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SECTION 11.

Of the Periodical Discharge in a diseafed ftate,

namely, when irregular, obstructed, or immoderate in quantity.

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S regularity

rity of the periodical discharge indicates the natural state of the female constitution, and is essential to health ; fo its obstruction or excess powerfully dispose the body to diseases of the Chronic Kind.

Where the constitution happens to abound with blood, before the uterine vessels are sufficiently enlarged to allow of its passing off that way; a disease peculiar to virgins, called Chlorofis or green fickness, is faid to be produced, and this usually appears about the age of maturity. .

If the periodical discharge has been regular for aconsiderabletime,and at length,from any

E

accident

accident returns by longer intervals, or more sparingly than usual, it is said to be irregular or obstructed; but if it does not return at all, it is then called a total suppression of the menses; so that those several complaints, however different in degree, all arise from the same cause, that is, from retained menstruous blood, which vitiates the whole mass, and renders it unfit for circulation and the purposes of life.

But altho' this has been the general opinion ; many reasons may be adduced to prove,

that blood so retained, rather offends in quantity than quality, and the bad effects are chiefly owing to the stress laid on its feveral vessels, in consequence of their being overfill'd; hence the circulating power is clog'd and impaired, and that free and equal distribution of blood prevented, which is necessary to a state of health.

From such disorders as are observed to be brought on by obstructed perspiration; a

sudden

sudden stoppage of the bleeding piles, or even the omission of blood letting, to which the patient had been accustomed at particular seasons of the year; and where the blood evacuated was equally pure with that remaining in its vessels, there is reason to believe, that the menses when obstructed only affect the constitution, by weakening the vascular system of the body, and not by imparting any noxious quality to its humours.

An influence, malignant as that of the Dog-Star, absurdly and unworthily imputed to women at this period, viz. of stopping the fermentation of liquors, and killing vegetables by the flightest touch, with such like fabulous relations, ought therefore to be rejected as vulgar Errors, the offspring of ignorance and over credulity, equally inconsistent with reason or the law of On the contrary, I have already remarked that where the natural discharge is interrupted, women are not only deprived of the delicacy peculiar to their sex, but also of health itself.

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The cause of green-sickness is not, however, solely confined to an obstruction of the menses, for virgins are sometimes subject to it at a very tender age, before

any redundant blood could naturally be collected in the habit ; besides, if it were entirely owing to a defect of the natural difcharge, the several symptoms would immediately disappear at its first commencement, which is not always the case.

This particular species of disease, seems rather to arise from constitutional weakness, or a general want of power in the several organs to perform their natural office. The digestive faculty of the stomach is impaired, and consequently, the juices derived from the food being crude and watery, are

insufficient

:

insufficient to nourish and supply the body : Hence, the heart, which is the principal in. strument of circulation, can hardly drive forward the blood in its vessels, or distribute that vital Auid to different parts of the body, without which, like a plant deprived of water, it must languish and decline.

Under such circumstances, neither health or strength can long subsist, nor can the necessary evacuations be duly promoted. From obstructed perfpiration will proceed, weariness, oppression of spirits, wandering pains, and now fever. From costiveness, will arrise, head-ache, palpitation of the heart, and throbbing of the internal parts, especially after violent motion or sudden surprise; also, indigestion, heart-burn and swelling at the stomach. And lastly, from a defect of the urinary discharge ; the blood will be loaden with scorbutic humours, and a bloated, dropsical habit of body will ensue.

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