Medical Home Remedies:
As Recommended by 19th and 20th century Doctors!
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The biggy of the late 1800's. Clearly shows the massive inroads in medical science and the treatment of disease.

ALCOHOL AND THE HUMAN BODY In fact alcohol was known to be a poison, and considered quite dangerous. Something modern medicine now agrees with. This was known circa 1907. A very impressive scientific book on the subject.

DISEASES OF THE SKIN is a massive book on skin diseases from 1914. Don't be feint hearted though, it's loaded with photos that I found disturbing.




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“ In the animal kingdom we find that there are two main factors which characterise rise in type, and determine survival. These are control and co-ordination.”Professor E. H. Starling, M.D., F.R.S.
“Intemperance does not necessarily mean only obvious and palpable drunkenness. From the very moment in which alcohol has disturbed the healthy exercise of the mental faculties, or has impaired the moral sense by unduly exciting the animal passions, or has in any way unfitted a person for discharging his duties in the proper struggle for survival, from that moment has there been guilt of intemperance.”T. B. Hyslop, M.D., Bethlehem Royal Hospital for the Insane, Encyclopædia Medica, art. on “General Paralysis.”
“ I am firmly convinced that if drink were eradicated, this court (the Divorce Court) might shut its doors, at any rate for the greater part of the time.”Lord Gorell, 1906, late President of the Divorce Court.
“ Dissolute habits leading to divorce preponderatingly arise from drink not necessarily drink to excess.”Mr. Justice Bargrave Deane, Judge of the Divorce Court.
“ At a low estimate there are 10,000 incurable alcoholic cases to which divorce proceedings might apply.” Dr. Clouston : Evidence before Royal Commission on Divorce, 1910.
CHAPTER V (Continued)
Part II. Effect of Alcohol on the Emotions
The paralysing effect of alcohol upon the higher powers of the brain is strikingly illustrated in those common ebullitions of the emotions uncontrolled by reason which occur under its influence. By the emotions we mean transitory mental dis­ turbances of the balance of thought, tending to pass into irresponsible action unless guided and restrained by the judgment. Thus love, joy, ardour, courage, hate, fear, rage, passion, all seek expression which, unless directed by reason, may become a danger; love degenerating into passion, joy into orgy, ardour into impatience, and courage into recklessness.
Effect of Alcohol on Self-control
Self-control is one of the highest functions of the brain, and the racial power which results to a people as a consequence of the individual practice of self-control cannot be estimated too highly. Therefore we train our children as far as possible to control their emotions and their actions, in the hope that ulti­ mately they may become worthy members of the community.
Now the effect of alcohol in diminishing and breaking down this acquired self-control may be seen in every condition of social life, undoing the work of all educationalists and parents.
By deadening the brain ­cells, wherein are registered the ideals on which we depend for calmness of judgment, alcohol causes serious lapses of self-control in many people, especially in young adults. Quite small doses are often responsible for the commission of reckless self-pleasing actions, and for the
88             ALCOHOL AND THE HUMAN BODY chap.
inordinate sway of the passions, which are no longer kept in full control by the higher powers of the mind, because these are more or less in abeyance as the result of the paralysing effect of the drug. When the effect of the alcohol has passed away and the higher nature again asserts itself, the consequences of such actions have to be faced, and these are frequently so far reaching in their effect as to mar the moral and physical trend of many lives, especially those of women and children.
Controlling Mechanism of the Brain
If we analyse the psychical evolution of this all-important faculty of “ control,” it appears that during the growth of the nervous system there is gradually developed in its highest centres a balanced controlling force which is of essential value in regulating the liberation of energy, just as the governing mechanism which controls and steadies the action of an engine is of value in preventing it from going at an abnormal and headlong speed,—a speed that leads to undue friction and wear and tear. So too, in the man whose brain cells are poisoned by alcohol, its valuable controlling mechanism is no longer at work; it is more or less paralysed. Consequently the possessor of secrets becomes communicative and “friendly,” revealing his own and the affairs of other people in a way that would never occur if his normal powers of reasoning and self-control were in full working order.
Effect of Alcohol upon the Emotional Powers of the Mind
The effect of alcohol on the emotions will be recognised at once if we describe, for instance, the emotional developments in a woman who is fond of its use. They are usually as follows : her temper becomes irritable and fractious, hysterical outbursts are common, and she becomes absurdly timid and full of strange fears. She romances and exaggerates, and invariably denies that she drinks. Any bereavement or strain causes nervous prostration. The most insignificant things are a trouble, and her days are miserable because her power to work effectively is gone. She requires to get “ wound up,” so to speak, in order to accomplish the most simple matters, and immediately afterwards she collapses both physically and emotionally. Her power of self-control is gravely impaired.
In the case of men the manifestations are, as a rule, somewhat different,—hilarious outbursts followed by surly behaviour and irritability being of common occurrence. During the stage of excitation and of what is foolishly known as a “jolly” condition, the man loses his self-control and frequently his self-respect. In this state, though not being actually what is understood by the term “ drunk,” he says what is exaggerated and often untrue, and his actions and deeds are liable to become careless and even immoral.
