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From The Hygienic Dictionary
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Condition Of The Throat And Other Internal Organs
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The Triviality Of Trivialities
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Source: Papers On Health
The first question in any case of sore throat, is, What
is the temperature of the patient? (see Heat, Internal). If this
cannot be ascertained, at least we can say whether the patient is
feverish or not.
Let us first take the case where there is no fever. Get the patient
warmly to bed. Foment (see Fomentation) carefully all round the neck,
first rubbing on a little olive oil. Renew the fomentation every five
minutes for three-quarters-of-an-hour at least. Allow rest for an hour.
Then foment thoroughly the feet and legs up over the knees. When this
is done, and the heat kept up, cool the throat with constant fresh cold
towels. Let this go on for an hour. Finally sponge the whole body with
warm vinegar. Rub lightly over with olive oil, dry, and allow to rest.
Probably the throat will be cured. If not, repeat the treatment the
Where there is fever with the sore throat, first make sure whether the
feet are hot or cold. If cold, put on fomentations as above. Even if
the feet are only cool this should be done. While the feet and legs are
thus fomented thoroughly, change cold towels on the throat every three
minutes for an hour. Sponge all over as above directed, and allow to
rest. If the feet are hot, cold towels alone are applied to the throat;
but if the feet get at all chilled while such cooling is going on, they
must be fomented.
If there is vomiting and sickness along with the sore throat, the other
symptoms of scarlet fever should be looked for, and medical aid
obtained if possible.
But here is a case where the most experienced eye, aided by the best
possible instrument, sees nothing wrong in the throat itself, but the
cough and difficulty of breathing point to the throat. The trouble is
not there, but in the roots of the nerves by which vital energy is
supplied to the windpipe and other vocal organs. You must go to the
back of the neck, and to the back between the upper parts of the
shoulders, and there affect the roots that are really in a state of
distressing over-action. If you are skilful enough in applying cold,
and your patient has plenty of general warmth, you need nothing more
than a cold towel, changed pretty often, and nicely pressed over the
proper parts. If this fails, have recourse to a cloth with mustard
spread like thin butter on it, say about six inches broad and a foot
long. Lay this gently on the spine at the back of the neck, and down as
far as it goes. Apply your cold compresses now over this as well as you
can, and the violent spasmodic symptoms will be mitigated. If one trial
is not sufficient, sprinkle the cold cloth with cayenne. If the result
can be reached by the cold cloth alone, it will be best. If mustard or
cayenne must be applied, observe very carefully that they should never
distress the patient. As much as can be borne quite easily, and no
more, should be employed. Whenever a remedy becomes seriously
distressing, we may be pretty sure it has ceased to be remedial, for
the time at least.
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