This section is from the book "Materia Medica And Therapeutics Inorganic Substances", by Charles D. F. Phillips. Also available from Amazon: Materia medica and therapeutics.
It has been proposed to utilize nitrogen by adding a larger than normal proportion of it to ordinary air for inhalation in irritable and inflammatory lung-condition, but no definite results have been obtained in this country. Steinbruck (Vienna) has, however, lately recommended nitrogen-inhalations in the first and second stages of phthisis in young persons, stating that "they lower the circulation and allay nerve-irritability, give great relief, and sometimes cure;" in the third stage they are injurious (Dobell's Reports, 1876). I have not seen any confirmation of these results. The power of nitrous oxide as an anaesthetic has been largely developed in recent times (v. Anaesthetics).