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or perfectly curing it, if attempted at the first appearance of the premonitory symptoms, and as when cholera is present in a community, every person who has three or more passages from the bowels within twenty-four hours ought to be considered as attacked with cholera, and should act accordingly, so when a man has tubercles in his lungs to the extent of impairing their functions for a dozen inches, that is, when his lungs do not, with other symptoms, hold enough air by a dozen inches, he should consider himself as having Consumption, and should act accordingly and with the assurance that in four cases out of five, human life would be saved by it. And as thousands have died with cholera by hoping they did not have it, or denying they had it, although warned by the usual symptoms of its commencement, until its existence was so apparent to the commonest observer as to render a hope of cure impossible, so precisely is it in Consumption, people will not take warning of the symptoms in their own persons, which have in thousands of others terminated in certain death, but go on day after day without reason, hoping that the symptoms will go away of themselves, and steadily deny that they have the disease, until remedy is hopeless.
I have already said, that when Consumption has once fixed itself in the system, recovery is not probable; but if the disease is not fixed, and is only in its commencement, it may be with great certainty distinguished in its early stage, by the new means which I have advocated; and in very many instances averted; not so much by "taking things," as by letting them alone: not by confining the natural motion of the limbs by braces and supporters, but by allowing them the freest possible action : not by the application of Blisters and Plasters, which only interfere with the natural action of the skin, but by exciting and promoting that natural action: not by administering expectorants, which only weaken the system by hastening its drains, and producing nausea, but by regulating and controlling these drains, the expectoration being loosened by nature's means, when desirable. In consumption, I give nothing to purge, or which can have any continued weakening effect; I give no artificial stimulant, which requires to be increased in frequency or quantity, or loses its effect altogether, or at last requires so much as to injure the tone of the stomach by preventing it from deriving proper nourishment from the food, while the patient rapidly sinks into the grave after having given a glowing certificate, or told dozens of people what a wonderful effect the syrup was having in his case. This is the true history of all the "syrups," " cough mixtures," and " wild cherry balsams," sold in the shops for coughs, cold and consumption ; and without doubt the reader can easily recollect cases among his neighbors, such as I have detailed.
I give no medicine to increase the expectoration, because the lungs are already expectorated away too fast. I give no medicine to remove the cough or. smother it, for cough is the agent which nature sends to remove accumulations from the lungs, otherwise they would fill up and the patient would suffocate. I do not confine a patient in-doors, but keep him out as much as possible. I do not send them to a warm climate, if sent they must be, but to a colder and more bracing one—to a more condensed and purer atmosphere. I do not counsel them to leave the facilities and comforts and attention of home, to pine away in some distant country tavern, or boarding house, or fashionable hotel—these are not the places for a body worn away by disease, and wasted by long nights of incessant cough or drenching night sweats, cold and clammy as the grave; nor for a mind made timid by constant pain, and weakened by its own incessant and restless workings. If any man in the wide world needs them, it is the consumptive, who should have around him every comfort, every convenience, every facility which unbounded wealth or undying affection can procure. The light step, the soft whisper, the affectionate inquiry, the cheerful voice, the friendly smile, the tireless watching, and the sleepless eye—all these, and a thousand other nameless attentions, he needs, and needs them every day and every hour. To leave home for any length of time is advice which ought never to be given in a case of decided consumption; it is not applicable in any stage of actual consumptive disease, and an observant practitioner will never give it. Voyages at sea, and locations on the seashore or lake coasts, are unsuitable, pernicious, and deadly in their ultimate effects.
I wish it could be as deeply felt as it is strictly true, throughout this broad continent, in every mansion of its merchant princes, in every fisherman's hut and squatter's cabin, that the permanent arrest of consumptive disease in its latter stages and its effectual eradication when only in its first beginnings, is to be accomplished by one and the same system of means, and which no internal medicine hitherto known to man has ever yet been able singly to accomplish.
In the treatment of any case purely consumptive, two things only are needed, and they are needed always, and under all circumstances:
A greater consumption of pure, fresh, cool air.
A greater digestion of nutritious food.
A man must have more air for his lungs, and more flesh for his body. A consumptive is always short of breath and deficient in flesh. No medicine can ever give air to the lungs, nor can it impart nutriment to the system. It is the pure air which the lungs receive which purifies the blood, and it is plain, substantial food introduced into the stomach which gives nutriment and strength and flesh to the system. My practice, therefore, in simple consumptive disease is, to force the Jungs to consume a larger and larger quantity of pure, fresh, cool air every day, and to cause the digestive apparatus to derive from the food a greater and greater amount of nutriment; hence, as my patients are getting well, they walk faster, run farther without fatigue, eat more food, digest it better, and consequently increase in flesh, and while this is going on, the cough, in all curable cases, gradually and spontaneously disappears, without doing anything for it; it disappears because it is eradicated, and not because it is smothered up by balsams, drops, syrups, and all the long catalogue of life-destroying poisons, which are sold under the name of patent medicines, by the unsuspecting in their credulity, or by the unprincipled, in their wilful recklessness of human life.
One of the greatest difficulties in the successful treatment of Consumption is, that the stomach and bowels are deranged; the appetite may be moderately good, and the bowels for the most part regular, yet for all that, they are not in a condition sufficiently healthful to impart to the system the nutriment which the food contains, but which they are not able to eliminate; hence, the universal complaint, what I eat does not seem to strengthen me any; but this very condition is always and inevitably aggravated by every dose of patent medicine swallowed for coughs and the like; because every one of them, without any exception, as every respectable physician knows, and every honest, intelligent druggist will acknowledge, has more or less opium in some form or other, and this is impossible to be taken, even a single time, without having a tendency to make the liver torpid, to derange the stomach, and to constipate the bowels.
I do not wish it to be understood that I give no internal medicine under any circumstances, nor that I undervalue its remedial efficacy, but simply that it ought not to be taken except by the advice of an experienced physician, and not on the responsibility of the patient or some more ignorant adviser.
The best physicians in the land, with the experience and skill of a quarter of a century, but too often fail to conduct a case of common consumption of the lungs to a favorable and successful termination. I must say that any unprofessional man who could be tempted to tinker with his constitution, from any knowledge which he could gain from any source in a month or in a much longer period, when he would not be willing, without special instruction, to attempt the mending of an old shoe, such a man, to say the least of it, runs a fearful risk.
DISEASES OF THE THROAT.
I here confine my attention to the one disease called variously Chronic Laryngitis, Clergyman's Sore Throat; Throat-Ail. There are two forms of it: one, coming on in the course of a night, ending in restoration or death in a few days or hours sometimes, is called Acute Laryngitis. By this disease, then known little of, Washington