The Lungs, Their Diseases and their Causes.
How to Cure with Non-Poisonous Herbal Remedies.
The opening of the passage into the lungs is situated at the upper part of the neck and the root of the tongue. The openings are in a box-like cavity called the larynx. The larynx is attached to the windpipe, which is from four to five inches in length. The windpipe is composed of a thick gristly substance. It is also strengthened three-parts round by rings of a tough, bony nature, yet not bone. At the lower end of the windpipe two large branches are given off. These branches form the main bronchial tubes, one running into the centre lobe of the right lung. At the point of its entering the centre lobe it gives off two other branches, one running into the lower lobe, and the other running into the upper lobe of the right lung. After entering the lobes they give off large numbers of other branches, which get finer and finer until they end in fine, minute vessels called areola, or fine air cells called air sacs. The left lung, not being so large as the right one, has only two divisions or lobes. The bronchi running into the large lobe of the left lung gives off only one branch, which runs into the upper lobe of the left lung, and gives off branches similar to those in the right lung, until they also end in air cells.
The lungs are suspended in the chest by the attachment of the larynx at the upper part of the neck, and by means of an attachment of the pleura to the spinal column, at the back of them. The lungs on the outside are covered by a very tough membrane or thick skin, which is of a mottled grey colour on the outside. The inside of the lungs is composed of soft, spongy, muscular and cellular tissues. Inside the windpipe and bronchial tubes is a lining called the mucous membrane, on which are situated large quantities of mucous cells, which secrete mucus, which keeps the parts soft and moist, and acts as a lubricator. Besides these cells there are some millions of very fine short cilia, or fine hairs, on the mucous surface of the bronchial tubes, all of which point upwards, both in the larger and minor bronchial tubes. These hairs are in continual motion, and move in an upward direction. They act as sweepers out, collecting by their upward movement all the fine dust, effete and worn-out matter, and carrying it upwards till it reaches the larynx, causing us to cough and spit it out. The rings running round the minor bronchi do not run to the far end of them. There are short spaces of the minor bronchia that have no rings, but are composed of muscular tissues, which contract and expand in an upward direction, so that the accumulations of waste are carried up into the larger bronchi, where a process of sweeping out still goes on. The reason why the left lung is not so large as the right is because the heart takes up the space where the lobe should be. The office of the lungs is to take in air in the act of breathing. The air so taken in is composed of oxygen, nitrogen, and hydrogen, and in expulsion they throw out one, carbonic acid gas, together with waste, or worn-out particles, from all parts of the body. According to Dr. Skelton, we have something like 70 millions of fine bloodvessels and the same number of air cells and secretory vessels connected with the lungs. The chest is the hollow cavity formed by the framework of the twelve dorsal vertebrae of the backbone—the seven true ribs on each side, three false ribs on each side, the breast-bone (or sternum), and the diaphragm below. Within the cavity are situated the lungs and the heart, together with the pleura. The lungs are attached by means of the pleura (as is also the heart) to the upper surface of the diaphragm, which forms the floor of the chest; without this the lungs could not act. Of themselves the lungs are inert, and would be of no use without being attached to the diaphragm.
We breathe an average of 19 times per minute, which means that the diaphragm moves about 19 times per minute. The lungs are subservient to the diaphragm, and the heart is subservient to the lungs.
The diseases to which the lungs are subject are:—Bronchitis, asthma, inflammation, congestion, rupture of the tissues, tubercle, ulceration, and consumption.
Bronchitis is a disease which first affects the mucous surface, or inner lining, of the bronchial tubes. This may produce a great amount of secretive mucus, which ends in what is termed phlegm.
Asthma is a disease which affects the minor bronchial tubes caused through accumulation of foreign matter, and settled colds, in them. These cause a thickening and closing up of the air passages.
Inflammation is a disease of the lungs caused through colds, which lead to a drying up of the mucous secretion.
Congestion is that form of disease of the lungs by which the blood gets thickened in the blood cells of the lungs, and so cannot pass back through the natural outlets into the heart and other portions of the body.
Tuberculosis is a disease which generally affects the lungs, and may be caused through injury, colds, severe coughing, and foreign particles which may get into the tissues of the lungs, and thereby produce obstruction to their proper action.
Consumption is that form of disease which affects the lungs and all other portions of the body, caused through an excess of oxygen taken into the system, and insufficient carbonic acid gas generated, which causes a drying, or gradual burning up, of the fluids and tissues of the body. This leads to a gradual shrinkage and wasting away.
Ulceration, or holes in the lungs, may be produced by coughing, and straining, which produces rupture of the tissues of the lungs; also by means of accident—blows of any description, and inflammation.
