Stomach and Bowels.
Constipation and Piles:
What they are, and how to cure by the use of non-poisonous and non-drastic remedies, and without injections.
Constipation or costiveness is that condition in which the matter in the bowels does not pass in its natural form, or when there is less of the matter evacuated from them than usual. It is the general idea that persons should go to stool once a day. But this is not always the rule. In the treatment of Constipation we have always to inquire as to the general rule, or habit, of the person suffering with it. If it had been the rule or habit of the person affected to have a motion once a day and he has lost that condition, and it has become his habit to go once in two or three-days, then it will be the practitioner's object and purpose to restore that habit of once a day in order to bring the patient to his natural form. But if we find it has been the habit of the person to go only once in three days, or perhaps once a week, and still they retain their healthy condition, then it is not wise to interfere with that condition, as it is the person's natural habit. But if that condition is altered, and the person affected has to evacuate the bowels once a day, we must try to bring that condition to once in three days, or once a week, because that has been the natural condition; otherwise he will gradually sink and die.
The bowels move in waves (peristaltic action), so that matter contained in them does not pass through them in a straight line, one portion moving and another portion following till the action is completed from end to end. If the bowels become weakened by any means—such as the deficiency of the action of the liver, or an insufficient secretion of the bile, or of too much dryness of the mucous surface—the bowels will not act in their natural manner as they ought to do. The faeces in the bowels become dry and cannot pass along, and therefore cannot be expelled. Again, if the muscular walls become weakened or distended, the faeces are retained therein.
Now, in order to understand the bowels, we must note how they are constructed. The bowels are composed of three walls or coatings. First, we have the inner or mucous surface; then we have a second, or middle coating, composed of circular bands pr muscles which give stamina to the inner coating; then there is the outer coating of straight muscles of the bowels. These three coatings form what are called the muscular walls of the bowels. Besides this, overlapping them, is the peritoneum, which not only acts as a strengthener to them, but also as a protection. It not only laps round the muscles of the bowels, but lines them in front, and acts as a protection to them, like the pleura to the lungs. It also serves two other purposes. By means of its attachment to the backbone, or spinal column, it assists to keep the bowels in their right position; and about the centre of the small intestines, opposite the navel, at the back of the body, it forms itself into a fourfold membrane or gland, called the mesenteric gland. When we take food and it has passed into the stomach and been digested, it is passed to the small ends of the stomach and enters the pylorus, but only a portion at a time—that which has been digested—and is then passed through to the duodenum, where it becomes mixed with bile or gall from the gall bladder. If the bile and fluids are sufficient they keep the substance that has passed into them moist, and it will move along in its natural form. In the mucous surface of the bowels there are various glands formed, some of which are fine, blood vessels, some villi, and some secretive. Some of these vessels are perpendicular in position, others are horizontal, and others transverse. If the vessels become affected and fail to secrete, or to perform their natural functions, the faeces become dry and arrested in the bowels; but if they secrete their natural amount of fluid it passes through the small intestines to the cascal valve or beginning of the large intestines. After passing through the caecal valve into the large intestines, its movement along the colon becomes much slower than it was in the small intestines. In the mucous surface, of the large bowels there are situated a number of pouches or valves. If these become weakened through any cause we are liable to suffer with Constipation. It may be that, through weakness of the muscular walls of the bowels the waste cannot be propelled forward in the way it ought, and the consequence is that the pouches rnay become weakened through the weak action of the bowels, and thereby become congested.
In regard to the affection of the bowels in Constipation, the first part of the bowels to become affected is the sigmoid plexus; then it gradually accumulates in the descending colon until it reaches the pelvic bones in the loins, where pain is felt. The pain then leaves that portion and affects the centre of the transverse colon; then from that it affects the caecal valves at the beginning of the large intestines, where we also feel pain on the right side; and in many cases it is stated that we suffer from appendicitis when it is not so.
Now, as to the cause of Constipation or costiveness. It may be from taking colds, or from inflammations setting in; or through taking medicines such as salts, senna, cream of tartar, magnesia, carbonate of soda, tartaric acid, and many other drastic remedies. Also, when eating, we are liable to suffer with costiveness if we do not have sufficient fluid with the food we eat.
Treatment for Constipation and Piles with Non Poisonous Herbal Remedies:—
Bur Marigold (cut in pieces), 1 ¼ ozs.
Yarrow (cut in pieces), 1 ¼ ozs.
Lump Ginger (crushed), ½ oz.
Boil in 4 quarts of water down to 2 quarts, then strain it, and while hot add 3 lbs. of black Treacle, or the pure West Indian Molasses, if obtainable; stir up until well mixed. When cold it is ready for use. Dose, in ordinary cases: Half a teacupful three or four times a day, before meals. But in extraordinary cases, where they are racked with pain, and great costiveness has set in, put the patient to bed, and give three-quarters of a teacupful, hot, every fifteen minutes until he has taken a whole quart. Also, have a night commode and bucket ready for use, as it may within the space of about three hours evacuate the bowels, and may also cause sickness and vomiting. By that means you will not only relieve the stomach and small and large intestines, but also every part and particle of the tissues of the body—all the viscera and the lungs. The above remedy, after the bowels have been relieved, may be taken in quantities from a wineglassful to half a teacupful, before meals. If followed up it will not only cure acute or chronic constipation, however severe or long-standing it may have been, tbut will bring back the bowels to their normal condition so that they will move of their own accord without any opening medicines at all.
