Affections of the Respiratory System

Affections of the Respiratory System

With the first “snuffles” (cold) or indigestion of infancy there begins a series of crises that follow one upon another at more or less regular intervals. As enervating habits are continued and nerve-energy is more and more lowered and the toxemia becomes greater, more mucous surface is required through which to excrete the toxemia. Inflammation develops in more and more parts of the body.
At first indigestion and diarrhea may be sufficient to control the mounting toxemia. But as the toxic saturation progresses the respiratory organs will be forced to assist in the work of elimination. The catarrh, manifesting first as coryza, or gastritis, or diarrhea, extends to the throat, nose, sinuses, ears and lower respiratory organs.



Definition: This is nose-bleeding.

Etiology: When not due to a blow on the nose, nose bleeding is due to an excess of blood in the nose (hyperemia), or to nasal catarrh, or to high blood pressure, dysemia, anemia, uremia, fibrin deficiency in the blood, etc.
Young people who have nasal catarrh with irritation pick at the nose and scratch the nasal membrane with their finger nails. In time ulceration develops often causing necrosis of a blood vessel and profuse bleeding.
Nose bleeding often acts as a safety valve in apopletic subjects. The bleeding relieves some of the blood pressure and lessens the danger of a cerebral hemorrhage.

Care of the Patient: See Rhinitis and High Blood Pressure.


Definition: This is an acute, usually recurrent, and distinctly seasonal inflammation of the nasal mucous membrane sometimes extending to the conjunctiva of the eye, and the membranes of the pharynx, bronchial tubes and Eustachian tubes.

Symptoms: While defined as an acute inflammation which is subject to recurrent and seasonal acute exacerbations, the catarrh is continuous but is peculiarly subject to, pronounced increase in severity of symptoms in the months of May, June, July and August. In the South it may last all the year. Nasal obstruction with rhinorrhea and much sneezing are accompanied by congestion of the conjunctive, watering of the eyes, itching of the eyelids, nose and palate. There is headache and lassitude and, occasionally, paroxysms of asthma. It may be described as a severe cold running on day after day, with no let-up, and often growing worse, for the longer it persists in the acute stage, the more sensitive the mucous membrane becomes.

Etiology: Hay fever, being seasonal, develops largely in the spring (rose-cold) and in the autumn (autumnal catarrh) and is said to be excited or evoked by inhaling the pollens of certain plants and grasses — ragweed, goldenrod, cedar, timothy grass, etc. The condition of hypersensitiveness to the toxalbumin of pollen is called anaphylaxis or allergy. Since, however, allergy does not cause itself this theory of cause does not go deep enough. It fails to account for the local hypersensitiveness to normal elements of man’s natural environment.
Although it is true that dust, pollen, emanations from horses, cats, dogs, birds, etc., and even cold air, will drive hay-fever sufferers into intolerable suffering, this does not prove them to be causes of hay fever. Anything that irritates a sensitive mucous membrane occasions a rush of blood to the point of irritation and the pouring out of an exudation to flush away the irritant.
Within recent years enterprising doctors have discovered that some hay fever subjects are allergic to their sweet-hearts and suffer an exacerbation (aggravation) of symptoms every time they visit their lovers. In a few instances the source of irritation was found in the lip-stick, rouge, and face powder, or even in the perfume, but in other instances emanations from the lover’s hair were blamed.
The mistake has been made of considering normal elements in man’s environment — pollen, and emanations from animals — as causes of hay fever; whereas, the true cause, the basic cause, is the cause of the sensitization of membranes which normally are not sensitive to pollens, etc.
Hay fever is simply a peculiar type of chronic catarrh, which only a small percentage of catarrhal subjects develop. Two people have catarrh to the same extent; one develops hay fever, the other does not. The sensitive individual is neurotic, the other is not. Hay fever is chronic catarrh in a neurotic subject.
Only neurotic individuals — those subject to nervous diseases —will develop the individualizing sensitization that distinguishes hay fever from ordinary catarrh. The non-neurotic sufferer from catarrh will be influenced little or none by the inhalation of dust, pollen, smoke, pungent odors, or cold air. “Hot dogs” are the only dogs of which I know that may help to cause hay fever.
Hay fever rests on a basis of enervation and toxemia. The hay fever sufferer is made highly toxic by his enervating habits which inhibit full elimination of normal body waste. The subject builds his disease daily by keeping his stomach deranged with his meats, potatoes, breads, pies, cakes, pastries, butter, breakfast foods, and even with his luscious fruits covered with cream and sugar. These things over-stimulate him and produce a toxic state of his blood which further adds to his enervation and produces nervousness and sensitiveness as well as catarrh.

Prognosis: Complete recovery may be expected in six weeks or less in the vast majority of cases. A few cases persist longer than this time.

Care of the Patient: Running away from the external sources of irritation is merely a palliative measure. Going to dustless, pollenless, ragweedless, catless, horseless, chickenless, gooseless, sweatheartless and senseless resorts does not correct the underlying constitutional perversion — toxemia and its resulting catarrh. Hoping for the hurried coming of the old charlatan, practicing without a license, Jack Frost, to put an end to pollens, wastes a lot of valuable time and causes the sufferer to endure a lot of misery. Searing the nose, wearing air-filters, staying all summer long in air-conditioned rooms, going on sea voyages, etc., do not remove cause. Most of these palliatives are for the well-to-do only.
A fast for the removal of toxemia will end the catarrh in a very short time and remove all sensitiveness to pollen, dust, sweetheart, etc. Rest for the nervous system and a healthful mode of living will build up a high degree of health and prevent all future recurrence of hay fever. Following the elimination of toxemia, restoration of normal nerve energy and correction of the mode of living, the evolution into good health is sure and rapid.


Definition: This is inflammation of the nasal mucous membrane. Acute rhinitis is known as coryza, or colds; chronic rhinitis is known as chronic nasal catarrh. Catarrh is inflammation of a mucous membrane with hypersecretion of mucus.

Symptoms: Three varieties are classified as follow:

Simple Chronic Rhinitis: There are a mucoid or mucopurulent discharge from the nose, nasal obstruction from swelling or thickening of the mucosa or from inspissated secretion, mouth breathing, a nasal intonation of the voice and impairment of the sense of smell. The membrane of the nose is congested, swollen and highly irritable.

