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Disease from Coffee



Coffee in no way rivals tea as a cause of derangement or dis ease, but, like tea, it contains an alkaloid which in action some what resembles theine. The alkaloid is called and tho effects it produces are upon the nervous system, on which it is said to be a stimulant. Coffee is less astringent than tea, and indeed on most persons it exerts no astringent effect at all, but that rather of a relaxant after the immediate nervous stimulation has passed away. For this reason coffee induces, in some individuals, diuretic phenomena, and in others relaxation of the bowels. In some both conditions. Indulged in too freely it usually produces dyspepsia and flatulency, and taken late at night is, like tea, too often pro vocative of sleeplessness, ending in disturbed dreams, muscular startings, and nightmare. Coffee is usually pronouncedly in jurious to the young; in persons of advanced life a tolerance to its action is often established.

I must repeat in relation to coffee what I have said about tea, namely, that there is no evidence as to its ever being a cause of actual organic change. Its effects may be described as entirely functional, and as being more correctly defined under the head of derangement than of disease. The derangement is much increased by the addition of chicory.

tea and derangement