Medical Home Remedies:
As Recommended by 19th and 20th century Doctors!
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The biggy of the late 1800's. Clearly shows the massive inroads in medical science and the treatment of disease.

ALCOHOL AND THE HUMAN BODY In fact alcohol was known to be a poison, and considered quite dangerous. Something modern medicine now agrees with. This was known circa 1907. A very impressive scientific book on the subject.

DISEASES OF THE SKIN is a massive book on skin diseases from 1914. Don't be feint hearted though, it's loaded with photos that I found disturbing.




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“ Water is the best. ”
“ In fighting against alcohol we are fighting against many diseases.”— Professor Kocher.
“ It was formerly thought that alcohol was in some way antagonistic to tuberculous disease, but the observations of late years indicate clearly that the reverse is the case, and that chronic drinkers are much more liable to both acute and pulmonary tuberculosis.”—Professor Osler, Principles and Practice of Medicine.
“ Every medical man or woman is painfully conscious of the fact that not only are innumerable diseases aggravated, but many diseases actually engendered, by the habitual daily indulgence in alcohol, even within the limits of temperance.
“ There is no disguising the fact that the habitual daily indulgence in alcoholic drinks tends notably to weaken the constitution of most persons, and predisposes hereditarily feeble tissues to undergo prematurely the cellular and fibroid forms of tissue degeneration.
“For every real drunkard, there are fifty others suffering from the effects of alcohol.”—George Harley, M.D.
Metabolism.—Poisons in general being chemical substances tend to exert a delaying or inhibitory influence over the chemical processes of the body, which processes must go on unhindered if the body is to carry on its functions usefully ; in fact, the very expression “ living ” implies that nothing should be allowed to occur which even in the smallest degree interferes with the chemical processes of the tissues. These consist of :—
(1)   Oxidation,
(2)  The storing up of nutriment,
(3)   The manufacture of secretion,
(4)  The production of energy and muscular movement,
(5)  The excretion of waste material—
all of which processes form the respective duties of the component cells of the tissues of our body.
These chemical processes in their entirety are spoken of as metabolic ; and this word in its convenient form of “ metabolism ” is used to denote the normal healthy chemical changes going on in the body as a whole.
Such changes are twofold :—
(1)   Constructive, or building up, in which substances combine with the protoplasm of the cells, helping in its renewal, and in the general building up of the tissues and juices of the body.
(2)  Destructive, or breaking down, whereby the protoplasm by combining with oxygen, and thereby liberating heat and energy, breaks down into less complex substances, e.g.
216            ALCOHOL AND THE HUMAN BODY chap.
Water—Carbonic Acid—Urea, etc.
These two latter are waste products, and require rapid elimina­ tion from the body if health is to be maintained.
We speak of an “active metabolism” as occurring when the different parts of the body are each working well and effectively in the two ways mentioned, there being no feebleness or delay or irregularity in the performance by the tissues of their various functions and in the execution of their chemical processes.
Water.—Throughout the whole of Nature, water plays a remarkable part in facilitating chemical changes ; indeed, its presence is absolutely essential to many of these. Thus iron will not rust, i.e. oxidise, if it and the air it is exposed to be chemically clean and dry. So also nitric acid and copper which combine with such avidity, fail to do so if water (if only in traces) be not present. So with the body, water is all-important for the healthy and active metabolism of its tissues ; in fact, the water present accounts for two-thirds of the body weight. Water, in fact, acts as a middleman. Its molecules are readily taken up by many a compound, which after this junction with water can then be split up into much less complex substances which are more soluble and more easily excreted. Thus, that most vital part of our metabolism, namely, the getting rid of waste products, or the free flushing of the tissues with water, is not only a mere popular expression, but has a definite basis in fact. Children with their very notable activity of body naturally drink much water. In this they are only complying with a normal physiological necessity.
The ideal physiological material is water. This cannot be properly supplied by alcoholic drinks, which indeed have their own adverse effects as well.