Hypertrophic Rhinitis: There is usually a secretion of thick mucus, the mucous membrane is red and the cavities are more or Less occluded from thickening (overgrowth) of the tissues covering the turbinated bones and the lymph-adenoid tissue in the nasopharynx is hypertrophied — adenoids. In advanced cases exostoses (bony growths) from the bones of the nose are seen.

Atrophic Rhinitis (ozena): This form is seen most often in young adults and more often in females than in males. The lining membrane of the nose is pale, dry and glazed. Adherent scabs are usually present. The nasal chambers are large, the secretion is very abundant, thick, and of a yellowish or greenish color. An extremely offensive odor, probably due to decomposition of retained secretions, is characteristic of this stage. Necrosis of the bones of the nose and sinking of the bones of the nose are seen in advanced cases.

Complications: Symptoms of catarrh of the neighboring chambers are commonly present. Dryness of the throat and hawking from pharyngitis, deafness from catarrh of the middle ear, watering of the eyes from catarrhal occlusion of the tear ducts, and dull frontal headache from sinusitis, are the most common of these symptoms.

Polyps (polypus): This is a smooth growth from a mucous surface, result of a local inflammatory hyperplasia (overgrowth), and is supported by a stem.

Etiology: Catarrh of the nose is one of the earliest manifestations of mucous membrane irritation; beginning in infancy with continuous and progressive changes in. the mucous membrane, it usually lasts throughout life. Enervation and excessive food intake are basic causes. Toxemia and indigestion are always precedent. Catarrh or fermentation in the stomach is always present though there are no digestive symptoms. Excesses of starch, sugars, fats and milk are especially likely to build catarrh. Men have more catarrh than women because they eat more, wear more clothing and dissipate more. Men enervate themselves more and have more toxemia.

Prognosis: Complete recovery in all forms may be expected upon removal of the cause. Polyps are readily absorbed by fasting and do not recur if the causes of catarrh are avoided.

Care of the Patient: This should be obvious. Stop all enervating practices, secure sufficient rest for nervous recuperation, fast long enough to eliminate toxemia and restore normal secretions and follow a healthful mode of living thereafter. Only by rigid adherence to this program can complete recovery be achieved. Only by right living can recurrence be prevented. Polyps will be absorbed during the fast and, if future catarrh is avoided, will not recur. The thickened membranes of the nasal passages will return to their normal thickness and the obstruction to breathing these cause will end. In atrophic rhinitis not all the wasted structures can be rebuilt.


Definition: This is an acute or chronic catarrhal inflammation of the mucous membranes lining the nasal sinuses. The sinuses, or accessory air chambers, are the hollow interiors of the bones of the face. In the lower forehead just above the roof of the nose, are located the frontal sinuses, along the roof of the nostrils are the ethmoid sinuses; opening at the rear are the sphenoid sinuses; while the antrums open on the sides. All of these sinuses, together with the nose, form a series of communicating air chambers and are all lined with mucous membrane. The membranes of the sinuses are continuous with the Schneiderian membrane of the nose.

Symptoms: In sinusitis there is the same formation of mucus, the same thickening of the lining of the membrane, and the same formation of polyps, that are seen in chronic catarrh of the nose. If the catarrh is in the frontal sinuses there will be a continuous discharge from the nose; if in the sphenoid sinus the mucus trickles down into the throat. In all cases the condition is very annoying, often painful and, as now cared for, apparently hopeless. The sinuses do not drain as well as the nose, so that the mucus tends to remain longer in them and to decompose. Sometimes they actually become obstructed so that all drainage is stopped. Pains, headaches, and other annoying symptoms, result.

Etiology: Sinusitis develops only after frequent toxic crisis, in the form of colds, have developed and the catarrhal condition has spread into more and more of the body’s mucous surfaces. It rests on a basis of enervation and toxemia and gastro-intestinal catarrh. Acute sinusitis is often seen in colds as a part of the cold; chronic sinusitis is often associated with chronic catarrh of the nose and throat and is merely part of the same condition. It frequently accompanies hay fever and asthma, sometimes developing in advance of these troubles, sometimes developing subsequent to their appearance, but in all cases being merely part of the catarrhal condition present in the eyes, nose, throat and deeper respiratory structures.
It is nothing uncommon to find patients who suffer with sinus troubles to also have gastritis, or colitis, or metritis, or cystitis. Indeed sinusitis almost never exists alone; there is almost certain to be catarrhal conditions elsewhere. By this we do not intend to convey the impression that the sinusitis causes the colitis or the metritis, or vice versa; but, rather, that all of these local conditions are but successive and concomitant developments out of a common or systemic condition. They are all caused by the same thing — they do not cause each other.

Prognosis: Recovery is possible in all cases if causes are removed. Rapid recovery is the rule under Hygienic care.

Care of the Patient: Sinus troubles are better or worse as the general condition improves or retrogresses and as living habits vary, but they are never recovered from until their causes are removed or corrected.
Experience and skill are required to ferret out and correct or remove all, of the remote causes for these are legion. To correct a few causes and leave the others in operation will not suffice to remedy the condition. The removal of the immediate cause is accomplished by a cleansing and recuperating plan that only an experienced Hygienist can fit to the needs of each case.
The amount of mucus that accumulates in severe cases is great. A highly congested antrum may give the appearance in the X-ray of pus accumulation and the shadow will be interpreted as an abscess. A few days without food will result in ideal recovery in such cases, whereas cutting into the antrum will produce suppuration of the antrum.
Fasting, rest, sunbathing, diet, etc., should be employed as in any other catarrhal affection. The fast should last until the catarrh of the nose and sinuses is cleared up, unless otherwise contraindicated. Starches, sugar, milk and fats are not well tolerated in catarrhal conditions and should be fed sparingly after the fast.



Cancer of the larynx is incurable. See cancer.


Definition: Edema of the glottis with inflammation — a rare but serious affection.

Symptoms: Difficult breathing which gradually increases in intensity, strikes fear into the patient and this increases the trouble.

Etiology: It is seen in scarlet fever, diphtheria and typhoid fever that is complicated by kidney impairment and albumen in the urine. It is, therefore, another, outgrowth of toxemia.

