DISEASES OF THE EAR, NOSE, MOUTH AND THROAT
Compiled and edited by Ivor Hughes
Part 1 of 3
DISEASES OF THE EARS, NOSE, MOUTH, AND THROAT
DISEASESof the ears, nose, mouth, and throat are amongst the most common of the diseases prevalent to-day. To understand the peculiar intimacy existing between the four structures named, and between them and other and more distant organs, such as the stomach and intestines, for instance, we must realise that they are all connected by one common factor, namely, mucous membrane. (Mucous membrane is the inner lining with which Nature protects all internal structures having orifices or openings on to the external surface of the body, and has protected the alimentary canal, or food-tract, all along its length in this way, the mouth and throat being the beginnings of this structure, which includes in turn the gullet, the stomach, the intestines, and the rectum.)
This mucous membrane or protective lining of the alimentary canal spreads out from the mouth and throat to include the nose and eyelids also, and by means of the Eustachian tubes, which connect the throat with the ears, it reaches as far as these latter organs too. (The Eustachian tubes are covered with mucous membrane for their whole length.) Thus all are intimately bound together.
It is of fundamental importance in the study of diseases of the ears, nose, mouth, and throat to understand the full significance of this close relationship existing between the structures named, and between them and the stomach and intestines, for it is from the habitual eating of food in excess of the body's needs (especially demineralised and refined food), as well as from the fermentation and decomposition of such food in the alimentary canal, that toxins are generated which Nature strives to throw off as catarrh, mainly through the medium of the mucous membrane lining the structures at the upper end of the canal, which, as already stated, are the mouth and throat, with their direct connection, the nose. Once a catarrhal condition has arisen, it does not take long before the ears too are affected, for reasons already stated�and the eyes may even become involved, as in conjunctivitis, as pointed out in the section on Eye Diseases.
We can see, therefore, that wrong feeding is a prime factor in the causation of diseases of the ears, nose, mouth, and throat. But a second and almost equally potent factor is the suppressive medical treatment of previous disease, especially acute diseases such as fevers. By means of fevers Nature attempts to throw off accumulations of toxic matter generated in the system (over a period of time) through general wrong living (dietetic and otherwise) ; and the orthodox medical treatment of these diseases simply disperses these same toxins into the various organs and structures of the body, to cause serious trouble later on, instead of allowing them to be eliminated as Nature intended.
To the seemingly " successful" orthodox medical treatment of childhood fevers, such as scarlet fever, diphtheria, measles, etc., can be traced to a most marked degree affections of the nose, ears, and throat which for no apparent reason (according to our medical scientists) spring up in after-life in the bodies of children thus treated. (Chronically enlarged tonsils and other lymphatic glands, other chronic throat affections, nasal troubles, and diseases of the ear, such as middle-ear disease, etc., can be traced in origin, in *ery many cases, to treatment by orthodox medical methods of childhood complaints, especially fevers.)
To the main causes of diseases of the ears, nose, mouth, and throat already cited, we can now add a third in the shape of medical ignorance of the function and value of the lymphatic glands and lymphoid structures which guard the entrance to the throat and surrounding parts, the best known of which lymphoid structures are the tonsils.
These organs, whose duty it is to remove waste matter and impurities from the upper part of the body, often become enlarged and inflamed as a result of the enormous amount of work they are called upon to perform in the bodies of the habitually overfed and un-hygienically developed children and adults of our present era. But instead of this being regarded as a sign of a general toxic condition of the system, as it really is, it is declared by our medical scientists that these lymphatic structures have become diseased as a result of " external germ infection" (whatever that may mean), and are regarded as a potential menace to the health of the rest of the system so long as they are allowed to remain in the body. Thus has arisen the modern mania in medical circles for the removal of tonsils and other lymphatic glands on the slightest provocation (or without such provocation sometimes !), on the pretext that by so doing the health of the individual is being improved and future disease prevented.
