This section of the book is from "The Complete Herbalist" by Dr. O. Phelps Brown. Also available from Amazon: The Complete Herbalist: The People Their Own Physicians By The Use Of Nature's Remedies.
This is an endemic disease of India, and visits other lands by travelling in what is called the cholera cycle. The Hindoos call it Purrhee morlii (rapid death); The Mahometans, euncrum vaudi (diarrhoea and vomiting); and the Arabs, el houwah (hurricane). It is evidently caused by a noxious malaria arising from human or animal decomposition. It is characterized by three stages. The first is marked by derangement of the digestive organs, rumbling in the bowels, pain in the loins or knees, twitching of the calves of the legs, impaired appetite, thirst, and especially a slight diarrhoea. These symptoms continue from a few hours to several days. The pulse is frequently very slow, the tongue is furred, and a sense of great debility is present in all cases. In the second stage vomiting occurs, and the characteristic rice-water stools make their appearance. These stools are thin and watery, and have a peculiar spermatic odor. The cramps become excessively severe, drawing the muscles into knots. The tongue is pale and moist, pulse feeble, the breathing hurried, with distress about the heart, great thirst, and the secretion of urine nearly stopped. The thin, colorless fluid discharged by vomiting and purging is the watery portion of the blood, and when so much has been discharged that the blood cannot circulate freely, the patient sinks into the third, or stage of collapse. This is characterized by great prostration, the pulse being hardly perceptible, skin cold and clammy, face blue or purple, eyes much sunken, hands dark-colored, looking like a washerwoman's, breathing short and laborious, a sense of great heat in the stomach, intense thirst, inanition and death. Recoveries from the third stage seldom occur.
TREATMENT. -- In the first place the diarrhoea should receive prompt attention. The patient should lie in bed, and from five to ten drops of laudanum every two or three hours should be given. The astringents should also be administered. Morphone can also be given. The diet should be carefully regulated, and every symptom promptly met with an appropriate remedy. In the second stage the treatment should be energetic, quinine should be given, and the sinking powers sustained with tonics, beef-tea, etc. A pill containing opium, camphor, and cayenne pepper should also be administered. Brandy may also be given freely. I also advise my "Restorative Assimilant" as a good remedy; it should be taken in full doses. Its success has been very gratifying wherever it has been used.
In the third stage the above remedies are to be pursued with increased energy, especially the stimulants, and every effort should be made to promote the warmth of the body.