Fevers—(1) Typhoid Fever.
Dr. William H. Cook (Physio-Medical), in his "Science and Practice of Medicine," on page 17, says:—"While death is the common lot of all, the strongest instinct of the human mind desires to postpone the day of dissolution as long as possible. It further desires to maintain the greatest possible degree of ease and comfort while life lasts. In pursuit of these hopes, men have from the earliest periods of time sought for means by which to relieve the suffering, and to prolong existence; and these two objects constitute the chief aim of medicine. The accomplishment of these aims necessitates the systematic study of the human frame in a state of health; and the causes which induce disease, that, by their removal or avoidance, sickness may be partly or wholly prevented; the signs which make known the presence of disease, that the conditions to be relieved may be understood; the means and the measures by which the frame may be aided to its natural or healthy state. These several topics are classified under the following departments of investigation:—
(1) Physiology, which embraces the study of the functions of the healthy body, and the methods according to which they are performed. It forms the basis for all the other divisions of medicine, and is the foundation upon which must rest every logical attempt to afford relief or effect a cure. The topics of the other departments become lucid only as they are examined in the light shed upon them by physiology.
(2) Etiology, which considers the varied influences at work: to retard or prevent the healthful performance of the functions, and thus to bring about the conditions of disease.
(3) Pathology, which investigates the phenomena of disease, and seeks for an interpretation of their meaning and an understanding of the conditions to which they point. It studies the changes which take place in organs during disease. An examination of all the morbid processes belongs to this department; as also a classification of disease and the discrimination of different maladies. It is usually sub-divided into general and special pathology—the former including those subjects which are common to many diseases, and the latter embracing the details of each particular form of disease in what is denominated its clinicar history. The phenomena of pathology are intelligible only as they are referred to the standard of physiology.
(4) Therapeutics, which considers the means of cure, and the correct application of those means in the treatment of disease.
(5) Hygiene, a fifth department, consists in a regulation of the conduct and habits which will most effectually prevent the development of disease, and aid in the restoration of health when disease is present.
A knowledge of these several departments of research constitutes the Science or Institutes of Medicine—presenting that methodical arrangement of its principles which gives connection and precision to the whole subjects. The application of remedies, according to these principles, constitutes the Art or Practice of Medicine.
Medical art is dependent for correctness on its scientific principles. The processes of reasoning by which a knowledge of those principles leads to the adoption of certain measures in practice is called the Theory of Medicine.
An attempt to cure disease without definite principles or laws in science to guide the conduct, is empiricism; and while this course may occasionally be successful, it can assign no relation between cause and effect, and can inspire no confidence as to future results: certainty cannot be associated with any efforts toward a cure, except as these are made in strict accordance with the fixed laws deducible from a study of the above departments of science. All the laws connected with these topics have not yet been elucidated; but so far as they have been developed it is the duty of the physician to follow them strictly and with confidence; and the fact that many principles remain unfathomed should form the highest incentive to further and vigorous research."
Now, if we follow out the treatment of disease on the lines above laid down, we shall find that there is no need to use poisons with a view to either prevent or cure disease; neither is there any need to resort to "anti-disease serums" or vaccination, or inoculation, for they neither prevent nor cure but are found to be disease producers, as thousands of individuals can testify.
It has been said that "it was to be hoped that no one would listen to 'the cranks' who were circulating literature in opposition to anti-typhoid inoculation," as these were people who knew nothing about the disease—people who had not studied "typhoid." But we can show that those thus stigmatised have studied and also cured the disease, even where their accusers have failed in spite of their arrogance and boasted superiority. We can show that of all forms of disease typhoid is one of the easiest to treat and cure, when it is handled on hygienic principles and with non-poisonous herbal remedies: and that, with little or no danger of infection to those who attend the patient.
Till 1840 two fevers were confounded under the name "typhus," but later a complete distinction was drawn between them—the name "typhus" being retained for one, the other being named "typhoid" because, in many particulars, it was very like "typhus." This "typhoid" is accompanied by serious disease of the bowels, consequently the name "enteric" (from "enteron"—Greek for intestine) fever has been given it by some who did not like the confusion caused by the little difference between the form of the terms typhus and typhoid.
Further, this fever is marked by a very decided diarrhoea or looseness of the bowels, and as the symptoms marked out the stomach and bowels as the chief seats of the disturbance, the name "gastric fever" has also been given to it. This term has dropped by modern physicians, as it is essentially a bad one.
Typhoid is an extremely serious and commonly a very fatal disease if not treated hygienically and with physio-medical remedies. It is a matter of the utmost moment that wherever typhoid fever exists it should be recognised; and the use of any term that would in any way tend to disarm suspicion as to the true nature of the disease is very undesirable. It is quite certain that the use of the phrase "gastric fever" has led to the confusion of the two complaints, and also of catarrh. Typhoid is often accompanied by severe vomiting, in which bilious matters are expelled, hence some have called it "bilious fever."
