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 consists of an inflammation of the parts composing the larynx, especially the mucous membranes, and may be either acute or chronic. When it is known that in the larynx are situated the vocal organs, and that the aperture for the air to reach the lungs is situated at the apex, it can readily be conceived why inflammation impairs the voice or impedes the respiration. In the acute form there is hoarseness, a pain about the larynx or "Adam's apple," cough, and difficulty of swallowing. If the inflammation is violent the patient's life is in imminent danger from strangulation, caused by closure of the rima glottidis. The voice is often completely lost. In bad cases the patient starts up suddenly in bed begging for air; his lips assume a livid or purplish color, the surface becomes cold, the pulse frequent and feeble, the countenance ghastly, perspiration clammy, and finally death occurs from insufficient aeration of the blood. The chronic form is more common than the acute, and is generally associated with induration or ulceration of the mucous membrane. It causes great debility, emaciation, night-sweats, loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhoea, and the patient often dies in a state of hectic exhaustion.
TREATMENT. -- Control the circulation with veratrum, administer an emetic and purge, and apply hot packs to the throat. Hot water should be used frequently as a gargle. The inhalation of hot vapors, as that of belladonna, lobelia, stramonium, mullein, sweet fern, etc., gives great relief. Some practitioners use ice-bags in place of hot packs to the throat. They seem to answer the same purpose. In case of impending strangulation, no objection should be made to laryngotomy, if in the opinion of the physician or surgeon it is deemed necessary. In the chronic form the disease demands the same treatment, though modified to suit the conditions of the case. A gargle of golden seal, and a syrup of Ceanothus Americanus, or frost-wort, taken internally, are very beneficial. Mecca oil is also used with great advantage. Tonics and stimulants become necessary if the strength is failing. I can offer to the patient an almost sure cure in my "Acacian Balsam," which is to be taken internally, and my "Herbal Ointment," applied externally.
If complicated, or owing to syphilitic contamination, special treatment (see page 390) is advised.