The Treatment of Diphtheria by White Clay.
[Translated for Ellingwood's Therapeutist by Dr. Isenberg, of Hamburg.]
After successfully treating inflammation of the intestinal canal with bolus alba (white clay) Prof. Dr. Stumpf recently tried the remedy in 15 cases of diphtheria of the throat. He took four ounces of fine white clay to eight ounces of water. The patient was given one teaspoonful to one-half dessertspoonful every five minutes or oftener, after the mixture has been well shaken each time. The result depends on the frequent contact of the clay with the inflamed parts.
"After a very short time the bad odor disappears from the mouth, after two or three hours the fever and frequency of pulse begin to decrease slowly, at the same time the glandular swelling recedes, and often with surprising rapidity. Corresponding with this decrease of the disease symptoms, the growth of the membranes is stopped; after about ten hours the diphtheric exudate breaks apart in several places, splits, and between the islands of the membrane, the mucous membrane of the throat, which appears peculiarly glossy and intensely red, comes into view. After a treatment of only 36 to 48 hours, if it is not interrupted prematurely, a complete cure is observed."
Prof. Stumpf treated 15 patients from one and one-half to 11 years old with the clay, and used nothing else. All of them were pure cases of diphtheria and showed rather severe throat symptoms; in the majority there was very strong foetor exore —considerable swelling of the submaxillary and retromaxillary glands with very severe general symptoms. All of them were cured. In one case, that of a girl 10 years old, who was severely infected, a diphtheria paralysis (myopia, throaty speech, paralytic gait, etc.) developed after 17 days; but this complication disappeared in 9, remarkably short time without any treatment.
Another physician, Dr. Kreutz, tried the white clay in a very severe case, a boy six years old, after he had given him without success a serum injection about 10 hours before. The boy died from heart failure.—Münchener Medicinische Wochenschrift, 1908, page 1181.
Ellingwood's Therapeutist, Vol. 2, 1908, was edited by Finley Ellingwood M.D.