Under a somewhat larger dose this same man is liable to think, talk, and shout excitedly, and even to sing or utter absurdities, all of which symptoms are often termed convivial.
From this stage of “ exaltation ” the passage to the next of quarrelsomeness and irritability is usually only a question of time or of further dosage, the personal equation of the drinker also being a factor. In this condition the emotional manifes­ tations of hatred, fear, and jealousy are constantly aroused, and innumerable crimes have been committed by persons who, although in this phase of alcoholism, are not in the least “ drunk ” in the accepted sense.
The words of a social worker are none too strong—“The dehumanising influence of alcohol knows no parallel.” 1
Deadening of Normal Parental Emotions and Consciousness of Duty
Closely allied to the emotional state of moroseness and savagery is that of callousness to ordinary social duties and to the human obligations of life. The cries of cold and hungry children make no impression on a brain dazed with alcohol, no normal parental feelings occur, and no emotion of affection or desire to protect is aroused by the sight of a suffering child.
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children has reported to it each year thousands of cases of neglect of children, the neglect being traceable to alcoholism. Thus, in the year 1909-10 its income was £76,000, and its officials dealt with 50,000 cases affecting 154,000 children. Their Director stated (1908) that there was “no exaggeration in the estimate that 90 per cent of these cases were mainly due to the drinking cases.
1 Rev. H. R. M‘Kenzie, 1910.
90             ALCOHOL AND THE HUMAN BODY chap.
In this connection we may justly dwell on the similar drowning of the consciousness of duty or sense of responsibility which results from the habitual use of alcohol, and leads in extreme cases to a disregard of all sense of honour and rectitude of dealing. Those whose lives are immoral depend greatly on alcohol for this deadening of conscience, and of the normal sense of duty to the social body or community.
So, too, the abstract ideals of the duties of citizenship, etc., which are registered in our higher brain centres and recalled when needed, are the first to disappear from the field of consciousness when the brain-cells are subjected even to small doses of alcohol. Thus it happens that, although sorely required, the ideal often fails to rise clearly to the mind, lower inclinations assert themselves, and in the failure of the individual is seen an example of the decadence of a nation. Even when the ideal is still present, the indolence caused by alcohol renders difficult any action that may be needed, and consequently the laissez-faire attitude often wins the day.
Alcohol is well called an “ anti­civilisation drug,” since those under its influence hinder the normal rate of progress and advance of mankind.
It is recognised by all workers for social happiness and reform amongst the poor that the greatest barrier to their efforts to uplift the people around them is alcohol—which, deadening all higher thought and reducing those who have become dependent on it to a state of mental and moral inertness, destroys that personal initiative which is essential for the restoration of the vigour and enterprise of the nation.
Alcohol a Cause of Suicide
The depressing effect of alcohol upon the brain is further seen in the habitual wretchedness of many who resort to its use. After its very brief excitant effect on the nervous system passes off, there follows the prolonged stage of depres­ sion or “reaction” which is frequently intolerable to the drinker. To this and the steady impoverishment of the whole body of the alcoholist many cases of suicide are due. The verdict “ whilst temporarily insane “ often represents the fact that the brain, owing to the action of alcohol, has temporarily lost its capacity for energy and control, so that a
v           ALCOHOL AND THE NERVOUS SYSTEM          91
hopelessly emotional and morbid outlook upon life and its possibilities alone remains.
It is quite possible that the mental depression is due both to the direct action of alcohol upon the brain ­cells and also to its power of interfering with metabolism, in consequence of which various products of delayed excretion poison and depress the nervous system.
A clear statistical proof of the connection between alcohol­ ism and suicide is given by Professor Hillier 1 of Kiel, who reported autopsies on 300 suicides, and found from examining the bodies that nearly one-half of the cases were alcoholists. He considers this a minimum estimate, as the use of alcohol among the young suicides, although adequate to cause severe mental depression, could not have produced sufficient patho­ logical and anatomical changes in the internal organs for these to be observable in the post­mortem examination. The following table shows that the large majority of the older suicides were alcoholists :—
Number of Males.
Under 30 years . Over ,,
14 (22·2%) 123 (73·6%)
41 29
1 ( 2·4%) 6 (20·7%)
Total .
137 (59·5%)
7 (10 %)
Dr. Sullivan, Medical Officer in His Majesty’s Prison Service, drew attention in 1900 2 to the connection between increase of suicides or suicidal attempts and alcoholism.
Alcoholic suicide is more impulsive and occurs at an earlier average age than suicide from other causes, and it is the opinion of Dr. Sullivan that alcohol is to blame for many tragic deaths, whereby the community is robbed of valuable and comparatively young lives. According to this authority, “ in 220 consecutive observations of such attempts the pro­ portion due to alcoholism was found to be 78 per cent, the usual condition present in four­ fifths of the cases being drunkenness supervening on chronic intoxication.” 3
1 Hellenius, Die Alkoholfrage.
2 Journal Mental Science, April 1900.
3 Alcoholism, by W. C. Sullivan, M.D., p. 55.
92             ALCOHOL AND THE HUMAN BODY chap.
A large proportion of those reported as “ found drowned ” are what we know as “ chronic alcoholics,” the tragedy being due either to melancholia or to inability to avoid an accident because of the narcotic effect of alcohol on the brain centres.
