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TitleScience of Oriental Medicine
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Total Pages322
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the blood, this system has many remedies which cleanse and enrich
the blood, enabling it to have healing effect and an upbuilding effect

as well. These disorders are invariably accompanied by fever or

inflammation in some part of the patient's body, and the Chinese
remedies to reduce and prevent inflammation are very numerous and

very effective. Those cases even in which the American physician
has no remedy except the knife, yield rapidly to the herbal treatment.

In China medicine and surgery are distinct professions, and the

two are not usually followed by the same physician. But medicine

attempts and accomplishes many things which American ^physicians
turn over to the surgeons. This is seen in the treatment of many
diseases of the bones, which, in America, are treated by mechanical

supports, by scraping of the bone and other operations or by amputa-
tion. The Chinese doctor cures these cases by medicines alone, per-
haps aided, in some instances, by the use of plasters and linaments,
where there is impure blood or other poisonous liquids to be drawn

away. The Chinese think it is just as easy to feed a bone as it is to
feed a muscle. One can be made to grow as well as the other. Both
have circulation and are nourished by the blood. The only difference
is that a longer time is usually required to strengthen a weakened
bone by feeding it than to strengthen a weakened muscle, because
its substance is harder and its circulation slower. A change, there-
fore, requires a greater length of time, but it is just as certain in the

one case as in the other.
The same reasoning applies to abnormal growths in the womb

or ovaries, or to ulcerations, enlargements of the tissues or of the
substance of the womb, cancers, tumors and similar difficulites. These
things can all be checked and cured by internal medication much
easier than by mechanical means, by scraping and cutting, or by
amputation. Surgical operations never accomplish a cure. They
simply take away something from the body and maim it in one
way or another. When a physician recommends a surgical operation
he admits that the means at his command are insufficient, that he
hasn't the remedies to meet the case, and this is, in fact, the reason
that so many surgeons flourish upon the disorders of women, and
find in them their broadest yet constantly growing field. Doctors lack
the remedies to meet the need, and as they haven't got them, they
cannot prescribe them.

Let us consider in greater detail some of the more prevalent
forms of the diseases of women and see how the Chinese system

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of medicine is particularly adapted to cure them. Derangements of
the menstrual function are among the most common and the most
injurious. The menstrual function in a normal woman ought to be
practically painless, instead of a source of misery and illness as it
often is. Its perversion takes a score of forms; sometimes it is

delayed, sometimes premature, sometimes scanty, sometimes profuse
and often accompanied by severe headaches, bearing-down pains, and
even by hysteria and complete exhaustion. It is usually functional,
that is, depending upon defects in circulation, impairment of the
nervous system, or a generally debilitated condition, but it may come
from an enlarged or ulcerated condition of the womb, or other local

In either case the herbal remedies act efficiently and promptly.
A tonic medicine is not what is needed, because, if there is inflam-
mation, as there usually is, a tonic is simply an addition of fuel to
a fire already existing. Neither are local applications of any per-
manent value. They may relieve the local pain for a time, and may
be of some transient benefit by toning up the organs involved, as by
use of electricity; but the beneficial effect soon passes; the original
causes are still at work, and the original results come back again.
Suppressed or painful menstruation is often a result of a cold, and
the physician usually thinks that if the menses can be brought on

again, a cure is accomplished, not stopping to think that the poisonous
conditions which resulted from the cold and caused the suppression
in the first place still remain in the system and are liable to produce
the same effect again. Sometimes there is an unnatural contraction
of the mouth of the womb, closing it, and some sort of an operation
which forces it open is thought necessary in order to permit a resump-
tion of the menstrual flow.

These ideas are all wrong. What is needed, nine time out of ten,
is a general cleansing of the system and a restoration of the normal

activity of all the bodily functions. If poisons have accumulated in
the blood through a failure of the bowels, the kidneys and the skin
to do their work properly, this difficulty must be removed before they
can be any permanent improvement. If the stomach does not act
perfectly, and there is consequently a lack of nutriment for the
nerves and the muscles and a thinning of the blood, then that organ
and its assistant organs of digestion must be compelled to perform
their functions as nature intended. If poison has been left in the sys-
tem through a cold which has settled in the womb and the ovaries

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