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On Regimen in Acute Diseases by Hippocrates

On Regimen in Acute Diseases by Hippocrates


Written 400 B.C., Translated by Francis Adams

Part 1

Those who composed what are called "The Cnidian Sentences" have described accurately what symptoms the sick experience in every disease, and how certain of them terminate; and in so far a man, even who is not a physician, might describe them correctly, provided he put the proper inquiries to the sick themselves what their complaints are. But those symptoms which the physician ought to know beforehand without being informed of them by the patient, are, for the most part, omitted, some in one case and some in others, and certain symptoms of vital importance for a conjectural judgement. But when, in addition to the diagnosis, they describe how each complaint should be treated, in these cases I entertain a still greater difference of opinion with them respecting the rules they have laid down; and not only do I not agree with them on this account, but also because the remedies they use are few in number, for, with the exception of acute diseases, the only medicines which they give are drastic purgatives, with whey, and milk at certain times.

If indeed, these remedies had been good and suitable to the complaint in which they are recommended, they would have been still more deserving of recommendation, if, while few in number, they were sufficient; but this is by no means the case. Those, indeed, who have remodeled these "Sentences" have treated of the remedies applicable in each complaint more in a medical fashion. But neither have the ancients written anything worth regimen, although this be a great omission. Some of them, indeed, were not ignorant of the many varieties of each complaint, and their manifold divisions, but when they wish to tell clearly the numbers of each disease, they do not write, for their species would be almost innumerable if every symptom experienced by the patients were held to constitute a disease, and receive a different name.
 
 
 
 
 

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