Prognosis: There is always danger of death from suffocation until the edema has begun to recede. Proper care should save practically all cases.

Care of the Patient: It is essential to stop all food at once, if this has not already been done. If the edema becomes great enough that suffocation is threatened, ice should be applied to the throat. If this fails, tracheotomy or intubation will be necessary to save life.


Definition: This is inflammation of the larynx and may be either acute or chronic.

Symptoms: Acute. This may develop with or following a cold; the first manifestation is usually a tickling sensation in the larynx followed by coughing. If the irritation and inflammation are severe there may be loss of voice. The patient will talk in a whisper or in a husky voice. Pain in the throat is increased by speaking coughing, or swallowing. There is slight fever and in children there may be paroxysms of croupy cough and dyspnea which result from spasms of the vocal chords. Expectoration is at first scanty and later mucopurulent. Where there is much edema dyspnea becomes pronounced.

Chronic: Moderate hoarseness, loss of voice after continued speaking, slight cough, and scanty expectoration of grayish mucus tinged with dust or other impurities are the chief symptoms.

Etiology: This is an acute catarrh, a cold, and has the same causes as a cold or other acute catarrh. . Over use of the voice in speaking or singing may help to produce it. It sometimes results from accidental poisoning, and from foreign bodies lodged in the air passages.
Chronic laryngitis may follow repeated acute crises, or may develop gradually from smoking, Indigestion, overuse of the voice, or inhalation of dust and vapors.

Prognosis: This is good in both acute and chronic cases. The acute form lasts four to ten days; the chronic form requires much longer to recover.

Care of the Patient: See Coryza and Bronchitis.


Definition: This is a sudden laryngeal spasm with crowing inspiration (hence, the term “crowing disease”) seen in children.

Symptoms: The paroxysms resemble those of spasmodic croup, but are accompanied by a peculiar crowing inspiration, and a lack of catarrhal symptoms, such as hoarseness and cough. It is a spasmodic affection of the windpipe (trachea) which closes the glottis and threatens suffocation. The paroxysms occur at irregular intervals and last but a few seconds, though they may recur frequently. During these periods the patient struggles for breath and seems to be actually suffocating or strangling. In a few cases the struggling terminates in general convulsion. If crying or coughing occurs the paroxysm is ended.
Etiology: This is a pure neurosis and is often associated with rickets. The paroxysms are brought on by emotions, indigestion, or other irritating and exciting influences. Acid gases eructating from fermenting food in the stomach give rise to much laryngeal irritation.

Prognosis: Fatal cases are rare. Recovery may be expected in till cases that are properly cared for.

Care of the Patient: Rest, quiet and warmth are all that are required during the paroxysm. The real care of these children is to correct their diet and general hygiene and get rid of the rickets. (see rickets). The stomach needs attention, the food needs to be changed as to quantity, kind and combinations. The emotional life of the child should be adjusted.


Definition: This is a spasm of the vocal chords excited by catarrh. If the larynx and swelling of its mucous lining. It is a common malady of early childhood.
Formerly croup was divided into membranous and non-membranous or simple croup. Dr. Trall thought the two croups differed only in degree and said “in the former case the exudation which forms on the mucous lining of the wind pipe (trachea) concretes into a membranous covering, and in the latter case, the excreted matter is expectorated without consolidation.”
The differences in the behavior of the two exudates show a big difference in their characters, and point to differences in their causes. Simple croup is of a catarrhal nature and results from carbohydrate plethora; membranous croup is of a serous nature and is the result of protein poisoning.

Symptoms: Croup is a very alarming condition, but not serious. To be awakened about midnight from a sound sleep and find your child, whom you had put to bed apparently in the best of health, struggling for its breath, with shrill wheezy Inspirations, perhaps blue in the face, and coughing almost constantly, is enough to frighten any parent. It does not matter how frequently one sees croup, it never falls to produce a feeling of apprehension and terror. However, the, condition soon passes off, the child goes to sleep, and by morning seems as well as ever, giving one the impression that the whole experience was a, horrible nightmare.
Usually there is a little hoarseness and cough during the day, then, at night the child is awakened by a severe paroxysm of suffocative cough. The paroxysm usually comes on about midnight and manifests itself by a sharp, dry, hoarse, barking cough which is associated with evidences of dyspnea — anxious face, dilated nostrils, etc. In severe cases it is difficult for the child to breathe, the child making an apparently superhuman struggle for breath. During the paroxysm the skin is hot and the pulse is tense and rapid.

Etiology: Croup is seen largely in winter. Scrofulous and plethoric children are most subject to it. The fattest children are the ones who have the croup most. Many children have it every winter. But it is not due to cold, or exposure, or to wet feet and similar bugaboos. Croup is always the result of wrong feeding and bad hygiene. Children who are prone to have croup frequently are overfed on bread, potatoes, beans, cereals, sugar, syrup, jellies, jams, cakes, pies, candies, milk, greasy mixtures, fried foods, etc., and are housed in poorly ventilated homes. An overloaded stomach almost always precedes a paroxysm or croup. Breathing the hot, dry air from stove or furnace, tends to produce the condition. Many cases would never occur if the bed rooms were properly ventilated and stoves kept out of them.

Prognosis: This is always good.

Care of the Patient: There is no care which can do any good during a paroxysm except that of giving the child fresh air. Rot baths or hot cloths applied to the chest are the least harmful of the palliative measures in use, but even these are not necessary and are not curative.
The paroxysms last but a few minutes and the real treatment should consist in a reordering of the living habits and the surroundings of the child so that there will be no subsequent paroxysms. Recurring affections are to be “treated” during the intervals rather than during the recurrences.
All food should be stopped at once and nothing but water given for three full days. This is especially important since an occasional case of croup, which turns out to be the early stage of a fatal diphtheria, may be prevented from reaching a fatal stage by withholding food at once.
When the diet is changed and the home ventilated, croup ceases not to recur again. Children should not be permitted to, overload their stomachs at night, nor at any other time, for that matter. If there is a stove in the room a pan of water should be placed on it to keep the air in the room moist.

Membranous croup. (Croupous laryngitis; true croup; pseudo-membranous laryngitis). See Laryngeal Diphtheria.


