Harper's New Monthly Magazine/Vol. XLIV/No. 261/February 1872/Editor's Scientific Record/Cure of Flatulence
A writer in the English Mechanic, in treating on the not unimportant subject of flatulency, says that of this there are two kinds. In health the stomach and intestines always contain a moderate quantity of gas that is nearly pure nitrogen. This appears to be secreted by the mucous membrane of the stomach and intestines, and, in excessive amount, is one of the most troublesome kinds of flatulence. The other kind arises fermentation or putrefactive change of the food, and contains carbonic acid, and sometimes sulphurated hydrogen, as well as nitrogen. Both these forms of flatulence are best treated by using pure vegetable charcoal finely powdered—taken in the first case with each meal, and in the second as soon as the symptoms appear. The dose may be a tea-spoonful, and its use should be continued for some time. This will usually correct constipation as well as looseness of the bowels, besides relieving the disease itself.