted,
and digested together. And in defluxions upon the throat, from which
are formed hoarseness, cynanche, crysipelas, and pneumonia, all these
have at first saltish, watery, and acrid discharges, and with these
the diseases gain strength. But when the discharges become thicker,
more concocted, and are freed from all acrimony, then, indeed, the
fevers pass away, and the other symptoms which annoyed the patient;
for we must account those things the cause of each complaint, which,
being present in a certain fashion, the complaint exists, but it ceases
when they change to another combination. But those which originate
from pure heat or cold, and do not participate in any other quality,
will then cease when they undergo a change from cold to hot, and from
hot to cold; and they change in the manner I have described before.
Wherefore, all the other complaints to which man is subject arise
from powers (qualities?). Thus, when there is an overflow of the bitter
principle, which we call yellow bile, what anxiety, burning heat,
and loss of strength prevail! but if relieved from it, either by being
purged spontaneously, or by means of a medicine seasonably administered,
the patient is decidedly relieved of the pains and heat; but while
these things float on the stomach, unconcocted and undigested, no
contrivance could make the pains and fever cease; and when there are
acidities of an acrid and aeruginous character, what varieties of
frenzy, gnawing pains in the bowels and chest, and inquietude, prevail!
and these do not cease until the acidities be purged away, or are
calmed down and mixed with other fluids. The coction, change, attenuation,
and thickening into the form of humors, take place through many and
various forms; therefore the crises and calculations of time are of
great importance in such matters; but to all such changes hot and
cold are but little exposed, for these are neither liable to putrefaction
nor thickening. What then shall we say of the change? that it is a

Previous | Next
Site Search