Chronic laryngitis said to be due to “syphilitic infection” presents the usual symptoms of chronic laryngitis plus, perhaps, mucous patches in the mouth, more or less skin eruptions, and, perhaps a laryngeal ulcer. If the reader can abandon his fear of “syphilis” this condition should be cared for as for any other chronic catarrhal condition. Weger says “in the case of syphilitic laryngitis complete cures have been obtained without specific remedies.”


In this condition there are the usual symptoms of chronic laryngitis plus the constitutional symptoms of tuberculosis. It sometimes develops without there being tuberculosis in the other organs of the body, but most frequently it is an extension of pulmonary tuberculosis. The patient should be cared for as described under tuberculosis.



Definition: This is defined as an expiratory dyspnea that appears paroxysmally or intermittently, with wheezing, cough and a sense of constriction, due to spasmodic contractions of the bronchi and a swelling of the bronchial mucous membrane.

Symptoms: Asthma is preceded by chronic bronchitis and often by hay fever and sinus affections. The paroxysms may be preceded by such premonitory symptoms as oppression of the chest, mental depression, dyspeptic or other symptoms, or may come on suddenly, usually at night. The patient is unable to lie down, but is forced to sit up, often before an open window. The dyspnea becomes intense, the face is pale, the expression anxious, there is a great feeling of oppression in the chest and often a dread of suffocation. Though labored, respiration is not usually frequent, due to prolonged expiration. In severe or prolonged paroxysms there is blueness, sweating, cold extremities, small and frequent pulse and drowsiness. Paroxysms last from a few minutes to many hours and may pass off suddenly, perhaps to recur soon or on several successive nights, with slight cough and difficult breathing in the intervals; At first the cough is nearly dry and the sputum very tenacious. At the beginning the paroxysms may last only a few days, and recur at intervals of a few weeks or months, but as the condition grows chronic, the asthma becomes continuous.

Complications: Sinusitis, hay fever, bronchitis and emphysema are common complications. Emphysema develops only in protracted cases.

Etiology: The asthmatic crisis is a toxic storm, which occurs when the machinery of elimination is no longer equal to the load put upon it. From acute asthma the case is hurried to the chronic state. Then emphysema, bronchectasis and tuberculosis are logically expected to follow.
Asthma always means a catarrhal condition. But not all who have catarrh develop asthma. Only those with neurotic tendencies will have asthma. The non-neurotic may develop a severe chronic catarrh and never have asthma.
There should be no difficulty in understanding the condition. The asthmatic is an asthmatic long before the broncho-spasm puts a label on him and if once we grasp the, fact that in every case of’ asthma there is a preceding history of disobedience of the laws of life, we are in line for rational care and ultimate complete recovery.
By uncontrolled impulses or emotions, business and domestic worries and other worries, lack of poise and self-control, sexual drain, overeating, improper eating, lack of sleep, sleeping without ventilation, overstimulation, etc., a state of enervation is built which checks secretions and excretions, and builds toxemia. Enervation plus wrong eating — too much food, wrong combinations of food, etc. — favor gastro-intestinal decomposition and this adds the enervating influence of auto-intoxication to the prior weakening habits.
Asthma is brought on in the first place from excessive table indulgence, plus many other nerve leaks. The enervating effects of over-feeding and physicking may produce asthma in children. The abominable habit of physicking children during infancy and early childhood is responsible for many other conditions besides asthma.
Most medical writers of the present ascribe bronchial asthma to “protein hypersensitiveness.” These writers do not pretend to know the cause of hypersensitiveness, or allergy, as it is called. Asthmatics are roughly divided into two classes:

(1) Those sensitive to ingested substances — oysters, meat, eggs, etc.

(2) Those sensitive to air-carried irritants — pollens, emanations from horses, cats, dogs, feathers, dust, etc.

Those sensitive to air-carried allergens rarely absorb a quantity sufficient to give rise to general symptoms; whereas, in sensitization (allergy) to food, symptoms of general reaction are common. In some, the general sensitiveness to food causes a chronic irritation of all the organs of the body, but that organ or part of the body which is the weakest link in the chain will be the one to develop “disease” first. If the tendency is to asthma, then the chronic irritation produced by allergens will evolve asthmatic symptoms if and when the poison so produced is sufficient to cause reaction.
Protein hypersensitiveness (allergy) is merely another name for protein poisoning, or what amounts to the same thing, protein stuffing, in those of a neurotic diathesis.
Asthma rests on a basis of toxemia and catarrh, and the dog, cat, horse, feather pillow, pollen, etc., have nothing to do with its causation. “Hot dogs” are the only “dogs” we know of that have anything to do with producing asthma.
The immediate cause of the bronchial spasm is an irritation of he nerve-endings of the vagus nerve which supplies the bronchi. In some cases even water taken into the stomach will so irritate the vagus nerve in the stomach that a direct reflex irritation of the vagus nerve in the lungs induces an asthmatic paroxysm. In the same way, drugs, some foods, gas and indigestion occasion reflex irritation of the nerve-endings in the bronchi and bring on a paroxysm of asthma. Breathing cold air, dust, pollens, gases, foul odors, and other such things, produces a direct irritation of the nerve-endings in the lungs and brings on the paroxysm.
If water, irritating foods, drugs, indigestion, cold air, dust, pollens, foul odors, gases, etc., were primary and direct causes of asthma, nobody would be free of this condition. The real, the basic, cause of asthma is that which sensitizes the nerves and the bronchial membranes. Asthma rests on a basis of toxemia and gastro-intestinal catarrh. If asthmatics were not enervated and if their bodies were not filled with toxins to the saturation point, they would not be hyper-sensitive to proteins and other substances.
In asthma there is an abnormally sensitive perpheral organ —the ethmoid area of the nose — and this is often operated upon or seared. This abnormal sensitivity should be regarded as an effect of the chronic overload of toxemia and not as a cause of asthma. Crippling the nose does not cure asthma.
Dr. Oswald says: “Any waste of vital power may bring on a fit of spasmodic asthma, and the aggravating effect of incontinence is so prompt and so unmistakable that experience generally suffices to correct a penchant to error in that respect. Like gout, asthma is a moral censor, but its reproofs do not so often come too late.”

Prognosis: ALL cases of bronchial asthma are remediable. Five to six weeks are sufficient time for complete recovery in the average case. More time is required in a small percentage of cases.

