It will be found that the so-called beneficial effects which coffee drinkers attribute to this beverage, to justify their habit, are nearly all reducible to palliative reliefs against certain sufferings. Now, the continual use of a palliative medicament being a very injurious thing, the daily and dietetic use of such a thing is, without contradiction, the most pernicious of all.
If I esteem the virtues of coffee, I do so only in relation to its medicinal employment. This enjoyment consists:
1. In the property curative application of this substance against chronic diseases, the symptoms of which have a great resemblance to the primary effects of coffee.(* It may be that some one unaccustomed to coffee suffers from a disease composed of the following symptoms. Of a frequent necessity of going to stool with non-painful soft evacuations; of sleeplessness; of a state of irritation and extraordinary activity of body and mind; finally, of a want of appetite and thirst, however, without any change in the taste of aliments and beverages. In this case coffee will manifest and should manifest a salutary and radical effect in a very sort time. It is likewise the most certain and most convenient curative remedy in case of accidents, often dangerous, which succeed an extreme and sudden joy, as well as in a certain kind of pains which women lying in experience after parturition, and which resemble very much the primitive effects of coffee.*)
2. In its palliative application against evils recently engendered, which are eminently dangerous, and which resemble very much the secondary effects of this remedy.(* Perhaps sea- sickness, poisoning with poppy juice (supposing the person in question be not accustomed to coffee); poisoning with white hellebore; the apparent death of persons drowned, suffocated, and above all persons frozen, as I have several times made the experiment to my great satisfaction.*)
Such is the rational and wise use of this medicinal substance,(* NOTE OF THE TRANSLATOR.–The periodical journal devoted to the homoeopathic medical art has just offered us a very interesting article on coffee, which contains its specific effects, discovered by experiments upon healthy men, as well as its pharmaceutic preparation and its medicinal use. See Archiv fur die homoeopathische Heilkunst, 2r Band, 3s Heft. Leipzig bei Reclam, 1823.*) of which very few persons know the true value, but of which millions of men make a fatal abuse.