Among publicans the mortality from suicide is more than twice the average.—Supplement to the Annual Report of the Registrar - General, 1908, Part II. p. cxlviii.
Connection between Alcohol and Crime
We cannot here fully refer to the vast subject of the intimate link between alcohol and crime, although the etiology of crime essentially includes perversion of the emotions. It is of such vast importance to the community that it ought to be a matter of investigation by the State in con­ junction with the medical profession. In Sweden, one of the countries where this has been recognised, the connection between alcohol and crime has been the subject of a thorough official research covering a period of ten years.
This has revealed the fact that among 24,398 men, who in the course of the decade 1887-97 were sentenced to work out their sentence at hard labour or as prisoners, there were 17,374, that is 71·2 per cent, who connected their crime with the use of alcohol.1
In a similar investigation in the state of Massachusetts,2 the number of persons arrested between August 21, 1894, and August 20, 1895, was 26,672. In 17,575 of the cases drunkenness alone was the crime; in 657, or 2 per cent of the cases, there was drunkenness in connection with some other crime; while of the 8440 cases sentenced for other crimes, 43 per cent of these were committed in a state of greater or less intoxication. Concerning 4294 of the crimes committed in a sober state of mind, it was stated that drunkenness had in the first place led to their inception and commission, and in another large group the drunkenness of others was said to have led to the commission of the offence.
The following English figures 3 show the connection between drinking and crime in England and Wales :—
1 Hellenius, Die Alkoholfrage. 2 Twenty­sixth Annual Report of the Bureau of Statistics of Labour. 3 The Judicial Statistics, Part I. Criminal Statistics for 1903.
The number of persons tried for indictable offences was 58,444, and for non­indictable offences 745,252, making a total of 803,696. The figures for the preceding year were 57,068 and 730,613, total 787,681.
Drunkenness accounts for 230,180 as against an average for the five preceding years of 213,803. This is an increase of 20,272 over the year 1902, which is partly owing to new powers given to the police under the Licensing Act which came into force in January 1903.
In an investigation made by Dr. Sullivan concerning “ 200 male offenders convicted of murder or of grave homicidal attempts . . . the number of cases in which the criminals were of alcoholic habits amounted to 158, and in 120 of these, or 60 per cent of the whole series, the criminal act was directly due to alcoholism.”
In a larger group of 500 cases of less serious character, chiefly aggravated assaults, he found that 82 per cent were attributable to alcohol. In nearly all the homicidal cases and “ in four-fifths of the minor offences the intoxication had attained a fair degree of chronicity.” 1
With regard to the painful subject of sexual crime, this authority asserts that “in rather less than half the cases either chronic alcoholism or simple drunkenness is the causal condition.”
In places where the taking of alcohol is prohibited the number of arrests for crime falls at once. This was strikingly seen during the recent terrible earthquake at San Francisco, when Mayor Schmitz “ issued an order forbidding any person to sell, give away, or drink alcoholic liquors. The result was that with thousands of homeless people in the city and thousands of visitors coming into the city, the arrests from April 20 to July 4, 1906, were from two to six per day. In all the turmoil and the confusion of the tens of thousands of homeless people, and the influx of thousands of visitors, perfect order prevailed, and the police force, according to their own statement, had nothing to do. . . . The first Monday after the re­opening of the saloon in San Francisco (July 9, 1906) there were 74 victims before the police courts, as against 5 on the previous Monday ; 72 on Friday, as against 2 on the previous Friday ; and the second Monday 113, as against 3 or 4 the second Monday before re­open­ ing. . . . Extra policemen were asked to protect the defenceless
1 Alcoholism, by W. C. Sullivan, M.D., pp. 162-164, etc.
94             ALCOHOL AND THE HUMAN BODY chap.
refugee women and children, and extra guards were stationed at the camps to protect the homeless.”—(From The Pioneer.)
All this points to an enormous amount of mental obliquity and cerebral irritation attributable to alcohol. Thousands of our population never allow their brains to get into a normal state of physiological activity, but are constantly preventing this by taking alcohol. As a consequence they look at life from an abnormal and a distorted point of view, which leads too often to the commission of some breach of social law and order.
Pleasurable Effects of Alcohol
It is often argued that the pleasure obtained by taking alcohol outweighs its evil effects. This may be considered from two points of view. First, it must always be remembered that any temporary oblivion from trouble and anxiety obtained by taking alcohol is counterbalanced by subsequent reaction in the form of mental depression, and physical wretchedness, which render the sufferer more unfit to cope with the difficulties of life. Secondly, the depressant effects of alcohol upon the highest centres of the brain, and its influence in causing intellectual lethargy and sense of fatigue, co-operate with the former causes to lessen the normal capacity for genuine enjoyment and pleasure.
