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 pleura or serous membrane enclosing the lungs. The disease usually commences with a chill, which is succeeded by a sharp, lancinating pain in the side; cough, short and quick breating, and fever. The pain is uaually called a stitch in the side, and is felt somewhere in the mammary region. It is increased by inspiration, cough, and motion, lying on the affected side, or by pressure. As the pain subsides, the effusion of a serous liquid occurs into the pleural cavity. The cough is usually short and dry, though a little frothy mucus may be expectorated. Severe pain often attends, and the patient tries to suppress the cough as much as possible. The breathing is more or less difficult in most cases, and the patient is said to have a catch in his breath. When the effusion is both sudden and copious, the function of one lung may be more or less suspended. The fever is usually considerable, and presents the usual phenomena of febrile affections. At some stages the patient's voice is said to be oegophonous, or similar to a goat's.
TREATMENT. -- Commence with a mild cathartic, and though opposed to bleeding, yet if there is a human ailment requiring bleeding it is pleurisy, as it often gives prompt relief from pain. Sweating should be encouraged at the outset, and for this purpose the tencture of Virginia snake-root, in teaspoonful doses, every half-hour, is the best. It may be given in an infusion of catnip, balm, or pleurisy root. The affected side may be fomented with hops, tansy, wormwood, etc., applied very hot, or it may be blistered. The fever is to be controlled and the perspiration kept up with full doses of veratrum. Dover's powder may be given to procure sleep. The diet should be of the very lightest kind. The alteratives may be given if the effusion is not absorbed, and should these fail, the surgeon may perform paracentesis, or tapping of the side.