Now we want to see why, and how, this remedy will produce, or bring back, the above-named condition. In the first place, we have to find out what are the active therapeutic principles of the various ingredients used in compounding it, and also how they act on various parts of the human system. The principles of Yarrow are four in number, namely, resin, resinoid, alkaloid, and neutral, with an essential oil, and traces of sulphur. Its properties are astringent, diuretic, stimulant, alterative, deobstruent, laxative, cholagogue, depurative, and tonic. The extractive principles of the above properties are iron, soda, phosphorus, and nitrate of soda, an essential oil, and sulphur.
The active therapeutic principles of Bur Marigold are also four in number, namely, resin, resinoid, alkaloid, and neutral. The properties are slightly narcotic, sedative, diuretic, aperient, astringent, styptic, antiseptic, and diaphoretic. The extractive principles of the above properties; are iron, soda, phosphate of soda, phosphorus, and tannic acid.
Ginger: The active principles of Ginger are two, namely, resinoid and neutral. The properties are stimulant, carminative, and anti-flatulent. The extractive principles are an essential and fixed oil.
Black Treacle: The properties are aperient and nourishing.
In the first place, Yarrow possessing an alkaloid property, that property, when passed into the system, is carried through the circulation of the blood to the various parts of the kidneys, ureters, and bladder. So that when the kidneys and urinary apparatus become affected the various parts of these organs and cells, which are still living, select the various particles of the alkaloid that are essential to their well-being and give life and vigour to them, and by that means force away the old and worn-out particles so that new deposits can take their place; and if there be accumulations of calculous formations the alkaloid acts as a resolvent, and either breaks them up into fine particles so that they may be passed away, or dissolves them altogether, which makes it easier to void urine. The Neutral property is one which gives stimulus to the secretive system, and by means of the action the neutral principle has upon the secretive system it causes a greater quantity of fluid to be exuded from them. This causes diaphoresis, which means producing moisture on the skin. The resin principle, together with the iron and tannin, becomes an astringent, which is taken up by the various muscular portions of the body, gives tone and strength to them, causing them to have the proper elasticity and contractability. The resinoid principle is that which is taken up by the various parts of the secretive and mucous surface, and becomes alterative, that is, changing the parts they come in contact with from abnormal conditions to normal. It also causes a laxative condition of the muscular and digestive apparatus, by that means causing evacuation to take place from all parts of the system, by means of the bowels, the kidneys, the bladder, the lungs, and the pores of the skin. The resinoid principle is also cholagogue, which acts and is taken up by the liver, and by means of its activity on the part of the liver expels the morbid particles from It. It also possesses an essential oil, which gives stimulus to the secretive vessels and the pores of the skin. The sulphur which it contains is a sweetener of the blood.
The principles of Bur Marigold and their action are similar to these of Yarrow, but having, as well, slightly narcotic and sedative properties, which act on the nerves and the heart. It also has antiseptic and styptic properties, meaning that it is a disinfectant and deodoriser, and also stops the exuding of blood from any part of the system where the blood vessels have become ruptured. It also is a diaphoretic.
The Ginger has stimulant, carminative, and antiflatulant properties. It stimulates and equalises the circulation of the blood, assists in producing sweat, and expels wind from the stomach and bowels.
Black Treacle, being laxative, assists in evacuating the bowels, and also as food by feeding and nourishing when the system has become emaciated.
Now, having seen what the principles and the properties of the ingredients used in making up the above remedy are, and their miction on the various parts of the body, we know why it becomes so beneficial to use it.
We now come to that part of the subject which shows why it is not wise to give injections. Because, at first, we only empty the rectum or lower part of the large intestines. Then, before we can empty the other part of the large bowels, we have to keep on injecting again and again until we have introduced something like ten to twelve quarts of fluid before we can get the large bowels clear of their contents; and when we have done so we have not touched any of the effete material in the small intestines. And during the time we have been emptying the large bowels of the patient we have been putting him to great distress and bringing on a nervous terror. Besides, the bowels being congested with the waste therein, accumulated by reason of injecting more liquid substance into them, we not only weaken them but are liable to burst them. Therefore it is not wise to use the injection. Again, if the patient be in a serious condition, we not only put a nervous terror upon him, but are liable to produce collapse, and death in a very short time afterwards. Now note that after we have put the patient to all this trouble and anxiety, we have not touched—as above stated—the small intestines. Now we must understand that we cannot have obstruction or congestion of the large intestines without the small intestines becoming congested as well, and the reflex action from them being thrown back on the muscles and the cellular tissues throughout the whole body. Now, in giving an injection by way of the bowels to relieve the condition of them, we must bear in mind that there is little or no diffusion of the substance injected. On the other hand, this is absorbed or diffused through the muscular parts or tissues by going through the mouth. We don't get that relaxation of the whole tissues of the system that we ought to from the use of injections, but if we use a proper remedy like the one here given, that is, by way of the mouth, we not only clear out the stomach, the small intestines, and the large intestines, but also the muscular and cellular tissues of the body, and at the same time clean out the liver, the kidneys, the bladder, the lungs, and the blood. By that means we get a thorough cleaning out of the whole system, and bring the patient to a state of convalescence and eventually to health. Further, the remedy recommended not only clears the system of congested or effete matter, but if persevered with will cure acute or chronic conditions of costiveness or piles through strengthening the muscles of the bowels—thus enabling them to do their own work.