Further to bolster up this indiscriminate tonsil-removing from both young and old (especially young), our medical leaders assure us that these guardians of the health of the upper body (as the lymphatic structures really are) are " useless organs " ! Our medical scientists always work upon the principle that if they do not understand the use of an organ or structure in the body, therefore it has no use, and Nature has simply put it there for no other purpose than to be a perennial source of menace to the future health of its " unfortunate " possessor. The same attitude is held with regard to the appendix on equally specious and unfounded grounds.
By removing tonsils, adenoids, and other lymphatic glands in the wholesale manner prevalent to-day, the medical profession is doing far more to undermine the future health of the individual concerned, on the pretext of safeguarding it, than one might at first be led to imagine. For, by such removal, the defences and detoxifying mechanism of the upper body are definitely impaired, and the work of keeping the upper body clear of toxins is thrown upon other and less capable structures. Thus the way is paved for the development of disease in all adjacent parts of the body, such as the nose, the ears, the chest, and sometimes even the brain. (Many cases of bronchitis, asthma, tuberculosis, Mastoiditis, Sinusitis, Deafness, etc., etc., can be definitely traced in origin to the haphazard removal of enlarged tonsils and other lymphatic glands in early life.)
The fact that there is an apparent increase in health sometimes after the surgical removal of these glands, and that these other and more serious diseases develop at a later date, masks the direct connection between the two which in reality exists, thus lulling our short-sighted medical practitioners, who never see farther than their noses (and their trusting patrons likewise), into a falsely optimistic attitude with regard to the ultimate efficacy of the operation in question, which a real understanding of the facts does not in the least justify.
The part played by unhygienic habits, such as living and working and seeking amusement in habitually stuffy atmospheres,^ the wearing of excessive quantities of underclothing, drinking, smoking, and other excesses, lack of proper exercise, and such-like factors, must also not be lost sight of when considering the causes of diseases of the organs under discussion ; but these are merely subsidiary to the three main causative factors already discussed, which are :(1) wrong feeding habits; (2) previous suppressive medical treatment of disease, especially infantile disease ; and (3) the modern medical craze for the removal of tonsils and other lymphatic glands. We can now turn to the discussion of the various diseases themselves, and the natural methods necessary for their cure. Suffice it' to say that all these measures are eliminative in their action, and not suppressive, as all orthodox medical methods of so-called " cure " are.
This point about eliminative as opposed to suppressive treatment is most needful of being understood clearly by all those who would follow out intelligently the treatments outlined in the following pages. For suppressive treatment simply means the forcing of the outward and visible manifestations and symptoms of disease back into the system, by means of the methods employed, with the apparent appearance of cure, but with the inevitable result of causing more deep-seated and lasting trouble later on. Eliminative treatment, however, means the actual removal of toxic matter from the system as Nature intends, and the direct helping of the system towards a condition of ultimate and lasting health.
It is worthy of note that in no class of disease is medical treatment so suppressive as in that for diseases of the kind we are about to deal with in the present section. The surgical removal of tonsils, the giving of drugs for the " curing " of colds, the administration of injections for the equally supposed " curing " of catarrh and hay-fever, nasal spraying, the painting of sore throats, etc., are all most significant examples of what is here meant by suppressive treatment. In none of these cases are causes dealt with and removed, but, instead, the superficial symptoms and effects of the trouble are got rid of merely. The patient is left definitely worse off by such treatment in every way, even though he may seem better for the time being. For this temporary improvement, for temporary it undoubtedly is; is purchased inevitably at the expense of the future health of the body. Health, real health, cannot be gained in these ways. The body refuses to be cajoled or tricked into health by the administrations of drugs or injections or such-like. Natural methods and natural methods alone, are the only sure way to health.
Adenoids.� The mucous membrane which lines the nose and throat contains what is called lymphoid tissue. In the introduction to the present section the reader has already been told what work such tissue is called upon to perform in helping to detoxify the blood and tissues generally. When the lymphoid tissue becomes overworked, as it habitually is in the system of the over-fed individual of to-day, this tissue tends to develop itself excessively, and often forms small masses and lumps at the back of the nose and throat. Such masses and lumps of lymphoid tissue are called adenoids.