Care of the Patient: Eliminate toxemia, restore nerve energy and correct the mode of living. The fast should last until all abnormal breath sounds have disappeared from the lung; preferably, it should last until the tongue is clean. Two to four days of fasting is usually enough in even the most severe and long-standing cases to bring sufficient relief to allow the patient to lie down and rest and sleep.
When the underlying toxic condition is eliminated, all forms of sensitization disappear. When the asthmatic gets rid of toxemia he does not have to worry about sensitization. He automatically gets rid of this when he gets rid of the true cause — toxemia. It is, perhaps, true that all asthmatics will retain to some extent their sensitiveness to certain foods, chemicals, heat, cold, etc., as they originally had that tendency or diathesis when they were born, but by following a few simple rules of right living they may always avoid a recurrence of asthma.
It was pointed out above that the immediate cause of the bronchial spasm called asthma is an irritation, direct or reflex, of the nerve-endings of the vagus nerve which supplies the bronchi. A hyper-tonicity or vagotonic condition is induced by the irritating effect of the poisons of toxemia upon the vagus nerves and in this way the bronchi are thrown into a spasm. The asthmatic sufferer is in a chronic state of delicate balance between absorption and elimination. Anything that helps to throw the balance in favor of elimination helps to relieve him; anything that throws it the other way increases his distress. This is the reason it is so necessary to avoid all those practices that enervate and intoxicate the whole organism. Allowing the feet to become cold is often enough to bring on a paroxysm of asthma, and a paroxysm is often relieved merely by warming the feet. In asthma, tonsilitis, bronchitis, and tuberculosis it is necessary to “temper the wind to the shorn lamb.”
Few asthmatics have much idea of their limitations in eating, working, enjoying, etc., and, as a consequence of their over-indulgence, are constantly adding to their trouble. If they are to get well and remain well, they must learn self-control.
In consequence of the contraction of the finer bronchial tubes and the air-cells of the lungs, air cannot be got into the lungs, and the entire volume of blood cannot be sufficiently oxygenated and purified The difficulty in breathing prevents rest and sleep, often making it impossible for the sufferer to recline. The palliative treatment commonly employed adds greatly to enervation and thus to toxemia. The original causes are not corrected. Under such conditions, how can recovery be hoped for?


Definition: This is dilatation of the bronchi.

Symptoms: Paroxysmal cough, dyspnea and copious expectoration are its chief symptoms. The expectoration is characteristic — a large amount of extremely fetid mucopurulent sputum is expelled from time to time, especially in the morning or on a sudden change of position. On standing the sputum separates into three layers: — an under layer of decomposed pus; a middle layer of turbid mucus; a top layer of discolored froth.

Sequa1ae: Abscess or gangrene of the lung, abscesses of the brain and in various locations especially in the body, and amyloid “disease” of the viscera, are common sequels.

Etiology: This is secondary to other pathologies. It follows chronic bronchitis most frequently, due to the weakening of the walls of the bronchi by the prolonged inflammation and the increased pressure from the violent coughing. In children it sometimes follows bronchopneumonia. It is seen in other cases as a sequel of interstitial pneumonia, tuberculosis, chronic dry pleurisy, and in bronchial obstruction by a foreign body, aneurysm, tumor, etc. The intelligent reader will readily see that it is only another link in a pathological chain resting on toxemia.

Prognosis: Perhaps complete recovery is not possible. However, great improvement is possible when toxemia and the primary pathology are removed and a health building regimen is followed.

Care of the Patient: See Chronic Bronchitis and Chronic Pneumonia.


Definition: This is inflammation of the mucous membrane lining the bronchial tube — the lung tissue itself is not involved. Bronchitis may be either acute or chronic or fibrinous.

Symptoms: Acute. Acute bronchitis (a cold on the chest) presents, as its chief symptoms, rapid breathing, a sharp, dry cough and fever. The temperature runs about 101 to 102 F. In infants breathing may be so rapid and difficult that they become cyanotic (blue); in older children the rapid breathing is not likely to distress them, although there is apt to be a sense of constriction, about the chest, with soreness under the breast bone and pain when coughing. There is chilliness and general malaise. The cough is at first dry and painful but is later accompanied by more or less abundant mucopurulent expectoration.

Chronic: Chronic bronchitis is the result of chronic provocation and the suppression of acute bronchitis. The symptoms differ from those of acute bronchitis but little. Fever is usually absent, there is persistent cough, and often difficult breathing on exertion, due to the emphysema that often complicates this condition. Chronic bronchitis presents the following forms:
“1. Mucus catarrh, or winter cough, with moderate expectoration.
“2. Bronchorrhea, common in the elderly, with profuse expectoration.
“3. Dry catarrh, harsh cough and rawness with scanty expectoration.
“4. Fetid bronchitis with decomposition of the secretions.”
This all represents merely various conditions of catarrh and for practical purposes, these distinctions are useless.

Fibrinous: This is a very rare affection and is characterized by the expectoration of fibrinous casts of certain portions of the bronchial tree. Acute and chronic forms are recognized. The acute form is rare and resembles a severe acute bronchitis, as described above, with time addition of marked dyspnea and fibrinous casts in the sputum. The chronic form is characterized by severe cough, paroxysms of dyspnea, and the expectoration of fibrinous plugs.

Etiology: Bronchitis is an extension of catarrhal inflammation beginning in the nose or upper part of the throat and extending into the large bronchial tube. It is not caused by cold, damp climate, exposure, changeable weather, etc., but by toxemia. Behind every catarrh is a toxic state. Toxemia is produced by anything and everything that enervates the body. These influences merely add their enervating influence to an already overburdened organism. Dust, irritating gases, or vapors contacted in certain occupations help to produce the condition. Too much starch, sugar, cream, butter, and milk are frequent causes. It often develops as part of the general crisis seen in measles, whooping cough, typhoid fever, etc.
Chronic bronchitis frequently follows repeated acute bronchial crises, or it may develop gradually in association with cardiac, pulmonary, or renal pathologies, gout, or general catarrh. It is a chronic excretory process made necessary by chronic toxemia.

Prognosis: This is good. In all save old and very debilitated individuals complete recovery may be expected in all three forms of bronchitis. If deep-seated it may persist for weeks and months causing much distress, annoyance and disability.

