This disease consists simply in a chronic inflammation of the mucuous follicles or glands connected with the mucuous membrane which "lines the pharynx, larynx, trachea, c. The office of these little glands is to secrete a fluid to lubricate the air-passages. When inflamed, it spreads an acrid irritating fluid over the surrounding parts, and excites an inflammation in them. This, it not arrested, ends in ulceration, the expectoration becomes puri-f orm and undistinguishable irom that of consumption, ,and the patient dies with all the symptoms-of phthisis. Indeed, before its nature was understood by the profession, it was thought the most fatal form of consumption, because it could be affected only to .a very small degree, if at all, by medicines taken into the general system. Dr. Warren, of Boston, proposes to cure it by inhaling powders of nitrate of silver and lycopodium as described by Dr. Chambers; of London, by means of an instrument for that purpose. Dr. Warren says :— " In August 1849,1 prepared the same powder ; and not only in the cure of bronchial consumption, but in the treatment of the first and third stages of the tubercular form of this disease, I obtain results from it which I can derive from no other article. I also use lycopodium in preparing powders in the same way, with sulphate of copper, crystals of nitrate of mercury (sometimes useful in secondary syphilitic troubles of the throat), iodide of potassium, c. For breathing powders of every kind, I have constructed a neat inhaler, which consists of a glass tube and a receiver—the totter being something like a tube vial perforated with holes around the lower end. The powder is poured into the receiver, which is placed in the larger tube, and twirled between the thumb and finger while inhaling. In the bronchial forms of consumption, the local disease is confined-to the mucuous membranes; and in the tubercular type, the deposit, begins upon the same tissue. Breathing medicine directly into the longs is therefore the ration- al mode of attacking the local disease. The time must soon come when this form of treatment will be universally adopted. The mode of applying it will doubtless be improved, and the articles employed be multiplied. But we are on the right track, and the period not distant, in my judgement, when this fearful malady, taken in proper season, will be held as curable as the chronic diseases of the stomach or liver.
This article was originally published with the title "Folliculitis Commonly called “Clergyman's Sore Throat”" in Scientific American 8, 8, 64 (November 1852)