Adenoids are therefore merely part of the lymphatic tissue of the nose and throat which has become more or less over-developed as a result of excessive work, and may be present in both young and old alike, but especially the young, because of the great amount of work lymphatic tissue is called upon to perform during the early years of life in safeguarding health. The presence of adenoids is therefore a sure sign of a general toxic condition of the system ; but, ignoring this underlying toxicity which is the real cause of the development of adenoid tissue, our medical scientists shout loudly for the immediate removal of adenoids (especially in the young), on the grounds that their presence is a direct menace to the future health of the individual by retarding development both physical and mental.
Now, it is quite true that the presence of adenoid tissues prevents proper breathing, because of the obstruction to the air-passages which follows ; but to ascribe to this one cause any retardation of development or any physical disability which may be present in the system at the time is just foolishness. Our medical scientists are ever on the look-out for some " scapegoat " upon which to pin the cause of disease, and tonsils and adenoids are the principal scapegoats in medical practice to-day, with the possible exception perhaps of the ever-elusive " germ."
The surgical removal of adenoids will lead to freer breathing, for a time ; but it can in no sense be looked upon as a curative measure , as a measure, that is, likely to lead to the future health of the individual concerned. The operation removes the adenoids, but what about the unwise feeding habits and general wrong habits of living which are the real root of the trouble ? These, the treatment ignores entirely ! The consequence is that disease in other tissues or structures in surrounding areas inevitably follows, leading to all sorts of troubles in later life (perhaps the nose is affected, perhaps the ears or chest, and so on).
Treatment. � It must be obvious to the intelligent reader by now that the only rational treatment for adenoids must be constitutional. It is only by a thorough cleansing of the system and the adoption of a sensible scheme of living, dietetic and otherwise, that a real cure can be effected. For such treatment will not only lead to the natural reduction of the adenoid tissue in time, but it will build up the whole system too, something which no operation could ever do.
For the effective treatment for adenoids the reader is referred to the treatment in the present section for Enlarged Tonsils. The causes of both are identical; their treatment must of necessity be identical also.
Catarrh.� There is no disease condition more widespread among civilised races to-day than catarrh. Its cause, according to medical text-books, is wrapped in mystery. The weather, dusty or dirty atmospheres, " germ " infection, are all cited as possible causes of the trouble ; and as regards cure, there our medical scientists admit they can do nothing. According to them, catarrh is an incurable condition. Of course they proceed to dose their catarrh patients with medicines, and advise inhalants, spraying, and the like, or the cauterizing of the membrane of the nose, or the surgical removal of pieces of the nasal bone in advanced cases, and now they are even trying germ inoculation ; but in their heart of hearts they admit to themselves that there is no cure for catarrh.
Why ? Simply because of all diseases catarrh is the one which will not submit to being pushed out of the way by the drugs and paraphernalia of modern medicine. It is a condition which persists in carrying on, in spite of all the wonderful " battle-array " that present-day Medical Science musters to its aid in its " fight " against disease.
Nothing could show more clearly the uselessness of modern medical methods of treating disease on the one hand, and medical ignorance of the real causes at work in the production of disease-conditions on the other, than the failure to cope with catarrh. For catarrh, of all diseases, is due to wrong feeding essentially; and as wrong feeding is completely overlooked as a causative factor in the production of disease in medical circles the world over, hence the inability of Medical Science to devise a suitable treatment for the cure of catarrh, and its conclusion, as a consequence, that the disease is incurable. For it is by dietetic treatment, and dietetic treatment only, that catarrh can be overcome.
The sufferer from catarrh may submit to nasal operations, he may take all sorts of inhalants or use all kinds of sprays, but unless he radically alters his diet, no good whatsoever will come from his efforts. For the cause of his trouble lies precisely in the " unwholesome " food he eats, and in such over-abundant quantity. " Unwholesome " may sound strange to the catarrh sufferer who is accustomed to living on what he imagines to be the " fat of the land " ; but the word is here used in a sense not often ascribed to it. By " unwholesome food " is here meant food which has been refined or treated in such a way as to deprive it of all, or nearly all, of its essential vital elements.