Sequelae: Emphysema, bronchiectasis and dilatation of the heart, especially of the right ventricle are frequent sequels and are due to toxemia.

Care of the Patient: In acute bronchitis warmth, rest, and fasting are all that are required. This care will allow the eliminative process to speedily consummate its work. Right living thereafter, will prevent a recurrence. Chronic bronchitis requires a longer fast, a prolonged rest, sun bathing and a restricted diet with exercise.
In young children rest and quiet are particularly important. Babies should not be disturbed. Looking at the child’s tongue, counting its pulse, taking its temperature and similar disturbing ceremonials disturb rest and delay recovery.


This is a symptom which may accompany any so-called “disease” of the respiratory tract. Simple coughs are built by feeding a cold. Pneumonia may be built by eating under such circumstances.
When a cough develops without lung symptoms; it means irritation of the stomach. An irritable state of the mucous membrane of the throat, due to a habitual acid state of the stomach brought on by indigestion, produces coughing. Such a cough is made worse by exercise, hard play, forced breathing, smoking, and chewing tobacco, cold air and mouth breathing.
Such a cough will cease after the bowels have moved and food has been abstained from for twenty-four hours. If the cough persists after the bowels have moved and no food has been taken for two days, there may be pneumonia, or pleurisy, or tonsillar inflammation, or an elongation of the uvula, or some obscure trouble in the ear, nose, teeth, or base of the brain, or heart trouble.



Definition: An abscess is a localized collection of pus in a cavity formed by the disintegration of tissue.

Symptoms: Rigors, sweats, fever and pallor indicate suppuration. Coughing, difficult breathing and the expulsion of purulent, offensive sputa containing shreds of tissue indicate that the lungs are the locale of the suppuration.

Etiology: Lung abscess is sometimes, though rarely, a sequel of pneumonia. Abscess is frequent in tuberculosis. It may, result from the lodgement of foreign matter in the bronchi or from the extension of suppurative inflammation from the pleura or liver. Some cases are due to blood clots (emboli) and are of common occurrence in pyemia. Embolic abscesses are commonly multiple and are rarely recognized during life. Lung abscess is a terminal symptom in a long chain of pathology that rests upon toxemia.

Prognosis: Embolic abscesses are said to be always fatal. Many abscesses due to other causes recover.

Care of the Patient: Sometimes surgical drainage of the abscess is possible, but in most cases dependence upon good hygiene is the only recourse. The toxic load should be taken off the body by physical, physiological and mental rest. The patient with tuberculosis or liver abscess should be cared for as directed for these affections.


Definition: This is an excess of blood in the lungs. Three forms are described, as follow:

Active congestion: This results from an increased flow of blood to the lungs.

Symptoms: Difficult breathing, a short dry cough, followed by frothy, blood-streaked sputum, and a rapid, full pulse are the chief symptoms. If these are accompanied by chill and fever they indicate commencing pneumonia.

Etiology: It is present in all inflammations of the lungs. Mountain climbing and violent exercise are said to produce it. This must be so only in very toxemic subjects. Inhaling irritating substances, will produce it.

Passive Congestion: This results from obstruction of the flow of blood away from the lungs.

Symptoms: Coughing, dyspnea and the expectoration of blood-stained mucus containing pigmented epithelial cells are the characteristic symptoms.

Etiology: Pathology of the heart — especially weakness of the left ventricle from fatty degeneration or fibroid changes, and lesions of the mitral valve — is the chief cause of passive congestion of the lungs.

Hypostatic Congestion: This is congestion in dependent portions of the lungs occurring in great weakness that necessitates prolonged lying in one position.

Symptoms: These are frequently indefinite. There may be slight difficulty in breathing, slight cyanosis (blueness), cough, and, perhaps, blood-tinged sputum.

Etiology: It is seen in low forms of fever, in heart affections, in old people when confined to bed from any cause, and is likely to develop in any patient whose suffering is such that he is forced to lie in one position. The blood tends to gravitate to that portion of the lung that is on the under side and acdumi1ate there.

Care of the Patient: Except in those cases of active congestion following inhalation of irritants, this seems never to be an “idiopathic disease,” but is always secondary to pathology elsewhere. Care, therefore, depends upon removing the causes of the primary pathology. Weger says, “nothing will promote recovery so safely and speedily as the first treatment we apply to all cases — such physical, physiological and mental rest as will give the organism free play in correcting its internal disorders.”


Definition: This is a chronic affection of the lungs characterized by an overgrowth of fibrous tissue — fibroid pneumonia. It is also known as cirrhosis of the lungs, pulmonary induration and chronic pneumonia.

Symptoms: The leading symptoms are difficult breathing on exertion and cough. The cough may be dry but is usually accompanied by more or less mucopurulent expectoration. Fever is rare and the patient may consider his general health good.

Etiology: This condition is due either to chronic irritation of the lungs from constant inhalation of irritating dusts, as stone-dust (chalicosis), coal-dust (anthracosis), or metal-dust (siderosis) ; or the result of prolonged toxic irritation of the lung tissue, as in tuberculosis and chronic pleurisy. It is rarely a sequel to croupous pneumonia and bronchopneumonia.

Prognosis: Its course is chronic and it may persist for years. While it is regarded as incurable, this seems to be due to failure to remedy the primary pathology.

Care of the Patient: Where the condition is secondary to pleurisy or tuberculosis the patient must be cared for as described, under these affections. If due to irritating dust it is first necessary to get away from the dust. Fasting and good general hygiene will then accomplish all that can be achieved in the particular case.


This is always secondary to inflammation or necrosis of the lung tissue in such affections as pneumonia, tuberculosis, abscess, bronchitis, infarcts, pressure of morbid growths and is seen almost wholly in greatly weakened (enervated) patients. Putrefaction in the lung itself seems to be the immediate cause. It is a grave condition, but not necessarily hopeless.

Symptoms: Emaciation, irregular fever and persistent, cough are usually present. Spitting of blood is common. The expectoration is profuse and characteristic. It gives off a penetrating and offensive odor and when allowed to stand in a glass vessel separates into three layers:

  1. a frothy top layer;
  2. a translucent serous middle layer, through which hang strings of pus; and
  3. a reddish-green purulent bottom layer. Altered blood may give it a prune-juice appearance.

