J. L. WOLFE, M. D , CEDAR FALLS, IA.
The changeable weather of the past month, and the few unsettled days of the present month, should remind us of the necessity of guarding against the usual train of bronchial, lung and throat disorders, as the changing from cold to warm weather in the spring has less deleterious results than the changing from warm to cold in the fall.
In acute choryza gelsemium is the indicated remedy. It is usually given in full doses, and in severe cases it may be given until its characteristic effects are induced. Cimicifuga may be given in conjunction with it, if the cold is general and there is muscular aching and soreness.
A superb remedy for coryza in its early stage, is the salicylate of sodium in fifteen or twenty grain doses, repeated two or three times at intervals of two hours. Its action is specific, if the frontal and supraorbital pain is well marked with extreme fullness of the head.
Ten to twelve drops of the tincture of the chloride of iron well diluted, given every two hours in many cases of sudden cold, especially in persons who have been exposed to cold and dampness, will work very promptly and satisfactorily. The inhalation of camphor gum is excellent for children. Euphrasia for infants, is a specific remedy also.
Many children in furnace-heated houses, will have a hoarse bronchial cough with the first cold weather. With many it closely resembles the hoarse ringing cough of croup. Bryonia is the indicated remedy, if the cough is continued until fever is present; but if there is no fever, no remedy will be more effectual than two or three doses of specific ipecac. If given at once, it should abort most of the cases in a few hours. The sudden change of temperature with the dry irritating heat of a furnace and poor ventilation, will cause these coughs to recur during the winter in some families, all the young children being effected.
With all the suggested improvements in the treatment of bronchitis and pneumonia, in the past few years, nothing has given better results than the methods of the Eclectic school followed for the past many years. With all of our physicians who are not constantly experimenting with some new remedy, the mortality is less than two per cent, in marked contrast to the official hospital reports of from twenty-five to forty per cent. The method is remarkably successful with children. The chest is covered with a poultice of meal, or a hot compress for the first twenty-four hours, or in children the larded cloth with compound lobelia powder upon the chest, in all cases to be replaced with a covering of warm cotton or a cotton jacket. In every case, the air of the room should be kept full of moisture. For internal use in the first stage, we have aconite and belladonna in one prescription, alternated with bryonia and ipecac in another prescription; the doses are small, and are given every half hour with infants, and every hour with adults. The results are marvelous. After the first stage is past and resolution is progressing, we give tonics as indicated. Digitalis or cactus is indicated in feeble hearts; hyoscyamus for restlessness and delirium, ergot in passive congestion, and stimulants in the first stage of convalescence.
With this course carried out properly, violent measures are never indicated. Bleeding is barbarous and unwarranted, and a cold bath or cold to the chest are absolutely criminal, whoever advocates them to the contrary notwithstanding.
When the pulse is large, full and hard in the first stage, a few full doses of veratrum will sometimes work wonders.
Ellingwood's Therapeutist, Vol. 2, 1908, was edited by Finley Ellingwood M.D.