This section is from the book "The Home Hand-Book of Domestic Hygiene and Rational Medicine. Volume 2.", by J. H. Kellogg, M.D.. Also available from Amazon: The Home Hand-Book of Domestic Hygiene and Rational Medicine, Volume 2.
All agents which are destructive to germs when used in a form which will not destroy the living tissues, are useful as local applications; but the best preparations are solutions of chlorine, or of some of its compounds, permanganate of potash, and carbolic acid. Strong alcohol has proven very effective in many cases. These solutions must be used thoroughly and often as gargles. At least twice an hour the throat and mouth must be well rinsed. If the patient is too young to gargle well, or if the posterior part of the pharynx is affected, the disinfecting lotion must be applied with a swab, syringe, or an atomizer. A swab can be easily made by tying a small soft sponge or a strip of muslin to the end of a small stick or a lead pencil. In case the nasal cavity is invaded, the solution must be passed through the nose by a syringe. The following directions for the preparation of solutions which we have found to give exceedingly satisfactory results, may be useful to the unprofessional reader:
(a) One part of a freshly prepared solution of chlorine gas, or chlorinated soda, in three to five parts of pure water, according to the strength of the solution and the sensibility of the affected parts. Keep tightly corked, and wrap the bottle with a dark cloth or paper.
(b) In a pint bottle place a teaspoonful of chlorate of potash. Drop in a half-teaspoonful of muriatic acid, cork the bottle quickly, and shake it gently in such a way as to bring the acid well in contact with the crystals. A greenish-yellow gas will appear in the bottle. After allowing the bottle to remain closed for ten or fifteen minutes, remove the stopper and pour in quickly half a teacupful of water. Stopper the bottle again immediately, and shake four or five minutes. Repeat the process until the bottle is two-thirds full. Use as strong as patient can bear without causing irritation of the mucous membrane.
(c) Dissolve in a half pint of equal quantities of vinegar and water two heaping teaspoonfuls of common salt. Use very freely.
Permanganate of Potash, one of the most useful of all disinfectants, is a good remedy in this disease. Dissolve in a pint of pure water, in a glass vessel, one-half dram of permanganate of potash or soda Use of full strength or with an equal quantity of water. This solution will stain clothing upon which it happens to fall, as well as the skin. The stains are easily removed, however, by a weak solution of oxalic acid.
Carbolic Acid. In a solution of one part of glycerine to three of Water, dissolve pure carbolic acid in proportion of three to five drops to the ounce. We sometimes employ equal quantities of water and wine instead of the glycerine solution. To some patients the odor of carbolic acid is very disagreeable. For such, a solution containing double the quantity of the oil of thyme may be tried.
If these solutions are carefully prepared and faithfully used from the outset of the disease, the results will be exceedingly satisfactory.
They can be obtained of any druggist, and most of them can be readily prepared at home if the materials are at hand. It is important that every family should have the materials for at least one or two of the preparations constantly on hand in readiness for use without delay when occasion may require.