Care of the Patient: Fasting and rest followed by a fruit, and vegetable diet and good general hygiene are essential. As this is an end point in a long pathological evolution the care of the patient should be that described under the various conditions that are antecedent to the development of gangrene.


Definition: This is expectoration of blood and is also known as bronchorrhagia and bronchopulmonary hemorrhage.

Symptoms: The characteristic symptom is the loss of blood. This may be preceded by cough, difficult breathing and tenderness under the sternum, but often there is no warning and the presence of a warm salty fluid in the mouth is the first indication that something is wrong. The blood is generally raised by coughing and is bright red and frothy. Rarely is the hemorrhage profuse unless it results from the ulceration of a large vessel in advanced tuberculosis or from the rupture of an aortic aneurism.

Etiology: Hemoptysis is a symptom and, while it may be due to violent coughing or unusual strain without any preceding pathology, it is in most instances due to rupture of a minute blood vessel in bronchial or pulmonary congestion, ulceration, purpura, hemophilia, tuberculosis, aneurism and traumatism.

Prognosis: It is rarely fatal except in advanced tuberculosis with a large cavity and in aneurism.

Care of the Patient: This is purely symptomatic during the emergency and must be constitutional thereafter. Complete rest and abstinence from hot drinks and all food during the emergency is imperative. Ice to the chest will help to stop the bleeding. Thereafter the patient should be cared for as advised under the above forms of pathology.


Definition: This is a circumscribed area of necrosed lung tissue infiltrated with blood — hemorrhage infarct of the lung.

Symptoms: If the infarct is large, localized pain, difficult breathing, cough and the expectoration of dark non-aerated blood are the usual symptoms. Small infarcts may produce no signs.

Etiology: The most common cause is obstruction of a branch of the pulmonary artery by a blood clot (embolus) coming from the right heart or the general venous system. Sometimes it is due to the formation of a plug (thrombus) in the vessel at the point of obstruction. This latter is favored by heart weakness. Phlebitis and chronic pathology of the heart are responsible for most of these cases.

Care of the Patient: Nothing can be done for the local condition. Care for the heart trouble or phlebitis as directed under these affections.


Definition: This is an effusion of serous fluid into the air-vesicles and interstitial tissue of the lungs. It is a very rare condition and may be appropriately called dropsy of the lungs.

Symptoms: These come on suddenly with a feeling of oppression and pain in the chest, rapid breathing which soon becomes difficult and sometimes impossible in any save the upright position. There is blue-ness and an incessant short cough with a copious, frothy, sometimes blood-tinged expectoration, which may be expelled in a gush from the mouth and nose. The face is pale and covered with a cold sweat, the pulse is feeble and the heart action weak.

Etiology: This is almost always a terminal symptom in advanced pathology of the heart, arteries, liver, kidneys, and in many acute and chronic states. It is often part of the general dropsical condition seen in heart affections, Bright’s “disease,” and malnutritional edema. It is seen in passive congestion of the lungs, and in ether anesthesia and in surgical puncture or tapping of the chest wall. Localized areas of edema are noted around circumscribed lesions of the lungs in tuberculosis, pneumonia, infarct, etc. Edema of the lungs is an end-point in a long pathological evolution growing out of toxemia, enervation and wrong life.

Prognosis: Death may result in a few hours, or the crisis may last twelve to twenty-four hours and then pass off. If it is not too far advanced and the primary pathology can be remedied, recovery may occur.

Care of the Patient: Since pulmonary edema is a complication secondary to Bright’s “disease,” cardiac decompensation and malnutritional edema, permanent recovery depends upon recovery from these antecedent conditions. Temporary recovery from the edema is often possible, but recurrences are common unless the primary pathology is removed. A physician of Glasgow, Scotland, reported seventy-two recurrences of pulmonary edema in one patient in two and a half years.
Weger says: “We have had gratifying results in a few cases which were treated before the entire lung structure became engorged.” No food should be given so long as there is any trace of the edema. Water should be sipped sparingly. All enervating influences surrounding the patient must be removed. It may be necessary to allow him to sit up in bed in order that he may breathe. The windows must be open and the patient must be kept warm.

Tilden recommends a hot bath in water as hot as can be borne, with cool water on the head and cold water to sip, the patient to be returned to the bath every three hours if necessary and remaining in the water as long as possible, until permanent relief is secured. This is a purely palliative procedure intended to relieve the lungs and cannot be given to One suffering with serious heart “disease.” If repeated often it becomes very enervating to the strongest patient and should, therefore, be used only where relief is not obtained by fasting, rest and fresh air.


Definition: This is an abnormal distention of the lungs with air. Four varieties are described as follow:
(l) interlobular emphysema, a rare form resulting from rupture of the air-vesicles and escape of air into the interstitial tissue;
(2) compensatory emphysema, a distention of one part of the lung to compensate for consolidation of another part.;
(3) atrophic or senile emphysema, a relative increase in the capacity of the air-vesicles due to atrophy of the solid tissue;
(4) hypertrophic or substantive emphysema, the most common form, due to enlargement of the lungs as a consequence of overdistention of the air-vesicles.
The last three forms together constitute a subdivision known as vesicular emphysema.

Symptoms: Although occasionally, emphysema is seen in the young, it is usually found in middle life. At first difficulty in breathing is experienced only upon exertion but as age advances this becomes more or less persistent. There is a disposition to bronchial crises with cough and expectoration upon slight exposure. Cyanosis (blueness) is present and may be extreme during acute bronchitis. Edema of the feet may result from impairment of the heart in advanced cases

Complications: Bronchitis, asthma, di1atation of the right ventricle of the heart, and, later, tricuspid regurgitation and dropsy are the most important complications of emphysema.

Etiology: Emphysema is supposed to occur only in those who have at congenital predisposition — a weakness of the lung structure, probably a defective development of elastic tissue, The exciting cause may be long continued, forcible inspiration, or mechanical distention as in musicians using wind instruments. Typical cases are often found among professional singers and a few cases have been due to warranted violence in taking deep breathing exercises. Tubercular individuals may bring on the condition by forcible inspiration. Compensatory emphysema develops as a compensation for consolidation as in delayed resolution following lobar pneumonia. Emphysema may develop in asthma and in persistent heavy coughing.