Oxidation.—One of the main metabolic changes continually occurring in the body is that of oxidation of the tissues. The blood as it passes through the lungs takes up a supply of oxygen from the air and conveys it to the muscles and tissues of the body. There, in a complex way, which as yet is not entirely understood, the oxygen combines with the protoplasm of the cells or corpuscles of the body, and as a result of this chemical combination heat and energy are evolved, and carbonic
acid gas is formed. This latter is taken up by the blood­stream, conveyed to the lungs, and there eliminated by being breathed out into the air, other waste products meantime being passed off by the kidneys or by the bowel.
Various Materials oxidised by Oxygen
In the laboratory of the human body, oxygen meets with various types of oxidisable material : food­stuffs are oxidised ; the waste matter due to tissue growth and repair is partially oxidised ; foreign matter and poisons are oxidised, and in each case heat is liberated.
During active and healthy metabolism this process of
oxidation goes on rapidly. It is the means whereby bodily
heat and energy are provided, and all effete, waste, and
poisonous materials, which otherwise would clog the body, are
got rid of.
Now the term “ oxidation ” must in no way be confined to what occurs when food­stuffs are oxidised and heat and energy liberated, although some writers are inclined thus to limit its use. In reality oxidation means much more, i.e. that in addition to the combustion of food­stuffs, waste products and worn-out protoplasmic molecules are being partially burnt up prior to removal from the body. This combustion of waste products may be aptly compared to the burning of rubbish on a fire, in which case the oxidation and consequent destruction are much more effective when a full supply of air laden with oxygen is admitted to the slowly burning mass. It is by this method of oxidation that poisons themselves are frequently broken up, and thereby robbed of their harmful qualities.
The greatest possible difference exists as to the rate at which oxidation goes on. When there is nothing to hinder its occurrence, the poisonous toxines and waste matters which form in our bodies are rapidly burnt up and eliminated, and health prevails. On the other hand, when various things interfere with oxidation, our vitality and vigour become necessarily impaired.
Alcohol a Cause of Deficient Oxidation of Tissue.—From what has been stated, it is clear that anything which interferes with the process of oxidation is to be regretted, as tending to delay the normal elimination of waste material. Now, un-
218           ALCOHOL AND THE HUMAN BODY chap.
fortunately, alcohol is admitted to have this effect It possesses an affinity for oxygen, and has long been considered to have the power of interfering with and lessening the oxidation of albuminous material, this power being explained on the theory that it robs the tissues of the oxygen which they would other­ wise use for combustion.
When alcohol is present the tissues are kept starving for their oxygen, hence their normal rate of metabolism or tissue combustion is delayed, and they cannot get rid of their waste material in the way they require. Thus the body becomes clogged and irritated by the presence of many effete substances which ought to have been eliminated had oxidation not been interfered with. As a consequence of this, ill-health of various degrees is liable to occur.
At one time, under certain conditions of disease, this delay in tissue waste (e.g. in metabolism) was supposed to be advantageous, and, therefore, alcohol was given freely ; but modern medical thought is in favour of the direct supply of oxygen to the tissues, rather than of prescribing alcohol in order to limit oxidation. By this modern and more scientific method, the elimination of the morbid products due to illness occurs far more rapidly than under the alcohol method of treatment, and recovery is often less protracted.
Increase in Body Weight due to Delayed Oxidation
The delay in oxidation, and therefore in metabolism generally, induced by alcohol, tends to cause an increase of body weight.
This is accounted for readily. The cells of the body are constantly wearing out and are replaced by new ones, many of those that are useless becoming fatty, as an intermediate stage before being finally oxidised and burnt up.
Now, when there is any deficiency of oxygen in the tissues, the further combustion of such cells as have reached the fatty stage is delayed for lack of oxygen. In this intermediate stage of fatty degeneration they clog the body, and, of course, add to its volume, such addition being far from a gain to the system.
The tissues of many persons who take alcohol are in this state of delayed oxidation. When, however, such persons change their habits and abstain from its use, their bodily processes gradually quicken and improve ; the superfluous tissue is often slowly burnt away ; their weight frequently
becomes reduced ; and they recover a look and feeling of youth and vigour which they had lost.
The increase of fat already alluded to is accompanied by a striking distension or swelling of the cells in which it occurs. Cells that were originally and in their natural state small and flat, become distended with fat and oily particles, until they are stretched and dilated to five or six times their normal size. (See Fig. 24, p. 179.)
