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From the Townsend Letter
December 2006


Three Years of HCl Therapy
as recorded in The Medical World
with introduction by Henry Pleasants, Jr., AB, MD, FaCP (Associate Editor)
Originally published by W. Roy Huntsman, Philadelphia, PA

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In no sense is the writer to be understood as suggesting the hydrochloric acid take the place of well-recognized directions for hygienic care, diet, and other measures found best for the particular case, but simply as adjuvant in the demolition of pathological tissue, the repair of wounds, and the elimination of harmful micro-organisms. A solution of 1-1000 U.S.P. hydrochloric acid in distilled water has been found itself in 10 to 20 cc intravenous injections, this being the strength of this acid solution in the stomach.

The importance of the cellular fighting forces and agents of healing and repair is conclusively shown by Dr. C.A. Doan, of Ohio State University in a paper on "The Neutropenic State," in which he says the following:

Roberts and Kracke were among the first to recognize the importance
of analyzing accumulated data in terms of white cell level and
symptomatology. In a review of the records of 8,000 private clinic patients,
1 out of every 54 was found to have a mild granulopenia; 1 out of every
2 women patients between the ages of 40 and 60 years was neutropenic;
and complaints of weakness exhaustion and fatigue were twice as frequent
in the granulopenic individuals as in those showing a normal white cell count.
Furthermore, the severity of the symptoms paralleled, to a remarkable extent,
the degree of granulopenia found.

Intravenous Hydrochloric Acid and Blood Transfusion
Through the kindness of Dr. George C. Williamson, of Columbia, Tennessee, the following case report is made to illustrate the remarkable changes in the blood pictures after the injection of hydrochloric acid and, in the same case, the transfusion of blood, both procedures being followed by a marked stimulation of the cellular forces.

On the night of April 4th, Dr. Williamson, in a talk over long-distance telephone, told me he had a woman patient of 73, apparently in a dying condition, with evidences of a marked abdominal infection, with temperature and blood picture as shown in the chart (Table 3), with diagnosis uncertain. I replied that I could give him no advice, but could only tell him what I would do were I present in Columbia, that I felt a marked change could be made in blood picture by the injection of hydrochloric acid.
Within ten days thereafter Dr. Williamson was so good as to send charts with the information that the patient had died. The case is reported to show the failure of the measures taken in spite of the changes in the cells, as well as an illustration of the changes in the blood that must have accompanied the clinical results reported by another Tennessean in The Medical World, Dr. W. I. Howell.

Table 3: Patient Chart

The King's Daughter Hospital
Columbia, Tennessee
Laboratory Report

W.B.C.   Differential
April 3, 1933 3:00 p.m. 1,750    
April 4, 1933 9:00 a.m. 1,400 Neutrophiles- 1   Lymphocytes-11
April 4, 1933 4:30 p.m. 1,750   Lymphocytes- 1
April 5, 1933 7:30 a.m. 4,900 Neutrophiles-52   Lymphocytes-48
April 5, 1933 4:30 p.m. 8,600 Neutrophiles-60   Lymphocytes-40
April 6, 1933 7:30 a.m. 20,100 Neutrophiles-79   Lymphocytes-15
Transitional- 6    
April 7, 1933 7:30 a.m. 26,650 Neutrophiles-79   Lymphocytes-14
Transitional- 7    
April 7, 1933 4:30 p.m. 19,950 Neutrophiles-88   Lymphocytes-12
April 8, 1933 8:30 a.m. 31,600 Neutrophiles-89   Lymphocytes- 8
Myelocytes- 3    
April 4, 1933 10 c.c. 1-1500 hydrochloric acid    
April 6, 1933 Transfusion 250 c.c. "whole blood."    

I have never seen such changes in the blood picture. These changes give a lucid explanation as to the reasons for the results reported by Dr. Howell and make publication useful, I would think.

One can get the same effect on the stimulation of the phagocytes by the injection of 20 or 30 cc of blood intramuscularly. In such an injection, of course, no examination of the blood of the donor is necessary save that it is clean and free from any infection. So much time might be saved by the use of such an injection of blood or the use of hydrochloric acid.

Stronger Solutions of Hydrochloric Acid
When nature developed hydrochloric acid in the evolution of animals by the extraction of chlorine and hydrogen from food and drink for the maintenance of the bloodstream's acid-base balance, a very peculiar acid was the result. Its presence is essential to all glandular and cellular activity. And the fascination of its use lies in the fact that laboratory determinations are not necessary to confirm this statement. One may observe the changes clinically, which, after all, furnishes the final test of any theory; for example, no theory ever started its clinical test with more conclusive laboratory proof than did the Ehrlich theory, and yet twenty-five years of faithful trial were required before the conclusion was reached that the side-chain theory was utterly worthless, thus taking its place along with all humoral theories as a souvenir of past relief.

Dr. Paul Roth, of Battle Creek Sanitarium, found that after the injection of 10 cc of 1-1000 hydrochloric acid intravenously the oxygen content of the blood was almost doubled 30 minutes after the injection. Hourly counts after an injection will show the immediate effect in increasing the numbers of the white cells and the quick correction of an improper balance as shown in the differential. So when this basic body acid is injected, there is an immediate effect on the oxygen content of the red cells, a phenomena that can only be explained by some peculiar chemical effect on the acid-base balance. With the foregoing facts and impressions as a basis, one may always find a case for illustration of the many peculiarities of hydrochloric acid, an acid which I do not use as a medicine, as I was taught to consider drugs. It cures no ailment known to me but simply stimulates all the known and unknown forces of resistance, the same forces that have earned nature the reputation of being the best of doctors---the same forces that Hippocrates called "a vital spirit inherent in all of us for the correction of ailments of our kind."