The modern craze for refining foods, which has led to the universal use of white bread, white sugar, refined cereals, and white-flour products of all kinds, the modern habit of tinning and preserving food, the equally modern habit of having as much cooked food as possible, as opposed to uncooked, all these are leading people farther and farther away from a " wholesome " scheme of dietary (a naturally wholesome scheme of dietary, that is) towards an unnatural scheme of dietary which is the main causative basis of disease in the human body to-day, as pointed out consistently throughout the pages of the present book. When such demineralised and denatured foods are habitually consumed in quantities out of all proportion to the direct needs and requirements of the body, as they regularly are nowadays by those accustomed to their four or even five " good square meals " daily, the tissues of the body become engorged with excess food materials broken down into the form of acid waste products, and it is out of this condition that catarrh arises.
Although meat and other flesh foods are consumed in such great quantities in England and America to-day, it is the starchy and sugary foods which are eaten most, and these always, or nearly always, in their refined and demineralised state. Just think of the amount of white bread, boiled potatoes, refined cereals (such as porridge, rice, tapioca, etc.), biscuits, cakes, pastry, puddings, pies, etc., etc., that are eaten in the world to-day ! And of the white sugar, jams, marmalade, sweets, and chocolates likewise consumed ! It is the daily piling up of these excessive and unwanted starch and sugar food-products in the system (further enhanced by the presence of such inordinate quantities of meat and other protein foods, to say nothing of fats) which sets up the toxins which Nature attempts to expel mainly through the medium of the mucous membrane of the alimentary canal in the form of what we call catarrh.
Chronic catarrh does not usually develop in very early life, because the body is able, by means of periodic colds (which are really nothing but a form of acute catarrh), to cope with the toxins generated in the system as the result of excessive and unwise feeding habits; but as wrong feeding habits continue, and cold after cold is suppressively treated, the body's powers of dealing with the condition get gradually undermined as the years advance, and it is at about the teens that the first signs of chronic catarrh generally appear. (It will thus be seen that catarrh is really nothing more than a drastic and protracted form of body cleansing, of which the " common cold " is merely an example in an acute form.)
Living and working in habitually stuffy atmospheres, smoking and drinking, the wearing of thick or excessive underclothing, improper care of the skin, lack of exercise, and many other factors besides, all help to lower the condition of the system and aggravate and intensify the catarrhal state. But persistent wrong feeding, as already described, is the main factor concerned all the time.
Treatment. � As regards treatment, it will of course depend upon how long the trouble has been in existence, and how old the sufferer is, as to the time it will take for results to be secured by natural treatment. But with patience and perseverance even the worst case of catarrh can be cured in time. The best way to proceed is as follows :
According to the severity and duration of the condition, from five to seven, ten, or fourteen days should be spent on the all-fruit diet outlined in the Appendix, as the first step in the treatment. Then the full weekly dietary, also given in the Appendix, should be adopted, and adhered to as strictly as possible thereafter. Further periods on all-fruit, ranging from two to four or five successive days, should be undertaken at monthly or two-monthly intervals during the succeeding few months, according to the needs of the case.
During the first few days of the treatment, and after if necessary, the bowels should be cleansed nightly with warm-water enema or gravity douche ; and if constipation is habitual, the rules for its eradication given in Section 9 (page 275) should be put into operation forthwith. The daily dry friction and sponge or sitz-bath, as detailed in the Appendix, are necessary features in the treatment; as are also the breathing and other exercises given therein. The hot Epsom-salts bath, once or twice weekly, is also a most useful measure, and should be regularly taken where at all possible.
The catarrh sufferer should be out in the open air as much as he can, and should always sleep with his bedroom well ventilated. He must take as much exercise as he can. No thick or heavy underclothing should be worn in future ; the best kind is " Cotton" underwear, which allows the air to get to the skin. (Improved skin action is an important feature in the successful treatment of catarrh.)
