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characteristics of the waters of the different mineral sources, and the maladies for which they are indicated. It is a pity the author's plan did not admit of his saying all he had to say about each source at one place, for it is rather tiresome to have to refer to two and often to three different parts of the work for the information we seek respecting some particular mineral water. A more convenient plan for the construction of such a work would, we think, be to give the watering places in their alphabetical order, say all that was to be said about each under its own heading, and supply complete indices of the leading chemical character of the springs and of the diseases for which they are recommended. However, we must be content with what we have, and there is no doubt Dr. Macpherson's little book, which has already got to a second edition, supplies a want often felt by the busy practitioner in this country, and we can heartily recommend it as a sort of remembrancer for the physician, but not as a work that can supersede special treatises on the various sources, though these again usually err on the side of excessive laudation of the healing virtues of the sources they treat of.
The second edition omits the very full table of contents that adorned the first edition. We cannot conceive the author's object in making this alteration, and would advise him in subsequent editions not only to restore the table of contents, but to insert the page after each particular subject mentioned. A book like this, which is essentially a work of reference, cannot be too liberally supplied with indices for enabling us to refer in a moment to the subject we wish to read about.
We notice that Dr. Macpherson is guilty of the common English error of spelling Interlaken, Interlachen. The word is a compound of two Latin words, inter and lacus, betwixt the lakes, and is pronounced and written Interlaken; it has nothing to do with the German word lachen, to laugh, though a German would undoubtedly laugh to hear it pronounced Interlachen.
Ophidians: Zoological Arrangement of the different genera, including varieties known in North and South America, the East Indies, South Africa, and Australia. Their Poisons and all that is known of their nature. Their Galls as antidotes to the snake venom. Pathological, toxicological, and microscopical facts; together with much interesting matter not hitherto published. By S. B. Higgins, S.A.j Honorary Member of the Homoeopathic Institute of the United States of Colombia. New York: Boericke. London: Turner, 1873.
This is a little book with a big title. Small though it be there is a great deal in it that might have been as well left out. A great portion of the book is taken up with descriptions derived chiefly from the standard works of Gunther, Baird, and Girard, of all the snakes venomous and innocuous of all the four or five quarters of the globe, and with bare enumerations of cases of snake bites from the works of Fayrer, Russell, and others.
There are also descriptions of all the plants and secret remedies used in various countries as specifics against snake bites.
A great deal of this might have been well omitted in a little book professing to give an account of a new antidote for snake bites, and much more might have been said about the antidote itself and proofs given of its efficacy. There is, too, a great want of method in the arrangement of the book, so that it is a matter of considerable difficulty to find the various parts that possess an interest for us by virtue of their novelty or of their bearing on the subject of snake bites and their treatment.
Mr. Higgins has long resided in the United States of Colombia, a country very prolific in poisonous snakes. He became acquainted with the methods adopted by the curers of snake bites, and learned that the bile of poisonous snakes entered into the composition of most of their vaunted antidotes.
The idea occurred to him to try the effects of the administration of the bile of the snake that imparted the poisonous bite, and this treatment he assures us he has found perfectly successful, and he says it has been largely adopted by the "curers" and medical men of Colombia.
His mode of preparing the antidote is to take the bile from the gall-bladder of the snake shortly after it has cast its skin, when the virtues of the bile are most developed. One drop of this bile to ten drops of alcohol, strong wine, or spirits, is the proportion for his tincture. For the treatment of bites five to ten drops of this tincture are to be mixed with a tumblerful of water, and a tablespoonful given every five, ten, fifteen, or twenty minutes. He also makes a crucial incision in the wound, and bathes the limb in hot water in which are a few drops of the tincture of bile. He warns against giving too much of the bile, for though it will remove the symptoms of venom-poisoning it may kill the patient from its own poisonous properties.
It may be worth the while of those resident in countries where venomous serpents abound to try Mr. Higgins' simple mode of treatment, for which purpose all that would be necessary would be to have tinctures of the bile of the various poisonous reptiles of the country prepared, and have recourse to the bottle corresponding to the snake that has inflicted the bite.
Mr. Higgins identifies the Lachesis of Dr. Hering's celebrated proving with the Lachesis trigonocephalus or Curucuca of Dutch Guiana, the Conanaconchi or Bushmaster of British Guiana, and denies that it is the Craspodocephalus lanceolalus or Fer-de-lance, which he says is a native of Martinique.
Practical Notes on the New American Remedies. By R. Tuthill Massy, M.D. Second Edition, enlarged. London: E. Gould and Son.
We must apologise to Dr. Massy for having, through inadvertence, neglected to notice this book on its first appearance. That it has reached a second edition in a short time is sufficient evidence of its usefulness. It is best described as a supplement to the usual domestic practices, adding to the older stock of homoeopathic remedies therein mentioned our recent importations from America. It is written in a chatty and somewhat desultory style: but contains a great deal of useful information. It hardly serves as an epitome of Dr. E. M. Hale's book for practitioners, as it makes no attempt at a physiological and therapeutic study of the "New Remedies/' but for amateurs it is all that they could desire.
We note one point requiring correction, p. 15. "Words ending in in or ine denote the alkaloids of the drugs whose name they bear." This might be correct as regards medicines in general, but would mislead if understood of the "New Remedies." Apocynin, Gelsemin, Macrotin, &c., are not alkaloid "active principles" like Atropine; they are preparations purporting to contain all the active ingredients of each plant, divested of woody fibre and such like inert matters.
We recommend Dr. Massy's little volume to all whom circumstances force into amateur prescribing, but who are unable to master larger works.
Taking Cold (the cause of half our diseases): its Nature, Causes, Prevention, and Cure; its frequency as a cause of other diseases, and the diseases of which it is a cause, with their diagnosis and treatment. By John W. Hayward, M.D., M.R.C.S., L.S.A. Fourth Edition, enlarged and improved. London: Turner, & Co.
This work originally appeared some years ago as a much smaller volume. It was then entirely devoted to the subject of " taking cold" as the most frequent causes of illness and to the recommendation of Aconite as the one specific remedy for this casualty. Its scope is more enlarged, to take in the diseases of which "taking cold" is a cause, with their diagnosis and treatment. This addition has rather spoilt the structure of the title, as may be seen above, but it has enhanced the value of the book. It is now one of the best manuals we have of the treatment of acute diseases, so far as this can be safely conducted by amateur hands. We think that both doctor and patient will have reason to be thankful to Dr. Hayward if he can impress upon all who follow homoeopathy the primary importance of Aconite in these disorders. If every one who has "taken cold," and feels himself growing ill in consequence, would take this medicine until his doctor could see him, time would always be gained, and not uncommonly an arrest of further progress procured.
Physiologico-Pathological Basis of the Materia Medica. By W. H. Burt, M.D. 652, West Washington Street, Chicago, 111.
Under this heading (which seems to English eyes to specify rather too much) Dr. Burt (known hitherto as an indefatigable prover of "new remedies," and as the author of a 'Characteristic Materia Medica' already reviewed in these pages*) has sent us a chart of the Materia Medica, fashioned for hanging up in our studies. It is arranged upon the following theory :—" All medicines have for their starting-point or centre of action the nervous centres, either animal or organic. Those that have this centre of action in the animal (cerebro-spinal) nervous system are the true remedies for acute and sub-acute diseases; and those that have this centre of action in the organic (ganglionic) nervous system are the true remedies for sub-acute and chronic diseases." Under one or other of these headings all our medicines (with some new ones of which we have never
* Vide vol. xxviii, p. 178. VOL. XXXII, NO. CXXVII. JANUARY, 1874. L