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COLIC OR GASTRALGIA

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Causes and Symptoms: The term colic pain or gastralgia is generally applied to pain in the abdomen, usually in the vicinity of the navel. It comes in spasms and is generally accompanied by constipation. It may arise from the presence of some indigestible matter in the alimentary canal. Gastralgia is relieved by heat or pressure on the abdomen which distinguishes it from colitis, i.e. the inflammation of the intestines, which is a much more serious condition and is usually attended by fever.

Attacks of colic are mercifully short, but they should not be ignored because the spasms might lead to twisting of the gut which generally necessitates surgical interference. Colic may sometimes be confused with the pain of appendicitis; it should be remembered, however, that the colic is in the region of the navel, whereas the pain of appendicitis is on the right side of the abdomen.

Remedies: If the pain is very severe and the stomach is full, it should be evacuated through inducing a vomit. Salt dissolved in lukewarm water should be given to the patient and he should be asked to tickle his throat as he drinks the lukewarm water. After the food has been ejected through the vomit, Millet and Salt tied in a bag should be heated over a hot plate and the abdomen fomented with it. Ajwain, dried Ginger and Black Salt in the proportion of 1 : : should be ground together and taken in three masha doses with warm water. Another remedy is a powder of Ajwain and Salmiac (1 : ) taken with warm water. Alternatively, Swallow-wort flowers 5 tolas, Ajwain 5 tolas, Dried Ginger 3 tolas and Black Salt 1 tola, should be finely ground together and made into pills of the size of wild barries by mixing lime juice into the powder. One pill is enough to drive away the pain.

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