Tuberculosis, like consumption, may affect not only the lungs, but all other portions of the body—the liver, the spleen, the adipose substance (fat), and afterwards the various muscles of the upper and lower extremities, and even the bones. The cause is sometimes from taking colds and coughing till the tissues become ruptured; (Tuberculosis is caused by a very contagious bacterium, Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Hool calls that Consumption. I'm not sure what this disease would be called today ... anyone want to tell me so that I can add that to this article? Thanks! -Henriette.) also by accumulation of dirt (that is, dust and other fine particles of sand and grit) that we take in, in the act of breathing. But the greatest cause of all, in the production of tuberculosis, is the administration of remedies given by the doctors, either allopathic or homoeopathic, for the alleviation and cure of other diseases: such remedies as mercury or any mercurial preparations, bismuth, bromides, antimony, and other earthy or mineral preparations. Also the administration of Aconite (Wolf's Bane), Arnica (Leopard's Bane), Belladonna, Foxglove, Cuckoo Pint, and a great many others having a corrosive or destructive nature. Seventy-five per cent, of the tuberculosis cases are produced as stated above, 15 per cent, are produced through accidents, and 10 per cent, through causes that can scarcely be avoided.
When the spongy tissues of the lungs become ruptured or torn, through coughing or straining, the waste of the parts surrounding the rupture becomes deposited in it, and unless removed quickly will keep on enlarging until, from the size of a small pin-head, it gets to the size of a walnut, when it will wear itself through and fall into the cavity of the lungs. When it does this it will leave the lungs with a large hole or cavity where it has fallen out; this cavity is called ulceration, and begins to exude pus and matter, which may be streaked with blood. The tubercle itself, when cut in two, will be found hard in substance and have an appearance of a yellowish, greenish cheesy colour. The same formations may take place through other forms of injury, such as accidents, or accumulations of dust or sandy grit (which we may have taken in during the act of breathing) settling in the air cells of the lungs.
In regard to the allopathic treatment for the alleviation or cure of other diseases, where mercurial preparations have been used.—The accumulation of very fine particles or globules of mercury get lodged in the tissues of the lungs, and thereby form obstruction in them, eventually producing tubercles and a breaking-down of all the lung tissues. If we cannot find a treatment which will remove this obstruction and clear out all pus or matter accumulations, and afterwards heal them up, death will take place.
In regard to the homoeopathic treatment.—The narcotics, sedatives, acrid and corrosive preparations they use for the alleviation of other diseases, or even of affections of the lungs themselves, so corrode and eat away the lung tissues that they also form ulcers, and the result is the same as in the case of mercurial treatment.
Treatment for Tuberculosis of the Lungs with Non-Poisonous Herbal Remedies:—
In treating the above disease, we must take into consideration the hold that the disease may have got, and the length of time the patient has suffered. If we find that tubercles have formed, and not fallen out through the lung tissue, then we must find a preparation of a solvent, soothing nature, without any corrosive, acrid, sedative, or narcotic properties, and we shall find that the solvent properties of the remedy will not only soften, but break up the cheesy particles of the tubercle, and by that means cause it to pass through its natural channels, away from the body—i.e., first by the lymphatic vessels and glands, then to the circulation of the blood, and from that, by means of the lungs, the kidneys, the bladder, and the pores of the skin. The properties of the remedy so soothe the parts affected that it allays all the irritation and inflammation which may have been set up in the parts affected. Besides the above, we must also find an agent that will clear away any pus or matter which may have accumulated. This means that we must find a remedy having pectoral and expectorant properties, which will cause the accumulation to keep in a solvent state and be carried into the bronchial tubes, and then through the windpipe and larynx, so that we may spit it out. At the same time, we must also find something of a healing nature, which will cause new deposits to take the place of the old, and eventually fill up and cause the part affected to become good and sound again. The healing process takes place by means of granulations by the blood corpuscles.
In case tubercles have formed in the tissues of the lungs, we must use solvent, soothing remedies, which will be found to be Marshmallow, Comfrey, Chickenweed, and Slippery Elm, taken in equal parts of 1 oz. each, and boiled in 4 quarts of water down to 2 quarts. Then strain. Half a teacupful to be given every 2 hours, either hot or cold. The above will be found to ease all irritation or inflammation which may have set in, as well as dissolve and break up the cheesy substance and cause it to pass through its natural channels. The natural channels are the lymphatic vessels and glands, the air cells, the bronchial tubes, the pores of the skin, the kidneys, the bladder, and the bowels. Besides giving these soothing, solvent remedies, we must also give expectorant and pectoral, as well as laxative and stimulant preparations, in order to cause the substance that may have dropped out from the lung tissues to be still further broken up, and the minor or small bronchial tubes to relax so that we can cough and spit out the obstruction. In addition to the above we must give something having astringent and healing properties, and which will cause the cavities from which the tubercles have fallen, to heal and become sound again. In order to do this we must take Black Horehound, Bur-Marigold, Hyssop, Lobelia Inflata, 1 oz. each; lump ginger, crushed, ½ oz. Boil in 4 quarts of water down to 2 quarts. Then strain, and it will be ready for use. To be taken in half-teacupful doses every 2 hours. (Give these two preparations in rotation, 2 hours between one dose and another, of the same kind, making hourly doses altogether.)