As regards local treatment, cold water can be sniffed up the nose night and morning, a few drops of lemon juice being introduced into half a glass of water to act as an astringent. If the throat is affected, a cold pack (as described in the Appendix) can be applied nightly, and the throat gargled night and morning with warm water containing a little lemon juice. Drinking and smoking, if habitual, should be discontinued, of course. Regular habits of living are essential to the success of the treatment.
It would be well worth the while of every catarrh sufferer to read a good book on the diet question, for, as he or she will now realise, this is the real crux of the matter. The difference between demineralised and denatured food on the one hand, and natural wholesome food on the other, must be clearly understood. Fresh fruits and green salads should form the staple portion of the future dietary of the catarrh sufferer, and white bread, white-flour products, refined cereals (such as porridge, rice, etc.), boiled potatoes, cakes, puddings, pastry, white sugar, jams, and all forms of confectionery must be rigorously excluded from the dietary if a real cure is desired. In very severe cases of catarrh it is sometimes necessary to exclude all starchy and sugary food from the dietary for from three to four months (that is to say, even wholemeal bread, bananas, dried fruits, and honey, which are all natural wholesome foods, must be left out of the dietary for the time being : and, of course, potatoes too.) NO DRUGS, SPRAYS, OR GARGLES SHOULD BE USED AT ALL.
Catarrhal Deafness.� As already explained in the introductory remarks to the present section, catarrh often spreads to the ears, via the Eustachian tubes, and, once settled there, prevents hearing more and more as time goes on. The condition may become so severe eventually as to cause complete deafness, but in any case it is a most distressing complaint, because, in addition to great impairment of hearing there are often continual noises and crackings going on in the ears (as a result of the catarrh), which sometimes are of the most distracting and disturbing nature. There is often nothing to see in the external ear in theses cases, although sometimes there are deposits of wax being constantly formed. The trouble is all internal (that is, within the ear).
As regards causes, the sufferer from catarrhal deafness is referred to what has just been said with regard to the origin and development of catarrh. There is always a previous history of general catarrh, out of which the catarrhal deafness grows. Previous drug and operative treatment also often plays its part, and drugs such as quinine affect the condition of the ears very adversely. The use of quinine over any considerable period of time will definitely aggravate any catarrhal trouble present.
The medical treatment for catarrhal deafness is just as inadequate as that for ordinary catarrh, and it is to natural methods only that the sufferer from catarrhal deafness can look for alleviation of his condition. (I say advisedly alleviation, and not cure, for many cases of catarrhal deafness have progressed so far that a permanent cure is impossible. It is only in those cases which are in the comparatively early stages that a real cure is possible. But every case of catarrhal deafness can be benefited to a greater or less extent by the adoption of natural methods of treatment.)
Treatment. � As regards general treatment, that for catarrhal deafness is exactly the same as for catarrh ; only in this case it would be advisable to begin the treatment with a fast for from three to five days, followed by a further ten to fourteen days on the restricted diet given in the Appendix, instead of the all-fruit diet. Further short fasts followed by periods on the restricted diet should be undertaken at, say, two- or three-monthly intervals, as the needs of the case demand. (Otherwise treatment should be just as for catarrh.) As regards local treatment, a great deal can be done by manipulative treatment at the hands of a good Osteopath, especially if he employs finger surgery in his work. (Finger surgery is a method whereby the fingers are inserted into the mouth and the Eustachian tubes opened up. This is an excellent way of clearing these tubes of catarrhal matter which is blocking normal ear functioning. The method is not very common in England yet, unfortunately.)