For the sake of the national physique it is most unfortunate that the passive enjoyment of sitting in a stuffy public-house, dimly conscious that there is a feeling of weight in the legs when moved, is thought by so many to be comparable with the active enjoyment of those who have full control over their limbs, and can spend a holiday rowing or cycling, and obtain the maximum of enjoyment because they have the use of their powers.
While it is customary to recognise and lay stress upon the pleasurable states induced by alcohol, it is equally customary to refrain from exposing the unhappiness and misery frequently introduced into home-life by the nervous irritability which is often manifest in those who take so-called moderate quantities.
In these persons, the small events and annoyances of daily life bring on an amount of nervous upset and irritation out
v           ALCOHOL AND THE NERVOUS SYSTEM         95
of all proportion to the original cause. The onlooker re­ cognises this disproportion, but not so the patients themselves, who consider their irritability and indignation absolutely justifiable, so entirely, for the time being, is their sense of the relative importance of things blurred and altered by the morbid condition of their brain.
It is, moreover, one of the properties of alcohol to blot out events from the memory. In these people, consequently, the recollection of their own tiresomeness passes far more rapidly away from their minds than it does from the minds of their friends, who cannot help regarding them coldly even when their normal and affable manners have returned.
The real price paid by many a man and woman for the alcohol they take is undoubtedly the price of partial estrange­ ment from their nearest relatives. Add to this the needless anxiety and worry endured by these same relatives, and then let us decide whether any initial pleasure to be gained by taking alcohol is worth all this risk and loss.
Is the applause of a gathering (consisting often of persons themselves incapable of keenly appreciating genuine intellectual achievement) worth buying at the price of the alienation of the home circle, which is called upon to suffer when the subsequent reaction inevitably takes place î
Action of Alcohol upon the Emotional and Intellectual Condition of Animals
Alcohol is found to affect the brain centres of the lower animals in a way similar to that which occurs in man. Thus various observers have noted that when alcohol is given to dogseven in small quantities their character alters, fear and nervous irritability taking the place of their normal high spirits. Professor Hodge reports as follows with regard to his investigation on dogs, in which with great care two sets of identical animals were chosen, and to one group alcohol was given in dietetic quantities, while the other group—the control experimentwere not given any (see also Chap. XV.) :
“ A striking result of the entire research, and one entirely unexpected on account of the small doses of alcohol given, has been the extreme timidity of the alcoholic dogs. . . . The least thing out of the ordinary
96             ALCOHOL AND THE HUMAN BODY chap.
caused practically all the alcoholic dogs to exhibit fear, where the others evinced only curiosity or interest. Whistles and bells, in the distance, never ceased to throw them into a panic, in which they howled and yelped, while the normal dogs simply barked. This holds true of all the dogs that had alcohol in any amount. During the first year of the experiment Bum (one of the alcoholic group of puppies) had a number of paroxysms of causeless fear with some evidence of hallucinations. He would apparently start at some imaginary object, and go into a fit of howling. With the discontinuance of alcohol in the diet the more acute features of this reaction have subsided, leaving, however, the characteristic timidity as a habit of life that does not seem to wholly fade out.”
So, too, from similar experiments upon kittens Professor Hodge reports as follows :—
From the beginning of the experiments
“... it was remarkable how quickly and completely all the higher psychic characteristics of both the kittens dropped out. Playfulness, purring, cleanliness, and care of coat, interest in mice, fear of dogs, while normally developed before experiment began, all disappeared so suddenly that it could hardly be explained otherwise than as a direct influence of the alcohol upon the higher centres of the brain” 1
Dr. Magnan of Paris describes even more marked symptoms in dogs, larger doses being given. Under alcohol, a dog
“. . . does not respond to caresses but snaps at kindly attempts to stroke it ... at night, when all is still, it cries and whines plaintively, and cannot be reassured by its master’s voice ; frequently it is necessary to bring a light into the room before it can be quieted. At this time it also suffers much from insomnia and from other symptoms, which in the human subject are characteristic of the condition known as delirium tremens.”
Further proofs of the profound emotional disturbance caused by alcohol will be found in the chapter on nervous diseases. In this present section we have merely sketched in broad out­ lines the wide range of upheaval due to an underlying central cause, viz. alcohol, which too often escapes unrecognised.
Part III
Effect of Alcohol on the Neuro-Muscular System
In the following pages we intend to discuss the effects which alcohol produces on the output of the body in the shape
1 Physiological Aspects of the Liquor Problem.
of muscular work during the performance of what are termed voluntary acts.
Fortunately a very large amount of scientific observation has accumulated on this branch of the subject, but it must be recognised at the outset that the great majority of experiments have been made on the whole body, i.e. on the nervous system, central and peripheral, as well as on the muscular system. Whatever effects have been observed, therefore, relate not merely to the muscles, which are, of course, the active motor a§pnts, but also to the nerves and nerve centres, which originate the movement and excite the activity of muscles by sending impulses thereto.
