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 inflammation of the oesophagus, or that portion of the alimentary canal which conveys the food from the pharynx to the stomach. Heat and pain, increased by swallowing, at some point along the tube, are the earliest symptoms. Occasionally there is pain between the shoulders, and, perhaps, tenderness on pressure, with more or less difficulty in swallowing Hiccough, an eructation of glairy mucus, and vomiting, are sometimes present. There is also more or less constitutional disturbance. Ulcers and abscesses may form. It may become chronic, and stricture of the canal at any part of its passage may result, which may so effectually prevent deglutition as to cause death by starvation.
TREATMENT. -- In the acute form, the stomach should be cleansed by a lobelia emetic, and the bowels opened by a purge. The surface should be sponged with hot water, and sufficient tincture of veratrum given to maintain a gentle diaphoresis. In the chronic form the alteratives are to be administered, and the bowels occasionally purged. The patient should be confined mostly to a vegetable diet of fluid character. Frequent sips from a decoction of golden seal and slippery elm should be taken. Stricture of the oesophagus should only be treated by a competent physician, as the means employed for its cure might do more harm in improper hands than any possible good.