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    THE ORGAN OF TASTE

    295. What is the organ of taste?HBH 132.3

    The tongue. It is composed of muscular fibers, arranged in almost every direction. Between these muscles is a quantity of adipose substances. At the back part it is connected with the os hyoides by a muscular attachment. It is also attached to the epiglottis and lower jaw by the mucous membrane; this membrane forms a fold in front of the jaw and beneath the under surface of the tongue. The surface of the tongue is covered with four kinds of papillae, supported by a dense layer of membrane. At the root of the tongue are a number of mucous glands. The tongue is abundantly supplied with blood by the lingual arteries. It has three nerves of large size: the gustatory branch of the fifth pair, the nerve of sensation and taste, distributed to the papillae; the glosso-pharyngeal, to the mucous membrane, follicles, and glands. It is a nerve of sensation and motion; the hypo-glossal is the principal nerve of motion to the tongue, distributed to the muscles. The nerves of the sense of taste in the tongue terminate in the papillae of the tongue, and are most numerous in the mucous membrane which covers the end of the tongue.HBH 132.4

    296. How is the sense of taste effected?HBH 133.1

    The papillae on the surface of the tongue, when brought in contact with savory substances, are excited to that degree that they become erect and turgid, and convey to the appropriate nerves this sense. Here again is one of the wonders of the nervous system: how one nerve so nearly like another in its substance, can have the sense of taste, while the other may have the sense of smelling or hearing. It seems to be necessary in order for the sense of taste to be exercised, that the substance tasted should be soluble. There is also such a sympathetic relation existing between all the organs of the body, that their derangement affects measurably the organ of taste. When the nose is obstructed and injured, the sense of taste is affected.HBH 133.2

    297. What constitutes a healthy taste?HBH 133.3

    The integrity of the sense of taste enables us to select, with accuracy, those alimentary substances just adapted to the wants of the nutritive apparatus. The sense of taste, like all the special senses, is highly educable, but is very generally depraved and perverted. Those persons who cannot realize any agreeable savor in any article of nutriment until the papillae of the tongue are stung into action by salt, pepper, mustard, vinegar, or other pungents, have greatly blunted the sense of taste, and know but little of the real pleasures of eating. Such eat more to silence the goadings of a morbid appetite than to enjoy life. We should carefully avoid the use of every substance which blunts the use of taste: such as intoxicating liquors, tobacco, spices, salt, etc.HBH 133.4

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