Page images
PDF
EPUB

"pleasure, without trouble, and capable of pro"ducing those beneficial properties of fixed air, "which too frequently evaporate in the soda "water in stone bottles, by bad corks, or long "keeping, with the superior advantages of being "more grateful to the palate, and is so portable, "that the quantity of a table-spoonful is sufficient "for half a dozen tumblers, and only a quarter "the expense, therefore particularly desirable for (' families travelling, or going to the East or "West Indies. It having met with the approba"tionofthe faculty, the proprietor is induced to "make it public. The sodaic powder is pre(' pared, and sold only by A. S. Burkitt, chymist, ," No. 29, Fleet Street (opposite St. Dunstan's "Church), and signed by him. Orders sent by "post immediately attended to."

We by no means coincide in opinion with Mr, Burkitt, that a solution of his powder, is either similar to the soda water, or capable of producing the same beneficial effects. The soda water is a solution of soda, saturated with fixed air, but Mr, Burkitt's powder do not contain a greater portion of fixed air than its natural quantity, which must, in a great measure, escape on its dissolving with the acid powder with which it is mixed, before it can be swallowed. The soda, in the soda water is not neutralized, but in the solution the sodaic powder, the soda on uniting with the acid, is rendered a neutral salt, by which means the efficacy attributed to the soda water, in gravel and stone, is destroyed. The soda water is generally prescribed in cases of stone and gravel, and is perhaps the only medicine we have that is entitled to the term of a Jithontriptic, which Mr. Burkitt's preparation has no pretensions to. Mr. B's preparation is likewise an aperient medicine, which in cases of stone and gravel, attended with great debility and irritability of . bowels, might be productive of serious mischief. The sodaic powder may therefore be considered nothing: more than thetartarised natron, taken in a state of effervescence, which as a cooling beverage in warm climates, may answer as well as the soda water, but in nephritric complaints, cannot be deemed a proper substitute for the soda water. We doubt much, therefore, that any gentleman of the faculty acquainted with the composition, would advise Mr. B. to persist in advertising it as a substitute for soda water. Mr. Burkitt's business being of a regular kind, and seemingly free from empirical practices, we expected to have found this preparation the supercarbonated soda, which he might with some propriety have recommended for making the soda water; but we con* ceive, that 9, character who soars above empiricism, would never descend to advertise any preparation in the daily papers, particularly one to which he has no origmal claim. If any person make a discovery of real utility, he has other channels to communicate it, either to the medical profession, or the public, viz. "The Medical Periodical Works," the Editors of which, would readily give it publicity, and if it have any merit, it will be duly sanctioned and recommended by the faculty, which will tend more to the honor and emolument of the inventor, than the derogatory medium of newspapers.

THE PECTORAL BALSAM OF HON£Y,

Sir John Hill, it is stated, was the inventor of this medicine, of which the following account is given in the bill of directions.

"The Linnasus of Britain (for such was Sir John "Hill emphatically called,) recommends this ex"cellent preparation, as the most salutary and "effectual remedy for recent colds, obstinate "coughs, sore throats,' difficulty of breathings '.' asthmas, catarrhs, and all disorders of the breast '' and lungs. Congealed phlegm, acrimony in the "fluids and obstructions in the glands, are gently "and safely discharged by easy expectoration, "wheezings, and uneasiness in breathing are speed"ily removed by a few doses. It takes off the "irritation, opens the thoracic duct, and heab "the soreness of the breast and lungs. Thirty '.' years experience has confirmed the recommend* "ation in the immediate relief and gradual cure '' of coughs, colds, asthmas and consumptions. *' It is the greatest preserver of the lungs ever "discovered, and contains all the healing, soft"ning, and soothing qualities of that salubrious "extract of flowers, called honey, and the richest "balsams of the eastern world; it is a restorative '' as asses' milk, and never disagrees with the '' stomach; a common cold yields to its benign '' influence in a few hours; and when resorted to, "before the complaint is far advanced, all danger "of consumption is certainly prevented."

"Obstinate coughs, confirmed asthmas, and consumptive complaints,. yield to the influence "of this great medicine; in fact, it needs only a *' trial to convince the most incredulous of its "unrivalled properties. Such are the faint dtlt* "lines of the merits of Sir John Hill's Balsam of "Honey, the result of long researches into na"ture by that great botanist, who dedicated his "life to the discovery of the true means of health "in the vegetable kingdom."

"Some general Observations.'*

"If it be in the power of medicine to stop thd "ravages of that cruel disease the consumption, "so fatal to numbers at a certain age in this "country, this balsam will effect it."

"No particular regimen is required; only weak "persons should take smaller doses.—In all colds, "small weak liquors, drank in plenty, are useful; "suppers are to be avoided; and in full habits, "bleeding may be necessary; in consumptions, "air, and exercise on horseback, must by no means "be neglected."

'Since the death of Lady Hill, it is asserted, that Sir John Hill's recipes have»devolved by purchase, to a Mr. Shaw, vender of nostrums, in St, Paul's Church-yard, who, by public advertisement, declares, that "Mr. Shaw being informed that a number <{ of persons, despicable in character, and abandoned "in principles, are making counterfeit preparations "of Sir John Hill's medicine, he hereby offers a "reward of fifty pounds, on conviction of any "person signing or putting His Nam£ to any "counterfeit preparation, purporting to be the "preparation of Sir John, or Lady Hill."

We perfectly agree with Mr. Shaw, that the person must be both despicable in character, and abandoned in principles, that would be capable of imitating or counterfeiting this medicine, or of advertising tincture of tolu, or tincture of benzoin, under the fictitious title of balsam of honey. Notwithstanding, however, Mr. Shaw's threats, we are sorry to observe, that there are wretches so depraved, as to be guilty of so serious a fraud, in consequence of which, these stimulating tinctures are sold in almost every market town in this1 country, and even sent abroad, under the name of Pectoral Balsam of Honey, which the credulous are induced to take from the supposition (as the title infers) that it really contains the properties of honey, and equally innocent.

We never heard Sir John Hill extolled as a botanist, and if he were the author of the directions, &c. which accompany this nostrum, we have no hesitation in pronouncing him ignorant of the properties of the medicine, and the nature of those complaints for the cure of which it is recommended; the expression that it is capable of opening the thoracic duct, betrays a want 6f anatomical knowledge. We are entirely unacquainted with Sir John Hill's character, but if he were a regular physician, we are persuaded he would never have recommended such a medicine in those diseases, or have forfeited his character, by advertising a preparation which every person the least versed in chymistry, must know, could not, by any chymical process whatever, be made from honey. In pharmacy or chymistry, there is no such preparation known as balsam of honey, or is the spirit with which this pretended balsam is made, capable of extracting any of its medicinal properties. In coughs, arising from obstructed perspiration, in which there is always more or less a disposition to pleurisy or inflammation of the lungs, what must be the effect of this stimulating tincture? We can have no hesitation in saying, that it must be productive of the most serious, if not irreparable mischief. In incipient consumption,

D

« PreviousContinue »