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Lewaschew and Klikowitch, from experiments upon dogs, conclude that the use of ordinary alkaline mineral waters was to increase the quantity of bile and to make it more fluid and watery. This increased flow is beneficial in clearing out any bile stagnating in the gall-bladder. A subsequent increase in the quantity of bile indicates a greater flow of bile into the gall-bladder, and this also is of service in emptying out any stagnant bile, and restoring the normal condition when this is disturbed. Artificial solutions of alkaline salts were found to have a similar action to the natural mineral waters, and, as with them, the action varies according to the concentration of the solution. Bicarbonate of sodium has a quicker, more powerful, and more lasting effect on the composition of the bile than the sulphate of sodium, and weak solutions than strong ones. Vichy was more efficacious than Carlsbad water. Hot water was found to have an effect on the bile much like that of the mineral waters.
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Although Magendie is rightly considered the true initiator of experimentation upon living beings, the practice of vivisection is as old as science itself.
Galien, the physician of Marcus Aurelius (in the second century of the Christian era), dissected living animals, and yet he is regarded as having merited his name (Galenus, “gentle”) from the mildness of his character. Five centuries before him, under the Ptolemies, Egyptian experimenters had operated upon condemned persons. So, then, vivisection is not, as usually thought, a diabolical invention of modern science.