Thus the gradual effect of taking alcohol is to make the body “ obese.” In this condition it naturally becomes increasingly disinclined for exercise, and actually unable to take it, or to lead the active useful life required by health. Muscular movements are liable to be slower and more sluggish than they ought to be—slower, that is, than in persons of the same age who are abstainers.
Alcohol a Cause of Premature Old Age
The characteristic of alcohol is that it causes a gradual waning of the metabolic activities of the body, this waning being frequently so gradual that people are often totally una­ ware of the fact of its occurrence or that it is due to alcohol. If they think about the matter at all, they attribute their increase of weight, their shortness of breath, and their lack of energy to the advance of age, being quite unaware that their “ middle age ” is accelerated by the use of alcohol, and, conse­ quently, that their term of life is really being shortened.
Are Small Quantities of Alcohol disposed of without Injury to the Body ?
The statement is not infrequently made that a small quantity of alcohol can be got rid of by the tissues without any harm resulting to them. In fact, it is customary to say that an extremely small quantity can be oxidised and in this way “ burnt off ” (to use a popular chemical expression) without any traces of the reaction having occurred. But this is tanta­ mount to saying that a machine can work without wear—a proposition which is contrary to the known facts of physics and chemistry. From a chemical point of view it is, in fact, im­ possible to say that the habitual use of alcohol is without effect
220           ALCOHOL AND THE HUMAN BODY chap.
on the metabolism of the body. We have already seen that modern methods of investigation show fully that in the case of the nervous system the use of alcohol, even in small quantities, has an effect which is definite and deleterious (see Chaps. V. and VI.) ; and the evidence that is accumulating with regard to metabolism as it occurs in the other organs all points in the same direction.
Destiny of Alcohol in the Body.—Scientific men have spent much time and energy in striving to discover whether or no all the alcohol taken is oxidised in the tissues. The matter is still under debate, but the evidence points to the fact that when very small quantities are consumed, 95 per cent may be oxidised in the body, just like morphine and other extraneous substances.
With increasing quantities of alcohol, however, this oxidation occurs less completely, and a considerable amount of alcohol is then eliminated as such by the kidneys and by the lungs.
Alcohol a Source of Heat, but an Undesirable Source
Any oxidation of alcohol which occurs in the tissues produces, of course, its equivalent in heat, but so does the oxidation of any poison. Professor Schäfer, in his latest text­book on physiology, says : “It cannot, in fact, be doubted that any small production of energy resulting from the oxidation of alcohol is more than counterbalanced by its deleterious influence as a drug upon the tissue elements, and especially upon those of the nervous system.” 1
The Influence of Alcohol on the Temperature of the Body
The temperature of the body, which is artificially maintained by the processes of life at a level above that of the surrounding atmosphere, is kept up by the oxidation which occurs in the tissues, and especially, of course, by the oxidation in the muscles. The control of this production of heat in the body is maintained by the nervous system.
The fact is now firmly established that alcohol causes a lowering of the temperature of the body, and that this occurs in spite of the deceptive subjective feeling of warmth experienced by the person who takes the alcohol. This fall of temperature
1 Text­book of Physiology, by A. E. Schäfer, F.R.S., M.D.
xiii           EFFECT ON METABOLISM OF BODY           221
is largely due to the loss of heat from the surface (Chap. VII.), but a certain amount of it should be ascribed to the diminution in the metabolic activity of the tissues, caused by the injurious influence of alcohol over their chemical activities. Less chemi­ cal action takes place, and therefore less total heat is evolved. The same thing occurs as a result of taking ether or chloroform.
Altered Metabolism leads to Defective Activity of Certain Glands
The lowered functional activity of certain glands of the body may sometimes be clearly traced to the influence of alcohol. We may instance two examples found in women, i.e.
(1)  Defective lactation,
(2)  Defective ovulation.
Defective lactation is of such crucial importance to the community that we have discussed it in detail in Chapter XV. Defective ovulation, leading as it does to sterility in women, is a condition that is recognised as being sometimes due to alcohol. Its bearings upon the important question of “ birth-rate” cannot be neglected in a country needing good citizens, and in France the subject is receiving definite attention.