In all cases of inflammation of the lungs the above remedies will be found highly useful, and also on bleeding from the lungs from any cause. They will also be useful in congestion, bronchitis, either acute or chronic. But in cases of inflammation or congestion, massage or rubbing round the chest will be found highly useful. In using massage, hot water will be found very useful; and in rubbing, the Anti-spasmodic Tincture or 3rd Preparation of Lobelia (see article on "Lobelia," p. 48), or No. 6 and Chick-weed Ointment applied afterwards will be found highly useful, as it relaxes the contraction of the intercostail muscles of the chest.
The following recipe is from Dr. Skelton's "Family Medical Adviser," edition 1863, p. 216:—
Wood Sanicle, 1 oz.
Peruvian Bark, crude, 1 oz.
Horehound, 1 oz.
Liquorice Root, 1 oz.
Cayenne Pepper, ¼ teaspoonful
Composition Powder and Elecampane Root Powder(combined), ¾ oz.
Bruise the roots and barks, and boil in 3 quarts of water down to 2 quarts, then add the herbs and powder, and boil for 5 minutes more. Mix well, and strain. Add 1 lb. of lump sugar and 3 oz. of Gum Arabic. Take of the above mixture from 4 to 6 wineglassfuls daily, gradually increasing it after the first week or two. This is an excellent remedy, suitable in all cases of lung diseases and general weakness, and may be taken in place of the Bur-Marigold and Horehound mixture. I have used it extensively in my practice in all such cases as named above, with excellent results.
Hool's Lung Food.
Marshmallow Root, 2 oz.
Slippery Elm Bark, 2 oz.
Lentil Flour, 8 oz.
Cinnamon Bark, ½ oz.
All in very fine powder. Mix together, and take out one tablespoonful, place in a cup or small basin, and pour a quarter of a pint of boiling water on it. Stir well and then add the same quantity of hot milk and stir again. By keeping out sugar and cinnamon it can be made into bread or bicsuits.
"Tuberculosis Disease" is not Consumption—What is Consumption?
What, then, is "Consumption"?
Consumption is that form of disease which affects the whole of the muscles and tissues of the body, as well as all the digestive organs, the viscera, and the bowels; which causes depletion and gradual wasting away, and reduces the person suffering from it almost to a mere skeleton. There is a cold exudation of insensible perspiration, through the pores of the skin, which is clammy and sticky in its nature; great depression of the nervous system; alternation of hot and cold sensations, together with a rose flush on the cheeks. At times there is great debility or lassitude, and then the person suffering requires rest. At other times, they feel almost capable of doing anything. The pulse is generally feeble, but regular. The temperature of the body generally seems to be about normal, or, if not, only a little over the normal condition. The breathing may be a little over the average—that is, from about 19 to 23 times per minute—and the pulsations may run up to 90. Through the gradual shrinkage of the various parts of the body, there is generated in the system too little carbon; and too much oxygen is therefore taken in for the carbon to use up. This causes a drying-up of the tissues and fluids of the body. When we find a person showing the above symptoms, we may know that it is a genuine case of consumption or "decline." There is very little cough, and no tubercles are formed in any portion of the body. There may be sometimes fit of coughing, which may be caused by the dryness of the mucous surfaces of the bronchial tubes and tissues of the lungs. The sputa we expectorate may be streaked with blood through rupture of fine blood vessels.
The Causes of decline are as follows:—Seated colds, narcotic and sedative medicines, worms, amenorrhoea, menorrhagia, spermatozoa, or anything which causes depletion of the system. (Consumption is tuberculosis, and caused by the tuberculosis bacterium. -Henriette.)
Colds produce decline through becoming seated in the mucous surfaces and producing what is known as chronic catarrh of those parts.
Narcotics produce decline through causing a depletion of the nervous system and the nerve substance throughout the whole body.
Sedatives produce decline through their action on the heart and circulatory system.
Amenorrhoea is not a disease of itself, but is brought on through the system being depleted, and so a deficiency of fluids, which causes a retention of that which should pass away monthly. Therefore, in all states of decline there is generally a stoppage of the monthly discharge, the system being so run down that it is not able to produce them. There is a retention of the bad, morbid matter, as well as the good, and the system is thus further depleted to that extent, and so the shrinkage still goes on.
Menorrhagia is that state of depletion which brings on excessive monthly discharges, so that both the good and the bad substances are discharged, thereby bringing on great depression and decline.
