Flaxseed Lemonade.—This is a very soothing drink in cases of sore throat, and is made by steeping six tablespoonfuls of whole flaxseed or linseed for an hour in a quart of water, with four tablespoonfuls of sugar. The water should be boiling when the flaxseed is put in. Strain out the flaxseed, add the juice of two lemons, and chill.
Barley-water.—Three tablespoonfuls of barley are soaked overnight, a quart of cold water added on the following day, and the whole boiled for an hour and a half. Strain and add salt, sugar, and lemon-juice to taste.
If the physician orders imperial drink, add to a pint of boiling water one fourth of an ounce of cream of tartar, the juice of half a lemon, and a tablespoonful of strained honey. Sifted sugar may be substituted for this last ingredient.
Albumen Water.—This is an extremely useful drink, as it is very easily retained and can be taken by the weakest patient. It is made by beating well the white of an egg, and mixing with a cup of ice-water and a little salt or sugar. Fruit juices may be used as flavouring, and the proportion of egg-white to water may be doubled if advisable.
These are only a few of the foods and drinks especially suitable for the sick, but enough have been given to be of service and to suggest other adaptations.
NURSING.—To nurse the new-born baby at the breast is not only the natural thing to do, but is most beneficial to both mother and child. The supposition that anmmic women are weakened by this additional demand upon their strength does not apply to 'all cases. The human organism is not a mere receiving and expending mechanism; hut a highly complicated chemical laboratory in which, by the combination or separation of chemical elements, not only new combinations are formed, but, in addition, all sorts of forces are bound or set free.
In most women nursing awakens many forces that formerly were sluggish or latent (for instance, blood-formation), with the result that the mother, after several months of nursing, is fresher, happier, and more full of life than ever before. There are certain forms of amemia which become aggra vated by nursing ; for instance, those caused by distinct organic diseases, as by consumption. In addition to the results already mentioned (among which must be included the rapid recovery from severe hemorrhage at giving birth), a more rapid and thorough involution of the abdominal viscera takes place ; the womb and the ligaments decrease in size, and recover their original compactness, elasticity, and tension ; and there is a decrease in the lochial discharge. The abdomen is less distended and flabby. On
the other hand, in a woman who does not nurse her child, the organs remain swollen, and menstruation is increased, causing not only catarrhal lochial discharges, but also bodily weakness, anemia, nervous debility, migraine, stomach trouble, indigestion, etc, The results of raising the infant on cows' milk or other substitutes for mother's milk are even more critical for the child than for the mother. Such children are more restless, suffer from flatulence and constipation, scream a great deal, and suffer (especially in the summer-time) from serious in testinal catarrh. They also take on flesh more slowly, in spite of larger quantities of nourishment, gaining, on an average, only five-sixths of an ounce daily instead of one ounce during the first two months ; later only two thirds of an ounce daily.
Infants brought up on artificial foods are apt to show less resistance to contagious diseases, not only during infancy, but even in later life. They are especially non-resistant to children's diseases to tuberculosis. It is a question whether amemia, weakness of the digestive organs, and similar troubles may not be the result of insufficient and improper feeding. Mother's milk is not so essential for very robust children.
Artificial feeding will have better results if the infant gets the breast once or twice a day ; for mother's milk contains certain elements which aid digestion. Considering all these advantages, it is morally wrong in a mother not to nurse, or partially nurse, her child, unless she has very good reasons for refraining from so doing. Mothers who have not sufficient milk on the third or fourth day after confinement should give the child what they have ; the quantity very often increases. In cases where there is an abundance of milk, and where nursing, for some reason or other, is done only partially, it is not necessary to stop nursing ; for a diet poor in liquid and in sugar will soon decrease the quantity. The total repression of milk is more difficult. Bandages from shoulder to shoulder, rubbing the breasts with warm fat, and mild purges (Carlsbad salt) are good remedies for alleviating tension.