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.
The result of chronic inflammation of the areolar tissue of the entire organ is often induration or cirrhosis of the liver. The tissues become so firm, and ultimately so constricted, as to diminish the caliber of the portal vein, hepatic artery, and duct, resulting in the wasting away or atrophy of the lobular structure, and the hepatic cells become studded with fat. This condition sadly interferes with the circulation of the blood through the portal vein, producing inflammation of gastric and intestinal linings. It is the hob-nailed liver of some writers. The usual symptoms are constipation, a dry skin, high-colored urine, fickle appetite, and derangement of the nervous system. The spleen often becomes enlarged, while the liver diminishes in size, the pain becomes more intense, and frequently the kidneys are also involved. Digestion is feeble, chills, hectic fever, and night-sweats are often present, and frequently a dropsical condition of the lower limbs and abdomen is observed.
TREATMENT. -- All alcoholic stimulants should be avoided, and the action of the liver aroused by prickly ash, leptandrin, dandelion, emetics, etc. The tonics should be given, and Indian hemp should be administered in sufficient quantities to maintain a gentle influence upon the bowels and kidneys. The alteratives, if indicated, should be exhibited, and continued as long as required.
This disease is certainly an unfavorable one for treatment in its advanced stages, but my treatment in well-defined cases has been attended with the most favorable results, and I hope ere long that the result of my investigations into the morbid character of the disease in all its phases, that I have made for many years, will enable me to still more rob the disease of its formidable nature.