Altered Metabolism leads to Disease from Within
Many conditions of ill-health are due to a wrong state of metabolism, brought on by nothing else but error in food and drink. For instance, gout” is a disease due to faulty metabolism, and it is now acknowledged that alcohol is a prime factor in causing such conditions as gout, eczema, headache, lumbago, certain neuralgic pains, etc., inasmuch as it interferes with the needful formation and elimination of waste matters, in other words, interferes with the “ metabolism ” of the body.
Glycosuria is another condition of ill-health closely associated with faulty metabolism. Certain authorities connect its onset and persistence with alcoholism. Thus Dr. Saundby says :
“ It is among elderly diabetics that alcohol plays an important part, and probably many of these cases could be cured if we were able to check the habit upon which the persistence of the glycosuria depends.”1
1 “ A Further Note on Alcoholism in Relation to Glycosuria and Diabetes,” Birmingham Afed. Review, September 1902.
222           ALCOHOL AND THE HUMAN BODY chap.
Altered Metabolism leads to a Diminished Power of Resist­ ance to the Invasion of Disease from Without
The most important result in relation to this matter of general degeneration and disturbance of the metabolism of the body by alcohol, is the fact that the tissues of persons who take alcohol are less able to resist disease.
As we have explained in Chap. XL, under the influence of alcohol the white corpuscles are less vigorous than is normal in their crusade against invading germs, and consequently these latter obtain an undue footing in the body, and create havoc. Professor Laitinen sums up the result of his pro­ longed and elaborate researches into the effects of small doses of alcohol in these words :—
“ It seems clear, therefore, that alcohol, even in comparatively small doses, exercises a prejudicial effect on the protective mechanism of the human body.” 1
Professor Welch,2 the distinguished American pathologist, says :—
“ This lowered resistance is manifested both by increased liability to contract the disease and by the greater severity of the disease.”
In the case of illnesses such as pneumonia and blood-poisoning, which are caused by microbes now thoroughly well known and identified, it is proved that the alcoholic habit notably diminishes the power of the tissues to resist the in­ vasion by these same organisms (for the reason of this see Chap. XL). It is a recognised clinical fact that a drinker is less resistant than he should be to attacks of cholera, inter­ mittent fever, consumption, pneumonia, and blood-poisoning in all its forms, such as erysipelas, syphilis, etc. During the cholera epidemic in Glasgow in 1848-9, Adams observed 225 cases, and found a death-rate of 19·2 per cent among abstainers, and 91·2 per cent among those addicted to the use of alcohol. Experiences in other parts of Europe and America have con­ firmed these observations.
Pneumonia.Alcoholism is believed by many to predispose to pneumonia. Thus Dr. Raw, the Medical Superintendent of
1  Norman Kerr Lecture, “The Influence of Alcohol on Immunity,” 1909.
2  Physiological Aspect of the Liquor Problem.
the Mill Road Infirmary, Liverpool, when relating his ex­ perience in the treatment of 1047 cases of pneumonia, with 246 deaths, said :—
“Alcoholism is the most potent predisposing factor, and I have now come to look upon the previous alcoholic condition of a patient as the arbiter of his life when attacked by pneumonia.1
With regard to treatment, it is now accepted that any routine treatment with alcohol involves grave risks. Dr. Muirhead, of Edinburgh, pointed out years ago that the death of a case of pneumonia uncomplicated by alcoholism was of the rarest occurrence, and that patients recovered without its use medicinally. Even when this disease is complicated by influenza, there are not wanting physicians of experience who triumphantly “ pull their patients through “ by means of drugs other than alcohol, which, indeed, they re­ gard as especially deleterious in cases already suffering from influenzal poisoning.
It is important here to explain briefly the twofold way in which alcohol renders the lungs liable to disease. First, let it be remembered that persons with whom its use is habitual are more liable than others to an irritation of the mucous mem­ brane of the throat, which they are always attempting to “clear.” This is not in itself dangerous, but when a similar condition of catarrh supervenes in the large tubes of the lungs, the healthy condition of these disappears, and the patient becomes more liable to bronchitis 2 and to infection by the germs of tubercle and pneumonia.
