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.
Inflammation of the bronchial mucous membrane is of common occurrence. Its severity is proportionate to the size of the tube involved. The disease may exist independently, but is often associated with lung diseases. It may exist either in the acute or chronic form. In the former variety, affecting the large and middle-sized tubes, coryza, sore throat, hoarseness, and slight chills are the first symptoms; lassitude and pain in the limbs are also present, and as the disease progresses there is a sensation of heat, soreness, and rawness of the bronchial surface, oppressed breathing, and a spasmodic cough and pain. The cough in the early stage is followed by a clear, frothy expectoration, with a saline taste, which changes to yellowish or greenish sputa, or it may be streaked with blood. If the small tubes are involved, the pulse is extremely frequent, great difficulty of breathing, blue appearance of the countenance, coldness of surface, and a tendency to asphyxia is noted. As soon as the disease becomes chronic the febrile symptoms disappear, but the pulse remains frequent, and the cough and dyspnoea are persistent, though to some extent relieved by free expectoration. The sleep is irregular, and night-sweats frequent, occasioning great debility. The cough becomes croupy, and diarrhoea often attests approaching dissolution.
TREATMENT. -- A hot bath, hot packs, and veratrum will often terminate the career of the acute form at the outset. In the more severe forms an emetic should be given, and the hot packs or chafing liniments to the chest and throat frequently renewed. Blood-root and other expectorants should be given, and quinine should be administered if the disease is associated with malarial influence. The tonics may become necessary to sustain the strength. The vapors of meca oil, goose-grease, and bitter herbs are beneficial. In the chronic form the treatment varies with the cause. If owing to syphilitic taint the treatment for that diseaase should be given, and if rheumatic in origin, colchicum, in connection with tonics, is the treatment indicated. The inhalation of the various vapors before alluded to should also be instituted, and the strength of the patient carefully husbanded by tonics, beef-tea, wine, whey, etc. A remedy that combines both tonic and expectorant qualities is found in my "Acacian Balsam," which generally cures the worst cases very quickly. The "Herbal Ointment" should at the same time be thoroughly rubbed upon the chest, throat, and back. Consultations, either in person or by letter, will receive careful and prompt attention.