Spermatozoa is another cause of decline—in males especially, as there are excessive discharges of seminal fluids, particularly in young persons, from 18 to 24 years of age. The great discharges of seminal fluids cause decline through the waste produced on the nervous substance and blood of the body, as it takes a matter of one quart of blood to produce one ounce of seminal fluid.
Leucorrhoea, or Whites, in females is similar to spermatozoa in males, and affects the system in the same manner.
Worms, especially tape-worms, are a cause of decline, as they absorb nearly all the nutriment of the food in the process of digestion, by that means causing a gradual shrinkage and reducing the body almost to a skeleton; and especially so in children thousands of whom, through the ravages of worms, are brought to a state of decline and ultimate decease.
Treatment for Consumption with Non-Poisonous Herbal Remedies.—In treating a case of decline or consumption, we must first try and find out the cause. If we find that the cause of decline is produced through catarrh or seated colds, then we must find a treatment to remove that catarrh or cold. The treatment in such cases may be as follows:—
Compound Lobelia Pills, one before and one after each meal. For drink during the meal, instead of tea or coffee, make the following food:—
Slippery Elm Bark, in very fine powder, 1 oz.
Marshmallow Root, ditto, 1 oz.
Lentil Flour, 2 oz.
Fine White Sugar, ½ lb.
Mix all together. Put 1 tablespoonful into a cup. Fill it half full with boiling water. Stir until it is well mixed. Then add ¼ pint (5 oz.) of milk to it. (This can also be made into bread by keeping out the sugar.) You may also with advantage add one or two pinches of Composition Powder to each half-pint of liquor. This, by continual use for a few months, will remove the catarrh or seated cold, and restore the patient to health and strength.
If we find the cause of decline is from amenorrhoea, then we must treat for that disease, and in addition to the above- mentioned remedies we must get—
Black Horehound, 1 oz.
Motherwort, 1 oz.
Skullcap (English, if possible; if not, American will do), 1 oz.
Lump Ginger, crushed, ½ oz.
Boil these in 3 quarts of water down to 2 quarts, and give half a teacupful before each meal.
If we find the cause of decline is through menorrhagia, then we must find a treatment that will restore the discharge to its-natural form. To do this, we must take—
Bur-Marigold, 1 oz.
Yarrow, 1 oz.
Cranesbill, 1 oz.
Black Horehound, 1 oz.
Lump Ginger, crushed, ½ oz.
Boil these in 4 quarts of water down to 2 quarts. Then sieve, and when cold it will be fit for use. Take half a teacupful before each meal, and one Cayenne Pill after each meal.
The above remedy will be found, in the course of two or three days, to have stopped the excessive discharge, but the treatment must still be continued, together with the food recommended, until the patient is restored to health and strength. If it be found that the patient suffers with constipation, give the Constipation Mixture, half a teacupful, warm, every night and morning.
In case decline be caused through Spermatozoa, then the same restorative remedies as recommended above should be used.
If the cause of decline be found to be brought on by Leucorrhoea, or Whites, in females, the above treatment will also be found useful.
If it be found that the cause of decline is through worms, then we must put the patient under a regular course of treatment for worms, which will perhaps be for about one month. First get the worms from the system by giving 3 drams of a mixture of equal parts of Oil or Fluid Extract of Male Fern and Glycerine on a warmed spoon about 6 o'clock on a Sunday morning. Care should be taken, to thoroughly mix these articles, and this can best be done by warming them both in a small bottle, shaking it frequently. Two hours after taking this mixture give the patient nearly half a pint of Diet Drink, made as follows:—
Pour 2 pints of boiling water on 2 ozs. Senna Leaves, ½ oz. Mountain Flax, and 1 good Lemon (sliced). Stir and allow to stand covered for ½ an hour. Then strain and bottle.
No food to be taken before these. If the first preparation be taken at 6 a.m., and the other at 8 a.m., the patient may get breakfast at 9 a.m., as the treatment will have gone through and destroyed the worms by 10 a.m. Be it noted that there is no need to do any fasting from food, except from after tea-time the night before, because if you fast for any longer time than this you are doing more harm than good. Besides giving the two preparations named above, give either a blood mixture or a restorative preparation, such as is named in Menorrhagia, half-teacupful doses before each meal during the week; if the above treatment be followed up weekly for three or four weeks the patient will not only be cured of the worms, but also restored to health, and may never be affected again with them.
In case the cause of decline is found to have been brought on by either narcotics, sedatives, or corrosive substances, we must stop using such preparations and give the food recommended in the beginning of this article, very freely, together with the Bur-Marigold and Black Horehound preparation recommended in Menorrhagia. The food is both soothing and nourishing, and the preparation restorative. So, one will soothe and allay the inflammation of the parts that have been affected hy the narcotics, sedatives, and corrosives, and the preparation will heal and strengthen.
Common Plants and their Uses in Medicine was written by Richard Lawrence Hool, F.N.A.M.H., in 1922.