Secondly, the repeated taking of alcohol leads to a dilatation of the blood-vessels of the lung, and these vessels being ex­ tremely numerous, a tendency to congestion occurs. Lungs in this condition of incipient congestion are readily affected by climatic falls of temperature, and by the presence of bacteria, and the outlook when such lungs become actively diseased is proportionately serious.
Consumption, or Tuberculosis.The susceptibility of the lungs of those who indulge in alcohol explains the high death-rate from consumption that is found to occur in places where
1  Liverpool Med. Chir. Journal, July 1900.
2  “ Alcohol is a very common cause of bronchitis and is always injurious in the treatment of that affection.” (Sir James Barr, M.D.)
224            ALCOHOL AND THE HUMAN BODY chap.
it is freely taken. Observations made recently in France by Dr. Bauderon show that in certain districts where there is only a moderate indulgence in alcohol (12·5 litres per annum per person), the death-rate from tuberculosis is only 3·3 per 1000 inhabitants. On the other hand, in a district where the amount taken rises to 35·4 litres per person per annum, the death-rate for the some disease is 10·8 per 1000, i.e. three times as great as in some other parts of France.
In the sanatoria for consumptives at Loslau there are, according to statistics compiled in 1899 by Hoppe— 30 per cent of avowed alcoholics, 27 ,, of moderate drinkers (only drinking large
amounts of beer), 27 per cent persons drinking very little, 6 ,, total abstainers. In one infirmary ward for consumption Dr. J. Hay found that of thirty-six patients, thirty ­four admitted alcoholic excess.
These and other facts have made a profound impression on Europe, so much so, that at the International Congress on Tuberculosis, which met in Paris in 1905, the following resolution was passed :—
“That in view of the close connection between alcoholism and tubercu­ losis, this Congress strongly emphasises the importance of combining the fight against tuberculosis with the struggle against alcoholism.”
Not only does the man who indulges in alcohol lay himself open to chances of tubercular infection, but his children appear to be born with a diminished power of resisting this disease. The children of drinkers are frequently attacked by hip-joint dis­ ease, spinal disease, joint swellings, glandular swellings, “ con­ sumption of the bowels ” and of the lungs, even although the parents are not tuberculous.
Syphilis.—Although most clinical facts bearing on the in­ fluence of alcohol have been obtained from the study of tuberculosis, it is, nevertheless, important to indicate that other diseases exist upon which alcohol has an influence as regards their onset and their course.
Nothing is more notorious in medical practice than that the man who takes alcohol frequently, is extremely likely to con­ tract syphilis. Of course this is due, in the main, to the fact that moral control and continence is very soon annulled by
relatively small doses of alcohol, and thus the individual, by his immorality of life, becomes infected. At the same time the resistance of the body to the microbes or virus of syphilis is distinctly lowered by alcohol, the aggravating influence of which, in the later stages of syphilis (even years after the primary infection), is well recognised.
In the report of the Commissioner in Lunacy for 1908 acquired syphilis stands as the assigned cause for 12 per cent of the male admissions to private lunatic asylums. Another 17 per cent of the male private admissions were attributed to alcohol. Thus, these two preventible and often inter­de­ pendent causes are responsible for more than a quarter of all the male admissions to private asylums.
It must be understood that the germs of disease are liable to attack any one, and that everything depends on the resisting power of the organism. Those who by heredity, by temperance, and by hygienic living possess tissues whose resisting power is good have every chance of repelling the invasion of germs ; and even those who may have inherited tissues liable to become a soil upon which attacking germs are really able to thrive, can often keep the enemy at bay for an average lifetime, by obeying rigidly the laws of health as regards food and fresh air, and by abstaining from all alcoholic drinks.
Industrial Diseases
Considerable attention has lately been drawn to the part played by alcohol in determining the onset of various special diseases associated with the industrial life of the community.
Both Dr. Oliver 1 and Dr. Alexander Scott, Certifying Factory Surgeon of Glasgow, have pointed out the close connection between alcoholism and (1) lead-poisoning ; (2) mercurial-poisoning; and (3) various lung diseases to which the workers in iron and steel foundries, and the grinders and polishers in these and other trades, are admittedly prone.
