There are several other vegetables equally objectionable with the last, though they cannot be classed under the same head. Such are mustard, horseradish, raw onions, garlic, cucumbers, and pickles. No appetite which has not been accustomed to these substances in early infancy, will ever require them. Not that they may not sometimes be useful in enabling the stomach—at every age—to get rid of certain substances with which it has been improperly or unreasonably loaded;—this is undoubtedly the fact; ardent spirits would do the same. And it is with a view to some such effect, generally, that medical writers have spoken in their favor. Some of them stimulate the stomach to get rid of a load of green fruit; others, of a load of fat or salt food; others, again, of too large a quantity of food which is naturally wholesome.
But in all these cases, they should be considered, not as food, but as medicine; and we ought to call them by their right name. And if we withhold the cause of the disease, there will be no need of the medicine.
Infants need little drink. Adults, even, generally drink to cool themselves. Simple water the best drink. Opinions of Dr. Oliver and Dr. Dewees. Animal food increases thirst. Only one real drink in the world. The true object of all drink. Tea, coffee, chocolate, beer, &c. Milk and water, molasses and water, &c. Cider, wine, and ardent spirits. Bad food and drink the most prolific sources of disease. Children naturally prefer water. Danger of hot drinks. Cold drinks. Mischief they produce. Caution to mothers. Extracts. Drinking cold water, while hot.
Children need little if any drink, so long as their food is nothing but milk; nor indeed for some time afterward, unless they are indulged in the use of animal food. Adults, even, very seldom drink merely to quench natural thirst. In the summer, people usually drink either to cool themselves, or to gratify a thirst which is wholly artificial. Tea, coffee, beer, cider, and most other common drinks, when not used for the sake of their coolness, are drank, both in winter and summer, for this purpose.
That this is the fact, we have the most abundant and unequivocal evidence. I know that much is said of the demand which a profuse perspiration creates among hard laborers in the summer. Such a sudden abstraction of a large amount of fluid requires, it is said, a proportional supply, or life would soon become extinct. Yet there are many old men who have perspired profusely at their labor all their days, and yet have drank nothing at all, except their tea, morning and evening; and perhaps have eaten, for one or two of their meals daily, in summer, a bowl of bread and milk. And some of them are among the most remarkable instances of longevity which the country affords.
How the system acquires a sufficient supply of moisture to keep up good health, in these cases, I do not pretend to determine: perhaps it is through the medium of the lungs. But at any rate, it can obtain it without our drinking for that sole purpose, to the great danger of exciting liver complaints, diarrhoea, dyspepsia, colds, rheumatisms, and fevers.