Cajus Plinius already called attention to the value of grapes in many conditions of disease. The fact that they really do have such an action is shown by the statements made in the previous chapter. Since grapes have a stimulating effect upon the intestinal walls, they may induce a daily bowel movement in chronic intestinal constipation and in chronic intestinal catarrh with constipation; in cases of intestinal catarrh with diarrhea and abnormal putrefaction their antiseptic action may come into play. Owing to the high content of sugar, grapes cause acid fermentationin the same way as do large amounts of carbohydratesby means of which a decided disinfection of the intestine is accomplished through the agency of the lactic acid produced. Injurious decomposition products are thus destroyed. Owing to this property, as well as through the diminished viscidity of the blood induced, especially in a chiefly vegetarian diet, the grape cure may also be very useful in a great many cases of arteriosclerosis. A decided diminution of very high blood-pressure was observed in such cures. Favorable results have also been reported, principally by French authors, in many cases of chronic kidney diseases. In gout, obesity, and emphysema, and also in many skin affections accompanying decomposition processes in the intestines, very favorable results were obtained. In diseases of the liver and in gallstones I advise a grape cure in the autumn, following the Carlsbad cure. The quantity to be taken daily is from 1 to 2 kilos, beginning with a small quantity and gradually increasing. The grapes are to be taken in the morning on an empty stomach, then one hour before both the midday and evening meals. That walking in the open air, which can be so agreeably accomplished in lovely Meran, with its wonderful climate, materially assists the cure can be readily understood; walking also plays an important rôle in other cures. According to my own experience, in spending weeks at a time in Meran, I know that large quantities of grapes, from 1 to 2 kilos, also have a very beneficial action upon a healthy person, especially when the juicy and tender-skinned variety to be had in Meran is taken. It is important, however, that during this cure certain dietetic restrictions be observed; foods having an irritating action upon the intestine must not be taken, the use of tobacco and alcohol must be restricted, and beer should be as much as possible avoided. The mouth should always be washed after eating large quantities of grapes ; otherwise inflammation of the mucous membrane may set in, and the teeth may be injured. The length of the cure is from four to six weeks. The most popular resorts for the grape cures are Meran and Montreux and several other places on the Lake of Geneva, both on the Swiss and the Savoy shores of the lake.
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