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 commonly called Bilious Fever. It is a disease whose attack is generally sudden and well marked, without prominent premonitory symptoms, if any, at all times. There is sense of languor and debility for a few days previous to the onset; slight headache, lack of appetite, furred tongue, bitter taste in the mouth in the morning, pain in the joints, and a feeling of uneasiness.
The first onset is announced by a rigor or chill, distinct in character, though generally brief and sometimes slight, but at times severe and prolonged. Sometimes the chill is first felt in the feet; at other times commences at the shoulder-blades, or in the back, running from thence through the whole body. Usually there is but one well-marked chill; the paroxysms of fever returning subsequently, and seldom preceded by a cold stage.
The symptoms of this disease intensify at certain periods of the day; preceded occasionally, but not generally, by a chill. Between this period of severity in the febrile symptoms and a similar period following there is generally a decrease in the violence of the symptoms, during which the fever moderates, but does not, as in intermittent fever, totally disappear. It remits in severity, and hence the name. The pulse in the hot stage ranges from one hundred to one hundred and thirty. The pains in the head, back, and limbs are almost insufferable. The covering of the tongue is yellowish or dirty white, and in severe cases, in the advanced stage, the tongue is parched, brown or nearly black in the centre, and red at the edges. Food is distasteful, and nausea and vomiting ensue, with frequently pain, upon pressure, in the epigastrium. The bowels are at first costive, but become loose, and the faeces are dark and offensive.
TREATMENT. -- Give an emetic or cathartic in the formative stage. When the disease is fully developed, sponge the body all over several times a day with cold or tepid water, whichever is most grateful to the patient, and give cooling drinks, as the effervescing draught. When the fever is high, moderate it with tincture or fluid extract of green hellebore, in doses of from three to ten drops. Dover's powder should be given as a diaphoretic. Ice-water can be drunk at pleasure. A mustard poultice should be placed over the pit of the stomach whenever tenderness exists.
Quinine is the great remedy in this disease also, and should be administered in the same manner as advised in fever and ague. It is to be given in a remission. Whenever the fever has been subdued by large doses of quinine, its administration should not be abruptly ceased, but be continued in smaller or tonic doses for several weeks afterward.
There is a form of fever called Congestive. It is also called pernicious fever. It is not essentially remittent, but may also be intermittent in character. The congestion may only operate upon one of the internal organs, or upon all of them. Congestion may ensue in the earlier or later stage of the disease. There is usually congestion of the brain, and profound stupor follows. It assumes all types of periodic fevers, but is more frequently quotidian or tertian. The first attack generally simulates a simple attack of intermittent, and excites but little attention. The second attack is severe, producing great coldness, and the patient has a deathlike hue of face and extremities. As the disease advances, the heat of the skin becomes pungent. The skin also becomes dry, husky, and parched, followed, after a time, by a cold, clammy sensation. The eyes are dull and watery, and at times glassy, the countenance dull, sleepy, and distressed; the tongue trembles upon protrusion, indicating weakness, and is at first covered with a whitish fur, which changes to either brown or black; the breathing is difficult, and inspirations often thirty to the minute. Pressure over the liver, stomach, or bowels occasions pain; and the mind is often disturbed, and falls into lethargy and stupor, or is delirious.
The treatment is the same as in remittent fever. Quinine and the other remedies are of the same signal service. In stupor friction is to be made along the course of the spine with spirits of turpentine or ammonia.
In convalescence the diet must be light and nutritious, and as strength returns may be increased. Exercise out of doors should be encouraged. If recovery be slow, it should be hastened by wine, ale, or brandy, and the usual vegetable tonics.
Any person who is suffering from almost a continuity of the disease, or the so-called chronic form of malarial fever, desirous of corresponding with me on the subject, I should be most happy to reply to, for in the vast and beneficent domain of Herbalism there are many remedies that can be advised as curative, to mention which would occupy too much space in a volume of this size. We can be eclectic in Nature's laboratory.