Thus then I conclude the matter to be, those Medicines are called temperate (not because they have excess of temperature at all in them) which can neither be said, to heat nor cool so much as will amount to the first degree of excess, for daily experience witnesses that they being added to medicines, change not their qualities, they make them neither hotter nor colder.

Their use. They are used in such diseases where there is no manifest distemper of the first qualities, viz. heat and cold, for example: In obstruction of the bowels, where cold medicines might make the obstruction greater, and hot medicines cause a fever.

In fevers of flegm, where the cause is cold and moist, and the effect hot and dry; in such, use temperate medicines which may neither encrease the fever by their heat, nor condensate the flegm by their coldness.

Besides, because contraries are taken away by their contraries, and every like maintained by its like, they are of great use, to preserve the constitution of the body temperate, and the body itself in strength and vigour, and may be used without danger, or fear of danger, by considering which part of the body is weak, and using such temperate medicines as are appropriated to that part.

Of Medicines hot

The care of the ancient Physicians was such that they did not labour to hide from, but impart to posterity, not only the temperature of medicines in general, but also their degrees in temperature, that so the distempered part may be brought to its temperature, and no further; for all things which are of a contrary temperature, conduce not to cure, but the strength of the contrariety must be observed, that so the medicine may be neither weaker nor stronger, than just to take away the distemper; for if the distemper be but meanly hot, and you apply a medicine cold in the fourth degree, it is true, you may soon remove that distemper of heat, and bring another of cold twice as bad. Galen, de simp. med. facul. lib. 3. cap. 12.

Then, secondly, not only the distemper itself, but also the part of the body distempered must be heeded; for if the head be distempered by heat, and you give such medicines as cool the heart or liver, you will bring another disease, and not cure the former.

The degrees then of temperature are to be diligently heeded, which antient physicians have concluded to be four in the qualities, viz. heat and cold, of each we shall speak a word or two severally.

Of Medicines hot in the first degree

Those are said to be hot in the first degree, which induce a moderate and natural heat to the body, and to the parts thereof, either cold by nature, or cooled by accident, by which natural heat is cherished when weak, or restored when wanting.

Effect 1. The first effect then of medicines hot in the first degree, is, by their sweat and temperate heat to reduce the body to its natural heat, as the fire doth the external parts in cold weather, unless the affliction of cold be so great that such mild medicines will not serve the turn.

Effect 2. The second effect is, the mitigation of pain arising from such a distemper, and indeed this effect hath other medicines, some that are cold, and some that are hotter than the first degree, they being rationally applied to the distemper. These medicines the Greeks call Anodyna, and shall be spoken of in their proper places. In this place let it suffice that medicines hot in the first degree, make the offending humours thin, and expel them by sweat, or insensible transpiration, and these of all others are most congruous or agreeable to the body of man, for there is no such equal temperature of heat and cold in a sound man, but heat exceeds, for we live by heat and moisture, and not by cold.

Medicines then which are hot in the first degree, are such as just correspond to the natural heat of our bodies; such as are hotter or colder, are more subject to do mischief, being administered by an unskilful

  By PanEris using Melati.

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