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[p. 241]And it is not only because the stomach is distended and loaded and because the fluid runs from one part of it to another accompanied by gurglings- it is not only for these reasons that one would judge that there was an unduly long continuance of the food in it, in those people who are so disposed, but also from the vomiting. Thus, there are some who vomit up every particle of what they have eaten, not after three or four hours, but actually in the middle of the night, a lengthy period having elapsed since their meal.
Suppose you fill any animal whatsoever with liquid food- an experiment I have often carried out in pigs, to whom I give a sort of mess of wheaten flour and water, there after cutting them open after three or four hours; if you will do this yourself, you will find the food still in the stomach. For it is not chylification
i.e. not the mere mechanical breaking down of food, but a distinctively vital action of "alteration."
which determines the length of its stay here- since this can also be effected outside the stomach; the determining factor is digestion
which is a different thing from chylification, as are blood-production and nutrition. For, just as it has been shown
Book I., chaps. x., xi.
that these two processes depend upon a change of qualities, similarly also the digestion of food in the stomach involves a transmutation of it into the quality proper to that which is receiving nourishment.
cf. p. 222, note 1.
Then, when it is completely
digested, the lower outlet opens and the food is quickly ejected through it, even if there should be amongst it abundance of stones, bones, grape-pips, or other things which cannot be reduced to chyle. And you may observe this