We are daily employed in the cure of congestions, and what do we know of the cause from the name? It is true that first causes lie beyond the mighty magic of induction and the truth which we seek is its first relation.
Inflammation has its congestive stage, but congestion may prevail for years without inflammation. Both have the same sphere of action in the venous and lymphatic systems of circulation. The motive force of the arteries exempts them from congestive accumulation — it is only in their vasa vasorum that congestions take place.
The venous and lymphatic systems of circulation, are the returning forces of a motive power that is primarily centrifugal, both currents being impelled by one and the same force of differing intensities in different directions*[See Problem of Life and Motion. — BALLIERE, 440 Broadway.] with this difference that the returning force is the weaker power, and hence its proclivity to congestion.
Every disturbance of the vital force, begins in one or the other of these currents of the passive circulation. Dis-ease is an altered state of the vital force, wherever dis-ease is felt, and this may be said to be congestive.
Depletion from any cause whatever, either by artificial or natural means, weakens the motive power and is the introductory stage to congestion in the capillary circulation. The primary operation of a cathartic produces a transient congestion of the viscera. Every diarrhea is congestive, and if cured, is to be treated with congestive drugs: over-depletion by the lancet, produces congestion of the brain, and if reaction does not ensue, it spreads to other organs.
It is within the memory of most of our citizens that butchers were once in the habit of bleeding their cattle some days before killing them, to improve the color of the beef: but they were ultimately deterred from this practice by the discovery, that fever ensued and if the slaughter was deferred several days, some of the animals became delirious, and others run mad.
There are many medical observers whose science is yet unwritten, who do not believe the brain to be the only organ which suffers by over-depletion. They regard it as a general law, which governs alike every vital organ, when deprived of this fluid; and affirm that all who die by exhaustion, die with the signs of congestion, which accompany over-depletion in all the stages of its pilgrimage.
At the standard of health, the capillary vessels which circulate white blood are in full tone; in congestion they lose tone, and admit the red globules of blood that are ordinarily precluded by their size; and in proportion as any or all of these delicate vessels are emptied of their normal fluids, their fibres relax and their several diameters dilate, till they become loaded with the red globules which belong to the arterial system: and this is congestion.
The first sensations of starvation are those of over depletion. A sense of fullness and pressure in the brain is occasioned by the loss of tone in the capillary vessels admitting the globules of red blood. As these accumulate, confusion and derangement follow, while corresponding changes are passively taking place in other vital organs, till death closes the scene.
The remedies which restore the capillary vessels to their normal state, are not to be found in quinine and iron, but agents like Aconite, Arnica, Bell., Bryonia, &c, which act directly on the fibres of the capillary vessels by unloading their contents, and reduce the action of the heart and arteries, by giving a free passage to the blood in its remote circulation.
|Source:||The American Homoeopathic Review Vol. 02 No. 04, 1860, pages 145-147|
|Editing:||errors only; interlinks; formatting|