On September 22, 1934, a young man of 25, weighing 104 pounds, was brought to me by his father. A well-established case of asthma, with a history of five-years' duration, was given as the reason for the visit. In the piping voice of a little boy, the anemic young man, with the characteristic prolonged expiration of asthma, gave me haltingly the story of visits from his home in Oklahoma to El Paso and Phoenix, Arizona. He reported temporary improvement in both towns immediately after his arrival, but this helpful changes was soon replaced by the same attacks of difficult breathing. In spite of a great quantity of mucus in both lungs, as shown on auscultation, there was a little or no expectoration. White cells were 7800 and red cells 3,200,000 per cubic millimeter, furnishing an opportunity for increasing both white red cells by the injection of hydrochloric acid.

Since the F.A.M.A. has so frequently given the opinion that injection of 1-1500 hydrochloric acid was dangerous in the great hemolysis following its intravenous use, I decided to look for danger in this case, which I had done many times before. So I gave 10 cc intravenously, 1-250 putting the remaining drop of blood in acid solution on a slide at the finish of the administration of the injection. Nowhere could one see any change in the contour of red cells. According to the opinion from Chicago, I should have seen destructive change, but I did not.

The patient was asked to return the next day. This he did, and he told me that he had never had such an expectoration. An examination of this sputum showed a few streptococci and staphylococci and numberless white cells; it was not necessary to confirm this stimulation of the white cells by counts. Clinically, I have never seen such expectoration from infected lungs following the use of expectorants as given in materia medica as one sees after hydrochloric acid.

Six injections of the 1-250 solution were given every seven days. After the first week, there was a great decrease in the expectoration, a marked decrease in the severity of the asthmatic attacks, a small increase in weight, and an increase in strength. Before beginning the acid injections, he could not walk one block without stopping one or more times for rest. At the end of the first week, he could walk the block without discomfort. After sixty injections of the acid, the patient was apparently free from asthma, but occasionally had at night what he described as "wheezing" attacks, so the injections were continued to try to eliminate the wheezing and get the weight back to the original 140 pounds, as at this time he weighed only 120, a gain of 16 pounds under the influence of the acid-stimulated cells.

To my utter surprise, in late November, his appetite failed, and he began to lose weight. Acid injections were continued as before. After a few days' steady weight loss, a severe attack of asthma was reported, and he lost eight pounds in weight. This was a therapeutic anomaly and, as I saw it, was only to be met by the injection of more hydrochloric acid. However, stronger solutions than 1-250 intravenously are painful at the site of injection and oftentimes this pain is continuous for several hours up to the shoulder. So on December 1st, I gave more acid by making up a two-percent solution of Novocain and adding hydrochloric acid to make a two-percent solution of the acid. To make it a series of two's, two cubic centimeters were injected deep in a gluteal muscle. About one-tenth of a cubic centimeter was first slowly injected and was felt by the patient as a slight stinging sensation. After one minute, the anesthetizing effect of the Novocain was in force, and the rest of the acid solution was very slowly injected. The discomfort following was negligible. Visits were made every 48-hours or three times a week; so that, today, he had the eighth injection of the two-percent hydrochloric acid in Novocain solution. His clinical behavior has proved the truth of the reason for the change; that is, that the only medicine better than hydrochloric acid is more of it.

Today, the patient weighs 118 pounds, has not had an attack of asthma this month, has walked three miles a day to make the visits here; hemoglobin is 90, red cells 4,770,000 per cubic millimeter; white cells 8400 before the injection of the acid.

As an indication of the behavior of the white cells under the influence of the acid injections, a count was done on the morning of the third visit, after two injections of the 1-250 solution, and was 10,400. So I felt fairly sure of the ultimate results after seeing this increase of 2,600,000 white cells to the liter of blood over the first count, 48 hours before, of 7,800. As I see it, these counts illustrate vividly the power of the basic body acid to stimulate the one constant factor in resistance -- phagocytosis.

With the check in clinical improvement and loss of weight after two months of the intravenous injections and the immediate change for the better under the influence of the stronger solution intramuscularly, I feel it must be attributed to a direct effect on the acid-base balance of the blood stream. At any rate, the clinical behavior of this patient shows that this intramuscular injection is more potent than the intravenous administration of the acid, in some cases.

The change in the voice of this patient has been quite as marked as that in the red count. As mentioned before, on the first visit he had the voice of a small boy. Within two weeks, it would have been noted as sonorous and deep in "Fultah Fisher's boarding house." The disappearance of the anemia, I think, is to be accounted for by doubling the oxygen content of the blood six times a week and by the added activity to the phagocytes in neutralizing the toxins or eliminating the germs causing the asthma.

There have been no inflammatory reactions or any discomfort attributable to the injections of the hydrochloric acid, and, in passing, I might also say I have given, after Novocain, this intramuscular injection as strong as ten percent, 2 cc. The opinion of the colleague in the Association journal as to the danger of the injection of hydrochloric acid is wrong.

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