Lead.—Dr. Scott insists that it is not infrequent for an attack of lead-poisoning to manifest itself rapidly in a work­ man who has indulged in a few days’ carousal. When giving evidence before the Inter-Departmental Committee on Physical Deterioration (1904), he showed that workers in lead seemed 1 Diseases of Occu’pation.
226            ALCOHOL AND THE HUMAN BODY chap.
impervious to its poisonous effects so long as they avoided alcohol ; but that a workman not rarely “ developed the most violent form of lead ­poisoning after his physique had been depreciated ” by alcoholic habits.1 He further reports (1908): “ I cannot recall a single case of a total abstainer ever being attacked by lead-poisoning.”
The same point has now been established as a scientific fact by the experimental researches of Goadby and Goodbody.
Mercury.Poisoning from this metal is rare. Dr. Scott states that in all the works in which this metal is used, I have only seen one case of mercurial-poisoning, and that patient was a chronic drunkard.”
Dust.—’’Among grinders, buffers, or polishers, chronic alcoholism is a most serious factor in prognosis and treatment, no matter whether the patient be suffering from pneumococcism alone or complicated with tuberculosis.” (Scott.)
This same authority suggests that it is inequitable that employers should be exposed to extra liabilities towards their employees in cases where the illnesses of the latter have been induced by the social custom of taking alcohol.
Effect of Alcohol in preventing the Production of Immunity against Disease
Recent researches2 by Dr. Delearde and others have brought to light the startling fact that immunity against disease cannot be obtained so easily by those habituated to the taking of alcohol.
Delearde’s attention was attracted to the subject by noticing that of two patients, a man and a child, bitten on the same day by the same mad dog, and both given complete and care­ ful antirabic treatment, the man of thirty, although only bitten on the hand, died, whereas the child of thirteen re­ covered, although bitten on the head and face, which are the most dangerous positions in which a patient can be bitten. In comparing the two cases, the only factor that could be found as unfavourable to the man was his tendency to be intemperate. Thereupon Delearde began a prolonged research as to the effect of alcohol on rabies in animals. Using rabbits, he proceeded
1 Evidence before above Committee, vol. ii. p. 70. 2 Annales de l’Institute Pasteur, Paris, 1897, vol. xi. p. 837.
xiii           EFFECT ON METABOLISM OF BODY           227
to vaccinate them against hydrophobia, and was completely successful. Then, using other sets of rabbits, he proceeded to test the effect of alcohol administered to the rabbits in doses varying from 1½ to 2¾ teaspoonfuls daily, in helping or hinder­ ing the acquisition of immunity during the whole period of vaccination against rabies. The result was both unexpected and startling, for no immunity was produced, the animals remaining just as susceptible to the disease as if no attempt had been made to vaccinate them.
When, however, alcohol was given before the vaccination period but discontinued during the days of injection, Delearde found that a certain degree of protection against rabies was conferred by the antirabic treatment, but that this protection was not so great as when no alcohol had been given throughout.
Investigations as to the Effect of Alcohol on the “ Resisting Power ” of Animals
Many most important observations have been made upon animals with a view to determining whether or no alcohol lessens their power of resisting disease, and it has been constantly found that this is so, and that the same rule holds as in man.
For instance, during the course of investigations made (1895-8) by Professor Hodge regarding the influence of alcohol on dogs, there occurred an outbreak of distemper, which brought to light in a striking way the effect of alcohol in lowering the power of resisting disease.
Distemper became epidemic throughout the city, and found its way into the kennel where Professor Hodge kept his dogs. In the kennel at that time the dogs taking alcohol were Bum, Tipsy, Frisky, Winnie, Berry II. There were four other dogs who were taking no alcohol. These had the complaint “ mildly.” On the other hand, the alcoholic dogs were the first to take the disease, and they had it much more severely. Frisky was out of danger in a week, but Winnie died, and Tipsy and Bum were completely prostrated. Professor Hodge reports :—
“ For over two weeks I hardly expected either of the dogs to live from day to day. Under ordinary care I have little doubt that both would have died. I resorted, however, to every possible device for feeding and
228           ALCOHOL AND THE HUMAN BODY chap.
proper medication. Alcohol was omitted from their diet, and though fre­ quently off’ered to them they invariably refused food containing it. ...