The muscular tissue forms the largest constituent of the body, for it constitutes in an average adult man 43 per cent of his weight.
In every action the muscles contract, and thereby liberate heat, their energy of contraction being provided by the oxygen and soluble food­stuffs brought to the muscles by the blood­ stream. The exact and very complex manner in which these food­stuffs combine chemically in the substance of the muscle is not yet fully understood. We know, however, that the muscles are constantly using up starchy food, and forming as waste matter carbonic acid gas and other waste products, and that in normal circumstances, as a result of such work, they maintain or even increase their power, their tone, and, in some cases, their size.
With regard to these three points, it is important to discover the influence of alcohol when taken daily, for it is a matter of fundamental physiological interest to ascertain whether alcohol helps muscular action (as was once supposed) or the reverse.
In this investigation the questions before us are :
(1)  Whether the character of a neuro-muscular movement is altered by alcohol î
(2)  Whether the power of neuro-muscular movement is increased by alcohol 1
(3)   Whether the active “tonic” state of a muscle is maintained when alcohol is taken \
(4)   Whether under alcohol the muscles grow and fully re­ place the wear and tear to which they are subjected ?
The ultimate answers to all these questions are provided by
98             ALCOHOL AND THE HUMAN BODY chap.
a large number of practical experiments which have been made with regard to this intricate subject, and to which we shall now briefly refer.
1.   Is the character of a neuro-mscular movement altered by alcohol ?
Such movements are what we term voluntary, and they depend for their proper execution on the active function of the “ motor ” cortex of the cerebrum associated with the function of the cerebellum. It might be supposed that a simple muscular movement consists of a single shortening of the muscle ; this is not the case. A nerve centre does not send out one single gush of energy, but a rapid intermittent stream of impulses. This was first discovered in the dog by the French investigators, Franck and Pitres, and since their original observations, other experimenters have found that cortical voluntary centres pour out a succession of shocks, as it were, to the muscle at the rate of about twelve per second. In man we can obtain a demonstration of this in precisely the same manner by voluntarily contracting the muscles of the thumb and recording it by suitable physiological apparatus. If the nerve centres are becoming disorganised, this inter­ mittent action will be exaggerated into tremor ; hence it is of great interest, in studying the effect which alcohol produces on the brain, to find that this tremulousness in the performance of a voluntary act is an early and characteristic symptom, and the explanation of its occurrence is obvious.
The well ­known shaky hand of the person who takes alcohol is the practical demonstration in social life of this fact. It is important to note that those who set up by their habits a chronic shakiness and tremor customarily take more alcohol to narcotise their nerve centres, and thus drown to some extent the exaggerated intermittency of their nerve currents. This they term “ steadying ” their hand.
2.   Does alcohol increase neuro-muscular action ? Experiments of Dr. Parkes.—A series of observations made
by the late Dr. Parkes of Netley, and reported by the late Sir Andrew Clark,1 bear upon this matter. A number of soldiers of the same age and the same type of constitution, living under the same circumstances and eating the same food, were collected together, and then divided into two gangs, an alcoholic gang 1 An Enemy of the Race. Id. Sir Andrew Clark.
v           ALCOHOL AND THE NERVOUS SYSTEM          99
and a non-alcoholic gang. Certain work was given them to do, for which they were paid extra by Dr. Parkes, according to the amount of work they accomplished. The men in the gang which was allowed alcohol had beer at their disposal, and when they felt tired they resorted to its use. For the first hour or two the alcoholic gang went ahead, but after a time their energy began to flag, and before the end of the day their rivals, the non-alcoholic gang, had accomplished far more work, and received more pay. When this had gone on for some days, the men who were having beer begged that they might be transferred to the non-alcoholic gang, in order that they might earn more money. Dr. Parkes declined to allow this, but, in order to make the experiment conclusive, he transposed the gangs, the men being willing to lend themselves to the experiment. Those who had so far had beer were now allowed none at all, the others, who had so far been abstainers, being given the beer. The results were exactly the same. The alcoholic gang went ahead at the starting, but failed utterly towards the end of the day, the non-alcoholic gang now accomplishing far more work than the other.
Experience of Military Experts.—The majority of modern authorities on military matters in Europe and America now recognise that severe exertions can best be endured, either in cold or hot climates, without alcohol, and the men are therefore encouraged to be abstainers.
General Sir Francis Grenfell stated in 1896 :—
“The campaign in Egypt was a teetotal campaign. We drank the Nile and nothing added. I took over the rearguard on the occasion of the finish of the campaign, and in no other part of the world have I seen a force of men so fit and so well as that force which was employed upon the Nile.”
Similar testimony is given by Count von Haeseler, late Commander of the Sixteenth Army Corps in Germany, upon this point:—
“The soldier who abstains altogether is the best man. He can accom­ plish more, can march better, and is a better soldier than the man who drinks even moderately. Mentally and physically he is better. Brandy is the worst poison of all. Next to it comes beer. Each limits the capacity and lowers mind, body, and soul. Strong drink tires and only increases thirst. For soldiers, water, coffee, and, above all, tea, are the best drinks.”
