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Source: Papers On Health
These frequently remain as the so-called dregs of some
illness, and are found very persistent. They are also frequently very
alarming, as they are thought to indicate some trouble in the lungs,
and as immediate steps should be taken to check this, it is well to
consult a good doctor. But, though coughing at night does of course
accompany lung disease, it is by no means a chief symptom. Also, it is
evident that the treatment applicable to bronchitis and other chest
inflammations will often fail to relieve a night cough, because the
night cough in question is due to nervous irritation or indigestion.
Narcotics are useless and hurtful. Great relief is frequently found
from inhaling the smoke of burning nitre or saltpetre. Blotting paper
may be soaked in a solution of saltpetre, dried and lighted. Place the
burning substance near enough the patient for him to inhale the smoke,
but not so near as to interfere with easy breathing, especially in
cases where there is great weakness.
When patients are fairly strong the back should be rubbed with warm
olive oil for ten minutes or so in the morning before getting out of
bed. Then apply a cold towel, well wrung out, folded lengthwise along
the spine, and over it a dry one. Let the patient lie on this, and
renew it when heated, continuing altogether for fifteen minutes or so.
Give another fifteen minutes' rubbing with the hot oil before dressing.
If the patient feels chilly during the cooling, foment the feet and
legs at the same time.