Prognosis: Weger says: “It is extremely doubtful if any case ever makes a complete recovery since the trouble is usually well advanced before it is recognized. As in many other insidious conditions reforms are often instituted too late.”

Care of the Patient: Weger says: “The few cases treated by our methods have improved, and varying degrees of comfort are possible without recourse to any form of palliation. The favorable results in these cases were very likely due to the subsistence of catarrhal secretions rather than to restoration of air-cell tone.”
Rest of the lungs and the elimination of toxemia will accomplish all that can be hoped for in this condition.



EMPYEMIA (Purulent Pleurisy)

Definition: This is pus in the pleural sac.

Symptoms: Empyemia presents the same symptoms as acute pleurisy, the fever rarely running higher than 102 F. The fever declines, but after a week or two the patient fails to show the expected improvement. Rarely does the patient complain of oppressed breathing until a great quantity of pus has accumulated. There is much oppression, chills, fever, and other indications of pus poisoning. Some cases carry pus a year or two before it is discovered. In such cases the patient will cough up pus.

Etiology: Empyemia may result from acute or chronic pleurisy in those of low vitality; but most cases of empyemia are septic from the beginning. Medical authors say empyemia follows “infectious diseases,” particularly scarlet fever. It is the Hygienic view that putrefaction of food in the intestine, with consequent putrescent absorption, is the source of the necessary infection. All so-called septic and infectious “diseases,” we hold, are made possible by a decided septic infection of the blood through absorption of putrefaction in the bowels.

Prognosis: This is guardedly favorable.

Care of the Patient: Aside from proper general care, fasting, proper feeding, rest, bathing, etc., in keeping with the patient’s general condition thorough drainage is essential. The pus must be removed. This is a surgical procedure — that of aspiration — and should be done by a competent man.


Definition: This is blood in the pleural cavity.

Symptoms: These are the same as those for hydrothorax.

Etiology: Most cases are due to wounds of the chest-wail, fracture of the ribs, or the rupture of an aneurism. A hemorrhagic pleurisy often develops in cancerous and tuberculous pleurisy and in simple pleurisy in profoundly anemic subjects.

Prognosis: This depends on cause.

Care of the Patient: The exudate should be aspirated. Other care should be that described elsewhere for whatever affection the patient suffers with.


Definition: This is dropsy of the pleura. The condition is usually bilateral, though it may be unilateral.

Symptoms: Difficult breathing, blueness, and the physical signs (to be detected by the examining doctor) of a pleural effusion, are the symptoms.

Etiology: Hydrothorax is secondary to general dropsy accompanying Bright’s “disease,” heart affections, extreme malnutritional states, and anemia; or it may result from emphysema or pressure upon the azygous or pulmonary veins by a tumor, aneurism, or a dilated right auricle. In heart affections the effusion is usually unilateral and on the right side; or if bilateral it is more marked on the right side.

Prognosis: This depends on recovery from the primary pathology.

Care of the Patient: The fluid should be aspirated and the patient cared for as directed elsewhere for whatever affection of the heart, liver, etc., he has.

PLEURISY (Pleuritis)

Definition: Inflammation of the pleura, or investing membrane of the lungs. Pleurisy is divided into primary and secondary; according to extent into unilateral, bilateral, and localized; according to duration into acute, subacute and chronic; according to the exudation into serofibrinous, fibrinous or purulent. These distinctions are unimportant and we shall deal with pleurisy only under the headings of acute and chronic.



Symptoms: Acute. Pleurisy begins with a chill, bone-ache, a sharp pain that nags the patient in the side, making it painful to cough, a dry cough, painful breathing and a rise in temperature. Pulse is rapid and there is a little expectoration that is sometimes frothy and colored. This expectoration indicates lung involvement — pleuro-pneumonia.
Sometimes the pleurisy runs an “insidious form” and ends in abscess. In these cases there is a decline in the first symptoms, but the patient will come to a standstill and remain about the same for a week or two weeks. The symptoms will not be severe, but slight fever will persist. Examination will reveal the presence of a pleuritic abscess.

Chronic. The symptoms of chronic pleurisy are practically the same as those of acute pleurisy except that they are of less intensity and longer duration. The pain is sometimes referred downward to the abdomen or upward to the shoulder.

Etiology: So-called idiopathic pleurisy, that is, pleurisy that is not secondary to some other affection, follows exposure and sudden changes in temperature, but only iii the toxemic. Secondary pleurisy develops as a complication of pneumonia, rheumatism, scarlet fever, tuberculosis, typhoid fever, puerperal fever, etc. Chronic pleurisy may follow one or more acute pleuritic crises, due to unabsorbed exudate, adhesions or a tubercular state.

Prognosis: This is good in all cases except that existing in advanced tubercular states.

Care of the Patient: This depends upon cause. As a rule the exudate is absorbed within a few weeks. Fasting hastens its absorption. In occasional cases, aspiration is necessary. Recovery can be achieved only by correcting enervating habits, eliminating toxemia, amid ordering the mode of living in conformity with the laws of life. Those with tubercular symptoms must avoid strenuous or exacting activities and learn to live to keep their energies high and their toxins low. Pleurisy that is secondary to other affections requires no care different from that employed for pneumonia, scarlet fever, etc.


Definition: This is air or gas in the pleural cavity.

Symptoms: These come on suddenly with localized pain, urgent dyspnea, cough, fall in temperature, feeble pulse, and even a condition of collapse. If the air is confined by adhesions or effusion there may be no special symptoms.

Etiology: Pneumothorax results from perforation of the lung by a tubercular ulcer, lung abscess, lung gangrene, emphysema, or a penetrating wound of the chest. About 90% of cases result from tubercular abscess. The present method of collapsing the lungs in T. B., by artificial pneumothorax cannot be too strongly condemned.

Prognosis: Regardless of cause, these cases are always serious. Death may result in twenty-four hours or in a few days to a few weeks. Tubercular cases rarely recover. Cases due to trauma or to emphysema are more favorable.

Care of the Patient: Removal of the primary pathology is the prime need. Aspiration may remove the air. Dr. Tilden says: “It would be well to put a tube into the pleura and keep it there as long as necessary.”