100            ALCOHOL AND THE HUMAN BODY chap.
During the Soudan campaign, as is well known, Lord Kitchener allowed his soldiers no spirits whatever, the men being encouraged to drink cold tea when upon long marches.
Lord Roberts has been equally firm in the matter of encouraging abstinence from alcohol, and so convinced are they in America of the superior vigour and energy and more reliable moral character of abstaining soldiers, even in times of peace, that in the new military law, promulgated in the United States, the sale of intoxicating liquors is forbidden in all canteens and on all territory that is used as a military field by the Government.
At a meeting of the Finnish Medical Society in 1884, the Surgeon-in-Chief of the Finnish Army, Dr. C. F. Wahlberg, said :—
“My experience as military surgeon has taught me that alcoholic liquids are unnecessary, and do not belong to human food­stuffs. During the war of 1877-8, those soldiers who did not indulge in their brandy rations endured their exertions much better than those who used them : old drinkers were the first to break down from exertion.”
At present the soldiers in Finland are never allowed brandy, and very seldom beer.
In the recent war between Great Britain and the Transvaal the use of brandy and spirits was prohibited amongst the Boers, and the significance of this fact was discussed by Fr. van Straaten in an article sent to the Deutsche Warte, in which he says:—
“From these regulations we have obtained the best results. In all weather our people have sat in the saddle and travelled hundreds of miles with scarcely the loss of a single man. There were no uniforms manu­ factured according to the teaching of hygiene. Every one went clothed just as he would go about his work in time of peace. Many had not even one warm cloak, and yet we endured the fiery heat of the African day and the following piercing cold of the night without injury to health. We were often for months under no roof, and in no bed, but no ’stomach warmer ’ was ever handed out.
“ I have during the campaign asked various physicians their opinion on this point. They are almost universally of the opinion that the wonderful power of endurance of the Boer army has in great part been due to their total abstinence from spirituous drinks. Men say that brandy makes privation more endurable. No word of that is true. It is also a fable that when one takes spirituous drinks it relieves fatigue. All that is true is that the drinker does not measure the extent of the danger, and on that account disdains it, even if he is cowardly by nature. In earlier times,
when the method of fighting was to run down the antagonist by a wild dash, alcohol probably had its effect. But modern scientific warfare has other features to reckon with : tranquillity, cold-blooded deliberation, iron endurance, a steady hand, a clear eye, a quick decision, are the qualifications which the warrior of the present day must possess in order to make the rifle in his hand a formidable weapon. To remain hour after hour under cover, and coolly, with the sharpshooter’s eye, wait the cautious approach of the enemy, or, in attack, to scan with falcon’s eye every stone, every rise of ground, every molehill, in order, if possible, to come upon the enemy unperceivedthat is business which requires actual courage, but not that drunken tumbling into danger with which one whose brain is clouded by the use of alcohol enters into a battle. The thing is not to under­estimate danger, but to recognise it, by foresight to diminish it, and, if that is not possible, to meet it coolly.”
From the British side we have the following comment by Sir Frederick Treves :—
“As a work producer alcohol is exceedingly extravagant, and, like all other extravagant measures, leads to a physical bankruptcy. It is also curious that troops cannot work or march on alcohol. I was, as you know, with the relief column that moved on to Ladysmith, and, of course, it was an extremely trying time by reason of the hot weather. In that enormous column of 30,000, the first who dropped out were not the tall men, or the short men, or the big men, or the little menthey were the drinkers, and they dropped out as clearly as if they had been labelled with a big letter on their backs.”
Evidence of Mountain Climbers and Others
The foregoing evidence is entirely confirmed by the practice of trained rowers, cricketers, sportsmen, and athletes, for the true sportsman depends as much upon the condition of his brain for success as upon the condition of his muscles alone. In England it is now recognised that total abstinence is a necessity where great exertions are concerned. For example, in 1892 the Great Western Railway decided to change the gauge along 200 miles of their system. It was needful to complete this work in two days. Every possible preparation was made, and five thousand skilled workmen were collected for the job, the huge task being accomplished in thirty-one hours. The managers, owing to previous experience, decided that not a drop of liquor should be permitted along the line of work, and they supplied instead good oatmeal and water, about ten tons of oatmeal being used.1
