Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

3 ä« EXPERIMENTS W I T EI OPIUM 
by deflroying the fenfibility of the mufcles, of confequence alfo 
deflroy their irritability. 
(11) In animals which have got a large dofe of opium, the veins, 
efpecially thofe of the membranes of the brain, are obferved to be 
much fwelled ; whence it has been thought, that opium produces 
its effects in the bodies of animals, partly, at lead, by rarefying 
the blood and compreffing the brain: but this diftenfion of the 
veins feerns to be no more than a confequence of the very flow mo¬ 
tion of the blood through the heart, on account of the infenfibilitjr 
with which this organ is affected *. 
{y) Since opium foon puts a flop to the vital motions of ani¬ 
mals, which yet continue in time of fleep with little or no diminu¬ 
tion of their vigour ; fince it often eafes pain without bringing on 
fleep ; and fince, by its topical action on the heart, it deflroys the 
motion of this organ after all communication between it and the 
origin of the nerves is cut off f ; it follows, that the effects of opium 
are not owing, as fome have thought, to its producing fleep : on the 
Contrary, the fleep which it occafions feems to be only a confe¬ 
quence of its impairing the fenfibility of the whole nervous fyflem. 
The other effects of opium may be alfo deduced from the fame 
caufe, particularly its reflraining all evacuations that are owing to 
an unufal irritation of the parts of the body, and at the fame time 
promoting thofe natural fecretions which have been diminifhed or 
flopt by fpafmodic flriélures of the veffels, from fome uncommon 
ßimulus affeéling them. 
(w) Lastly, does not opium kill animals by rendering their fe¬ 
ver al organs wholely infenfible of the fiimuli which are deftined by 
nature to excite them into aélion ; whence not only a flop is put to. 
the periflaltic motion of the guts, and to the propulfion of the 
chyle %9 but the fluids alfo being to flagnate firfl in the fmaller and 
afterwards 
* In frogs, into wliofc ftomach and guts I had inje&ed a folution of opium, I not only 
found the heart’s auricle, but alfo the great veins leading to it, much diilended with blood* 
Vid. Eflay on vital, motions, &c. p. 197. 
f Vid. No. 12. 13. 17. 18. 19. & 20. above. 
£ In a fmall dog, which Dr Kaau Boerhaave opened, after having given him three grains 
•f ('plum, he obferved fcarce any periftaltic motion in the guts : the fiomach was much dif- 
tended ;
        

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