His disorder was an oedematous affection of the wind-pipe, contracted by exposure during a long ride in a snowstorm, and aggravated by neglect and by such contemporary remedies as bleeding, gargles of "molasses, vinegar and butter" and "vinegar and sage tea," which "almost suffocated him," and a blister of cantharides.
Thus carbolic acid or carbolized ammonia are sniffed into the nose to destroy the microbes there, or the nose is washed out by an antiseptic solution as a nasal douche; bismuth or morphine are insufflated, or zinc ointment is applied, to cover the mucous membrane, and protect it from further irritation; and various antiseptic gargles, paints and powders applied to the pharynx in order to prevent the microbic inflammation from extending to the pharynx and down the trachea and bronchi, for many a severe bronchitis begins first by sneezing and nasal irritation.
Acute tonsillitis also benefits from warm saline gargles.
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