“In a word, the line was quite sharply drawn in the kennel between the normal and alcoholic dogs. All the alcoholic dogs, with the excep­ tion of Berry II. (and she had had the least alcohol of all), had the disease with considerable or very great severity.
“All the normal dogs had it in the mildest form possible. This would seem to indicate, for distemper at least, if not increased susceptibility to infection, a much diminished power of resistance on the part of the alcoholic dogs. The bearing of this result on various human diseases is too patent to require reference.” 1
It has been found by many other observers that animals to whom alcohol has been given succumb to infection from the germs of cholera, rabies, tetanus, and anthrax sooner than those that have had no alcohol.2
For instance, one experimenter3 gave cholera to rabbits, some of which were free from, and others under the influence of, alcohol. He noticed that the alcoholised rabbits died from the effect of the cholera, whereas those who had not been given alcohol resisted the cholera microbe more effectively, some of them recovering, whilst those who succumbed did so less rapidly than the rabbits which had been given alcohol.
Similar experiments have been made by infecting animals with tubercle ; and these experiments show that the disease runs a more rapid course in animals that have been given alcohol than in those that have taken none. This observation agrees with the now well-known fact that drinkers of alcohol show a predisposition to contract tuberculosis, often of a severe and rapidly fatal type.
In the case of diphtheria, very numerous experiments have shown that alcohol, given to the animal before or after infection by diphtheria, diminishes the normal resistance of the organism of the animal to infection in a very definite way.4
By this we mean that an animal that has had no alcohol is much less ill and makes a much better fight for recovery than the one that has had alcohol.
It is needless to quote further evidence, seeing that in all
1  Physiological Aspects of the Liquor Problem, vol. i. p. 368.
2  Doyen (Arch. de Physiol., 1885).
3  Thomas (Arch. f. exp. Path., 1893, Bd. xxxii.).
4  Tany Laitinen (Zeitsch. f. Hyg. und infect. Krank., 1900, Bd. xxxix. Heft 2). Also see researches of Valagussa and Ranalletti, quoted by Marcel Labbe.
these diseases and in many others also it is now well established that both protection and recovery are alike grossly interfered with by alcohol.
The Cure of Disease and the Healing of Wounds delayed by Alcohol
It is the daily experience of physicians and surgeons alike that their work is hindered and hampered by the alcoholic habits of the nation. Diseases that should run a short course often run a long one instead, because of the alcohol in the system of the patient.
To take one example only of a medical disease, we may mention chronic colitis, which, it has been shown by Dr. T. Stacey Wilson, is extremely difficult to cure so long as the patient continues to take alcohol.
In the case of accidents or operations all surgeons know only too well the advantages of having to deal with patients who are habitual abstainers, on account of the better healing of their wounds. The reason is obvious : the protoplasm of their tissues is not degenerated, and it has a capacity for growth whereby the desired union of the edges of the wound is effected.
Further, Kreparsky1 has shown that alcoholism, acute or chronic, lessens the number of white cells, and that the repair of wounds takes place more slowly in drinkers, because of the insufficient supply of white blood-corpuscles at the area under­ going healing.
Numbers of patients accustomed to taking alcohol are indeed obliged to make a protracted stay in hospital on account of the slow healing of wounds, which, had their tissues been in a normal condition, would have united rapidly. Many others are warned by surgeons that their healing power is likely to be bad unless they abstain from alcohol for some weeks or months before operation.
The well-known eye surgeon, Mr. T. H. Bickerton, points out that people who “ do themselves well ” run additional risks when operations on the eye are necessary. For instance, in the case of cataract extraction the patient who has been an abstainer runs less risk of hæmorrhage occurring, and there­
1 Kreparsky (Presse Méd., July 20, 1898).
230            ALCOHOL AND THE HUMAN BODY chap.
fore has a better chance of full restoration of sight after the operation.