1 Abstinence and Work, by Charles Wakely, London, 1893.
102            ALCOHOL AND THE HUMAN BODY chap.
The following statement, furnished to Professor Hellenius by a gentleman at Uxbridge, has the advantage of being the comparative return of the regular labour of a whole year, performed by two sets of men, the one working on the abstinent,” and the other on the moderate” system, but not pitted against each other in a contest for victory. It relates to brickmaking, which is commonly accounted one of the most laborious of all out­door employments :
“Out of upwards of 23,000,000 of bricks made in 1841, by the largest maker in the neighbourhood, the average per man made by the beer drinkers in the season was 760,269 ; while that of the teetotallers was 795,400, which is 35,131 in favour of the latter. The highest number made by a beer drinker was 880,000 ; the highest number made by a teetotaller was 890,000, leaving 10,000 in favour of the teetotaller. The lowest number made by a beer drinker was 659,000 ; the lowest number made by a teetotaller was 746,000, leaving 87,000 in favour of the teetotaller. Satisfactory as the account appears, I believe it would have been much more so if the teetotallers could have obtained the whole gang of abstainers, as they were frequently hindered by the drinking of some of the gang ; and when order is thus broken, the work cannot go on.”l
Professor Hellenius was informed by Captain Pethrick, the manager of the copper-mines of Knockmahon,
“. . . that more than 1000 persons are daily employed, of whom 800 have taken the total abstinence pledge. Since doing so, the value of their productive industry has increased by nearly £5000 sterling per annum ; and not only are they able to put forth more exertion, but their work is done better and with less fatigue to themselves. Besides this they save at least £6000 sterling every year, which had previously been expended in the purchase of alcoholic liquors.”2
A German observer, Schneider, has recently (1907) examined 1200 mountain climbers and found that, according to their testimony, as long as continuous efforts and difficulties are to be expected no alcohol should be taken.3
Experiments with the Ergograph.4Various investigators have attempted to approach this problem by experiments with the ergograph, an instrument invented a few years ago in
1 Die Alkoholfrage : Hellenius.                             2 Ibid.
3   “The Influence of Alcohol in the Services,” by Lieutenant-Colonel E. Monkhouse Wilson, C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O., etc. British Med. Journal, Aug. 8, 1908.
4  The use of this instrument for purposes of greater exactitude is being, at the present moment, re-studied by Dr. Rivers. His researches are incomplete.
order to try and determine the amount of “ work done “ by certain muscles or groups of muscles. For instance, the middle finger is commonly used, being fitted with a ring of leather, to which is attached by a string a weight of about 9 lbs. hanging over a pulley. The forearm and hand being at rest, this one finger is bent at intervals of from one to two seconds, the weight being lifted as high as possible. The movements are registered and are kept up until exhaustion occurs.
The face-value of this method appears good, but when tested practically it is extremely difficult to avoid error of various sorts, because it is really not a test of the muscles alone, but to a large extent of the nervous system. In the hands of some observers a marked loss of muscular power is found to occur after the taking of small quantities of alcohol, in the hands of others the results have been more equivocal, this being accounted for by the fact that the personal equation with regard to the action of alcohol on the neuro-muscular system is a very variable one.
It evidently requires the performance of a large number of prolonged experiments before any evidence supplied by the ergograph can be accepted as approximately reliable, and even then they can never be compared with the practical experiments upon large bodies of men, such as exist when armies are in the field or when railways are in course of construction. For as an ergograph experiment is only an observation upon one person, the personal element therefore figures largely, whereas in the experiments in the mass this factor is excluded.
Effect of Alcohol upon the Muscular Energy of Dogs.—
This question, as to whether or no alcohol increases neuro-muscular action, has been investigated scientifically by Pro­ fessor Hodge, who for this purpose employed four puppies as nearly alike as possible in age, size, etc.
To test their daily activity a form of pedometer was devised which could be fixed in the dogs’ collars and read at corre­ sponding times. After a period of preliminary testing, alcohol was given to two of the puppies in their food. Soon after beginning the administration of alcohol it was often noted that the normal dogs were playing actively, whilst
104           ALCOHOL AND THE HUMAN BODY chap.
the alcohol - taking dogs were quiet, and content to do nothing.
A test was then devised “ that would elicit the comparative ability of the dogs as to strength, endurance, and resistance to fatigue,” the dogs being taught to retrieve a ball when thrown. When it was desired to make such a trial, the dogs were all taken to the University gymnasium, and a rubber ball was thrown across the room, a distance of one hundred feet, as fast as it could be retrieved.
A record was kept of all the dogs that started for the ball and of the one that brought it back. One hundred balls con­ stituted a test, and to throw them consumed about fifty minutes.
The first series consisted of 1400 balls, thrown on fourteen successive days in January 1896, the result being that the two normal or non-alcoholic dogs retrieved 922, the alcoholics only 478 balls.
Moreover, it was noted that the normal dogs made more attempts to retrieve the ball than did those taking alcohol, thus affording good evidence of their “greater alertness, strength, and energy.l
3. We have now briefly to answer the third of the questions before us, i.e.,
Is the active “tonic” state of a muscle maintained when alcohol is taken ?
The effect of alcohol on the tonic contraction of muscles is worthy of some notice. It must be understood that the muscles in a state of health, i.e. under the normal influence of the nervous system, are always in a state of tension (e.g. slight degree of contraction), this being spoken of as “ the tonus.”