Another useful form of local treatment is to wrap a hot-water bottle in a towel, place on the pillow when retiring, and then lie with each ear on it for, say, fifteen or twenty minutes each. Also, the more the tissues in and around the ears can be eased up and moved, the better. One way of doing this is by gentle massage around and behind the ears, and another is by the frequent opening and shutting of the mouth, as this stretches the internal ear structures and so relieves congestion. Opening the mouth as wide as possible several times, at intervals during the day, is a most useful procedure therefore, and should be practised consistently (although not to excess, of course !) by all sufferers from catarrhal deafness. Neck exercises (after the style of those given in Better Sight without Glasses) will also be very helpful. Electrical treatment is sometimes of good use in catarrhal deafness. Perseverance with the foregoing will bring definite results in its train ; but, of course, advanced cases will take longer to show results than the less serious ones.
Colds. � The " common " cold is always with us, and no wonder, in this constantly overfed world of ours ! For the cold is Nature's simplest and oftenest-used cleansing agency. It is a natural eliminative measure pure and simple. It is Nature's way of removing surplus rubbish (toxic waste) from the system. All the world believes that we " catch " colds from each other, or from germs; but although there is no doubt that a cold can be transmitted easily from one person to another, it is only because both individuals are in a food-clogged state and in need of a systemic cleansing.
No one who is perfectly clean and healthy inside can catch or develop a cold ; and the sooner people realise this, the better. Colds are pre-eminently the outcome of wrong feeding habits which have led to the clogging of the tissues with toxic waste, and any sudden lowering of the vitality serves as a means of bringing them into operation (getting wet through, getting run down, etc., etc.). The more one is addicted to colds, the more certain is it that that particular person is in a state of general toxicity due to wrong feeding and general wrong living. To treat a cold in the usual way, by means of drugs, is just folly, from the Natural-Cure point of view. For all that such treatment does is to put a sudden stop to the eliminative process then taking place, and to force the toxic matter, which would thus have been eliminated, back into the tissues again. The cold is " cured " at the cost of the future health of the individual ! (Only when the cold is understood in its true nature is this apparent, of course.)
Treatment. � The use of drugs in the treatment of colds is here exposed in its real light as a measure which makes for the future ill-health of the sufferer, even though they may appear to " cure " him at the time. The only real treatment for colds is fasting. For when we fast we aid Nature in her self-initiated task of body-cleansing , not hinder and thwart her as we do when we resort to drugs. A fast for from one or two to four or five days on orange juice (according to the severity or otherwise of the condition) is the finest way of dealing with a cold, with from two to three days on the exclusive fresh fruit diet, as outlined in the Appendix.. The warm-water enema should be used daily to cleanse the bowels during the fasting period, and a hot Epsom-salts bath should be taken nightly, or every other night. If this is done, the cold will soon disappear, leaving the sufferer in far better health than before, because his system will have been really cleansed of toxic matter by the treatment.
If future colds are to be prevented, care of the body along sound health-building lines is essential, and in this respect nothing is more necessary than a sensible form of dietary. (The weekly menus given in the Appendix can be followed by all with every success in this connection.) If there is a condition of general catarrh associated with the constant catching of colds, then the treatment given for catarrh in the preceding pages should be put into full operation.
Deafness. � Deafness is a very common condition these days. Where its origin is not due to catarrh or actual disease of the ear, there may be a history of injury, shock, or previous disease in some other part of the body to account for it. (The taking of medicinal drugs such as quinine over a number of years helps materially in the development of ear troubles of all kinds.) Deafness can also appear from the psychological side (as a functional disability, that is, brought on by mental factors), and in these cases psychological treatment, at the hands of a competent psycho-therapist, can do a very great deal to rectify matters. Many cases of complete deafness have been cured in this way.
Where deafness is of catarrhal origin, the sufferer is referred to the treatment for Catarrhal Deafness just previously given. Where the deafness is due to loss of the ear-drum, through long-standing disease of the ears themselves, such as middle-ear disease, then I am afraid very little can be done to effect a cure. But a" Natural-Cure regimen, along the same lines as that given for Catarrhal Deafness, will prove most helpful to the general condition of the sufferer, even if hearing cannot be restored by such treatment. (It is worthy of note that many cases of complete deafness have been cured by spinal manipulation, but in these cases the trouble has usually been due more to mechanical interference with hearing than to anything else.)