Diseases caused by Alcohol
In addition to the foregoing definite infections, we are also constantly face to face with many permanent conditions of disease which are due to the progressive alterations that take place in the various tissues of the body as a result of a change in their metabolism caused by alcohol. No one disputes that a large number of the disorders which medical men are called upon to treat are traceable either directly or indirectly to the habit of taking this drug ; and since we conceive it to be the duty of the medical profession to warn and advise the public, we introduce the following list as a clue to a state of affairs already known and recognised medically :—
Table I. includes those diseases whose existence entirely depends on the presence of alcohol in the body.
Table II. includes a large number of diseases which are constantly induced by alcohol, but which are also caused by other factors alone or in combination with alcohol to a greater or less degree. For instance, obesity (fatness) is frequently induced by alcohol, but it is also brought about by other causes ; for, as every one knows, hereditary tendencies and certain sorts of diet cause obesity, quite apart from the taking of alcohol by persons themselves.
In many of these disorders alcohol plays the part of the final determining cause of onset ; that is to say, indulgence in its use definitely leads to the outbreak of, for instance, the attack of gout, eczema, or congestion of the liver from which the patient is suffering.
Table I. Diseases due to Alcohol alone
Acute Alcoholic Poisoning         .           .           .           .                  (p. 67).
Acute Mania (mania e potu)       .           .           .           .           .    (p. 114).
Delirium Tremens .           .           .           .           .                (p. 115).
Chronic Alcoholic Insanity        .           .           .           .           .    (p. 116).
Alcoholic Epilepsy .           .           .           .           .           .    (p. 120).
Alcoholic Neuritis (Inflammation of the Nerve Sheaths)          .    (p. 123).
Alcoholic Paralysis .           .           .           .           .           .    (p. 123).
xiii          EFFECT ON METABOLISM OF BODY          231
Table II. Diseases of which Alcohol is frequently a
Throat. .           . Pharyngitis (Catarrhal or Granular Sore Throat)
(p. 150). Stomach .           . Gastric Catarrh and Chronic Dyspepsia. (p. 154).
Dilatation of Stomach .           .                (p. 164).
Liver           .           . Congestion of Liver .           .                (p. 180).
Hypertrophic Cirrhosis .           .           . (p. 183).
Cirrhosis of Liver          .           .           . (p. 185).
Fatty Liver .           .           .           . (p. 182).
Kidney        .           . Albuminuria .           .           .           . (p. 187).
Chronic Bright’s Disease           .           . (p. 187).
Faulty Metabolism . Gout .           .           .           .           . (p. 221).
Altered Tissue Change Glycosuria         .           .           .           . (p. 221).
Obesity .           .           .           .           . (p. 218).
Skin.           .           . Congestion and Overgrowth of the Skin and its
Glands. Inflammations of the Skin (p. 140). Functional Disorders of the Ovaries and Breasts leading to—
(1)  Sterility .           .           .           . (p. 221).
(2)  Inability on the part of mothers to suckle their
infants at the breast .           . (p. 256).
Heart           .           . Dilatation of Heart .           .           . (p. 203).
Fatty Heart ...                (p. 205).
Blood­ Vessels          . Arterio­sclerosis (degeneration and fibroid change
in the vessels) .                            (p. 210).
Lungs          .           . Increased susceptibility to inflammatory and in­
fectious diseases, i.e. Inflammation of the Lungs, Consumption, Bronchial Catarrh, etc.          .           .           .           . (p. 222).
Eyes            .           . Increased susceptibility to inflammatory diseases
of the eye                                        (p. 229).
Nervous System . Inflammation and degeneration of nerve structures, including the optic nerve           . (p. 123).
Epilepsy            .           .           . (pp. 120, 253).
Melancholia .           .           .           . (p. 118).
Dementia           .           .           .                (p. 116).
Imbecility         .           .           .           . (p. 252).
Hysteria            .           .           .           . (p. 119).
Idiocy .           .           .           .           . (p. 252).
Sunstroke          .           .           .           . (p. 121).
Infectious Diseases e.g. Erysipelas, Blood-Poisoning of various types, generally                         Tubercle, Syphilis, Diphtheria, Cholera, etc.
(p. 222 et seq.). Industrial Diseases e.g. Lead-Poisoning .           .           . (p. 225).

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