This tonus is notably diminished by alcohol whether directly by its action on muscle or indirectly by its action on the nervous system is uncertain, but the practical bearing remains the same, namely, that all muscular movements are, in the absence of the natural tonus, weaker and less correctly per­ formed. The condition is, in fact, comparable to the loss of tone in muscles seen in persons who have passed through severe illness.
For the accurate and quick performance of skilled move-1 Physiological Aspects of the Liquor Problem, vol. i. p. 369.
ments such as are required in violin-playing it is, of course, essential that this “tone” of the muscles should be at its best. It is a matter of common knowledge that abstinence from alcohol is essential for those who would use their mechanical skill to the greatest advantage, this being a matter of muscular control and training.
4. To the fourth question before us, i.e. whether under alcohol the muscles grow and replace their wear and tear ?
the following reply may be given :—
The tissue of our muscle is, of course, always wearing out and being re­formed or grown again, and, as is well known, this growth of the tissue leads to actual increase of the size of the muscles when they are specially exercised. Its occurrence, which is clearly of importance to our muscular activity, is hampered and prevented by alcohol. Instead of the muscles maintaining themselves in good condition, they become, under alcohol, flabby and less vigorous and effective. This is known to those who train for boat-racing and other athletic pursuits, and they therefore readily acquiesce in the stringent orders to avoid alcoholic drinks for the time being, their desire to keep in good muscular condition causing them to abstain. It is worthy of note that those who avoid alcohol all the year round are permanently in a better muscular state, and do not require to go into such strict training ” for the races as those men who in the intervals take some alcohol.
This flabbiness and lack of muscular energy is a serious loss to the nation, because individuals who thus suffer from “a want of spring,” accomplish less work than they are normally capable of, and, moreover, what they do is often badly done. In fact, alcohol is among all causes of physical depression pre-eminently responsible for the inertness and so-called idleness of many human beings, who might, on the other hand, become fairly capable and efficient citizens were they properly fed and not drugged.
A further phase of the ill-effects of alcohol on the muscular system is exhibited by the fatty metamorphosis undergone by the muscles (and tissues enveloping them) of those who habitually take alcohol.
We shall describe in Chapter XII. this fatty degeneration
106            ALCOHOL AND THE HUMAN BODY chap.
of the muscle as it occurs in the muscular substance of the heart. In that case, of course, it is not only a further source of inertia and physical exhaustion by reason of its weakening the heart and lowering the blood pressure, but becomes a source of danger to life by leading to sudden cardiac failure.
To sum up : it is now beyond question that alcohol, even in so-called dietetic quantities, diminishes the output of muscular work both in quantity and quality, and that the best physical results are obtained under total abstinence from its use.
Part IV. The Effect of Alcohol on the Cerebellum
Until recently the effect of alcohol on the cerebellum has not been specially studied, although the similarity between the reeling of cerebellar disease and alcoholic poisoning, respectively, has long been recognised. The cerebellum is a remarkable sensory organ which receives impressions from the trunk and limbs, and then transmits them from its nuclei to the cerebrum and indirectly to the spinal cord. It is thus in the position of a kind of regulating or sorting office, the duties of which are the co-ordination or systematic arrangement of sensations, which inform us as to our position in space, and consequently our power of standing upright, of walking steadily, and of balancing the whole body in different postures is wholly de­ pendent on the healthy activity and function of the cerebellum.
It naturally follows that when the cerebellum is affected by such a narcotic as alcohol, there soon occurs loss of the essential regulation of control of the limbs and especially of the lower limbs, which feel heavy and no longer move with precision. As a consequence of this the ease of sitting still is preferred to the effort of even standing or walking, and when obliged to stand the person staggers slightly in assuming the erect posture, and later on reels if he attempts to walk forward.
Before a small dose of alcohol has reached the point of causing tottering in the gait, it affects the more delicate move­ ments of the upper limb, and it is for this reason that movements of sleight of hand and dexterity, or those involving delicate differences of pressure as in rifle-shooting, are only
successfully performed when people abstain from alcohol, and thus leave the cerebellum unimpaired and able to work with complete efficiency.
The conditions requisite for rifle-shooting are very complex, necessitating that the muscles of the eye as well as those of the limbs should be under the complete control of the nervous system, in order that absolute accuracy of aim may take place.
Valuable evidence on this point was given in 1905,1 when Staff-Surgeon Mernetsch set forth the facts and experiments made concerning the value or otherwise of alcohol if adminis­ tered, for instance, before action in war. Sweden was the first country to put the question on a scientific basis. A number of picked soldiers and non-commissioned officers, all good shots, were told off for these experiments. They were ordered to shoot at a target at ordinary distance (200 yards), then they were given each one-twentieth litre of brandy (equal to about 1½ oz.). The trials were made on different days, under varying conditions, several times a day, and the result was always the same. When alcohol had been given the result was 30 per cent fewer hits in quick-fire, although the men always thought they were shooting faster, whereas actually they shot much more slowly. When slow aiming was allowed, the difference even went to 50 per cent in favour of shooting without having taken alcohol. The conclusions are obvious.
1 Report of the International Anti-Alcohol Congress held at Budapest in 1905.

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