The cause of typhoid is almost certainly some living organism or germ. No one, however, has as yet been able to separate the actual living thing which produces it. There is, nevertheless, sufficient evidence to lead to the conclusion that the poison of typhoid fever is not cast off from the body of the person sick of the fever—by the breath or by the skin—as occurs in measles, scarlet fever, and smallpox. This disease is, on this account, not infectious in the same way as the others, mentioned are. On the other hand, it seems quite clear that the typhoid fever poison is cast off from the bowels, in the motions passed from them. It is also clear that the poison consists of living particles, and that if they cannot live and multiply in the air they do live and multiply in water. Thus the discharges from typhoid fever patients cast into drains find in the pipes and cesspools—particularly if they are not properly flushed with water, or are blocked, so that the refuse is stagnant—the most favourable conditions for their growth. It is also certain that drainage from a dung-heap, on which discharges from a typhoid fever case have been thrown, getting into a well, can poison the water so that everyone who drinks of it is liable to an attack of fever. It has been proved that it is thus typhoid fever suddenly appears and spreads among a population, and becomes epidemic. For instance, in a dairy farm, one person was taken ill of fever, and was ill for weeks without the farm people knowing what the sickness was. The discharges from the sick person were thrown out on the dung-heap and carelessly elsewhere. Drainage from this got into the well. The well water was used to wash the milk utensils (and possibly to dilute the milk), the milk was sent to town, and the fever poison thus introduced to the stomachs of the townspeople, and there was an outbreak of fever. Our conclusion is that although typhoid fever is not infectious in the same way as measles, scarlet fever, &c, it is infectious through food, water, milk, &c. The facts are of great practical importance as showing that one may attend a typhoid case without fear if full care be taken that all discharges from the patient, and all linen soiled by them, are carefully disinfected.
Typhoid fever may occur at any age, though it becomes less frequent as age increases. It is most frequent in the warm seasons of the year. A low state of general health, from whatever cause, is undoubtedly a most favourable condition for an attack of this disease—as of many others. One attack of the disease seems to afford some protection against a second, although many second attacks have been recorded.
The symptoms of Typhoid fever are:—The loss of strength, loss of appetite, and general feebleness. The patient complains of feeling chilly, and then of feverishness; has turns of drowsiness; is troubled with headaches; is restless at night. There are also disorders of the stomach and bowels, such as vomiting and looseness. The pulse will be found beating fast, and the tongue coated and brownish down the centre. One symptom ought to be sought for—that is, pain experienced on pressure on the right groin. Generally, if one press this part with the fingers a gurgling will be felt, and the patient will complain of some degree of pain. The fever is highest at night and lower in the morning. This daily rise, and fall is peculiar to typhoid. A rash comes out in the second week of the fever, consisting of rose-coloured spots about the size of a pinhead, and raised above the surface of the skin. These are found mostly on the chest, abdomen, and back, and come out only two or three at a time. They fade away in three or four days; but one crop follows another till the end of the third week, if the fever be not thrown off.
Treatment for Typhoid Fever with Non Poisonous Herbal Remedies.—Put the patient into a clean bed and have a fire in the room. To get the patient warm, give a strong infusion, or tea, made thus:
Wood Betony Herb, 1/2 oz.
Meadowsweet do., 1/2 oz.
Great Burnet do., 1/2 oz.
Agrimony do., 1/2 oz.
Vervain do., 1/2 oz.
Raspberry Leaves, 1/2 oz.
Cut them finely and mix together. Infuse 1 oz. in 3 half-pints of boiling water for 10 minutes. Strain, and give in haif-teacupful doses, hot, every 15 minutes until it is all taken. This will relieve the stomach of irritation, sickness, and vomiting, and stop delirium. A pinch of Composition Powder may be added to each dose. Then give a teaspoonful of Anti-spasmodic Tincture, or 3rd Preparation of Lobelia (see article on "Lobelia," p. 48), every 3 hours in three-parts of a teacupful of warm water. The patient's body should be sponged down every day with vinegar and warm water. The motions from the patient's bowels should be disinfected with strong vinegar, as well as the clothing of the patient which may have been fouled with the faeces. The bedding also should be kept scrupulously clean, and disinfected with strong vinegar and water: The room itself should be disinfected with the same liquid, which should be liberally sprinkled on the floor, and a jar of it kept under the bed.
If the patient's bowels should become constipated, use the Constipation Mixture as recommended in the article on Constipation, and as a drink give freely of warm water, warm milk, and occasionally of weak Composition Tea. About once a day 1 table-spoonful of cold water may be given, and as a diet:—
Comfrey Root, decorticated, in very fine powder, 1 oz,
Marshmallow Root, do., 1 oz.
Fine White Sugar, 2 oz.
Cinnamon Bark: As much as will lie on a shilling-piece.
All being well mixed, put 1 tablespoonful in a pint basin and pour on it a 1/2-pint of boiling water. Stir it well, and then add a 1/4-pint of hot milk; stir well again and give to the patient as a food. The water from boiled rice may also be given, or a food made as follows:—
Slippery Elm Bark, in very fine powder., 2 oz.
Marshmallow Root, do., 2 oz.
Cinnamon Bark, do., 1/4 oz.
Fine Lentil Flour, 8 oz.
Fine White Sugar, 8 oz.
Mix well, and put 1 large tablespoonful into a bowl; pour on it 1/2-pint of boiling water; stir well; add 1/2-pint of hot milk; stir well again and take as food.
Whatever is used as food should only be given at meal-times, and not between meals, as that should be the time for giving medicine.
If the above treatment be carried out fully, as it ought, there need be very little fear of death from typhoid; but on no account must there be given what are said to be nourishing and stimulating drinks, such as wines, ciders, and other intoxicants. Even beef tea must be used sparingly, and barley water not at all.Disinfectants.—
(1) Vinegar as above-mentioned.
(2) Eucalyptus Oil, 1 part in 2500 parts of water.
(3) Oil of Peppermint, 1 part in 25,000 parts of water.
(4) Oil of Cloves, 1 part in 5000 parts of water.
(5) Oil of Aniseed, 1 part in 20,000 parts of water.
Having these, there is no need for the use of minerals or poisonous disinfectants.
And, as with external disinfectants, so with internal. When we have, in the vegetable kingdom, such germ-destroying antiseptics as the Mints, &c, which are innocuous to the human blood corpuscles, why should we resort to such danger-fraught devices as disease products in the shape of vaccines and serums?
Common Plants and their Uses in Medicine was written by Richard Lawrence Hool, F.N.A.M.H., in 1922.