In medicine it is frequently employed as a hydragogue purgative, specially valuable in febrile diseases, in congestion of the portal system, and in the obstinate constipation of painters' colic. In the last case it is combined with potassium iodide, the two salts being exceedingly effective in causing the elimination of lead from the system.
Its use in febrile diseases, at one time extensive, is now obsolete.
Although the constitutional disturbance is at first comparatively slight, it increases with the advance of the disease, and febrile symptoms come on attended with urgent thirst and scanty and painful flow of urine.
They lessen the general metabolism and lower febrile temperature.
LICHEN (lichen Tuber), in medical terminology, a papular disease of the skin, consisting of an eruption in small thickly set, slightly elevated red points, more or less widely distributed over the body, and accompanied by slight febrile symptoms.
According to Sir Thomas Fraser nothing else can compete with alcohol as a food in desperate febrile cases, and to this use must be added its antipyretic power already explained and its action as a soporific. During its administration in febrile cases the drug must be most carefully watched, as its action may prove deleterious to the nervous system and the circulation in certain classes of patient.
Salicylates are the next safest to quinine of all antipyretics, whilst being much more powerful in all febrile states except malaria.
His chief works were First Lines of the Practice of Physic (1774); Institutions of Medicine (1770); and Synopsis Nosologicae Medicae (1785), which contained his classification of diseases into four great classes - (t) Pyrexiae, or febrile diseases, as typhus fever; (2) Neuroses, or nervous diseases, as epilepsy; (3) Cachexiae, or diseases resulting from bad habit of body, as scurvy; L and (4) Locales, or local diseases, as cancer.
Under the name decoctum hordei, a preparation of barley is included in the British Pharmacopoeia, which is of value as a demulcent and emollient drink in febrile and inflammatory disorders.
The labours of Golgi, Marchiafava, Celli and others established the nature of the parasite and its behaviour in the blood; they proved the fact, guessed by Rasori so far back as 1846, that the periodical febrile paroxysm corresponds with the development of the organisms; and they showed that the different forms of malarial fever have their distinct parasites, and consequently fall into distinct groups,.