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.
The functions of the spleen have formerly been the cause of much controversy, nor are they better understood at the present day; but the organ is evidently concerned somewhat in the blood-making process, but that it performs a very important part is doubtful, as the whole organ has been removed without affecting the health in the least. In some countries, the practice of removing the spleen in pigs, for the purpose of facilitating the fattening practice, has been resorted to, which fact has suggested to some over-confident analogists the propriety of removing the spleen in the human subject as a remedy for debility.
Splenitis prevails most in malarious districts, and is a frequent result of chills and fever. A feeling of weight, tightness, sometimes pain in the left side, which is increased by pressure, or an attempt to lie on the left side, are the earliest symptoms. The organ enlarges -- sometimes so much that it can readily be felt by the hand. It is known by the name of "ague-cake," and causes numbness and weakness of the legs, difficulty of breathing, palpitation of the heart, obstinate constipation, vomiting of food, piles, dry skin, and occasionally dropsical affections.
TREATMENT. -- This does not differ much with the
treatment advised for acute and chronic inflammation of the liver.
Quinine, in combination with leptandrin and irisin, is indicated in all
cases. Counter-irritation should also be made over the splenic region,
and, when complicated with dropsy, the required directions should be administered.
Assimilant," "Herbal Ointment," and "Renovating Pills" cure every case, if taken for a reasonable length of time.
The spleen may also be affected with dropsy, or become studded with tuberculous matter. In such events the treatment is the same as for dropsy and tubercular depositions of any other internal organ.