Interlude No 3
Lung Infections and Intense Itching
I include this idea because I cant work out whether it works or not and if nothing else maybe someone will explain why it doesn't.
Over the last year I have developed an idea which maybe of some use. Its in regard to lung infections. Throughout the last year/ 18 months I have had a semi-permanent lung infection. I have had two courses of antibiotics neither of which completely worked and at the end of the last course which lasted for 14 days the infection in my lungs worsened. A worryingly nasty cough from deep down in the lungs manifested itself. Lumps of greenish phlegm were coughed up particularly in the morning. Sometimes coughing fits and wheezing every night. At the time I became very concerned and thought I would need to see a specialist doctor to see what it was I had . I thought I could guess at the cause. I live on a boat. The marine environment is a damp one and I suspected that this was the underlying cause of the lung infection. When I was away from it, somewhere warmer and drier ie. a centrally heated house things improved, and when I returned to the boat things got worse.
Which is when I had an idea. Its a simple enough idea with 2 easily understood strands to it. In my boat, damp and cool, especially if the fire goes out a perfect environment is provided for lung infection to prosper. Life was much better during the drier summer months however the lung infection to a greater or lesser extent was there all last summer. By mid November with a very nasty worsening cough phlegm wheezing etc I had visions of hospitalization, bronchitis, pneumonia , where does it all end; the end?
But germs I seemed to remember from hygiene certificate days die at maybe 60-70 degrees centigrade What would happen if I inhaled air that was hotter than 60-70 degrees centigrade. Could it be done. Would I be able to inhale air that hot. I thought the answer must be yes. Look at steel workers for example or blacksmiths other people who work with molten metal . They must surely sooner or later inhale air at temperatures above 60-70 degrees. They live and survive. They might have complications in the lungs caused by fumes but I dont recall hearing about weak consumptive blacksmiths for example .
Initially I tried boiling water and inhaling that , but air that contains a high moisture content cant be breathed in at high temperatures. Its painful. So I created a source of hot dry air and inhaled. Hot dry air can be inhaled The first day I tried it I had the very nasty, worsening cough, wheezing, etc. 4 times I tried it. Exhale and empty the lungs right out and inhale perhaps 10 times.
The next day, how did I feel? Much better. I still had the cough but it felt much weaker; at say half power and I have nothing else to put the improvement down to except inhaling hot dry air.
Same again for the next few days and I'm completely better. No cough! No wheezing! No greenish phlegm! Unbelievable!
Since then I still regularly get lung infections, it worsens, I inhale hot dry air. I improve. I'm sure it works. I swear it works Could it?
Why might it work
Saunas produce very dry heat typically 150 degrees plus as a minimum. There are many health benefits claimed for saunas. Amongst other things it is claimed to help bronchitis and no doubt many other things. I have a theory as to what maybe happening that I would like explain.
a) The hot dry air is killing the germs off or
b) The hot dry air is weakening the germs to the extent that they become easily destroyed by the body's own immunity system.
And the reason people feel so much better and claim health benefits for a sauna is that all the germs that were assailing them are now dead, so of course they feel better. Why wouldn't they?
If one Googles something like highest possible survivable air temperatures one soon learns that human beings can survive quite hot DRY air temperatures for quite some time especially if water is freely available.
A step further
What if one had a system whereby you put on a face mask and inhaled hot dry air of about say 165 degrees (above the temperature that germs can survive) air for say 5 minutes a day, twice a day, or 3 times a day... Experimentation is necessary Would there be any health benefit. For example all common cold, cough, throat, mouth, nostrils, lung infections.
Would they survive or not and even if they survived might they not be much weakened that the body's own immunity system could wipe them out.
Today as I write this is the 23 of January 2019. The summer of 2018 was a very hot one in the S.E. of England where i am based. I have had no lung infections all summer until the beginning of autumn. Then it started again and continued until the cold weather arrived when it has improved. On this evidence I wonder if combined alternately with the inhalation of hot very dry air or in isolation whether the inhalation of very dry but very cold air would have any noticeable effect take place.
I cant see why this wouldn't/couldn't work to some extent
Could someone please explain why I'm wrong
I have had a little experience of "intense itching" that some people will be able to relate to from their own similar experiences. What it is at its worst I do not know, but itching intensity that makes you scratch until the skin is broken and draws blood as I have known seems pretty bad.
I have known 2 causes. The first cause was the itching caused by sand fly bites. Their bite causes more intense and longer lasting bites that ordinary mosquitoes. In the tropics where I was bitten broken skin is best avoided if possible. It can lead to some very nasty infections and it can be difficult and take time for the skin to heal. Scratching until the skin is broken to state the obvious is to be avoided.
It was while trying to find ways better than Calamine lotion or Tiger Balm that I stumbled across a method that works. It may not be a method recommended by dermatologists (I dont know ) perhaps because of potential skin or nerve ending damage but it stops itching stone dead.
The second cause was psoriasis. Psoriasis can affect the whole skin. I have had it in various places the scalp, the ears the body, the groin, under the arms. In some places like the ears it is really irritating, the dry flaky skin difficult to leave alone. Picking at it makes things worse. In other areas is the itch, an agonising incessant demand from the skin to be scratched which if only slightly given into the desire and intensity of itch seems to multiply many fold. When I have given in I have found it very very difficult to stop itching until blood is drawn. But that is not all, as if this were not enough, because scratching the itching areas just makes them worse. It is imperative not to scratch the itch but it is not easy. Anyone who has it has my deepest sympathy.
There was a considerable time lag of many years between attempting to control the itch caused by sand fly bites and the arrival of psoriasis in areas where itching is at its most intense. Delicacy prevents greater detail. So I scratched and scratched and scratched, until one day I thought "what about trying the sand fly cure"
So I boiled the kettle, made a cup of tea, squeezed out the tea bag and gently dabbed the very hot moist tea bag over the areas that itched. Like magic the itch disappeared. It died with an unexpected strange feeling which I can only call an orgasmic.
Slowly the areas of psoriasis improved. Almost all gone. Only the occassional flare up under one armpit. I know its psoriasis by the feel of the itch and a slight raised bump at the itchy site. And I am sure if I itch it will quickly become progressively worse. When it happens I dab it a few times with a hot tea bag as hot as I can stand whenever I feel the itch coming on and within a few days at most its gone. At worst I might do this 3 times a day. No more
I dont say this will work for everyone; it might not, but if you have an uncontrollable itch so bad it drives you crazy try the hot as you can stand tea bag. It might not cure you but it will stop the itch, stop you shredding the skin, and drawing blood and for psoriasis the control of scratching is a big help.
This is an interlude from the main purpose of this site which is Wisden's Secret