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 characterized by inflammation of the mouth. It may involve the whole membrane, or be confined to isolated portions. The first prominent symptom is a loss of taste, and a sensation similar to that produced by scalding liquids. The surface is red, very tender, and painful. The inflammation may extend to the fauces, nasal passages, and Eustachian tube. The stomach often becomes irritable, bowels loose, and the patient debilitated and emaciated. When caused by vitiated secretions, produced by the disturbed condition of the lynmphatics while suckling, it is known as "nursing sore-mouth," or technically, follicular stomatitis. It may then extend to the stomach and bowels, causing ulceration, diarrhoea, dyspepsia, dysentery, and great prostration of the nervous system; and if not arrested, the mucous membranes of the air passages are involved, producing cough, expectoration, tuberculous degeneration and death. The teeth may fall out, and the gums be absorbed.
Aphthae or Thrush is another form of stomatitis. It is generally characterized by small ulcers scattered over the surface, or in patches of white exudation, which may become thick and absorbed, and leave a raw-looking surface, or a foul spot. Children are very liable to it, and it is generally caused by acidity of the stomach, or general derangement of that organ by improper diet or unhealthy milk.
TREATMENT. -- This depends upon the cause, which, if ascertained, should be removed. If due to carious teeth, they should be removed, and if owing to dyspepsia, the proper remedies should be given. The mouth should be frequently washed with a warm decoction of golden seal. The system should be supported with tonics, a general diet, and a liberal use of fresh succulent vegetables, as grapes, etc. should be prescribed. Sage-tea gargles are very useful. The mother should also pay attention to her diet, so as not to supply the babe with improper milk. If due to acidity of the stomach, the necessary absorbents should be administered.