A Catarrh consists in an inflammation of the mucous membrane of the nose, throat, and bronchial tubes, accompanied usually with sneezing, a redness and watering of the eyes, hoarseness, and a sense of rawness in the windpipe; cough, with an oppression about the chest, a difficulty of breathing, and not unfrequently with a slight degree of fever. Occasionally there is no cough, but merely a feeling of oppression in the chest, headache, sneezing, and constant running at the nose.

It attacks persons of all ages and constitutions, but more particularly the young, and those who have had any former affection of the lungs; and it may take place at any time of the year, when there are sudden changes from cold to heat, or heat to cold. Occasionally it prevails as an epidemic, and is then termed Influenza. Catarrh is to be distinguished from Measles by the great mildness of the febrile symptoms, and also by the absence of the eruption.

The complaint usually comes on with a dull pain or sense of weight in the forehead, a redness of the eyes, and a fulness and heat in the nostrils, which symptoms are soon followed by running from the nose, soreness in the throat, hoarseness, frequent sneezing, some difficulty of breathing, a dry cough, loss of appetite, general lassitude and chilliness; towards evening the pulse becomes quicker, and a slight degree of fever arises. Sometimes one or more of these symptoms are wanting. In the progress of the disorder, the cough is attended with an expectoration of mucus, which is at first thin, white and raised with some difficulty, but gradually becomes thicker, of a yellowish color, and is brought up with greater ease and less coughing. When the secretion of mucus ceases, the inflammation goes off also, and a natural cure takes place.

Catarrh is seldom attended with fatal consequences, except when it either arises in elderly persons, or those of a consumptive habit, or has been much aggravated by some fresh application of cold, or by improper treatment; and it usually terminates in a few days, if not neglected, by an increased expectoration or a spontaneous sweat. In some instances, particularly where the disease has been neglected at its commencement, or has been frequently repeated, it lays the foundation for consumption, or gives a tendency to Asthma and Dropsy in the chest. In others it becomes habitual, and is accompanied by difficulty of breathing, particularly in the winter; such patients often suffer fatally from the accession of a sharp frost, their usual complaint immediately attacks them, and either passes into inflammation of the lungs, or else into what is called spurious inflammation, in which they are suffocated by the profuse effusion of glutinous phlegm into the air-cells and tubes. Very old persons are apt to be carried off by comparatively moderate attacks of Catarrh, which seem to wear out their feeble portion of vitality, merely by the slight interruption to the respiration, which the phelgm secreted in the bronchial passages occasions, and they quietly sink into the sleep of death, without any urgent symptom or appearance of distress.

In mild attacks of Catarrh, or, in common language, when people have taken a cold, it is generally sufficient for a cure to put the feet and legs in hot water on going to bed, taking at the same time a basin of Oatmeal gruel, and wrapping up warm, so as to get into a perspiration, and the cold will frequently have evaporated by the next morning. A dose of ten grains of Dover's Powder, taken at bedtime, will assist the operation of the gruel. But in violent attacks, where there is a great difficulty of breathing, with fever, and a full, frequent pulse, it will be necessary to adopt such measures as will guard the patient against the effects of general inflammation. The patient should, therefore, be confined to bed,and kept moderately warm; he should abstain from solid food, and spirituous and fermented liquors; a blister, or a mustard plaister should be applied to the chest, and the following mixture may be taken:-

Antimonial Wine...........................One Ounce.

Solution of Acetate of Ammonia........One Ounce.

Sweet Spirit of Nitre.......................One Ounce.

Syrup of Poppies............................One Ounce.

Water..........................................Four Ounces. - Mix, and take a tablespoonful every three hours, in half a teacupful of Oatmeal gruel. If the cough is troublesome at night, the patient may take Five grains of Extract of Henbane at bedtime; and may also take a teaspoonful of the following, several times a day. (The doses ordered above, are those for an adult.)

Oxymel of Squills...........................One Ounce.

Paregoric.....................................Half an Ounce.

Water..........................................Two Ounces. - Mix.

He may also suck Gum Arabic, by putting a lump in the mouth, and keeping it there till it dissolves.

After the inflammation has subsided, the fever mixture may be discontinued, and the patient may then take Mutton Broth, Beef Tea, and boiled Chicken; he may continue the Cough Mixture, and he should, for some time, be careful to guard against cold. A warm bath may be taken occasionally; and if much debility remains afterwards, the patient may take one of the Tonics previously recommended in this work.

Many elderly people are subject to a cough, (frequently described as a church-yard cough), which will trouble them occasionally for years, and sometimes for life; it is generally spasmodic, and may be brought on by any change in the weather. The following Mixture will be found useful in these cases:-

Gum Ammoniacum (dissolved in hot water)...Two Drams.

Paregoric................................................One Ounce.

Tincture of Squills....................................One Ounce.

Tincture of Henbane.................................Half an Ounce.

Syrup of Poppies.................................One Ounce.

Water sufficient to make half a pint.

A teaspoonful may be taken whenever the cough is troublesome.

Influenza prevailed as an epidemic in the years 1732 and 1733; spreading over the whole of Europe and part of America, and in 1785 and 1803 over the whole of Britain. It also prevailed extensively in England in the spring of 1834 or 1835, I forget which. In a medical practice, in which about four thousand patients were treated, as recommended above, in the latter epidemic, every case recovered favourably; not a single patient was lost.