Some find the medicine as effectual without the Black Treacle, and it has certainly proved so in any form of haemorrhage—either from the head, mouth, throat, lungs, stomach, bowels, or any other organ of the human body. In cases of bleeding piles or uterine haemorrhage this remark also applies, which troubles are relieved no matter how severe they may be.
Disease of the Pylorus.
This disease is hardly ever thought of even by Allopaths or Herbalists, the general public rarely, if ever, hearing of such a thing. The pylorus—the small end of the stomach—is subject to disease, like all other portions or organs of the body. The chief form of disease is inflammation, which may be caused through accidents or blows received on the outside, or from corrosive substances being taken internally, which inflames the internal coatings of the pylorus and produces a thickening of them, and thus causes the passage between the stomach and bowels almost to close—indeed, sometimes to entirely close up.
When the pylorus becomes affected, and the passage narrowed, then griping pains follow round the chest, and flatulence. It also causes acidity of the stomach, sick headache, and bilious vomiting; accumulation of gas in bowels, causing pain until relieved. If the patient be placed on the back and the region over the pylorus felt with the fingers, a hard substance will be felt, which is an almost certain diagnosis of the affection. It is sometimes spoken of as liver affection or disease, but is really an affection of the pylorus. In such a case there is no liability to immediate death, but suffering, sometimes for years, ensues.
The remedies to be used in such cases are—an outward application over the region of complaint of the 3rd Preparation of Lobelia, or Anti-spasmodic Tincture (see article on "Lobelia," page 43), and over that Chickweed Ointment.
As an internal remedy take—
Bur Marigold, 1 ½ oz.
Yarrow, 1 ½ oz.
Crushed Ginger, ½ oz.
Simmer or boil the whole in 3 quarts of water down to 2 quarts; strain the liquor and, whilst hot, add 3 lbs. of Black Treacle; stir well, and give three-quarters of a teacupful every 15 minutes till 1 quart has been taken. Have a bucket or commode ready, as the above will cause, in a few hours, sickness and vomiting and an emptying of the bowels. The patient will perspire freely, and must be kept warm in bed until cooled. Then sponge the body down with vinegar and hot water in the proportion of 3 pints of warm water to 1 pint of vinegar. Keep the patient in bed, and feed with—
Lentil Flour (finely ground), 8 oz.
Fine White Sugar, 8 oz.
Marshmallow Root (in very fine powder), 2 oz.
Slippery Elm Bark (do.), 2 oz.
Cinnamon Bark (do.), 1 oz.
Mix together, then take out 1 tablespoonful, place in large bowl, pour on ½ pint of boiling water; stir well, then add the same quantity of hot milk (not boiling), and it will then be fit for use with any other food the patient desires to eat with it.
For Colic, Cramp, Gas
Cleansing Stomach and Bowels.
Equal parts of distilled dill water, distilled ginger water, and distilled aniseed water. A sure remedy for babies. Dose: A teaspoonful as required.
Worms in Children.
Oil or Fluid Extract of Male Fern,
Glycerine, In equal parts.
Put these in a small bottle and warm in order to get them to mix. Warm by holding the bottle to the fire or standing it in some warm water. Shake it until mixed properly. Give this to destroy the worms in doses as folloys:—
From 4 to 7 years of age—Six drops.
From 7 to 12 years of age—Twelve drops in a little jam.
Over 12 years—Full dose of 3 teaspoonsful in half a cupful of cold tea about 6 a.m.
No food should be taken after tea-time the previous evening. In the case of children over 12 years of age nearly half a pint of Diet Drink should be given after 8 a.m., made as follows:—
Senna Leaves, 2 ozs.
Mountain Flax, ½ oz.
One Good Lemon (sliced).
Pour on 2 pints of boiling water, stir and allow to stand covered for ½ an hour. Then strain and bottle. This is good for expelling the worms. Breakfast can be taken at 9 a.m.
Continue this treatment once a week for 3 or 4 weeks, by which time the worms should be all destroyed.
St. Vitus' Dance.
Ground Ivy (cut small), 1 oz.
Mistletoe (cut small), 2 ozs.
Skullcap, 1 oz.
Valerian, 1 oz.
Crushed Ginger, ½ oz.
Put all in pan with 4 quarts of cold water, and boil to 2 quarts. While hot, put in 2 lbs. of Black Treacle; strain. Give half a teacupful 4 times a day before meals.
Common Plants and their Uses in Medicine was written by Richard Lawrence Hool, F.N.A.M.H., in 1922.